Take A Hike! The Top 5 Dog Breeds For Hiking

Hiking is an activity that a lot of people enjoy, and what’s not to love? It’s one of the few opportunities where you can take a walk and get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Here is finally a place where you are free from the daily assault of emails, tweets, and text messages and other notifications, especially if you’re hiking in a place with limited cell reception. Here it’s just you, nature, and your favorite furry best friend. Take the dog hiking? Absolutely! What better place to have your dog than out in the wilderness. Trekking down trials and other hilly terrain. Enjoy the beautiful scenery with a companion than wants nothing more than to be by your side… and maybe a treat.

However, not all dogs are created equal for all tasks.

Image Courtesy of:  Sebastián Arena

 If you’re an avid hiker as well as dog lover then having a toy breed or something small or fragile might not be the best of ideas. Little dogs don’t necessarily make for good hiking companions, especially if they can’t hop over the log. If you’re looking for something that can beat the trails and give you a run for your money, then take a look at these top five hiking breeds!

  • Bernese Mountain Dog- Like the name suggests, this rugged breed was made for the mountain side. Don’t let their appearance fool you. While a Bernese might have a big fluffy coat and a friendly disposition, Bernese are one of the strongest breeds of dogs around and capable of handling rough terrain and inclement weather making them an excellent pack out for longer hikes.
  • Rhodesian Ridgebacks- Looking for a dog that can keep up with you when you’re hiking? How about a dog that was bred to hunt lions? Rhodesians originally hail from Africa and are sometimes called the Navy SEALS of Dogs. Equipped with thick foot pads and capable of withstanding high levels of heats, Rhodesians are a great breed for those who like to hike in the summer heat.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs- These are a great choice of breed if you’re particularly fond of hiking near water. These dogs are very able swimmers and love being in the water as much as the love being in sight of you. If you’re looking to make a day of it and go for a swim then consider a Portuguese water dog.
  • Vizsla- If you’re the type of person who likes to be on the move and doing things constantly, then you might actually be able to keep up with a Vizsla. This is a super high energy breed and an incredibly strong swimmer. A Vizsla can leave you in the dust if you’re not ready for it, so make sure you’re up for the challenge.
  • Labrador Retrievers- Not all good hiking dogs need to be exotic. Labradors were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl from brush, hence the name. That said, Labs make great companions when you’re hiking through the woods. Bring a frisbee or something to toss for them if you really want to make them happy.

Truth be told, there are a lot of dogs that would enjoy a nice walk through the woods, it all depends on what your preference is. These dogs can handle rougher terrain, but if you tend to stick to the trails then almost any breed will be fine. Just make sure you check the rules for dogs where you’re going and take a hike!

Featured images:

+Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.

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