Dog breeds

Athletic Dog Breeds That Would Love the Devon Coast and Countryside

Walking and hiking is a popular pastime in Devon thanks to the county’s stunning coastline and countryside. One thing that can increase the mental and physical benefits of a walk is bringing along a canine companion.

A treat for both man and dog, “walkies” are always guaranteed to provide fresh air and perspective on even the most stressful days.

While the Kennel Club recommends that most dogs get at least 30 minutes of walking a day, breeds come in different shapes and sizes, which means some need more or less. Some dogs want to run all day, while others are happy with a few laps in the park.

Read more:Best walks in Devon: 51 of the county’s most scenic walks and hikes

If you’re more of a “hiker” than a “walker” and are looking for a four-legged friend who will enjoy accompanying you on your outdoor adventures, the Kennel Club experts have compiled a list of 10 of the most active breeds – although it is important to note that any dog’s walking preferences will depend on a combination of their breed, health, age, training, socialization and individual personality.

1. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels were traditionally working dogs, and they are still the most popular of all spaniels for working in the field. This is a breed that tends to be full of energy and likes to explore – and smell – every inch of new places. To keep wagging their tails, they need more than two hours of exercise a day.

2. Jack Russell Terrier

A Jack Russel Terrier with power! A female dog of red and white color running without feet on the green grass.

Jack Russells may look small, however, their short legs are deceiving. They are spirited and have great stamina for long walks, while also suitable for owners looking for a small dog. Some Jack Russells make skilled agility competitors which could contribute to their need for around an hour of exercise per day.

3. Otterhound

The Otterhound is a vulnerable native breed due to its historically declining popularity. These dogs make great shoreline companions as they have oily double coats, like a human raincoat, and webbed feet, so if a walk leads to the beach, they’ll usually be more than happy to dive into the sea. sharp need more than two hours of action per day.

4. Dalmatian

A woman and her Dalmatian take a walk in the woods together

An elegant, spotted and athletic breed, the Dalmatian has long been recognized for its athletic nature due to its historic race past horse-drawn fire trucks to clear the road of vehicles. Their strong, muscular build is maintained by needing more than two hours of walking a day, but while resting at home, owners can take advantage of their outgoing and friendly nature.

5. Border collies

border collie
border collie

Infamous for their breeding history, border collies have developed a reputation for their active and intelligent characteristics. Their speed is impressive and that’s even the reason behind the separate ‘ABC’ (Anything But Collies) agility class at Crufts. They need more than two hours of exercise a day and trying agility could be a fun option to burn off some of their energy, as they tend to need a lot of stimulation and attention from their owners.

6. Flat-Coated Retriever

Winner of Best in Show, flat coated retriever, Baxer

Flatcoats are an enthusiastic and happy breed, as anyone who watched 2022 Crufts Best in Show winner Baxer take his crown will know. Historically, they were bred for hunting on land and water, so their coats are developed to protect them from cold, harsh and wet weather – a feature that will often be in use if you visit the UK coast. With an ancestry of both spaniels and retrievers, these dogs have lots of energy, require more than two hours of exercise a day, and tend to enjoy long walks with their owners.

7. Lagotto Romagnolo

Although originally known for its duck hunting in Italy, the Lagotto’s keen sense of smell and retrieval skills have since been used for the lucrative truffle hunt. Another small but high-spirited dog, the Lagotto needs more than two hours of exercise a day.


a beagle

Beagles are scent hounds that were originally bred for hunting in packs. They are cheerful, bouncy little dogs around the house, making them a good choice for some active families with children. A beagle’s natural curiosity leads it to enjoy around an hour of daily activity like running, walking and sniffing – although due to its natural hunting dog instincts, it’s important that owners take extra care. train regularly when they go for a walk.

9. Hungarian Vizsla

Beautiful Hungarian Vizsla enjoying a run on a beautiful beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

The historic and elegant Hungarian Vizsla has a lean, muscular build. For those looking for long rides or runs, the Vizsla is an athletic choice that’s sure to challenge owners to keep up.

10. Italian Spinone

The Italian Spinone is renowned for his strength and endurance. Taking more of a trotting action, this dog is suited for longer, slower walks of more than two hours a day. They tend to adapt to a range of terrains due to their strong bones and solid build. Long walks with this breed will be much appreciated as they are known to be sociable, affectionate and patient.

While a dog can be a wonderful exercise companion and highly motivating personal trainer, anyone considering welcoming a four-legged friend into their life should always make sure they have thought through their decision. The Kennel Club’s #BePuppywise campaign provides tips and resources to help potential owners make the right decisions at every step of their puppy-buying journey, from breed research to training advice. You will find more information about specific breeds, their care needs and their history. here .