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Ah, our trusty companions, dogs! What would the world be without them? They make the perfect friend no matter where you are in your life. There are so many dog breeds that we call our perfect companion, however, some dogs are specifically geared for outdoor adventures, so in the next few minutes I’ll share with you my take on the 10 best hiking dogs!

They love tough terrain and any physical challenges. So, if you’re an avid hiker looking for your new hiking buddy on your next outdoor adventure, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll be going over which dog breeds thrive on the hiking trail. Looking at border collies all the way down to Jack Russell terriers. Get ready to find your new canine companion who’s also the perfect hiking partner as we evaluate the best dog breeds for hiking!

Border Collie

A border collie in the forest while hiking - JayWanders

If you’re an avid hiker, the Border Collie might just be your perfect match. This breed is renowned for its unmatched energy and intelligence, making it a great hiking pal.

Border Collies excel in navigating challenging terrains, ensuring that your hiking adventures are both stimulating and enjoyable.

A border collie pup in a park after going for a hike

Their agility, endurance, and sharp instincts make them one of the top choices for outdoor enthusiasts. So, if you’re looking for a loyal and active hiking partner, the Border Collie won’t disappoint.

Ready to embark on your next hiking adventure with a Border Collie by your side?

Australian Cattle Dog

JayWanders - Australian Cattle Dog out on the Hiking trailMeet the Australian Cattle Dog, a breed built for the great outdoors. These dogs are known for their endurance, agility, and intelligence, making them excellent hiking partners.

With their robust nature, they can handle long treks and thrive when they have an active lifestyle.

If you’re seeking a reliable and hardworking companion for your hiking adventures, the Australian Cattle Dog is a top choice.

JayWanders - Australian Cattle Dog ready for action out on the Hiking trailTheir physical abilities alone make them great hiking companions, but if you mix that with the fact that they are incredibly intelligent, all of a sudden you’ve found the perfect companion.

Bernese Mountain Dog

JayWanders - A Bernese Mountain Dog in the forest with its owner on a hikeThe Bernese mountain dog is one of the very best dogs to go hiking with. Bernese mountain dogs make excellent hiking partners thanks to their strength and grit.

No matter what the physical demands of the terrain, the Bernese mountain dog will be there. Even though they originate from the cold climates of Switzerland, they are an extremely athletic breed.

JayWanders - A Bernese Mountain Dog in a field with its owner on a hikeBernese mountain dogs enjoy both mental and physical exercise, so be sure to explore new terrain that encourages their creativity and inquisitive minds.

Be warned though, they do have a thick coat of hair, so always bring plenty of water and a portable bowl when going on long hikes.

Other than that, the Bernese mountain dog could not be more of the perfect dog for hiking.

Australian Shepherd

JayWanders - Australian Shepherd ready for action out on the hiking trailAustralian shepherds and active companions go hand in hand. They are the perfect mix of personality and energy. They make fantastic hiking dogs.

If you love dogs that listen well and have an aloof nature, you’ll love the Australian Shepherd.

JayWanders - Australian Shepherd sitting obediently out on the hiking trailThe Australian shepherd was specifically bred to have immense amounts of energy for herding other animals, so they are well suited to long distances and challenging trails.

They’re also great with other dogs which might mean that both you and your four-legged companion will be making a few friends on the trails.

Labrador Retriever

JayWanders - Labrador Retriever taking a breather out on the hiking trailWhat should you expect from a Labrador Retriever? A well-mannered, calm, and active pup. Their nature is very composed and they are well known for being extremely gentle and having an overall great way about them

The Labrador Retriever can endure long hours on the trails and are amongst the best dog breeds for hiking.

JayWanders - Labrador Retriever sitting obediently out on the hiking trailKnowing that a trail in the more rural areas may lead to interactions with other wildlife, it’s great to have a sensible companion with you at all times. A second of indecision can potentially be life-changing.

With a Labrador Retriever, you’ll always have a companion with a calm head and a loving touch.

Siberian Husky

JayWanders - Siberian Husky sitting obediently out on the hiking trailThe Siberian Husky is renowned for being a dog that thrives in extremely cold weather and was originally bred to be working dogs. These furballs are amongst some of the best hiking dogs you could wish for.

Their thick coat and ability to pull sleds incredibly long distances, let alone while just hiking, make them a great fit for active families.

JayWanders - Siberian Husky pup looking alert out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsNow, it’s important to emphasize that they have a thick double coat of hair. In other words, yes, a Siberian Husky makes a great hiking buddy, but you need to be careful of going out when it’s very hot.

