If you’ve been thinking about getting a new dog then you’re not alone – Kennel Club figures show that the number of people looking for puppies has surged to record levels in the last few years.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest four-legged addition – whether you want a large dog, family-friendly dog, or crossbreed.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
If you are looking for a dog that will happily play with both adults and children for hours on end, there are particular breeds that are well-known for never boring of games.
Here are the 10 most playful breeds of dog, according to the American Kennel Club.
1. Labrador Retriever
Originally bred to help fishermen recover nets, ropes and fish from the chilly waters of the North Atlantic, the Labrador Retriever still loves to fetch things. As anybody who has ever thrown a ball or stick for a Lab will know, you'll tire of the game long before they do. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
Patient, gentle and affectionate, a Boxer makes a particularly good playmate for children with their endless energy and cheery outlook on life. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. French Bulldog
Cheeky and bold, the French Bulldog will not be ignored if it wants to play - which is most of the time. Be careful not to give them too much exercise though, as they are prone to breathing problems. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
The Dalmation's love for play was used to great effect when they used to perform for delighted circus audiences. Now the spotty dogs are more likely to entertain their human family with their spirited antics. Photo: Canva/Getty Images