What are the best dogs for hiking?

best dogs for hiking


What are the best dogs for hiking?

In this article we will go through some of the best dogs for hiking. Whether your looking for a companion to share some leisurely hikes with or a dog that can take you on a long-distance trek, these pups will all be up to the challenge.
Different dogs have different traits and generally you won’t find some super dog that can do absolutely everything. We outline which dogs might suit certain conditions and hopefully this will help you to decide on the best breed for your particular lifestyle. Always remember all dogs will have their limits and you shouldn’t push a dog past what they are capable of……it’s unlikely they will wear out before you anyway.

Bernese Mountain Dog

best dogs for hiking

With the word mountain in their name you would most probably think this breed to be a great hiking partner and you would be right. Bernese Mountain Dogs are strong athletic dogs with great trekking capabilities. Being bred on the open farmlands of the Swiss mountains these dogs have developed into extremely versatile animals, easy to train, an incredibly thick winter coat and a lovable character.

If you are considering this breed for your hiking activities, you will need to have plenty of space at home due to their size and not mind the large amounts of dog hair that will soon scatter your floors. Bernese Mountain Dogs are extremely friendly and get along with everyone they meet. Although being very friendly they can be great guard dogs too as they will certainly make some noise if they sense an intruder nearby.


  • Strong
  • Friendly
  • Easy to train
  • Tolerates cold weather
  • Prone to shedding large amounts of hair
  • Drools
  • Great guard dog

Border Collie

best dogs for hiking

Now for something a little smaller and a highly recognisable working breed. The Border Collie is an amazing working breed, originally used to herd sheep in England and Scotland. The breed is still widely used today as they can still herd sheep in an amazingly efficient way.

Their intelligence is extremely obvious when you witness them listen to the shepherd’s commands and somehow bring every sheep in the field into a small area. When it comes to hiking the Border Collie can give you incredible endurance and energy along with an intelligence above many other dogs. Border collies won’t require as much space as other breeds, due to their size however they do need plenty of exercise as their energy levels are unmatched.


  • Quick and agile
  • Highly Intelligent
  • High endurance
  • Small/Medium

Golden Retriever

Best Dogs For Hiking

Golden Retrievers are extremely friendly dogs, and are always wanting to interact with everyone who passes. They make great hiking companions as they love the company of others and will always stick by you, ushering you all the way to the finish line.

Goldie’s as they are often called have a double layer thick coat which is why they are well suited to colder weather. They tend to love water and can sniff it out from quite some distance. You will always know they have found water as they may deviate from the route to go for a swim or have a drink, not always a bad thing if your parched.

Being bred in the Scottish Highlands for hunting has allowed them to develop an amazing endurance and are well suited to hiking across mountains, lakes and woodland. One thing to be aware of is their tendency to shed hair. Keeping them well groomed will ensure a beautiful coat and less hair on your floor.


  • Extremely friendly
  • Loves water
  • Tendency to stay close by
  • Suited to various terrains
  • Tendency to shed hair


best dogs for hiking

Many of the characteristics that Vizslas have are taken from the Pointer and the Retriever as they were bred to do the job of these two other breeds. The Vizsla is of Hungarian origin and is a loving breed who appreciates the company of others. When hunting, Vizsla’s would stay close by to the hunter, this has given them the same trait today and they will often follow you around as a dedicated companion. This trait makes them excellent hiking dogs, as well as their love for others they are intelligent and fast with a good level of endurance.

The Vizsla is a short haired dog so shedding shouldn’t be an issue, however if you plan on taking them hiking in cold conditions consider a doggy coat as they won’t do well in the cold. As with all these hiking dogs exercise is an important factor and due to the Vizslas high energy levels they need a family who will give them the exercise they need, jogging would be another ideal activity for this breed. You can read more about Vizslas here.


  • Short haired (less shedding)
  • Doesn’t tolerate cold weather
  • Stays close by
  • Extremely fast
  • Energetic
  • Ideal for jogging
  • Intelligent

Siberian Husky

best dogs for hiking

If asked what dogs to put on a best dog for hiking list Siberian Husky would probably be one of the first, you thought of. These dogs are incredibly strong and powerful with an endurance matched by no other breeds. They are not well suited for owners with little space as they can be bored very quickly.

Siberian Husky’s also have a tendency to escape their premises and go in search of adventure themselves. Someone with lots of space and time who plans on taking them on big long adventures is well suited to a Siberian Husky. Their coat will keep them extremely warm in even the harshest conditions and their endurance will keep going and going, pushing you to your own limits.

Siberian Husky’s are pack animals and do well with other dogs however they do not require undivided attention as they can be fully independent. As you may be aware, they are extremely strong, bred for pulling sleds in snowy conditions so if you think you can hang on to one when they decide to pull or chase something……you won’t.

Despite the Siberian husky being well suited to cold conditions there are still some things to remember when taking your dog out during the winter. You can read about winter condition and dog walk in our helpful guide to walking your dog in the winter.


  • Tolerates extreme cold
  • Suited to owners with time and space to exercise
  • Incredible endurance
  • Extremely strong
  • Independent but still a pack animal

So, there you have it 5 amazing dog breeds perfect for your next hiking trip. The one amazing thing about all these dogs is they all have incredible endurance with a companion attitude. If you have enjoyed reading this post please check out some of our other articles on our website.

Dean Lissaman

As a child I grew up around dogs and have loved them ever since. I now have a beloved Golden Retriever who enjoys exploring the outside world. Being an outdoor enthusiast has inspired me to create the ultimate resource on relating both dogs and the outdoors. For more information on me check out my about page.

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