Love the outdoors and looking for a four-legged companion to share the experience with? 

There are particular breeds of dogs that make great hiking companions; dogs whose endurance, carrying capabilities, interests, and body type are ideal for dusty trail jaunts.

Weimaraners: This breed is agile and quick, plus they have fur that tends to repel burrs and thistles.

Rottweilers: Because this breed easily carries extra weight and has plenty of endurance, Rottweilers are great for packing on a long trail trip.

English Springer Spaniels: The high energy and enthusiasm of these dogs helps them keep a quick pace while pushing through rough terrain.

German Shepherds: This watchful breed will happily follow along on an extended hike.

Huskies: The Northern heritage and natural endurance of this breed make Huskies great winter hiking companions. Just be sure to protect them from overheating in warm weather.

Labrador Retrievers: Loyal and active, these dogs will happily accompany you on-leash or off. Just be prepared for their instinctual dip in any puddle, pond, river, or lake.

There are many other breeds that make great hiking companions. Many search far and wide for the ideal dog and end up adopting a mixed breed that fits the bill perfectly. In general, dogs high in energy, endurance, loyalty, and work ethic make great trail companions.

What advice would you give to someone searching for the ideal hiking dog?

12 thoughts

  1. My basset hounds make awesome hiking companions. People are always surprised to see them on trails. They will run ahead of us a little bit. If they can’t see us they will stop and wait on us or run back to find us. They always look back to make sure they can see me. I’ve had to call out loud to my basset Daisy because I got separated from my husband and didn’t know which way to take. She came running back to find me and showed me the way that my husband went. My other basset loves climbing rocks especially with those short stubby legs. They have hiked 8.5 miles before in hilly rocky terrain.

  2. I hike all the time with my weiner dogs. Those dogs can go, go, go and make great hiking companions if you give them the chance. One of my dogs hiked 15 miles on one day with us.

  3. My Dog, patches, is an Amstaff with a seemingly never-ending supply of energy. He’s been the best hiking companion I could hope for. His strength and athletic build makes for a great, tireless companion, though his short coat requires a little added warmth half the year here in Michigan(thanls for making some great jackets!)

  4. Great blog, website and products! Kudos for recognizing Rotties as hikers… my Brogan easily carries extra water, clothing, sunscreen and the first aid kit on our day hikes.

    But best hiking dog ever (in my little world) goes to the late great Mama Jodhi, a pit bull extraordinaire. She always led the way and if I let her pick the fork in the trail we never got lost or ended up stranded on a mountainside forced to scoot down on our behinds. If I myself picked the trail the latter scenarios were way too common.

    Jodhi retired from long hikes at 13 and I doubt if I’ll find another trail guide or hiking buddy of her ilk again. My advice to hikers: adopt a rescue pittie and you won’t be sorry!

  5. It’s a bit unconventional, but my sheltie is a great hiking dog. He’s not so great in hot weather, but when it’s cool, he loves to hit the trail! We took him backpacking in Shenandoah Nat’l Park and he did great. There were 5 of us and every few minutes he’d stop and look behind him, as if to “count” all his people. He’s a herder afterall, and he has to make sure we’re all there!

  6. My wife and I love hiking with our Australian Cattle Dogs, great stamina, energy and a desire to get the job done. Ty and Keenah love their ruff wear approach packs. These guys are great for mountain biking and running with us also, but we don’t have to tell Mr. Kruse how great they are.

  7. I love hike with my two dogs: Cookie, a greater swiss mountain dog, and Brina, italian spinone.
    They adore hiking too. Both are really sporty dogs and any problem with long walk on mountains 🙂

    Ruffwear are great products!

  8. Not exactly your typical hiking dog, but my pug just loves the outdoors! Her favorite is anything that involves water – she loves to kayak and canoe! We just bought her the Portage life jacket for our kayak trips this summer.

    1. That is an unusual hiking breed, but that’s what makes dogs great! They will always surprise you with how much they love spending time outdoors with their owner. We met a lot of pugs and even bulldogs this weekend that love to make hiking trips with their owners!

  9. Gotta give a bump to the labs! My 4 yr. old black rescue, Rookie, is a great companion on all camping, hiking and fishing trips. Spot on with the “instinctual dip” comment. I can’t keep him from scaring off the trout.

    Great to see RW with a blog. I check in occasionally to see what new products you have cooked up. Looking forward to checking in a little more often.

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