If you are a dog lover that loves to hike, it’s important to find a breed that will make a great hiking companion. A dog that loves the outdoors can make an ideal hiking buddy, so it’s important to look for a dog companion that is energetic and athletic. Hiking with your dog can offer you a lot of benefits including bonding with your furry friend, providing you both a great workout, and giving you an opportunity to unwind in the great outdoors. Here are some of the best dog breeds to take with you on a hike.
Able to hike for miles, a Labrador Retriever is a great breed to have on an outdoor excursion. These smart dogs don’t run out of breath quickly, plus they have keen hunting instincts and are always eager to please. Labs are treasured companions for any outdoor adventure, and they are great off-leash as well.
Labs are well-known for being great with children, so taking your pup along with your family on the trail isn’t a problem either. This breed features a thick double coat that gives them warmth and an ability to hike anytime during the year. The typical Labrador Retriever will live between 10 and 12 years and on average weigh 36 kg.
Although their name may indicate otherwise, the Australian Shepherd breed has been developed in the United States. The typical Australian Shepherd lives between 12 and 15 years and may weigh up to 65 pounds. These seasoned herders are unquestionably loyal and incredible smart.
Once they bond with their owners, Australian Shepherds become inseparable from them. These dogs are energetic and love to be outdoors, plus they have an affinity for lots of physical activity.
German Shorthaired Pointer
Originally from Germany, the German Shorthaired Pointer was bred for hunting. This breed has a lifespan of up to 15 years and may weigh up to 70 pounds. With a body that was built for running, this breed is a must-have companion for an avid hiker.
German Shorthaired Pointers do not like to be left alone and love to go exploring with their owners. They also love to please and have a people-loving but proud personality. This highly active dog does not like being confined in one place and requires tons of physical stimulation and exercise.
Full of high energy, the German Shorthaired Pointer loves to run, which makes them outstanding racing partners. Plus, they are easy to maintain and clean, which makes them the perfect choice for an active outdoor enthusiast.
Originally from Siberia, the Siberian Husky lives to be between 12 and 14 years old and can weigh up to 60 pounds. This breed has an energetic personality and incredible tolerance allowing them to cover several miles without a problem, which is a great match for a long-distance hiker. This breed is also well-known for its sled-pulling history thanks to their large athletic bodies that allow them to carry loads.
Siberian Huskies are able to stick to the trail well and always stay close to their owners. Remember that they can become mischievous, restless, and vocal when they do not give enough physical activity. These wolf-like dogs are able to handle freezing temperature well thanks to their thick undercoat and long water-resistant outer coat, plus their vigorous character makes this breed perfect for camping and hiking.
Originally from Germany, Boxers were initially used to manage slaughter cows. Descendants of the Bullenbeiser breed that hailed from central Europe, this breed has the passion, build, and energy to explore new environments. Plus, their ripped physiques are able to take on three-mile hikes easily.
The Boxer has a playful, inquisitive, and spirited nature that will allow you to get so much more out of your outdoor adventures. You also get an added sense of security thanks to their attentive eyes. This breed tends to have a 10-year life span and can weigh up to 70 pounds.
If you like to explore the countryside, Weimaraner is the breed for you. Originally from Germany, the Weimaraner is known for its hunting skills, speed, and 85-pound body. With a keen sense of smell, this breed is great at tracking, while also watchful and clever with strangers. They also possess an alert and obedient disposition that will help to keep you safe.
The Weimaraner also has an active nature that makes it important to give them proper obedience training as well as tons of mental stimulation. They typically have a 13-year lifespan that will give you lots of time to have fun with your furry friend.
The Alaskan Malamute is often mistaken for a Siberian Husky. Originally from Alaska, this breed has a likable demeanor and a majestic appearance. Known for their stamina, high spirits, and playfulness, this breed requires two hours of exercise each day and can live to be about 14 years old.
The Malamute will take on tough hikes with no problem, and they can easily pull a sled with a bulky load. Perfect for snowy terrains, this breed has a thick coat and sharp claws that can grip ice like an ax, plus their large paws act like snowshoes, which give them an edge in cold and freezing conditions.
Originally from Germany, Dobermans belong to the class of working dog breeds. Naturally adventurous, this breed is very curious and requires lots of exercise. With their sleek coat, regal appearance, and athletic build, they are eye-catching and are also known for their reliable instincts that will keep you safe on a long hike or walk.
Incredible companions, Dobermans have a low prey drive, which means they will stay by your side. An adult Doberman may live for over 10 years and reach about 60 pounds.
Natives of Scotland, Border Collie are legendary herders, super smart, and workaholics when it comes to dog breeds. Collie is actually a Scottish word for sheep, hence how they got their name. This eager to please dog is uncommonly intelligent and can find its way home or master new trails easily.
Incredible hiking companions, Border Collies live approximately 14 years and weigh about 20 kg as an adult. Their small stature makes them super fast, but they are also easy to carry if needed. Plus, they can also jump over shrubs and scale rocks effortlessly while keeping you safe with their unmatched alertness.
