15 Best Hiking Dogs: Top Breeds for Adventure

Are you a pet enthusiast eager to share your adventures with a furry friend by your side? Dogs, cherished companions daily, hold a special place in our hearts as our hiking buddies. These adorable and fiercely loyal animals can make every trail a memorable experience.

Yet, not all canine companions are equally suited for the rugged terrain and extended treks. It's essential to understand which breeds are naturally inclined to lengthy hikes. Discovering the ideal hiking companion amongst the range of dog breeds adds a layer of excitement to your escapades.

We are here today to solve your four-legged trekking partner-searching journey. Here is a detailed rundown of some of the best hiking dogs. We have also jotted down some interesting facts on how to make your hike exceptional with your dog.

Stay tuned and keep reading.

Factors To Consider Before Selecting Dogs As Hiking Partners

Determining good hiking dogs is more than just about being able to endure lengthy walks without exhaustion. While stamina is beneficial, various other factors warrant consideration. Here's what to ponder when selecting hiking partners for your canine friends:

1. Stamina

Your furry hiking companion should be able to keep up with your adventurous spirit! Look for a puppy with plenty of energy to trot alongside you on those uphill trails without tiring out too quickly. Your pup should be up for the challenge, whether a brisk jog or a stroll.

2. Age

Consider the age of your potential hiking buddy. While a young pup might have boundless energy, an older dog might struggle with longer treks. Find that "sweet spot" where your dog is still sprightly enough to enjoy the outdoors without overexerting themselves.

3. Health

A healthy dog is a happy hiking partner! Ensure your puppy is in good shape and free from medical conditions. These could get exacerbated by strenuous activity. Go for regular vet check-ups and give proper nutrition to keep your pup in top condition for those adventures.

4. Personality

Just like humans, dogs have unique personalities. Some may relish exploring new trails and meeting fellow furry friends along the way, while others might prefer a quieter, more solitary hike. Choose a hiking buddy whose personality meshes well with your sense of adventure.

5. Hair Length

Consider your dog's fur length when planning hiking trips. A fluffy coat might be cozy in cooler weather, but it could lead to overheating during summer hikes. We have noticed that shorthaired breeds might fare better in warmer climates. However, longer-haired canines may need extra grooming to prevent matting and tangles.

5. Temperament

A good temperament is essential for any hiking companion. Your furry friend should be well-behaved around other hikers, wildlife, and unexpected encounters on the trail. A calm, friendly demeanor will ensure a stress-free and enjoyable hiking experience for you and your four-legged friend.

15 Best Hiking Dogs In The World

If you're a hiking fanatic, camping lover, or mountain climber, having a dog with matching energy levels is critical. While most dogs adore the outdoors, it's essential to ensure yours can obey commands and stick by your side for a fantastic outing.

We've gathered 15 top-notch hiking companions who are tireless, loyal, and ready to hit the trails with you.

1. German Shorthaired Pointer

German shorthaired pointers are steadfast hiking companions. Hence, we have given this breed the first place in our handpicked list of the best dogs for hiking and camping. It's an extremely lively dog with a dynamic personality, perfect for hiking trips. They are always eager to explore the great outdoors by your side.

With their sleek coats and athletic build, they're built for speed and endurance. It makes them perfect companions for long hikes through rugged terrain. Their keen sense of smell means they'll sniff adventure around every corner.

2. Labrador Retriever

These easygoing dogs are always up for exciting and new hiking adventures. The best part about Labrador retrievers is that they can easily adjust themselves to a plethora of terrains and climates. With their friendly demeanor and boundless energy, these lovable goofballs are always up for a trek through the wilderness.

Whether you're scaling mountains or strolling through wooded trails, your Labrador will be beside you. And don't forget their impressive strength and stamina – they'll happily keep pace with you for miles on end.

3. Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky might be your spirit animal if you are all about that easygoing outdoor vibe. Fur balls like them are a riot – mischievous, clever, and as independent as a cat in a dog's body. Hailing from chilly climes, they're practically built for snow-capped adventures and brisk hikes.

