Hiking Guide: Best Dog Breeds for Hikers (Infographic)

Published by audenjohnson on

Since I’ve started hiking, I’ve been wanting a furry buddy to walk the trails with me. But, not all dogs are made for trekking up mountains and through thick forests. What are the best dog breeds for hikers?

I’m looking for dog number 2. Oreo, my Maltese/Terrier mix, used to go on long walks with me but she’s now 13. When she was younger, each trip for her was like a new experience, even if she’d been there hundreds of times. I’d get energized just watching how excited she became.

Small Terrier Hiking Dog

Since she’s small, white and fluffy, I was surprised she enjoyed the outdoors so much. For some reason, I had assumed Oreo would hate getting dirty. But she’s a walking champ. I often go out during NY snowstorms to take photos. I’d bundle up Oreo and bring her with me. She’d have a blast. It’s the Terrier in her.

In preparation for my second dog, I’m doing some research. Here are the best dog breeds for hikers.

Best Dog Breeds for Hikers

Oreo is about 20 lbs. Ideally, I’d like a dog larger than that. Between 30 and 50 lbs. I’d feel a bit more secure solo hiking with a medium-sized dog. But, I’m finding that most apartments and rentable houses don’t allow for medium-large dogs. Also, I’ve been watching videos of hikers tackling the Adirondacks. It looks like certain parts of the trail would be difficult for dogs. One hiker had to pick up their dog. Would be kinda difficult for me to pick up a 30+ lb dog. I might have to go small again.

Remember, your work doesn’t end just because you got a good dog breed for hiking. You still have to buy the right gear and train them for the trail. But those are separate posts.

Check out these sites for more hiking dogs and more info about why certain breeds are better suited for long hikes.

15 Small Dogs Breeds That Make Great Hiking Buddies

Hiking With Dogs: 10 Breeds That Make Great Trail Partners

15 Best Dogs for Hiking and Climbing

7 best small breed active dogs

10 best small dog breeds to take hiking this summer


3 Comments

Rosie Russell · July 9, 2021 at 2:16 pm

Awe, your Oreo sounds adorable and a real trooper!
I’m a Beagle lover, but the list of dogs you showed here all look like winners to me.

Have fun hiking and stay safe always, Auden.

Sandra Bennett · July 10, 2021 at 2:24 am

Hi Auden, my dog is 12 years now, so she too is slowing down and can’t walk as far as we used to. A lot of my neighbours now have border collies, they have beautiful natures and would make great companions. Our son recently bought a black labrador, she has the kindest, gentlest nature. Good luck making your choice.

Cat Michaels · July 11, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Wow, Auden, I never knew hiking dogs were a thing but it makes sense …especially if you’re a solo hiker. LOVE your infographic! We had a border collie growing up, and she was my all-time fave pet. She was wiith me from Kdg to college. Can’t wait to see wha pooch you decide!

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