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The 10 Best Dog Breeds For Hikers


All kinds of dogs enjoy going on a walk, however, there are a few breeds who require a bit more exercise, such as going hiking! These dogs love to go on some kind of adventure so they can look for wild creatures as well as that next body of water for a refreshing drink.

These dogs enjoy guarding their owners from wilderness dangers and getting to detect every individual or other dog who’s been on the trail recently. They want to feel the wind streaming through their nose and ears, as well as water to swim in. They adore going out camping and backpacking with their person for hours as well as miles at a time.  Want to know which breeds fit this description? Here you go:

10. Bernese Mountain Dogs


These dogs don’t just love hiking and the outdoors because “mountain” is in their name, they are a beloved choice with a lot of hikers since they have plenty of endurance, intensity, and eagerness to keep moving. Large enough to hold all their own food supplies, these dogs do great in colder climates, so be certain to keep them with you on your future adventures.

9. Australian Shepherds


Full of lots of energy, Australian Shepherds are herding dogs and do great on a long trip, particularly if they get to run all around desert or grassland. They have great instincts since they were bred to herd cows and sheep, plus they are intensely loyal. So they are super hiking buddies and are smart enough to stay safe while you’re out on a trek, as well as they’ll look after you too. Plus they are super watch dogs and will let you know when there’s another animal or person on your hike even before you are aware of it.


8. Rhodesian Ridgebacks


These tough dogs were first used for hunting lions out in Africa, so these big dogs are  troopers when you go on a long trek or when they get excited to smell out other animals for their “prey.” They have lots of muscles so have great endurance and they like it hot, so can go on for miles out in the back country.


7. Labrador Retrievers


Labs love everyone, plus they’re quick to please and will go wherever you do and be willing to do just about anything you can want them to do. These lovely dogs work and play hard, love to do jobs for their owners, and they can be taught to do things with either voice commands or while on a leash.


6. German Shorthaired Pointers


These gorgeous, enthusiastic dogs will stay for the long-term, but they also like short treks too. They can be a bit challenging to train since they are quite smart, however, as soon as you get them used to obeying you, they are loyal and get the job done. Pointers have great guarding instincts, as well as a prey instinct, therefore it’s vital to be able to control them when you’re out on an adventure in the wild.

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5. Parson Jack Russell Terriers


All terrier breeds have tons of endless energy and love to keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. These pups run, hike, climb, and keep on going until you tell them to stop. Then they may also want you to carry them back from all that! They are a hunting breed, so they also will go after any prey with pure abandonment, so it’s best to keep them on a leash and make sure they understand obedience commands.


4. Chihuahuas


A lot of people may sneer at the thought of a tiny Chihuahua being a good hiking buddy. However, that tiny size is what makes them a good choice. You won’t need a huge tent to sleep in with your little buddy, and if they tire out (which really doesn’t happen as much as you may think) they don’t weight much so you can just pick them up and let them ride along in your pack. All you have to do is remember they have short legs, so don’t go too fast that they can’t keep up.


3. German Shepherds

It can be challenging to train young German Shepherds due to their smart nature. But they are usually reliable once you’ve got them on your side. They are very alert and watch everything around them. They will sense danger way before you are aware of it, and they are quite curious so love finding out what shows up on the trail during a hike. Plus they are great if you want a watchdog who will protect you from danger.


2. Portuguese Water Dogs


These dogs are fluffy and cute, and they love being in the water, so they will be happy to run through creeks or streams, or dash through a muddy field. They love being with their person, so you can easily teach them to stay close even if they are not on a leash. So if you plan on hiking near some kind of water, or even might be going out on a boat, these guys are your first choice as First Mate.


1. Border Collies

Many folks consider the Border Collie as one of the smartest dog breeds. They are willing to do any kind of work you like, they will be happy to bring you some sticks for your campfire. These pups love to be moving all the time and will run ahead of you, then come back and end up doing a few more miles than you do because of that habit. They probably think they have to herd you since they are a herding breed. They are so fun to be around!


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