But beware, they've got energy to spare, so be prepared for a hike that could outlast your snacks. And hey, training? It's like convincing a toddler to eat broccoli – a big project. Don't dream of off-leash hiking until you've bonded with your husky.

4. Standard Poodle

Who says hiking companions can't be classy? With their elegant appearance and intelligent eyes, Standard Poodles are the perfect blend of sophistication and athleticism. These graceful, least-aggressive breeds may look like they belong on the runway. Initially, they were water dogs who were bred for hunting.

Nevertheless, don't let their chic exterior fool you – they can keep up on the trails. Their long curls can help them withstand colder temperatures. Whether you're traversing rocky terrain or splashing through streams, your Poodle will navigate without missing a beat.

5. Border Collie

Not a single list of the most energetic and best dogs for hiking would be complete without the name Border Collie. With boundless energy and a laser-sharp focus, these clever canines excel at mastering tricky trails.

Their agility and intelligence make them ideal hiking partners, whether you're scaling rocky cliffs or weaving through dense forests. Get ready for an adventure-packed hike with your trusty Border Collie by your side!

6. Treeing Walker Coonhound

Could you be a vocal dog on a trail? We recommend considering the Treeing Walker Coonhound as one of the best dog breeds for hiking. These energetic and determined hunters know how to navigate rough terrain and sniff hidden trails.

Their boundless enthusiasm and keen sense of smell will motivate you as you explore new paths together. And when it's time to take a break and enjoy the view, your Coonhound will be right by your side. You will soak in the sights and scents of nature with your four-legged buddy.

7. Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a brilliant fit for hiking trips if you want a rugged and robust companion. Their muscular build and fearless demeanor are the ultimate hiking buddy. Their origins as hunters make them naturally adept at navigating challenging landscapes.

Plus, this breed's loyalty knows no bounds. With that distinctive ridge along its back, it's like having a furry superhero leading the way on your adventures. Whether climbing steep slopes or traversing rocky paths, this breed's endurance will keep you motivated every step.

8. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is another must-have hiking buddy on our exclusive list of the best hiking dogs. They are high-spirited and agile companions who love outdoor adventures. Moreover, their stunning coat patterns and expressive eyes will always capture attention wherever you go.

Their herding instincts come in handy, too, keeping you on the right path and ensuring you never lose your way. Like the Border Collie, this breed needs a lot of daily activities. More than one hike every seven days is required. So, lace up your boots and prepare for an unforgettable journey with your Aussie sidekick leading the charge.

9. Jack Russell Terrier

Aren't big dogs your style, but do you still want a zestful hiking buddy? The Jack Russell Terrier is the ideal pup for you. In its 15-pound body, it has enormous drive, high energy, and incredible intelligence, just like a big dog.

Just imagine their wagging tail and perky ears as they eagerly explore the great outdoors alongside you. With a Jack Russell by your side, we assure you every hike will be filled with laughter. Not to mention, they can be heavily destructive if you don't train them both emotionally and physically.

10. Bernese Mountain Dog

If you're searching for a hiking buddy with brawn and beauty, look no further than this breed. They can thrive in cooler climates but struggle in heat. These gentle giants are renowned for their strength and unmatchable loyalty.

It makes them the best hiking dogs for long treks through the wilderness. Despite their imposing size, they have a gentle disposition and a heart as big as the mountains. With their thick, luxurious coat and soulful eyes, they'll capture the hearts of everyone you meet on the trail.

However, they sometimes face some genetic health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as bloat.

11. Vizsla

Vizslas can develop strong bonds with you and thrive on tasks. They're intelligent and need consistent training and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. With a love for running, they excel as hiking or trail running partners, appreciating the space to stretch their legs.

Positive reinforcement and socialization are the keys to molding them into ideal companions. Patient and affectionate, Vizslas are one of the good dogs for hiking. Grab your gear, and get ready to explore the great outdoors with your trusty Vizsla leading the way!

