24 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking

If you’re an avid hiker who just so happens to love dogs, you’ll certainly want a breed that can go the distance. Luckily for you, there are tons of breeds that have enough stamina and physical abilities to trek through nearly every type of terrain.

Though all dog breeds thrive on daily doses of exercise, there are some breeds that are better suited for high-impact activities, including hiking. If you’re on the hunt for the ultimate hiking companion, check out these 24 tireless canines that will happily accompany you on the trail.

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1. Border Collie

Border Collie
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One of the most popular breeds in the United States, the agile and athletic Border Collie makes the perfect partner for hiking. Hailed for his intelligence, enthusiastic work ethic, and high energy level, the Border Collie loves running up the side of a mountain as much as he enjoys a game of fetch in the backyard.


2. Siberian Husky

siberian husky gray
Image credit: Kazisdaman, Wikimedia Commons

Originally developed for pulling sleds in the frigid Russian snow, the Siberian Husky is a powerful pup literally made for adventure. Gentle, friendly, and always down for physical exercise, this breed is perfect for winter hiking. But go easy on him during the hotter months, as his thick coat gets him easily overheated.


3. Treeing Walker Coonhound

Treeing Walker Coonhound
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If you crave peace and quiet while hiking, this vocal breed may not be for you. However, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is an agile climber that can effortlessly navigate tough terrain. Due to his innate need to hunt, you should keep this breed on a long leash so he doesn’t wander off following a rabbit’s scent.


4. Australian Shepherd

blue eyed australian shepherd
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A truly rough-and-tumble breed, the adventurous Australian Shepherd excels at obedience and agility. Easy-going, athletic, and highly intelligent, this dog will stick right by your side on the trail.


5. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback
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Durable and strong, the Rhodesian Ridgeback makes a great hiking or hunting partner. This breed is extremely independent and can be somewhat aloof, so socializing this dog from puppyhood is essential so he is cool, calm, and collected around strangers.


6. German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer pointing
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A spectacular example of the sporting group, the German Shorthaired Pointer has the stamina to enjoy hours upon hours of strenuous activity. Originally developed to be a hunter, this breed is eager to please and loves making new friends while out and about.


7. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier hiking in mountains
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If you’re looking for a smaller breed that can still keep up, the Jack Russell Terrier could be perfect for you. A driven, active pup, this compact dog will grow up to weigh only about 15 pounds. He was originally bred to hunt small vermin and with a high prey drive, this dog will adore putting his keen sense of smell to good use on the trail.


8. Vizsla

Vizsla
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This Hungarian hunting breed thrives on extreme amounts of exercise and is always ready to go. A natural outdoor dog, the Vizsla is a very active pup that can romp and run on the trail all day long.


9. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher
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A petite pooch with a big personality, the Mini Pinscher is a strong-willed dog with tons of stamina and spunk. Bold and brave, the Min Pin will love seeking out new, off-beaten paths almost as much as you do.


10. Weimaraner

Weimaraner
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Originally bred to work for long hours outside, this hunting breed still loves to spend a lot of time on the trail. The Weimaraner has natural stamina and speed and excels at short sprints and long excursions.


11. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog
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A gentle giant with a heart of gold, the Bernese Mountain Dog was originally bred to pull carts in the Alps. Despite his large size, this hardy pooch is surprisingly agile and can make a great hiking buddy. However, due to his thick coat, this breed can get easily overheated in the summer months, so stick to winter hiking.


12. Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever
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A favorite among active families, the rugged Labrador Retriever makes a great hiking canine. Well-behaved and highly intelligent, you can rest easy knowing your Lab won’t stray too far away while off of the leash. This breed also loves water, and will gladly jump in a refreshing stream with you after a long, hot hike.


13. Portuguese Water Dog

portuguese water dog in the forest
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A purposeful pup, the Portuguese Water Dog has worn many hats, including working as a courier from ship to ship and herding fish into his owner’s nets. Today, this lively and loving breed enjoys plenty of exercise, including long hikes in the woods.


14. Beagle

Beagle
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An all-around great breed, the Beagle is brimming with enough energy to go mile after mile on the trail. Famous for his friendliness, this hunting hound loves to follow every scent that his strong nose picks up, so be sure to keep him on a leash.


15. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog
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A natural-born athlete, the Australian Cattle Dog makes the ultimate trekking partner. Hailing from the outback, this herding breed can handle both cold and hot conditions. A hyperactive breed, the Australian Cattle Dog is better suited for experienced pet parents.


16. Alaskan Malamute

alaskan malamute
Image credit: Carina Wicke Photographer, Wikimedia Commons

Much like the Husky, the Alaskan Malamute was originally intended to pull sleds through the freezing cold tundra. This stamina makes this breed an ideal hiking companion. Your Malamute may have a penchant for pulling, but consistent positive reinforcement training will curb this bad habit.


17. Dalmatian

Dalmatian standing
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A true stunner with his black polka-dotted coat, the Dalmatian is also a great hiking pal. Friendly and fun-loving, this athletic and active breed needs a positive outlet for all of his energy. With a short coat and slim body, you may need to dress your Dalmatian in a coat or vest when the temperatures drop.


18. Standard Poodle

standard poodle
Image credit: Peakpx

One of the smartest dog breeds out there, the Standard Poodle is as comfortable and confident in the water as he is on the trail. Extremely easy to train, this dog will stick right by your side on the trail. Best of all, his thick coat keeps him snug while you’re hiking in harsher weather conditions.


19. American Pit Bull Terrier

american pitbull terrier
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Despite their bloody background as fighting dogs, American Pit Bull Terriers are actually goofy, gentle dogs who love exercise. This burly breed is full of power and patience, making him a great companion both on and off the hiking trail.


20. German Shepherd

black german shepherd in forest
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A smart and stoic breed, the German Shepherd makes a fantastic hiking pal. Exceptionally loyal, he’s at his happiest when he’s running right by your side. This agile dog can easily navigate rocky paths, making him great for more challenging trails.


21. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers

nova scotia duck tolling retriever
Image credit: Sonja-Kalee, Pixabay

As eager to please you as he is powerful, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever adores being outside. This hunting dog’s thick coat and webbed feet make him perfect for water play and long hikes.


22. Golden Retriever

golden retriever
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Happy and hardy, the Golden Retriever is a natural athlete. Highly trainable, this breed will quickly learn to stay close by when you’re hiking. He is also very agile and can hike through the woods as easily as he can climb up a mountain.


23. Shetland Sheepdog

shetland sheepdog
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Upon first glance, you may not think that this petite, silky-coated pup can hack it on a hike. But she’ll quickly prove you wrong! Playful and intelligent, the Shetland Sheepdog certainly enjoys exercise. Just don’t let her off of the leash outside. Her strong herding instinct will certainly lead her astray.


24. Rat Terrier

tricolor rat terrier
Image: Peakpx

Another compact canine, the Rat Terrier is more than happy to hit the hiking trail with you anytime. Originally bred to control the pest population, this avid little hunter loves to romp and run on the trail.

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Final Thoughts

If you enjoy hiking, it’s important to find an athletic breed of dog that can easily keep up. Any one of these 24 breeds make amazing hiking partners and even better friends.


Featured Image Credit: Freepics4you, Pixabay