Best Dog Breeds for Hiking 

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: July 13, 2023
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10 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking
These athletic dog breeds make great hiking companions!

Putting on a pair of hiking boots and venturing out into the wilderness can be one of life’s greatest pleasures. With the ideal dog by your side, there’s no better way to see the world. Hikers, if you’re looking for the ideal canine companion for your outdoor adventures, your search is over. Here is a list of the 10 best dog breeds for hiking.

1. Labrador Retriever

Yellow Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever


Labradors are one of the most popular breeds in America. They make great companions on hikes due to their intelligence, athleticism, and friendly nature. They are often used as hunting dogs. Labradors are able to keep up with their handlers on long hikes or runs. Additionally, their friendly and easygoing personalities make them excellent companions on outdoor adventures.

2. German Shepherd

German Shepherd, Dog, Sitting, Outdoors, Grass


German Shepherd

is known for obedience and loyalty.


German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and obedience. This makes them ideal hikers as well as protectors when out in nature alone or with a group. Their strength also allows them to carry gear if needed during long treks through difficult terrains such as mountains or forests. 

 3. Golden Retriever

Golden retriever stands on the grass and looks forward

Golden Retriever

©Burin P/

Goldens are another intelligent breed that loves being active outdoors – making it perfect for exploring trails together! Not only do they have enough energy but also enough enthusiasm to make any hike enjoyable regardless of how challenging it may be at times.

 4. Siberian Husky

siberian husky

Siberian Husky


This breed was bred specifically by native Siberians hundreds of years ago. They were bred primarily as sledding dogs but now can easily double duty as an excellent hiking partner too. This is thanks largely in part to its high endurance levels, incredible stamina, and ability to adapt quickly to changing temperatures and weather conditions.

5. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian cattle dog in field at sunset

Australian Cattle Dog


These herding dogs were developed originally to work closely alongside humans. So, naturally, they bring this same trait into play while out on hikes! Plus, their strong-willed personalities ensure that won’t get bored even after hours of trekking around hillsides.

6. Bernese Mountain Dog

Animals that Sweat - Dogs

Bernese Mountain Dog

©Eve Photography/

The large size of these gentle giants just adds more fun and adventure when taking them along trails. They are able to cover lots of ground relatively quickly despite carrying heavy loads from time to time (if necessary). Not to mention the fact that they are always happy to cuddle up next to a campfire at nightfall!

7. Beagle

best dog food for beagles


©Przemek Iciak/

Beagles might be small in stature, however, don’t let this fool you. These pups pack a lot of punch in terms of energy and curiosity – both of which come in handy while navigating unfamiliar surroundings like those found in the wilderness. They have a lot of energy and stamina and can hike up to 10 miles with the right training.

However, it’s important to keep Beagles on a leash while hiking, since they have a strong hunting instinct and may try to follow scents or chase small animals. Additionally, Beagles may need protection from ticks and other outdoor hazards, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before taking them on a long hike.

8. Vizsla 



©Aneta Jungerova/

Vizslas are considered medium-sized hunting dogs which means they were bred to be outdoors. What really sets them apart from other similar breeds is the amount of boundless enthusiasm they possess. They take every challenge thrown their way whether they are running across open fields chasing down game birds or swimming in rivers and lakes.

9. Border Collie

Oldest Dog: Bramble the Border Collie

Border Collie

©Lucia Horvath Photography/

The breed of Border collie is renowned as a smart working animal. This is why many owners choose to take advantage of their natural instincts by embarking upon lengthy excursions to the countryside where they can use their skills to round sheep or herd cattle. This type of energy and discipline also makes them excellent companions for any owner who wants to explore the bountiful outdoors.

10. Weimaraner

Agricultural Field, Animal, Animal Body Part, Animal Head, Canine - Animal



Weimaraners are generally considered to be good hiking dogs due to their high energy levels, athleticism, and love for the outdoors. They are often used as hunting dogs and are able to keep up with their handlers on long hikes or runs.

In Conclusion

Although these dogs are listed as excellent companions for avid hikers, as with all breeds, it is important to consider individual temperament and fitness levels before taking any dog on a long hike. It’s also important to note that many of these types of dog breeds require regular exercise and mental stimulation and can be prone to separation anxiety as a result. Therefore, if you plan on only hiking a couple of times a year or leaving your dog at home a lot, you may want to reconsider any one of these breeds.

Summary of the 10 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking

RankBest Dog Breed
1Labrador Retriever
2German Shepherd
3Golden Retriever
4Siberian Husky
5Australian Cattle Dog
6Bernese Mountain Dog
9Border Collie
Summary Table of the 10 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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