Ideal Hiking Dog: Best Dog For Hiking

Siberian Husky
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Are you an avid hiker and looking for a hiking dog to join you?

Hiking with dogs is an awesome experience that strengthens the bond between you and your furry four-legged friend. But have you ever thought, which dog breed is best for hiking adventures? Because, no – not all dogs are fit for hiking and walking, not for long-distance hiking. In this blog, we will share our top picks for hiking dogs (it’s a common knowledge actually) and some key factors to look for.

Hiking With a Dog

Hiking with a dog is not only an awesome experience, but also has health benefits for both you and your furry companion. Spending time hiking with your dog can improve your physical fitness, reduce stress levels, and lower blood pressure. However, like with any activity, it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons.

Preparation is the key when bringing your dog along for a hike, which also means selecting the right dog for the task. Are you an active hiker? Do you plan to do a lot of walks with a pet? If you answered yes to the both, then for you it’s double as important.

Read more: Hiking With a Dog: Pros and Cons

What Is the Best Dog For Hiking?

When it comes to embarking on outdoor adventures, having a trusty canine companion by your side can make all the difference. Hiking with a dog not only adds an extra element of fun and companionship to your trek, but it also allows you to explore nature through their curious and energetic eyes.

But with so many dog breeds out there, how do you choose the perfect hiking partner? Fear not, fellow outdoor enthusiasts! We’ve compiled a list of seven breeds that excel in the art of hiking, ensuring an unforgettable experience for both you and your furry friend.

No, not all dogs are fit for hiking and walking long distances.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds around the world, and they make excellent hiking companions. They are intelligent, obedient, and enthusiastic hikers that can easily handle harsh terrain. Labradors are also water lovers, so if your hike includes a swim, they will love it. This breed is an excellent runner and can go for miles without getting tired.

Sounds so much better than your human buddies?

It might be so, haha.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are also great for hiking and long walks.

They thrive in cold weather but can also handle heat well. This breed is intelligent, loyal, friendly, and has a friendly temperament. They are social animals and bond very strongly with their owners. Golden Retrievers are loving, cuddly, and always ready for an adventure. They are also very intelligent and respond well to obedience training.

Golden Retrievers can adapt to different situations and environments very quickly. Their friendly disposition and eagerness to explore make them well-suited to hiking in new areas. They enjoy being outdoors and are always up for a good adventure.

All of that put together, makes them excellent off-leash companions, as they have a clear-cut ability to stay near the owner. Golden Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds for hiking off leash.

Read more: Golden Retriever vs. Labrador Retriever

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are excellent dogs for hiking and outdoor adventures.

Siberian Huskies are bred to work in cold, harsh environments. Their thick double coat protects them from the cold and allows them to regulate their body temperature. They also have strong, muscular legs that enable them to navigate rough and rugged terrains with ease.

Huskies are intelligent, independent, and highly trainable dogs. They are pack animals and love being around their owners and going on adventures with them. They are naturally curious, which makes them excellent trail dogs as they want to explore and see what’s around the next bend.

Huskies have incredible stamina and are capable of walking long distances without tiring. They have a natural resistance to fatigue, which makes them well-suited for long hikes. Their stamina also makes them ideal for multi-day hikes, where they can carry their own gear and supplies.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large breed that loves the outdoors.

With their strong, muscular build and thick double coat, Bernese Mountain Dogs are built for adventure in the great outdoors. They are strong and enduring hikers that can quickly acclimate to mountains and rough terrain. Their large paws and well-developed legs enable them to navigate even the toughest terrain with ease, while their warm fur keeps them protected from the elements.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their high energy levels and require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. They love nothing more than a long hike in the great outdoors, and their never-ending supply of energy makes them well-suited to long hikes over rugged terrain.

This breed is loyal, friendly, and excellent for families with children. Their thick and long fur makes them ideal for cold hikes, and they are great protectors, making them ideal for camping trips.

Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are medium-sized dogs with a lean, muscular build.

They are well-behaved dogs that are perfect for hiking adventures.

These dogs are intelligent, and their working-dog attitude means they love the challenge that comes with a long hike. They are easy to train, obedient, and have excellent stamina for long-distance hikes. But, of course, you do have to train them, if you want to bring out the best of them. Australian Shepherds love spending time with their owners and are highly trainable. They are also naturally protective, which can be helpful when hiking in more remote areas.

Australian Shepherds have high energy levels and require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Going on a hike is an excellent way to burn off some of their excess energy.

Border Collie

Border Collies are energetic and intelligent.

And that makes them an ideal hiking partner. They are agile, nimble and agile, a trait that allows them to easily navigate through rocky terrain and climb steep slopes. They are enthusiastic hikers, and their high energy levels mean they can keep pace with you for the duration of your hike without tiring out.

Border Collies are obedient and well-behaved, making them easy to train for hiking. They are also highly social animals that love being around their owners, ensuring a fun hiking experience.


If you’re seeking a dog breed that combines elegance with athleticism, look no further than the Vizsla. These graceful and energetic dogs excel in outdoor activities and are always up for an adventure.

With their lean and muscular build, Vizslas possess remarkable stamina, making them perfect for long hikes. They are highly trainable and eager to please, making them a joy to have by your side on the trails. So, if you’re after a hiking companion that exudes both beauty and athleticism, the Vizsla is an excellent choice.

Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky

The Joy of Hiking With a Furry Companion

Imagine the sight of a wagging tail, the sound of paws crunching on the trail, and the boundless enthusiasm radiating from your faithful hiking buddy. Together, you’ll conquer rugged terrains, explore breathtaking landscapes, and forge a bond that is unparalleled.

Whether you’re embarking on a challenging mountain trek, traversing serene woodland trails, or simply enjoying a leisurely stroll in nature, a hiking dog can make every adventure more memorable. Not only do they provide companionship, but they also offer a sense of security and an endless supply of positive energy.

But before you leash up your furry friend and hit the trails, it’s crucial to choose the perfect hiking dog breed that matches your specific needs and preferences. From size and stamina to temperament and trainability, there are several factors to consider when selecting the ideal companion for your outdoor escapades. So, let’s dive into the world of hiking dog breeds and find the paw-fect match for you!

What Makes a Dog a Great Hiking Companion?

There are some essential traits that dogs need to be great hiking companions. Below are listed some of them – the most important ones.


The breed of the dog can play an essential role in determining whether a dog will make a great hiking companion. Breeds that are built for endurance, such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Siberian Huskies, are mostly good choices. These breeds have high energy levels and need plenty of exercise and stimulation to keep them happy.

Yes – regular exercise not only keeps them fit but also helps prevent behavioral issues that may arise from pent-up energy. Furthermore, it’s crucial to be aware of any breed-specific health concerns and consult with a veterinarian to ensure your chosen breed is healthy and suitable for strenuous activities.


A dog’s temperament is another critical factor to consider when selecting a hiking companion. Dogs that are naturally friendly, outgoing, and obedient are ideal for hiking. They should be socialized and trained to follow basic commands and be comfortable around other people and animals.

Coat Type and Weather Resistance

Two things that should not be overlooked, especially if you plan to venture into different climates and terrains. Dogs with thick, double coats like the Siberian Husky are well-suited for colder environments, providing insulation against chilly temperatures. Alternatively, breeds with shorter coats, such as the Vizsla or German Shepherd, are better equipped for warmer climates.

It’s vital to consider your hiking destinations and the weather conditions you are likely to encounter to find a breed that can withstand the elements.


A dog’s personality is just as important as their breed and temperament when choosing a hiking companion. Dogs that are curious and adventurous tend to enjoy hiking much more than dogs that are not. They should have a positive attitude towards new experiences and enjoy exploring their surroundings.