Watch out for signs of dehydration and make sure you ALWAYS carry water with you. Even though they were bred to pull sleds, they are very susceptible to the heat.

Jack Russell terrier

JayWanders - Jack Russell sitting obediently out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsNow, when it comes to the definition of an active pup, the Jack Russell could quite literally be the image in the dictionary.

A dog of unrivaled curiosity and enthusiasm, this small breed is quite possibly at the top of the list of the best hiking dogs. Their small stature is made up of big spirit and immense courage.

JayWanders - Jack Russell Terrier having fun out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsThe Jack Russell Terrier is a dog with a natural hunting instinct keen senses and awareness. Personally, I don’t think I’ve seen another dog be this brave when so incredibly outgunned.

Thriving on exercise, Jack Russell Terriers will enjoy long hikes in terrain that stimulates their mind and their senses. My advice for anyone wanting a Jack Russell Terrier as a companion is when out on the trails, let them explore and enjoy their surroundings, they thrive on this.

Golden Retriever

JayWanders - Golden Retriever sitting obediently out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsGolden retrievers are great hiking partners! They are intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs that love to get out and have a good old roll in the leaves.

The Golden Retriever has bundles of energy and is among the most explorative dogs on this list with a very high level of curiosity, they’ll sniff here and run there

JayWanders - Golden Retriever having fun out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsThey love the great outdoors and are genetically wired to be friendly, the perfect combination for someone who enjoys making new friends.

Golden Retrievers are amongst the most non-territorial and aggressive dogs you will ever come across, so you never have to worry about your new buddy starting any trouble while exploring with other four-legged buddies.

Portuguese water dog

JayWanders - Portuguese Water Dog having fun out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsOriginating in the Algarve region of Portugal, the aptly named, Portuguese Water Dog was originally bred to be the right hand of the fishermen that called the region home.

They were used for herding fish into the nets of fishermen among many other things, but now they’ve made a name for themselves as being among the best hiking dogs in the world.

JayWanders - Portuguese Water Dog near a lake out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsThey are the definition of an outdoor efficiando’s dream! They never get tired of adventure and exploration. They make the perfect hiking dog!

Enjoy hours of countless fun with them.

Airedale Terrier

JayWanders - Airedale Terrier in a field out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsThe Airedale Terrier is one of the largest of the Terriers and their energy levels match that. They have heaps upon heaps of energy for exploration and adventure.

Quick learners and easily trainable, they will ensure you have a great time on your journey into the wilderness.

JayWanders - Airedale Terrier having fun out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsRenowned for being an alert and intelligent dog that does not stop moving, Airedale Terriers suit active families that enjoy making their furry friend part of everything they do.

If you enjoy going for runs as well as enjoying the trails of your area then you’ve found the perfect dog. Be warned though, it’s recommended that you give the Airedale Terrier around 45 minutes of exercise every single day.

So, when I say ‘active’, I mean extremely ACTIVE.

Honorable Mentions

As much as I wish I could include every breed on this list, tough choices needed to be made when selecting the absolute best dogs for hiking, and not every dog made the cut.

However, not all is lost as I’ve decided to add a few honorable mentions for the perfect hiking dog!

German Shorthaired Pointer

JayWanders - German Shorthaired Pointer having fun out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsA canine companion that needs boundless amounts of exercise, the German Shorthaired Pointer is another perfectly suited for long hikes.

They have a reputation for jumping into ponds and spending hours running around vast open fields with a contagious excitement that you can’t help but fall in love with.

Cairn Terrier

JayWanders - Cairn Terrier having fun out on the hiking trail - The 10 best hiking dogsGranted, the Carin Terrier may not be the most obvious choice when it comes to selecting a four-legged hiking partner, but their investigatory nature earns them a deserving spot on my list.

Although not as energetic as the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Cairn Terrier outranks most dogs when it comes to suitability for the outdoors having originated in the bitterly cold environment of northern Scotland.

In summary

It’s always difficult when looking at a bunch of amazing creatures and having to choose which you’d like to go on adventures with, but I hope this makes it easier for you to make an informed decision on what the best compatriot for your escapades on the trails of your city looks like.

Each of these four-legged friends is an amazing addition to any family!

Choose wisely and make sure you take great care of your new family member, and remember, to you a dog is a part of your life, to a dog you are the whole part of their life, make sure it’s a worthwhile life for them!

Jarrod Frankel

Jarrod is the founder of Jay Wanders. Born into a family of explorers, Jarrod fast became addicted the feeling of being lost. Travelling around the world in search of a moment of complete and utter awe inspiring beauty, Jarrod shares his collection of memories and experiences through the medium of Jay Wanders.