When it comes to picking a new dog-be that an adult dog or a puppy-one of the most important factors in terms of making the right decision of what dog to get is the dog’s energy levels, as this is something that will have a massive impact on every element of your life with your dog, how much exercise they need, and how easy or otherwise they are to care for.
Overlooking the importance of getting the balance right in terms of how lively your dog is and how much exercise they need can lead to a wide range of problems, which sometimes, ultimately culminate in the need to rehome the dog, through no fault of the dog’s own.
When it comes to working out energy levels, the breed or type of dog that you are considering can give you a big pointer-but this is by no means the only factor, even if you can tell the breed, and it is important to consider every element of their makeup and how this may affect how lively they are.
In this article, we will cover some of the different elements that combined, determine a dog’s energy levels, and how to assess them all together to make the right choice. Read on to learn more.
Different breeds of dogs have vastly different energy levels, and finding out the averages and norms for the breeds that you are considering is a good way to firmly rule in or out a dog of that type. However, it is important to combine this information with other factors, as breed norms are not a firm indication of energy levels in and of themselves.
The age of the dog, how fit they are, what they are used to, and even what they are fed can affect their energy levels, so even if you narrow your hunt down to a breed that seems like a fit, get to know the dog itself first before making a final decision!
If the dog you are considering is not a pedigree or is clearly a mixture of several breeds, or is of a breed or mixture that you cannot identify, the next step in working out their energy levels involves narrowing the dog down to a broad type.
“Types” are broad sub-heading to describe dogs that may be of similar or related breeds or that share the same traits, and this is something that you can usually work out to a reasonable degree in order to help to work it out.
Terriers, sighthounds, pointers, toy dogs etc., are all types, and while these broad groupings alone will not be enough to tell you in and of themselves what you can expect from the dog, they can point you in the right direction. Terriers, for instance, tend to be lively, full of energy and very smart, whilst sighthounds tend to be generally lazy, with just the odd short burst of high-speed running!
The build of the dog can give you an indication of what their natural role and energy levels is likely to be, but it is important that you can tell the difference between build and weight! Any dog, even a small, delicate one can be significantly overweight, or an underweight dog may look lean and wiry.
A stocky, muscular dog such as the bulldog or a Staffy is unlikely to be the type of dog that will run around all day long without a break; but dogs with long legs, a proportionately long body and a generally business-like build such as the Border collie or Siberian husky can be more or less guaranteed to be a natural runner!
When getting a puppy, it can be hard to tell how lively or otherwise they are going to be later on, even if they seem to be either full of beans or very sleepy when you go and see them! However, as adult dogs age, they will naturally begin to calm down a little and lose their energetic edge-but when it comes to some of the most high-energy breeds, this is unlikely to make a huge difference!
If you’re looking at a litter of puppies or considering adopting a dog from someone who owns another dog of the same lineage, finding out about the activity levels of the related dogs can sometimes be a big help.
For puppies, learning more about the dam and sire, how lively they are and the type of lifestyle that they lead will usually give you a head start in understanding what you will be able to expect from the other dog, even taking into account the individual differences between related dogs and puppies from the same litter.