Size is another factor to consider when selecting a hiking companion. Large dogs are generally better suited to hiking because they can handle rugged terrain and are more likely to have the endurance needed to hike for extended periods.

However, smaller dogs can still be excellent hiking companions if they are well-trained and have the energy and stamina needed for the hike. Pembroke Welsh Corgi is just one of such examples – they may be small, but their stamina levels are amazing.


Training is essential for hiking with your dog.

Your dog should be trained to follow basic commands like “stay”, “come”, and “leave it.” They should be well socialized and comfortable around other people and animals. There are basic obedience and off-leash training classes available and it is essential to incorporate this training before embarking on a hike.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and find a hiking dog breed that perfectly matches your outdoor aspirations. Remember, different breeds excel in different environments, so it’s essential to find a four-legged companion that aligns with your preferences and hiking goals.

For more information on other dog breeds suited for specific outdoor activities, you can check out our articles on hunting dog breeds or adventurous dog breeds. Additionally, if you are specifically looking for dog breeds suitable for cold weather or hot weather, we have comprehensive guides on dog breeds for cold weather and dog breeds for hot weather as well.
Dog sleeping next to a tent
Dog sleeping next to a tent

Training and Preparation for Hiking with a Dog

Basic Obedience Training

Before embarking on any hiking adventure with your furry friend, it’s crucial to ensure they have undergone basic obedience training. This training lays the foundation for a harmonious and safe hiking experience. Teaching your dog essential commands like sit, stay, come, and leave it will not only make your hikes more enjoyable but also keep your dog safe from potential dangers on the trail.


Socialization is another key aspect to consider when preparing your dog for hiking.

Exposing your canine companion to various environments, people, and other animals from an early age will help them become well-adjusted and confident. This will make encounters with other hikers, wildlife, and even fellow dogs along the trail a positive and stress-free experience.

Conditioning and Building Endurance

Just like us, dogs need to build up their endurance and physical fitness before tackling long hikes.

Start by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your walks to improve their stamina. Incorporate activities that target their muscles and cardiovascular system, such as running, swimming, or even playing fetch. This will ensure that your dog is in top form to handle the challenges of the trail.

Packing the Essentials for Your Dog

When hitting the trails with your furry hiking buddy, it’s essential to pack the essentials to keep them comfortable and safe. Here’s a list of items to include in your dog’s hiking backpack:

Essential Items for Your Dog’s Hiking Backpack
1. Water and collapsible bowl
2. Nutritious dog food and treats
3. Doggy first aid kit
4. Durable leash and harness
5. Poop bags for responsible waste disposal
6. Dog booties (if needed)
7. Identification tags and microchip details
8. Dog-specific insect repellent

Remember to adjust the weight of your dog’s backpack according to their size and physical capabilities. Packing these essentials will ensure that both you and your faithful companion are well-prepared for any challenges that may arise during your hiking adventures.

By investing time in basic obedience training, focusing on socialization, and gradually conditioning your dog’s endurance, you’ll create a well-prepared hiking partner. Additionally, packing the essential items in your dog’s backpack will keep them safe and comfortable throughout your outdoor excursions.

Dogs may be natural explorers, but they rely on you to keep them safe in the great outdoors.

Safety Tips for Hiking with Your Dog

When embarking on a hiking adventure with your furry friend, it’s important to prioritize safety. Dogs may be natural explorers, but they rely on you to keep them safe in the great outdoors. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind while hiking with your dog.

Leash and Trail Etiquette

Leashing your dog is not only a matter of courtesy but also a safety precaution. Even the most well-behaved dogs can get distracted by wildlife or unfamiliar scents, potentially leading them astray or into dangerous situations. So, unless you are in a designated off-leash area, it’s best to keep your dog on a leash.

Trail etiquette is another crucial aspect to consider. Always be aware of other hikers and their comfort levels around dogs. Some people may be afraid of or allergic to dogs, so it’s important to respect their boundaries. Keep your dog close to you and under control, allowing others to pass safely without any issues.

