A lot of dog owners have a physically high lifestyle. With this, many of these dog owners search for a dog who can withstand a life full of adventure. In the world of hiking, a person needs to have a dog breed that not only has a great personality but one that is also physically capable of walking for long periods of time. Some of the best hiking dogs are bred for this active lifestyle so they can trudge through various weather conditions for hours on end.
So, if you are looking for a dog that is just as active as you and will love to hike, look at the dog breeds that are listed below. It is also important that no matter what kind of dog breed you choose, to make sure that you have all the correct equipment for both you and your dog while hiking. Here is our list of the best hiking dogs to keep up with you on the trails.
Top 10 Best Hiking Dogs
1: The Siberian Husky
A true warrior and a breed that is full of endurance. The Siberian Husky is originally from Russia and was specifically bred to haul carts and sleds for long distances while also having to bear the Russian climate. This breed is a part of the working group as they are built to be powerful while also possessing a vibrant spirit, so you won’t get bored on your long hikes. The personality of the Siberian Husky is known to be pleasant and aware, but also very outgoing dogs that enjoy what the outdoors has to offer.
2: Australian Shephard
Next on the list is the Australian Shepherd. This breed is known for its sharp and adventurous personality. The Australian Shepherd was originally bred as a herding dog due to its pure briskness and compliance. A sport dog in its realm. The Australian Shepherd will always be a top choice for a hiking companion because of its active lifestyle, friendly demeanor, and the ability for its long arduous activity.
3: German Shorthaired Pointer
As a member of the sporting group, the German Shorthaired Pointer will make a great match for a hiking partner. This dog breed was bred to be a superior hunting dog and is still known for this trait to this day. The German Shorthaired Pointer likes to spend long days out in the wilderness and can endure diverse climates. Their personality is known to be social, outgoing in terms of the ability to make friends, motivated to work, and willing to satisfy.
Originally from Hungary, the Vizsla is known for its great hunting capabilities and continues to flourish in this activity to this day. As a result of the Vizsla being bred to be a hunting dog, it has developed the demand for exercise and the love for the outdoors. This breed has a unique personality as it is high in energy, and has pure athleticism. They love to express affection, be around people, and are always eager for a new adventure. Definitely one of the best hiking dogs.
5: Australian Cattle Dog
As a sporty, smart breed that has enough energy to burn, the Australian Cattle dog makes for another great choice for a hiking dog. This breed started off as a herding dog due to its athletic and obedient persona. So, if you are a person who finds themselves doing lots of activity, dive deeper into this breed as the Australian Cattle dog is extremely active and needs a proper amount of physical activity in order to flourish.
Another great dog that was originally bred for hunting, the Weimaraner. This breed can be outside while working for long hours. In addition, the Weimaraner is a great dog regarding its personality because it is devoted, warmhearted, and enjoyable. This makes it a perfect choice for a hiking companion. Lastly, this breed was designed to possess a great deal of quickness and endurance so they will do great in both short and long hauls.
7: Bernese Mountain Dog
Originally from the chilly Swiss Alps, the Bernese Mountain dog was used for drafting in addition to driving cattle. This breed is on the larger side, allowing for my power. As a loving, working dog, this breed is sure to appreciate the activity and makes an outstanding hiking partner in any weather.
8: Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback breed emerged from Africa. These dogs hunted large animals over long periods of time for long distances. They are known to be super active, distinguished, reticent to new people, but very loving and warmhearted to their family. Though they tend to be easy-going, they still love to participate in exercises with their family.
9: Alaskan Malamute
Another large breed, the Alaskan Malamute (a working-class dog) was bred to pull carts and sleds for long periods of time at large distances. These dogs are known to be high-spirited, loving dogs who enjoy spending time actively outdoors, specifically in cold weather. This breed was also specifically bred to have endurance rather than quickness, making them a great choice for a hiking dog as they can go for a long time.
10: Portuguese Water Dog
As the name basically shows, the Portuguese Water Dog is a working dog that was bred for herding fish and recovering tackle and nets. They also acted as runners for the ship to store or ship to ship. With that being said, these dogs are very hardworking and enjoy it as well. They are known to be very happy when participating in an activity, for their loving personality. Also their ability to be adventurous, while also liking to spend time with family.
What to Consider When Looking for the Best Hiking Dog
You must take size into consideration. More times than not, larger dogs have an increased ability to carry heavyweight and have higher endurance. Whereas a small dog cannot carry weight and will be fatigued quicker. But a dog that is too big will most likely have a shorter lifespan when it comes to hiking due to its increased risk of heart and joint issues. For this reason, the best weight for an adult hiking dog would be 25-50 pounds.
Dog breeds tend to have energy levels that range from a dog who would want to lay on a couch all day to a dog that always wants to be outside engaging in physical activity. For this reason, it is best to consider a dog who is known to have a mid to high range of energy if you want it as your hiking companion. Many low energy dogs do hike, but they cannot go for long distances as they get tired out pretty quickly. On the other hand, if the dog breed is known for having a super high energy level, it may be very hard to keep them focused and on the trail.
Coat type is a special consideration depending on where you live or what the climate is like where you plan to hike. The colder the climate, the thicket coat. But if you live somewhere warm, you do not want a thick coat. It is also important to know if the coat needs a lot of maintenance because dogs with longer hair tend to get snarls and will get dirty more often which means they would need to be groomed.
If you have a dog that has a lighter coat, depending on the climate you may need to get extra layering for the dog. Lastly, it is important to be able to check your dog for ticks especially after a day of hiking. So, dogs with thicker coats may not be able to be checked as easily.
Best Hiking Dogs Conclusion
It is very important that whatever dog you choose to be your hiking partner, you must see them as a family member and as a soul that you love. Training goes a long way and if you notice that behavioral difficulties arise, a professional can easily be worked out.
You must be considerate for both your dog and others by knowing who is on the trail. This means you should try to have your dog on a leash at all times. Don’t let your dog greet other dogs if they haven’t been trained to know how to have relationships with others. Avoid going into areas that are high in traffic especially if your dog tends to bark a lot.
The best hiking dogs are out there waiting to explore and adventure with you. All in all, make sure to take care of your dog, have fun, and take all of the necessary items/equipment along the way!