While there are plenty of lovable dog breeds to choose from, only some of them are exceptionally agile and intelligent. If you’re considering getting a dog for agility training or competition, you may want to look into one of these breeds.
Jack Russell terrier
They’re incredibly energetic. | GlobalP/iStock/Getty Images
These terriers are tiny but incredibly energetic. They were originally bred to hunt foxes and are extremely smart and independent. Their high energy and high intensity makes them great agility dogs, but they do need a lot of attention and must be played with frequently. They weigh anywhere from 13 to 17 pounds and can live up to 15 years.
Next: These dogs were bred to help Scottish farmers.
They’re highly trainable. | Yanjf/iStock/Getty Images
These dogs are great agility dogs because they are incredibly intelligent. They are very obedient and trainable yet still extremely lovable. They originally were used as guard dogs for farmers in Scotland, which explains their obedient nature. These dogs need plenty of exercise and love to be outdoors. They weigh 20 or more pounds and can live about 12 to 15 years.
Next: These dogs are great in water but also very agile.
They’re a smart breed. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Poodles are another very smart dog breed, which makes them great for agility competition. They have an aura of elegance as well. They are very friendly and easy to train, so they’d make great house pets. But if you’re interested in agility training, it’s best to keep their fur short. They weigh anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds and sometimes live up to 15 years.
Next: This breed of collie is extremely affectionate.
They’re energetic and intelligent. | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images
Border collies were originally used to herd sheep at the border of England and Scotland, so they’re very obedient dogs. They are very affectionate, too, and don’t like being left alone. They need plenty of energy and an owner who can make time to play with them. These collies usually weigh between 30 and 45 pounds and live about 12 to 15 years.
Next: These small dogs were first bred to herd livestock.
They’re athletic dogs. | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images
Australian shepherds are very athletic and intelligent, making them perfect agility dogs. These dogs are “working dogs” that were originally bred to herd livestock, so they’re very obedient. They are very easy to train, and they’re mid-size at 40 to 65 pounds. You can expect one to live up to 15 years.
Next: These dogs are commonly used as police dogs.
They’re an agile breed. | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images
German shepherds are large dogs, so it might come as a surprise that they’re agile. They’re also one of the fastest dog breeds, and both of these make them a common choice for K-9 units. These dogs are also very smart, which means they’re easier to train. German shepherds can weigh up to 90 pounds and only live about seven to 10 years.
Next: Teddy Roosevelt coined the name of this dog breed.
These little dogs can move. | sjallenphotography/iStock/Getty Images
These inquisitive dogs are friendly, smart, and agile. They’re small, making them perfect house pets. They’re American bred, and rumor has it Teddy Roosevelt coined their name. These dogs only weigh less than 25 pounds. If you’re looking for a dog with longevity, this is it; rat terriers can live up to 18 years.
Next: These dogs are hard working and intelligent.
They’re trainable and agile. | animalinfo/iStock/Getty Images
These loyal, intelligent dogs are easily trainable and very agile. They have copious amounts of energy, so they’ll need an owner who can make time to care for them and give them the attention and play time they need. But the kelpie never tires of pleasing its owner and working hard. They’re fairly small, easy to train, and live about 10-13 years.
Next: These tiny dogs were bred to herd animals.
Pembroke Welsh corgi
They’re a very energetic breed. | Anna-av/iStock/Getty Images
These fun little pups were originally bred to herd cattle, sheep, and horses. They are energetic and playful but very smart and very easy to train, making them great house pets. They normally don’t weigh more than 30 pounds, and they can live up to 14 years.
Next: These dogs are very obedient and friendly.
They love to play. | Mallivan/iStock/Getty Images
Pappillons are very agile and obedient. They’re affectionate with family, easy to train, and incredibly playful. The papillon’s owner must have enough time to train the dog and play with it. Papillons also need plenty of exercise. These pups only weigh between four and nine pounds, and they can live up to 16 years.
Next: These dogs are very energetic but easy to train.
They’re easy to train. | Tomas Maracek/iStock/Getty Images
These Vizslas are all-around friendly pups. They’re smart, agile, and extremely easy to train. They’re also easy to groom and very kid-friendly. They make excellent house pets, as long as their owners can find time to play with them and let out some of their energy. They usually weigh between 45 and 65 pounds and can live up to 14 years.
Next: These dogs are agile and the world’s fastest breed.
They’re notoriously athletic. | SvetaElfimova/iStock/Getty Images
Greyhounds are used to competition: They’re very popular racing dogs. They are friendly and easy to train, making them great house pets and competitors. They can run up to 45 mph, so be sure not to let them get loose. Greyhounds are easy to groom and have a lot of energy. They can weigh up to 85 pounds and live up to 15 years.
Next: These water dogs are intelligent and hard-working.
Portuguese water dog
They love to work. | Sparty1711/iStock/Getty Images
These water dogs are used to working hard. They were bred to aid fishermen on fishing trips by retrieving lost gear and herding fish into nets. They’re extremely friendly but can be difficult to groom. Intelligent yet energetic, these dogs are fairly easy to train. They can weigh up to 60 pounds and live about 12 years.
Next: These dogs make excellent outdoor companions.
German short haired pointer
They have plenty of energy. | TorriPhoto/iStock/Getty Images
These dogs make great outdoor companions. Bursting with energy, the German shorthaired pointer can run around endlessly. They’re very affectionate and easy to groom. But they do have a tendency to bark. These pups are extremely playful, and they can weigh up to 70 pounds and can live up to 15 years.
Next: These dogs are popular in fire houses.
They’re highly energetic dogs. | GlobalP/iStock/Getty Images
These firehouse dogs are great for agility competitions. They are very energetic, smart, and easy to train. Dalmatians are kid-friendly and also make great house pets as long as they can get some of their energy out. They can weigh anywhere from 45 to 70 pounds and typically live 12 to 15 years.
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