Best Hiking Dogs: Breeds that You Can Take Up the Mountain Side with You

Hiking is a fun outdoor activity that so many people take part in as a way of enjoying closeness with nature. Another great thing about hiking is that it's an activity that you can take most canine companions along with for the adventure.

There are some breeds of good hiking dogs that may be right for you and are essentially built for rugged adventures, and helping their owner carry much-needed supplies up the mountainside for their hike. 

Siberian Husky

The first thing that probably pops into most people's minds when they see a Siberian Husky is a sled dog. That was what this breed was primarily used to do for many years. This is because of their strength, stamina, and ability to withstand the harsh climates of the snowy tundra. They are definitely a breed that is built to withstand rugged terrain and long-distance travel by foot. Making them the perfect hiking companion. 

Australian Cattle Dog

This energetic breed of dog won’t hesitate to join you on a long hike up and down a mountainside. When they’re not being used to herd cattle, the Australian Cattle dog is very trainable and is often entered into competitions of agility and obedience. Their trainability and dedication to their owner make these beautiful herding dog a great hiking partner that should make you feel assured that they won’t try to run off into the woods while out on your adventure.  


This large breed of dog was originally utilized for their stamina and speed on long, outdoor hunting trips. To this day this strong breed loves to spend extended periods of time outdoors, in nature. All of these great qualities make the Weimaraner an excellent hiking partner. 

This large, leggy dog has such a loyal and loving demeanor about them. You and your Weimaraner will have a great time getting out and enjoying nature together on a hike. They were built for speed, so do make sure to keep a tight hold on their leash while hiking or walking. Or else they may try and take off after a small critter that they may consider to be prey along the trail. 

Burmese Mountain Dog

If their name doesn’t already tip you off for their love of nature and steep inclines, their personality and history will only convince you further of their capability to be an amazing hiking partner. This big, fluffy breed of dog also has a past history of herding cattle and enduring harsh winter climates. To this day, the Burmese Mountain Dog, as a breed, loves to take on the challenge of a strenuous task such as hiking up and down a steep mountainside. These types of activities also help prevent obesity in this dog breed.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

This medium-sized hound dog was originally bred and raised in Africa where they were utilized in large game hunting for some time. These hunts were known to drag on for hours and hours, showing how resilient this breed of dog can be when in nature. Rhodesian Ridgebacks make a great family pet, especially in very physically active families. They love to workout with their human companion, which includes going on challenging hikes.

Important Things to Know Before Taking Your Dog Hiking

Just loading your dog’s and your backpacks full of snacks and water into the car and heading out for a hike sounds easy enough right? It is, but there are some important things you will want to take into consideration and plan for before heading out. For instance, is the destination that you are headed a dog-friendly hiking trail? Some places don’t allow dogs, while others have designated hiking trails for dogs and their owners. 

You will also want to prepare for any food or water they may need along the hike, and then some. You never know what may happen, so it's best to always be a little over prepared when it comes to caring for your dog while out in nature. It’s also important to be prepared to have your dog on a leash at all times. You never know what wildlife or even other people you may encounter that could send your dog off running.


Hiking is great fun, when alone or with the family. Bringing a dog along for the adventure is just that much more of a fun time. Dogs can’t usually go to all of the same places as their humans do or participate in many of the same activities either. Hiking is the exception to that. Hiking is a great exercise for both you and your dog, as well as being a great bonding activity to do together. 

There are certain breeds of dogs that are better built for handling such a strenuous activity such as hiking up a mountainside. Breeds of dogs such as Chihuahuas and Pugs simply just aren’t built in a way that could handle such a feat. While sturdy dogs like the Australian Cattle dog and the Siberian Husky were born to be out in nature and tap into their large stores of stamina. 

How much weight can a dog carry?

Most dog breeds can carry up to 25% of their own weight, while others who were built for more, can carry an additional 15% weight or more. The amount of weight that they can carry depends on their breed, age, and any health problems that they may have such as joint pain.

What are good hiking dogs?

A few dog breeds that are known to be exceptionally good hiking companions, include the Siberian husky, the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Bernese Mountain Dog, and the Rhodesian Ridgeback, just to name a few. There are many other breeds of dogs out there that make great hiking companions.

Should I take my dog camping?

It’s definitely a lot of fun as well as a good time for bonding when taking your dog camping with you. However, it's important to keep the campground rules in mind, as to whether they allow dogs, wherein the grounds they allow dogs to be, and how you should manage your dog and their droppings while out camping with them.

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Written by Leo Roux

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