The Top 5 Best Small Dogs for Hiking

Jack Russell Terrier
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What are the best small dogs for hiking?

While many dogs can be great companions on hikes, small breeds bring their own unique advantages, often excelling in agility and covering long distances. If you’re a traveler seeking a canine companion for your hiking adventures, consider the top 5 best small dogs discussed in this article.

Best Small Dogs for Hiking

Before diving into the list, it’s important to remember that each small dog breed comes with its own set of strengths and temperament. So, while some are naturally adventurous and energetic, others might need a bit of motivation and training.


Dachshund | Photo by Dominika Roseclay

Overall, one of the best small dogs for hiking.

If you are looking for a small dog breed that can keep up with you, then the dachshund is an excellent choice.

Although these hounds are small, they are mighty, feisty, and tenacious. Their short legs make them seem less than ideal hiking companions, but don’t let their size fool you. With proper training, a dachshund can cover a lot of ground on a hike. They are also brave dogs that are perfect for those hikers that like to explore rugged terrain.

Dachshunds are small dogs, typically weighing between 16 to 32 pounds. Despite their size, Dachshunds need regular exercise to maintain their muscular build and robust health.

Read more: Best Harness for Dachshunds 2023

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small and athletic breed that makes for a great hiking companion.

These tenacious dogs are known for their energy, making them a great fit for intense hikes. They are intelligent and require firm training and socialization. This breed is especially well-suited for rocky terrain. They are always up for a challenge and will keep up with any hiker.

Jack Russell Terriers are energetic dogs that typically weigh between 13 to 17 pounds. Known for their agility and speed, these terriers have a lean and muscular body.

Read more: Dog Hiking Etiquette

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Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniel on a hike | Photo by RDNE

The Cocker Spaniel is a great companion for those who want a moderate hike.

They thrive when active and love to explore. These dogs are friendly and gentle, making them great with other hikers or dogs they may encounter on the trail. Cocker Spaniels are also expert guide dogs and can assist you if you need help on any tricky paths. These dogs are just as happy on the trail as they are at home.

Cocker Spaniels are medium-sized dogs, usually weighing between 20 to 30 pounds. They are known for their sleek muscular build and soft, wavy coats. These dogs require regular exercise, both to maintain their athletic physique and manage their enthusiasm for exploration.

Welsh Corgi

Welsh Corgi
Welsh Corgi | Photo by Valeria Boltneva

If you are looking for a small dog that is excitable, energetic, and happy-go-lucky, then the Welsh Corgi is the perfect breed for you.

They are also great for those who can’t handle too much physical exertion on a hike. This breed has a strong build, making them ideal for climbing mountain trails. They are also playful and affectionate, and they make great companions for camping and other outdoor activities.

Welsh Corgis are small to medium-sized dogs, typically weighing between 25 to 30 pounds. Despite their short legs, they have a strong build, making them excellent climbers and adapters to different terrains. Regular exercise is necessary for these dogs to maintain their robust health and energetic disposition.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzer | Photo by Sebastian Coman Travel

The Miniature Schnauzer is a great choice if you’re looking for a small dog breed that is well-behaved and just as adaptable to hiking as it is to city life.

These dogs love companionship, and hiking with a Schnauzer is sure to be an enjoyable experience. This breed is also an ideal watchdog and can alert you to any potential dangers while on the hike. They are such great hiking companions that they may even become your go-to partner for future hikes.

Miniature Schnauzers are small dogs, usually weighing between 12 to 20 pounds. They have a sturdy, muscular build that well equips them for hikes.

Hiking With a Dog Is Awesome

Hiking is a great way to relax, connect with nature, and stay fit.

Adding a loyal dog companion can take the experience to another level. While there are many small dog breeds to choose from, the five mentioned breeds above are some of the best for hiking. These breeds are energetic, agile, and have high endurance, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking.

However, before hitting the trail, make sure your dog is trained, socialized, and has the necessary equipment such as a leash, collar, and enough food and water. With proper preparation, hiking with your furry friend can become a cherished memory.

Read more: Hiking With Dog in a Backpack

Featured photo by Blue Bird

Please note that the information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace professional advice from a veterinarian or dog trainer. Always consult with a qualified expert before making decisions regarding your dog’s health, well-being, and training.

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