Best Dogs to Hike With – Picking the Best Breed for You
If you live an active lifestyle, you should consider getting a dog! Dogs are great companions, especially for those who are more active. One of the ways dogs are great for active individuals is you can take them hiking with you. Hiking with a dog can be fun—many dog breeds are built for the outdoors, so it makes the hiking experience much better. However, learning which dog breeds are best suited for lengthy outdoor activity tops the list of what to know before getting a dog.
We’ve put together a list of the best dogs to hike with, hopefully helping you choose the best breed for you!
Not every hike is equal. Because of this, you’ll want to ensure the pup you get can withstand the elements you’ll be trekking around in. You shouldn’t get a cold-weather dog for hiking excursions in the Grand Canyon, just like you shouldn’t get a warm-weather dog for hiking in the Rocky Mountains during February! This is one of the major ways you can keep your dog safe.
Along with giving them a personalized dog tag, getting them microchipped, and training them to listen to your commands, finding the right dog for your hiking needs will keep them healthy and happy.
Warm-Weather Hiking Dogs
If you live in a warmer climate, such as the South, then you’ll want to find a short-haired dog. Additionally, you’ll want a dog long and lean, not short and stocky. They’ll move quickly, so you’ll get your hikes done much faster! Here are some of our favorite warm weather hiking dogs:
1. Weimaraner: If you love spending long periods of time outdoors, then the Weimaraner is for you! Bred to spend time outdoors hunting, a Weimaraner is also great for hiking because of their stamina. They’re definitely great for short excursions because they like to move quickly. Of course, they’ll do great on long hikes, too, but be prepared to move quickly!
2. German Pointer: Similar to a German Shepard, a German Pointer can withstand a variety of climates. Since they were bred with the intent of hunting, they can spend long periods of time in different climates, making them a perfect hiking companion. They’re also a social dog, so they will enjoy spending time outdoors with you, interacting with wildlife.
3. Vizsla: Vizslas love to spend time outdoors! One of the more athletic dog breeds, they are great for the continuously active hiker who strives to conquer all the major hiking feats. Highest hike in your state? Done. Longest hike in your region? Don’t forget to bring your Vizsla! Their drive will have them going longer than you think—just make sure to bring adequate food and water for them.
Cold-Weather Hiking Dogs
If you live in a colder climate, then you’ll want a dog with longer fur and a thick coat. They’ll need the extra fur to stay warm during the long treks outdoors. You’ll also want a dog with more muscle or a bit of a stockier build so they have more “padding” between them and the frigid temperatures. Even though the temperatures will be cooler, you’ll still want to bring enough food and water. Dogs can still get dehydrated in cold temperatures.
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1. Siberian Husky: Everyone’s favorite winter weather dog, Siberian Huskies are known for their ability to withstand the cold. They’re historically used to pull people and cargo across dense snow and ice, after all! Siberian Huskies are also very gentle dogs, so they’re great to take on hikes where you know you might come into contact with larger wildlife or other people.
2. Bernese Mountain Dog: Bred to herd cattle in cold weather climates, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a sweet spot for spending time outside. They are very social dogs, so they’ll enjoy spending time with you outside, and their original purpose of herding cattle will help them stay on task during your hike. Make sure to get them one of our bright rubber dog tags to stand out against their dark chest fur—you’ll want to see them through the snow!
3. Alaskan Malamute: Similar to the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute was also bred to pull sleds across long, snowy distances. They’ll be a great companion to help you carry some basic, lightweight necessities as you hike through a snowy landscape. They’re not the fastest, but they do have a high endurance, so they’re great for longer hikes.