12. Golden Retriever

What's better than a golden sunset? A golden retriever by your side on a hiking trail! Golden Retrievers are among the world's most popular and best hiking dogs. It's easy to understand the reason behind it.

These handsome pups have a reputation for empathy, intelligence, calm personality, and loyalty. Moreover, they are super friendly! It means they'll happily greet your fellow hikers with a wagging tail and a big smile.

13. Harrier

In European classical paintings depicting rabbit hunts, you'll often spot Harriers. Their name relates to their typical prey, hares. They resemble larger beagles, possess remarkable stamina, and are ideal for day-long hikes.

While they can be headstrong, consistent training will mold them into reliable companions. Due to their strong prey drive, they may occasionally become fixated on scents. Nonetheless, with practical recall training, they'll readily heed your commands. With a Harrier, you'll have a devoted hiking partner ready for any adventure!

14. Dalmatian

Dalmatians are the most easily recognizable dog breed. Even if a person doesn't know much about canines, he will understand what a Dalmatian looks like. With distinctive black and white spots, they were initially companions for stagecoaches, horses, and fire trucks.

Their history explains their ability to match human pace on trails, which they thoroughly enjoy. Endowed with remarkable endurance, they're ideal for off-leash training. Their background alongside horses and vehicles has developed the stamina and agility to keep up with hikers.

15. Shetland Sheepdog

Buckle up for some Shetland Sheepdog charm because they've got all you'd want in a funny furry hiking companion! They are friendly and practically canine social butterflies, ready to make friends wherever they go. And let's talk brains—these pups have an excellent quick learning capability.

When it comes to training, they're like eager students raising their paws for attention! These intelligent and agile pups may be pint-sized, but they've got the heart of a mighty adventurer! Additionally, they'll stick close to you and provide loyal companionship throughout your hiking escapades.

How To Train Dog Before Hiking?

There are a plethora of benefits of going hiking with your dog. It's a great form of exercise for both of you and an awesome bonding experience. However, before heading out on the trail, you must be prepared. And by that means having your dog under control with proper training.

Apart from training, you must ensure your dog has the required fitness level for a hike. Here are the skills you can teach them to keep themselves, yourself and others safe:

• Leash Walking

Leashing your dog is critical for control, especially on trails where it's a must. Begin indoors to ease them into leash life. Let them sniff, then wear the leash under supervision. Teach a "heel" cue with treats. Start indoor walks first, then venture outside using quick strides to minimize distractions. All you need is sturdy leashes with traffic handles for easy guidance.

• Off-Leash Walking

Mastering on-leash walking is crucial before transitioning to off-leash hikes. The latter ensures your dog has good manners by enhancing exercise, agility, confidence, and socialization. Use distinct cues for on-leash versus off-leash situations.

Start practicing off-leash in a secure area and gradually introduce distractions. You have to understand your dog's tendencies to address distractions effectively. It's best to consider using a harness for easy leash attachment during hikes

• Recall

Are you preparing to let your dog off-leash on a hike? Recall is a fundamental skill for safety in this case. Your furry friend must heed your call despite the most tempting distractions. Begin by calling out your dog's name and luring them with a tasty treat to guide them back to your side. Slowly diminish the treat's presence to enhance their recall prowess.

• Socialization

Proper socialization is necessary, even when keeping your furry friend on a leash while hiking. The easiest way is to start young by allowing positive interactions with people and varying walks. This will enable them to meet new dogs and explore different environments.

Watch for signs of nervousness or excitability, which indicate the need for more exposure. Stay calm and confident during these encounters. Familiarize your dog with various settings like urban areas, water bodies, and forests for confident hiking adventures.

• Leave It

Exploring nature with your pup is lovely, but hazards lurk along the trail. Teaching the "leave it" command is crucial for off-leash adventures. Use irresistible treats like peanut butter or cheese to train. Start with a covered treat, then gradually increase difficulty. You can reward your furry friend's restraint with a treat when they obey. Stay safe out there!

• Stop And Wait

Level up your dog training with the "stop & wait" command for off-leash hiking. Instead of calling them back, instruct them to pause until you catch up. Start with using the door, rewarding hesitation with treats.

