Are you looking for a dog that can keep up with you for more than just a walk around the block? Because of their genetics and dispositions, some breeds are better suited for longer hikes than others. Keep in mind that puppies, with their still-forming joints, and older dogs, who may suffer from joint pain, are best left at home for moderate to difficult hikes. Compiled from PetMD, Backpacker, and Outward On, here are the 8 dog breeds that make great hiking buddies:
- Labrador Retriever – The most popular breed in America for 25 years, Labs have the personality, trainability, and stamina to accompany you on your favorite hikes. They live to please and love the great outdoors.
- Border Collie – Originally bred to herd sheep, Border Collies have plenty of energy for long hikes. Being the smartest breed, they are easy to train to stay with you and ignore distractions, a critical part of hiking with your furry friend.
- Bernese Mountain Dog – Bred to work in the mountains, the Bernese is a perfect companion for rugged hikes, as long as it isn’t too hot out. They can even be trained to carry a light pack with food or water.
- Australian Shepherd – Another breed designed for working all day, the Aussie has the endurance and intelligence to keep up with you without wandering off. The intense exercise provided by regular hikes will also keep them calmer at home.
- Portuguese Water Dog – These high-energy dogs prefer an active lifestyle. If you hike near water, the Portie would be thrilled to splash and swim along the way.
- Siberian Husky – If you love winter hikes, the Husky, which was bred to pull dog sleds, is your perfect partner. Keep in mind that they don’t do well in the heat.
- Vizsla – Bred to hunt, the Vizsla needs plenty of exercise and would love nothing more than to accompany you on a long hike in moderate weather.
- Mutt – Most mutts, especially those rescued from shelters, aim to please and want to spend as much time as possible with their people, making them a great option for those looking for a hiking buddy. Remember, your pup doesn’t have to be a purebred to enjoy a good hike. A little bit of Labrador goes a long way!
No matter which breed you go with, your dog’s life depends on them being very well-trained with the ability to come when called, even when they are faced with something tempting. An unruly dog could find themselves in a life-threatening situation.