Read more: Dog Hiking Etiquette

Proper Hydration and Nutrition

When hitting the trails, both you and your loyal companion need to stay properly hydrated. Carry enough water for both of you, as dogs can quickly become dehydrated, especially in warmer weather. Consider bringing a collapsible water bowl for your dog to drink from.

Regarding nutrition, pack some lightweight and nutritious snacks for your dog. Just like you, they need fuel to keep their energy levels up. Opt for treats that are high in protein and easy to carry, ensuring they have enough energy to keep up with you on long hikes.

Protecting Your Dog from Wildlife and Hazards

While exploring nature, you might encounter various wildlife, ranging from squirrels to larger animals like deer. It’s important to protect your dog from any potential dangers. Keep them on a leash and be aware of your surroundings. Some encounters with wildlife may trigger your dog’s prey drive, so it’s crucial to maintain control to avoid any unwanted incidents.

Additionally, be conscious of any potential hazards along the trail. Watch out for poisonous plants, dangerous cliffs, or bodies of water that may pose a risk to your dog’s safety. A little bit of vigilance goes a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking experience for both you and your furry companion.

Read more: Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language During Hiking

First Aid Kit for Dogs

Accidents can happen, even on the most well-planned hikes.

It’s always a good idea to carry a first aid kit specifically designed for dogs. This kit should include essentials such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers for removing ticks, and any necessary medications your dog may require. Familiarize yourself with how to use the items in the kit before heading out, as it’s important to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.

Remember, safety should be your top priority when hiking with your dog. By following these tips and being prepared, you can enjoy the great outdoors with your four-legged companion while minimizing potential risks.

For more information on adventurous dog breeds, check out our article on outdoor dog breeds. Here you will find our first aid tips for dogs on hiking trips.

Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky

Find the Perfect Hiking Companion in a Dog Breed That Suits Your Needs

Congratulations! You are now equipped with all the information you need to find the ideal hiking companion for your outdoor adventures. Remember, hiking with a furry friend not only adds a layer of companionship but also enhances your overall experience.

By considering factors such as size and stamina, temperament and trainability, coat type and weather resistance, as well as health and exercise needs, you can narrow down the options and find a dog breed that perfectly aligns with your hiking aspirations.

  • If you’re looking for a canine companion with boundless energy and an adventurous spirit, the Labrador Retriever might be the ideal choice for you. Their friendly nature and willingness to please make them excellent hiking partners.
  • Alternatively, if you’re seeking a versatile and intelligent breed, the Australian Shepherd and Border Collie should be at the top of your list. With their natural herding instincts, these dogs thrive in mentally and physically stimulating environments.
  • For those who love colder climates and are undeterred by snow and ice, the Siberian Husky is a superb choice. Their endurance and resilience make them well-suited for challenging terrain.
  • If you prefer larger breeds, the majestic Bernese Mountain Dog offers both strength and a gentle disposition, making them a wonderful companion for long hikes in the mountains.
  • The German Shepherd is renowned for its loyalty and intelligence, making it an excellent choice if you value a breed that can be both a hiking companion and a loyal protector.
  • Last but not least, the Vizsla is an energetic and athletic breed that thrives on physical activity. If you’re an avid hiker who enjoys long, vigorous hikes, this breed could be the perfect match for you.

Before embarking on your hiking adventures, ensure that you invest time in training and preparation. Basic obedience training, socialization, and conditioning will help you and your furry friend enjoy a safe and harmonious hiking experience.

Remember to pack the essentials for your dog, including water, food, and a first aid kit. Furthermore, practice leash and trail etiquette, as well as proper hydration and nutrition for your four-legged companion.

Lastly, always prioritize your dog’s safety. Be vigilant of potential wildlife encounters and hazards along the trail, and have a first aid kit for dogs readily available in case of emergencies. Happy hiking!

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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