Approach to reward instead of calling them. Gradually release words like "okay" or "free" for exploration. Mastering "wait" enhances obedience in various situations.

• Off

"Off" instructs dogs to remove their paws from something. It's a powerful command for curbing jumping on people or unsafe behavior. To teach the pup effectively, allow the undesired action, like jumping on furniture, then use the cue "off," followed by a reward for compliance. This method fosters obedience and enhances safety, even during adventures like hiking.

• Stay

While "Stay" is almost similar to "Stop and Wait," it's a versatile command. It's a great command for keeping your pup together, whether in front or behind you. Training your dog to lay down or sit during the "stay" command for even more control is also possible.

Start with short intervals and gradually extend them before rewarding and releasing the stay. Add distractions like walking away to reinforce the behavior.

What Supplies/Essentials To Take On A Hike With Dogs?

When heading out on a hike with your canine companion, the items you bring will differ depending on the trip and your dog's needs. Nevertheless, there are several essential items every hiker should carry. Here are the ten must-have hiking essentials for pet owners like you:

1. Doggy Backpack

Strap on that pupper pouch! A doggy backpack is like the Swiss Army knife of hiking gear for your furry friend. It lets your dog carry its own snacks, water, and even a tiny tent (well, maybe not the tent). Plus, it's a fashion statement in the canine world—the perfect accessory for the fashion-forward Fido.

2. Basic First Aid Kit

Every adventurer knows that bumps, scrapes, and occasional mishaps are part of the hiking package. But fear not! A basic first aid kit tailored for your pooch will prepare you for anything from a minor paw scrape to a dramatic squirrel chase gone wrong. Safety first, adventure always!

3. Dog Food

Just like you need your trail mix, your dog needs their fuel, too! Pack their favorite kibble or snacks to keep those energy levels up. Because let's face it, no one wants to deal with a hangry hiker – human or canine.

Also, we suggest you eat more food than your dog usually eats. They will burn more calories, and you may also have to spend extra days there.

4. Water

Stay hydrated, pals! Water is essential for both you and your four-legged hiking buddy. Whether it's a collapsible bowl or a fancy doggy hydration pack, ensure you've got enough agua to keep those tails wagging and those tongues lapping.

5. Equipment (Least and collar or harness)

Keep your adventure buddy close! A sturdy leash and collar (or harness) must ensure your dog stays safe and secure during your trek. It's the golden rule of hiking: always leash up to protect your pup and respect the trail and its inhabitants.

6. Dog-friendly insect repellant

Some animals have strong adverse reactions to certain insects, and dogs are one of them, other than humans. Don't let pesky bugs ruin your adventure! Ensure your furry friend stays comfortable with dog-friendly insect repellent. Look for specific formulas for dogs to keep those buzzing critters at bay while you both enjoy the great outdoors.

7. ID tags

You should always give your paw friend an ID to wear on the hike, as they can get lost in the woods quickly. We recommend using GPS devices with them, too. Also, remember to carry your dog's photo in your pack.

8. Dog Boots

Doggy boots are not just adorable and tailored accessories – they're paw-savers! The best hiking dogs we mentioned above need them especially. Protect your pooch's precious paws from rough terrain, hot pavement, or sharp objects with these cute and functional footwear. Watching them strut their stuff in stylish boots is a bonus!

9. Poop Nags

Keep nature clean and green by packing poop bags. It's not the most glamorous task, but it's crucial to responsible hiking with your dog. Remember, leaving no trace includes picking up after your furry friend!

10. Dog Treats

Treat your hiking buddy to some tasty rewards along the way. Dog treats are essential for motivating and energizing your pup during long treks. Plus, who can resist those puppy-dog eyes when they're begging for a delicious snack break?

Some Dos And Don'ts To Keep In Mind

When you bring your dog on a hike, it could be an enriching and memorable experience for both of you. Consistency is the key to training your dog. It's not just for the furry baby but also for you and anyone else who interacts with it.

