Dog-owners usually have an active lifestyle. The adventurous spirit calls for a buddy who loves to explore. To find a ‘paw-some’ partner for your next hiking quest, let’s have a look at the best dogs for hiking.
Dogs are man’s best friends. They accompany their humans in everything — walking, eating, and even sleeping.
But when it comes to hiking, trekking, climbing, etc., not all dogs are comfortable with such adventures.
If you are a person with an active lifestyle and have the adventure bug, you need a breed that could match that spirit.
Strong physical attributes are essential in a breed if you are looking for a dog to join you in your escapades.
Many dog owners spend a lot of time considering whether they should take their dogs along for such strenuous activities.
Well, not to worry.
We have done some research and compiled a list of the best dogs for hiking so that you have the perfect trail buddy for your next trip.
- The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking
- The “No Outdoors” Club
- Choosing a Hiking Breed
The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking
So what dog breeds are the best for hiking?
You will find many breeds are suited for long outdoor adventures in testing weather conditions.
These dogs are quite active; you might get tired but they won’t.
These breeds would be your perfect trail companions.
Here is our list of best types of dogs to go hiking with.
1) Siberian Husky
If you are a dog person, you probably would have already guessed that the Siberian Husky would top the list of the best dogs for hiking.
Native to the freezing Siberian mountains, these dogs were originally bred and trained to pull sleds in the harsh Russian weather.
These worker dogs are strong, have powerful legs, and never shy away from adventure.
Their endurance and high-spirited personality make Huskies the perfect buddy for a long, difficult trail.
2) Bernese Mountain Dog
A gentle yet powerful breed, the Bernese Mountain is so friendly that you will have to train the big ball of fur to control its desire to befriend everyone it sees.
Now that is adorable.
Bernese Mountain Dogs were originally trained to manage the cattle in the snow of the Swiss Alps.
These furry babies enjoy strenuous activities and running around in any weather, which makes them a great hiking dog.
3) Alaskan Malamute
If you ever come across a pup Malamute, you would wish for it to remain a pup forever.
The cute little furballs are cute as a button.
Grown Alaskan Malamutes are traditionally used for pulling sleds and carts in the mountains.
The playful breed loves the cold weather and outdoors.
They are bred and raised to have excellent endurance rather than flash speed like hunting dogs.
Their endurance makes them the perfect choice for long trails in harsh weather conditions.
4) Rhodesian Ridgeback
For a more rugged companion in the outdoors, walk along with the Rhodesian Ridgeback.
They are another one of our favorite dog breeds for hiking.
Originally bred in Africa by the lion hunters, this hound has found its place in our households nowadays.
Since they were trained for hunting, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are extremely agile and make a great breed for hiking.
With their hunting instinct, agility, and endurance, these hounds are suitable for all outdoor activities ranging from hiking to climbing.
As they are dignified and reserved, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are restrained around strangers and are friendly with their families if trained well.
5) Australian Shephard
An intelligent and adventurous breed, the Australian Shephard high-energy friendly dog always on the move.
Originally a herding dog, an Australian Shephard is quite active and excels at dog sports, thanks to its obedient nature.
This dog seldom gets tired and would challenge you to do more.
These dogs need plenty of exercise daily to keep them fit and release their extra energy.
Their athleticism, agility, and endurance along with a friendly nature are ideal for strenuous hikes.
6) Border Collie
Just like its Aussie cousin, Border Collie is a highly energetic breed.
No list of athletic dogs is complete without Border Collie.
They have an excellent work drive and can run around for hours without getting tired.
If you are a regular hiker, you will love a Border Collie as it is easy to train and incredibly smart.
Remove its leash and it will sprint like the breeze.
If you are in search of an exercise partner and a buddy for hiking long trails, a Border Collie would always love to tag along.
7) German Shorthaired Pointer
Originally popular as a hunting dog, the German Shorthaired Pointer is best known for its agility and endurance.
It is an extremely high-energy breed and could get destructive if the energy is not channeled properly.
When trained well, these dogs are extremely friendly and love to exercise.
They enjoy strenuous tasks in any climate.
Their highly social nature with a willingness to always please their “hoomans,” these dogs are perfect for any hiking adventure.
8) Australian Cattle Dog
Originally trained to herd cattle by the Australian settlers, Australian Cattle Dogs are hearty and highly intelligent.
Better known as the Heelers, these dogs already are quite outdoorsy, thanks to their experience in managing cattle on the farms for hours.
They are also extremely loyal and highly trainable.
You can teach them anything from basic commands to complex actions and they will retain everything in their smart heads.
If you are looking for a best friend for hiking, an Australian Cattle Dog is a breed that will never disappoint you.
9) Portuguese Water Dog
These dogs are quite rare and were originally bred for helping fishermen manage their nets and fish.
They even herded the fish into the nets. For any outdoor activity that involves a water body, you want a Portuguese Water Dog as your buddy.
Their love for water makes them naturally outdoorsy — they even have webbed feet!
Even Former-USA President Obama’s best buddy was a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo.
But mind you, their thick coats need some grooming to maintain their handsome looks.
Weimaraners are often misjudged as challenging and difficult.
However, this behavior is the result of not channeling their high energies appropriately.
These are sporting dogs with powerful legs and high endurance.
Meant to withstand physical and mental adversities, hikes and difficult trails are ideal for Weimaraners to release all that energy.
They are loyal, enthusiastic, and fun-loving, making them an ideal companion on adventurous trails.
11) Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers make great hiking dogs. They were bred to be sturdy working dogs with high endurance levels.
They love being out in nature and love to please their human even more.
They are both curious and playful and may have you exploring areas during your hike you may not have noticed otherwise.
The “No Outdoors” Club
Although most dogs love the outdoors, some breeds must be kept away from strenuous tasks like hiking.
Brachycephalic, or “flat-faced” dogs like pugs and bulldogs shouldn’t be taken on long hikes and heavy exercises as their respiratory systems tend to overheat.
Endurance is not particularly their strong suit.
If you are planning to hike in harsh freezing temperature conditions, shorthaired dogs like greyhounds, chihuahuas, and whippets must not be on your companion list.
As for extreme heat, it is best to leave your dogs at home as no breed likes the hot weather.
All dogs are quite susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Choosing a Hiking Breed
As much as dogs love the outdoors, not all of them are fond of walking or running up difficult terrains and long trails.
The best dogs for hiking have high endurance, agility, intelligence, and a ton of energy.
If you are looking for a long-term trail partner, make your choice wisely.