Many dog owners have an active lifestyle, and many people are looking for breeds that are well suited for adventure. When it comes to hiking with your dog, physical characteristics are as important as personality. There are many dog breeds that have been bred for long hours of work in the outdoors during any and all weather conditions, and these breeds are the best choices for those looking for very active companions. If you’re looking for the perfect hiking partner, you’ll want to consider these active breeds of dogs. No matter which breed you bring along, however, always remember to pack proper hiking gear for both you and your pup.
1. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky was originally bred to pull sleds and carts long distances in the harsh Russian climate. These members of the Working Group are powerfully built dogs with lively spirits, always ready for adventure at any time. A true endurance breed, Siberians make an excellent choice for those looking for a dog that will keep them entertained on long hikes. They are gentle and alert, but very social dogs that enjoy spending time outside.
2. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is an intelligent, adventurous breed that is always ready to go. Originally used as herding dogs, they still excel at this job today, as well as in many dog sports such as agility and obedience. Australian Shepherds make excellent hiking partners, as they are very athletic, friendly, and well-suited for long hours of strenuous activity.
3. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer of the Sporting Group makes an excellent hiking companion. The breed was developed as a hunting dog, and still performs this task today across the world. They enjoy long hours of strenuous activity in various climates, making them suitable for long hikes and adventures. They are social and willing to please, eager to work with their owners and make new friends.
The Vizsla is a Hungarian hunting dog and is still employed extensively in the field to this day. Due to his innate power and drive as a hunting dog, Vizslas have maintained his need for exercise and a love of the outdoors. Vizslas are energetic and athletic dogs, very friendly and affectionate, and always ready to go. They make an ideal choice for someone looking for an active hiking companion.
5. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is an athletic, intelligent breed that has a lot of energy to burn. They are still used as herding dogs today, as well as in various dog sports such as obedience and agility. The breed is very active and does best in a home that can provide adequate physical exercise. Therefore, they make excellent hiking partners.
The Weimaraner is a hunting dog that was bred to work long hours outdoors, an activity it still enjoys today. Weimaraners are loyal, affectionate, and fun-loving dogs that make excellent hiking partners, and they are built for speed and stamina, meaning they do well on both short and long excursions.
7. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a large, powerful working breed with a gentle personality and a desire to make friends everywhere. Originally used for drafting and as a drover for cattle in the cold Swiss Alps, this breed enjoys strenuous activity and makes an excellent hiking companion in any weather.
8. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a hound developed in Africa. There they were used to hunt large game for many hours over long distances. They are very active and dignified dogs, reserved toward strangers, but affectionate with their families. They make excellent companions for very active families, and though laid back, love engaging in exercise with their owner.
9. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a large working dog bred for pulling carts and sleds over long distances. They are playful and affectionate dogs that enjoy spending time outdoors, especially in cold weather. This breed is a great choice for a hiking partner, and, having been bred for endurance rather than speed, they are especially suitable for long hikes.
10. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog has worked many jobs, including herding fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieving tackle and nets, and as couriers from ship to shore or ship to ship. This breed loves to work and makes a wonderful family companion for those looking for an active companion. They are affectionate and adventurous, and they are happiest when they get lots of exercise.