Is it your first time hiking with your canine? Do you know the dos and don'ts of having your dog on the trail?

Dos:

These are the Dos you need to take care of before starting to pack your bags for a hike with your dog:

  • Pack Enough Water: Like you, your four-legged friend must stay hydrated. Bring plenty of water and a collapsible bowl to refresh them throughout the hike.
  • Check the Trail Regulations: Make sure the trail allows dogs. Getting there and realizing your pup isn't welcome would be a bummer. Plus, following the rules keeps everyone safe and happy.
  • Do Bring Doggy Snacks: Treats are essential for motivation and reward during the hike. Pack some tasty, energy-boosting snacks to keep your pup going when the trail gets tough.
  • Use a Leash: Even if your dog is well-trained, keeping them on a leash is courteous. It prevents them from disturbing wildlife or other hikers and ensures their safety on unfamiliar terrain.
  • Protect Their Paws: Rough trails can be harsh on your dog's delicate paws. Consider investing in some doggy booties or applying paw balm to protect their pads from rough surfaces and hot pavement.
  • Know Your Dog's Limits: Every dog is different, so be mindful of your pup's fitness level and any health issues they may have. Take breaks as needed and watch for signs of fatigue or discomfort.
  • Clean Up After Your Dog: No one likes stumbling upon surprise doggy landmines on the trail. Be a responsible pet owner and always pack your dog's waste in a biodegradable bag.
  • Plan for Rest Stops: Your dog needs breaks to rest and recharge like you. Look for shady spots along the trail to breathe and enjoy the scenery together.
  • Keep Them Flea and Tick-Free: Hiking exposes your dog to various critters, including fleas and ticks. Ensure they're up-to-date on their preventatives to keep those pesky bugs at bay.

Don't:

Protect your doggo on the trail by learning what you should not do while hiking with them:

  • Leave Without ID: Always make sure your dog has proper identification tags with your contact information. You never know when they might get separated from you on the trail.
  • Force Your Dog: If your pup seems hesitant or scared, don't push them to continue. Respect their feelings and turn back if necessary. Hiking should be a positive experience for both of you.
  • Forget First Aid: Accidents happen, so being prepared is crucial. Pack a basic first aid kit for your dog, including supplies for treating cuts, scrapes, and other minor injuries.
  • Ignore Wildlife Warnings: Watch for signs of wildlife and be prepared to react accordingly. If you encounter potentially dangerous animals, calmly and slowly remove yourself and your dog from the situation.
  • Overestimate Their Abilities: While your dog might be a bundle of energy, it can tire out quickly on the trail, especially in hot weather. Watch for signs of exhaustion and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Let Them Chase Wildlife: It might be tempting for your dog to chase after that squirrel or rabbit, but you must discourage this behavior.
  • Leave Them Alone: Never leave your dog unattended on the trail, even for a quick bathroom break. They could get into trouble or become distressed without you there to help.
  • Skimp on Sun Protection: Like you, your dog can get sunburned, especially on its nose, ears, and belly. Consider using pet-safe sunscreen and providing shade during breaks.
  • Let Them Drink From Unknown Sources: Your pup may desperately want to drink from streams and ponds. However, they could ingest harmful bacteria or parasites. Stick to the water you've brought to keep them safe and healthy.

Make Your Hiking Experience Memorable!

Dogs are the best companions both on the trail and in life. If you love to hike solo, the presence of a canine can make your journey seem less lonely. The best hiking dogs mentioned above can make your adventure even more enjoyable.

As an avid dog-loving traveler, your hiking experience can reach new heights of joy with Doodle Couture by your side. From stylish yet functional harnesses to wear to durable and trendy leashes, we ensure your furry companion is safe and fashion-forward on the trails.

With each step, you and your beloved pup will create lasting memories amidst nature's wonders. And you can do all this while showcasing your impeccable style with our designer dog accessories. As you embark on your next hiking expedition, remember to equip your faithful friend with Doodle Couture's signature gear.

Get ready to conquer the high-spirited trails with your doggo in style.


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