Hiking is one of the best activities that we can share with our dogs. It is a way for us to join our pets while they’re in their element and allows us to forge an extraordinary bond.
If you love being outdoors and are looking for the top hiking dog breeds, here are 7 of the best breeds that you can conquer the great outdoors with.
One of the top hiking dog breeds, Siberian huskies are a lot like wolves. Bred as sled dogs, they have the muscle and grit to thrive in the coldest and harshest environments. Easily adaptable, hiking is second nature to this breed. Even on the longest trails, huskies manage to keep their spirits high.
Siberian huskies crave activities that stimulate them mentally and physically. If you have a husky, take your dog on a hiking trip and you’ll be fascinated by how engrossed and focused it gets in the wild.
There’s nothing like watching a husky take on a hiking trail with gusto. While this breed can be hard to train, trekking with one is an immensely enjoyable experience.
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If we were to rank dog breeds by energy level, the border collie would top the list. As a herding dog that was traditionally used to keep livestock like sheep together, this breed can be trained to keep hiking parties in one group so they venture out and return together.
Border collies are smart dogs that are easy to train. They don’t do a lot of hunting but they’ll be content accompanying their favorite humans on exciting outdoor adventures. Agile and strong, border collies make great climbing partners too.
Treeing Walker Coonhound
Belonging to the hound family, coonhounds make the best trekking and climbing companions anyone can ask for. They love being vocal and communicative so if you’re hiking with coonhounds, prepare yourself for some audible dramatics along the way.
Having said that, this dog appreciates a good run or climb. Coonhounds have a strong tendency to hunt so you might see them running after squirrels and other small animals during your hike.
Once a coonhound sniffs out a trail, the path gets etched in its smell and muscle memory. If you’re lost in the forest during a climb or trek, count on your coonhound to figure out the way back. Friendly with other dogs and humans, coonhounds are easy-going dogs that love being outdoors.
Australian shepherds become totally zoned in when hiking outdoors. Being natural climbers, the Aussie shepherd is very agile and high on energy. The best way to happily exhaust an Australian shepherd is to go on a long hike with it. They also love playing games and tend to get distracted while hiking.
Beneath their lush and furry coats, Australian shepherds are athletic and lean. Whether it’s climbing up a steep dirt trail or jumping across flowing streams, this dog breed will keep up with you.
Bred to herd, Australian shepherds thrive on an active lifestyle and are easy to train for off-leash activities. Leave them to their own devices and they’ll sniff the entire trail effortlessly. Packed with unlimited stamina, seasoned Aussie shepherds can hike up to 15 miles at a time.
Jack Russell Terrier
The saying “great things come in small packages” aptly describes a Jack Russell terrier. Blessed with a lean and athletic frame, this dog breed is compact in size and loves a good run. These terriers were bred to hunt foxes. They love being busy and spending time with their owners.
With their natural instincts for climbing and hiking, this breed can easily make the forest it’s second home. Depending on how old and fit the dog is, Jack Russells can easily trek up to 10 miles.
Don’t let them get too far ahead of you though. This breed can easily outrun you while hiking.
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Vizslas may be extra affectionate and easygoing at home, but they are hardcore hikers in the wild. They have muscular bodies and strong bones that enable them to exert and release tremendous amounts of energy.
If you’re an avid hiker who’s serious about the outdoors, this breed is a great match for you. Vizslas have a dominant hunting drive which makes them eager and attentive explorers.
When enveloped in deep forests, vizslas move like a dog on a mission and stay deeply focused on their natural surroundings. This Hungarian dog breed is great fun to have on hikes and loves to cuddle and make new friends along the way.
What would a list of the top hiking dog breeds of the canine world be without Weimaraners? Built to hike, the Weimaraner is a hunting breed that’s also fondly known as the “silver ghost.” These dogs were originally bred to hunt deer and bears so you can only imagine how wonderful they’ll be in forests and while hiking up mountains.
Fearless but also obedient, Weimaraners can get excited and turn on their “wild mode” while hiking but they’ll stay by your side and explore with you.
Weimaraners also love to swim. If they come across a pond during the hike, don’t be surprised if they jump in for a few splashes. They get along well with other hikers and hiking with them is a rewarding and deeply satisfying experience for both of you.
Before dogs were domesticated, they roamed the forests and lived in the wild. We’re not sure exactly when they began to be bred for domestication and other human activities, but many dogs such as the top hiking dog breeds of the canine world continue to have a strong instinct for the outdoors. Humans can take days to figure out outdoor trails, but some dogs are naturally equipped to navigate unknown territories with ease.
The natural inclination of these breeds towards the outdoors will ensure you’re in good company during your next trek.
If you live with any of these breeds and live near forest trails or hills, we hope you take full advantage and enjoy hiking with them frequently.