hiking with my dog

Spring is tapping at our door and the call of the outdoors is becoming louder. Maybe it is time to choose a hiking partner.

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Hiking Is Not Meant To Be A Solo Event

Do you really think that the splendor of nature should be experienced alone? You may or may not have a human companion with which to enjoy the incredible views of the outdoors.

However, you can always take a canine companion with you on your chosen outdoor adventure. If you do not have a dog, this might be a great time to consider getting one.

How Will You Choose Which of The Great Dog Breeds For Hiking Is Best For You?

The following dog breeds often top the lists of the best for hiking. This list has been based on opinion polls as well as on the breed’s characteristics.

They evaluate the traits that make them especially fit both mentally and physically for hiking. These dogs will enjoy hiking with the same enthusiasm as the most avid of hikers.

Get Ready To Enjoy The Great Outdoors With One of The Great Dog Breeds For Hiking

This is a list of the top breeds for hiking in no specific order.

Australian Shepherd

dog, young dog, australian sheperd

These herding dogs were first bred in the US in the 19th century. They are athletic and social dogs that are very smart and easy to train.

They are happiest when physically and mentally challenged. This is why they make wonderful hiking companions!

Rhodesian Ridgeback

 Rodesian-Ridgeback- Ready to Hike
Rhodesian-Ridgeback- Ready to Hike or Follow a Trail

These are very unique dogs. They were initially bred to hunt lions on the expansive plains of Africa. Powerful dogs with incredible stamina and courage in their DNA, they are born athletes.

Surprisingly, they aren’t known for particularly high energy levels. However, this breed makes a fantastic hiking companion for those who enjoy the more challenging trails.

Did you notice the fur pattern on the dog’s spine? Does it resemble a ridge on his back to you?

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian-Cattle-Dog.In the Snow and Ready to Go

This spunky breed was initially bred to herd cattle. They prefer to be outdoors and are not discouraged by any type of terrain. Adventurous, determined and energetic, they are up to any hiking challenge you may wish to undertake.

St. Bernard

Not just for show, this dog loved to hike
Not just for show, this dog loved to hike

You may be surprised to know this breed is known for their ability to hike over the Swiss Alps, rescuing travelers lost in the snow. There are two coat types, short (smooth) and long (rough).

While both do best in cold climates, the Smooth coats can take a bit warmer weather than the Rough coats. They need to limit their hiking to trails in the colder weather.

Saint Bernard in the snow

German Shorthaired Pointer


Since this breed was initially developed to be a hunting dog, they feel the most at home outside and running through the fields. No terrain is too tough for them and they do well in nearly all weather conditions. This breed of dog is pleased to follow anywhere you lead.

Siberian Husky



The Siberian Husky is one tough canine. A member of the Working Class of canines, this dog needs lots of physical exercise and intellectual challenge.

They are intelligent dogs with a never-give-up attitude. Their stamina is applauded as is their ability to excel in even the coldest of weather.

These dogs enjoy hiking in the colder climates. They are also known for pulling sleds in the toughest of endurance races.



 Vizsla possed on the grass

Vizsla Outside and Ready to Go

Similar to the German Short Haired Pointer breed, Vizlas were bred for both retrieving and hunting. In spite of their preference for warm weather over cold, they adapt fairly well to most hiking range temperatures.

Oddly enough, Vizlas are susceptible to skin cancer. So, their skin needs to be protected if they are exposed to the sun a good deal of the time.

American Foxhound



This breed is extremely playful and energetic. They need the freedom of being outdoors to thrive; they were originally bred for hunting, which is why they require the exercise to be content. Plus, they are loyal and obedient dogs!

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog Hiking in the Snow
Bernese Mountain Dog Hiking in the Snow

One of the more versatile breeds, they originated from Switzerland. Used as to guard their master’s home, property, and assets they also pulled carts ad served as farmhands of a sort.

This breed does best in the cooler to downright cold climates. If you live or prefer to hike in warm regions, you might want to consider a different breed of dog.

Their calm temperament makes them a pleasant companion. However, they have an adventurous enough personality to enjoy serving as your hiking mate

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier ready to hike
Jack Russell Terrier ready to hike

Dynamite comes in small packages! This little fellow has more energy than most other breeds and are very intelligent as well. Jack Russell Terriers require a lot of exercise to work off the tremendous amount of natural energy they possess.

Bred as hunting dogs originally, they are also stronger than you might think and have a good deal of stamina as well. They are great hiking companions for a fast-paced adventure.

So, Which of These Great Dog Breeds For Hiking Is Best For You?

These are all wonderful breeds for hiking but the best hiking companion is one you love. Don’t rule out any other breed of dog for your hiking companion.

If they are physically fit enough to make the hike you have planned, give them a chance. They may be a great hiking buddy. Take a moderate hike with them to see how well they do.

The great outdoors is comprised of many different types of terrains and climates. There are so many different levels of difficulty for hiking that almost any dog can manage one or more of them.

Just like the difference of snow skiing down a Bunny Trail as compared to a Black Diamond Terrain run. There is a hiking trail for any healthy dog. The time you spend with your canine companion is more important than where you spend it.

If you have any doubt about your dog’s physical capacity, check with your vet. If the hike will expose you or your dog to Lyme disease, you need to read this first. https://excellentdogsclub.com/lyme-disease-in-dogs/



Photos courtesy of Pixabay, my personal collection and https://theoutdoorwear.com/9-best-dog-breeds-for-hiking/9/, source of the original story


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As Wife, Mother of 5, and Nana of many more, I have known and loved many dogs who were treasured members of our family. My education, experiences in showing, breeding, and developing pedigree-based breeding programs for others gives me a strong background upon which to base articles of interest to most dog lovers. However, it is my great love for dogs that gives me the passion to share them with other dog lovers.


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