Top 8 Dog Breeds for Hiking

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All dogs love a walk, but there are some breeds who need more than a walk - they need a hike! They need to be on an adventure, in search of wild animals and their next drink of water. These breeds love to guard their people from backcountry hazards and identify every person or fur-pup that has used the trail in the last few days. They desire a woodsy breeze blowing through their ears and nostrils, and a lake to practice their doggy paddle. They're in heaven if their humans bring a tent and they can backpack for miles and miles, hanging out in the wilderness for days! So what are the top breeds that yearn the most for hikes and will perform best on them?

Siberian Husky

Because the Siberian Husky was bred to pull sleds and carts in rough climates and situations, this breed has endurance that just won’t quit and will stay by your side no matter what. They are smart and loyal dogs that are built for long distance exercise, so they can keep up with you on any trail.

Australian Shepherd

Packed with incredible amounts of energy, these herders are pawrfect for long treks, especially where they can run free through grasslands or desert. Their cattle- and sheep-herding instincts and deep loyalty make them great companions, and their smarts help to keep them - and you - safe on the trail. Great watch dogs, they'll announce animals and other humans before you ever see them!

German Shorthair Pointer

These handsome, energetic pups are in it for the long haul, although they won't turn down a short hike either. They challenge training efforts because they're super intelligent, but once they learn to toe the line, you can count on them to behave. They have strong prey and guard instincts, so control is important with these guys in the great outdoors!
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Bernese Mountain Dog

Not only do these rugged, surefooted pooches have the word "mountain" in their name, they're a favorite with many hikers because of their stamina, strength and willingness to keep going. Big enough to carry their own supplies of food, these pups do best in cooler climates, so be sure to include them on your snowshoeing treks!

German Shepherd

While German Shepherds can be a challenge to train when they're young, they're very smart and tend to be reliable once they've "got it." Alert and watchful, they're first to sense danger, and their curiosity encourages you to see what's around the next bend. They make great watch dogs and protectors, too.

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog, which is also referred to as the Blue Heeler, loves to run, climb, and herd so they are one of the best hiking partners you can have. They’re sturdy, tough, and have tons of energy and can keep going with their tireless enthusiasm that may even wear you out.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Originally from Africa, these large hounds were used to hunt large game over long distances for many hours. Even though they seem very affectionate and even cuddly at home, they are all business when it comes to their hiking abilities. Exercise is important to them, and they thoroughly enjoy it too.

Labrador Retriever

Everybody's buddy, the retriever is willing to do anything and go anywhere you want to. These beauties play hard and work hard, and they like to have a job to do, whether it's endlessly chasing rabbits or carrying their own gear on their backs. They do well on leashes or under voice control because they aim to please!