The Belgian Sheepdog is another great hiking dog breed that exhibits atypical endurance in harsh conditions thanks to its buff build. Developed in Belgium as sheepdogs, this breed is also protective and fearless along with uncommon focus that is combined with limitless energy. Belgian Shepherd Dogs are not stopped by harsh weather, thanks to their dense, weather-resistant dense double coat. They also have a lifespan that lasts over 14 years and can weigh between 60 and 80 pounds as an adult.
The all-rounded Poodle is a great breed to take along on a hike. They can endure harsh weather conditions, take on wet terrain, and are amazingly comfortable around water since they are expert swimmers. Their primary purpose for being bred was to be able to recover birds from the water.
The Poodle is intelligent, friendly, and loyal, plus they are available in different sizes. A mature toy poodle can weigh around six pounds while a miniature poodle weighs around 15 pounds, and a standard poodle can weigh up to 70 pounds. And a poodle will have a life expectancy of an incredible 18 years.
Australian Cattle Dog
Originally from Australia, the Australian Cattle Dog tends to live up to 15 years and can weigh between 30 to 50 pounds. Thanks to their weight, they can easily be carried in case of injury. Plus, they are light on their feet allowing them to keep up with you on a hike without having to strain.
With an energetic and intelligent personality, these dogs are perfect for cattle herding. They also won’t give you any obedience issues and have an incredible recall in the event that you lose him. With all these traits combined, the Australian Cattle Dog offers unparalleled loyalty making them outstanding backcountry explorers.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Originally from the Alpine, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a one-of-a-kind breed. Ideal as a hiking partner, this dog has an athletic body that makes it perfect for moderate hikes and mountain climbing. Extremely intelligent, loyal, and affectionate, the Bernese Mountain Dog is friendly with other dogs.
This breed can live for up to eight years and weigh up to 55 kg. Remember that the Bernese Mountain Dog is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and may need a break during your hike.
Tips for Hiking with a Dog
Hiking with your dog has several advantages. It’s important to make sure your dog is healthy and able to handle the hike to ensure that you have an experience without any issues. Here are a few tips to help you make sure your dog is ready for the hike:
It’s important to remember that not all camping parks or hiking trails are dog-friendly. Make sure you look up the regulation of the area you play not hike in before you go. Also, make sure that your dog on a leash or close by when you are in unfamiliar territory.
Protect Your Dog’s Feet
Always keep your dog’s feet protected from the hot or extremely cold ground. Fur wax or dog booties are extremely helpful in cold weather.
First Aid Kit
As any boy scout will tell you, you should be prepared for anything. The wilderness can be fun as well as dangerous for you and your dog. Bringing along a first aid kit will help in the event of minor injuries or cuts. This kit should include iodine, bandages, dry pads, and liquid bandages.
Hydration is super important when you are hiking. You not only want to make sure you are properly hydrated, but it’s very important to make sure your dog’s health is not put at risk by letting him drink from unsafe sources. Also, make sure you avoid salt or stagnant water sources.
Always feed your dog before you hit the trail, and also bring along extra dog food and some of your dog’s favorite snacks. Dogs need to have enough energy to take on harsh outdoor terrains.
Having their favorite toy along will help to curb any anxiety he may have and help him feel comfortable and at ease. So, always make sure you take along some of his favorite toys.
If you plan to camp while out on your hike, make sure the tent is big enough for your dog as well. Look for a tent that has a double-entry or vestibule to ensure that it will suit your needs.
Is Hiking bad for dogs?
Overall, hiking is definitely good for a dog since it provides both mental and physical exercise. Most pups will love to hike with you, but it’s important to consider the breed of dog you have and the dog’s individual capabilities when considering how far you want to hike and what type of trail you want to try.
How many miles can a dog hike?
Typically, a healthy dog who hunts frequently can hike up to 10 miles easily while an energetic short-legged dog probably won’t be able to hike more than two miles. When you begin to consider taking your dog hiking with you, just give yourself and your dog an honest look before deciding the length of the hike.
What dog breeds can hike?
Many dog breeds make great hiking buddies. Working dogs like the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute are more than able to withstand a long hike. Herding dogs like the Australian Sheep Dog, Border Collie, and the Belgian Sheepdog are also able to keep up with you on a hike. Also, hunting dogs like the Poodle and Weimaraner are always up to explore the outdoors with you. Always make sure your dog is healthy and has no physical limitations before taking him out with you on a hike.
Can you take your dog hiking?
Absolutely! In fact, most active and healthy dogs are capable of going hiking with you. Remember that depending on the individual dog, especially if he has physical or healthy restrictions, then he won’t be able to go on the hike with you or go a long distance. And make sure to check for rules against hiking with your dog on the hiking trail that you choose to go on. Most local, state and national parks do allow dogs, but that may not always be the case.