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8 Best Hiking Dogs of All Sizes To Keep You Company on the Trail

8 Best Hiking Dogs of All Sizes To Keep You Company on the Trail

Embarking on a hiking adventure can be an exhilarating experience, but having a loyal and adventurous companion by your side can make it even more enjoyable. In this blog, we’ll explore the 8 best hiking dogs of all sizes that are perfect for keeping you company on the trail. Whether you prefer short day hikes or multi-day treks through rugged terrain, there’s a hiking dog on this list suited to your outdoor lifestyle. From small and energetic breeds to larger and robust companions, these dogs are not only great trail buddies but also loyal companions that enhance your outdoor adventures. Get ready to meet your perfect hiking partner and discover the joy of exploring nature with a furry friend by your side.

Best Hiking Dogs of All Sizes

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog hails from the Swiss Alps, where their ancestors worked alongside farmers and herders. Today, they’re cherished for their friendly and calm temperament, making them excellent companions for outdoor enthusiasts. Their sturdy build and impressive endurance allow them to tackle long hikes and challenging terrain without hesitation. The Berner’s thick coat, while requiring regular grooming, provides insulation against cold weather, making them well-suited for adventures in various climates. Their loyalty and protective instincts also ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience for their human companions, as they naturally keep an eye out for potential dangers on the trail.

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Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are iconic for their wolf-like appearance and boundless energy. Originating from Siberia, they were bred for endurance, allowing them to pull sleds across vast snowy landscapes. This endurance makes them fantastic hiking partners, particularly in colder regions or during winter hikes. Their playful and sociable nature means they thrive in outdoor environments, enjoying every moment exploring new trails and surroundings. Huskies require regular exercise to stay mentally and physically healthy, and hiking provides an excellent outlet for their energy, keeping them content and fulfilled.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, often referred to simply as Labs, are one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide for good reason. Their friendly and outgoing nature, combined with their love for water activities, makes them ideal companions for hikes near lakes, rivers, or beaches. Labs have a robust physique and strong swimming abilities, allowing them to handle various terrains and water crossings with ease. Their intelligence and trainability also make them reliable off-leash hiking partners, as they quickly learn to navigate trails and respond to commands, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable hiking experience for both dog and owner.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds, or Aussies, are renowned for their intelligence, agility, and unwavering loyalty. Bred as herding dogs, they possess boundless energy and a strong work ethic, making them well-suited for active lifestyles and outdoor adventures. Aussies thrive in diverse environments and terrain, from rugged mountains to open plains, and they eagerly embrace the challenges of long hikes and exploration. Their affectionate nature and strong bond with their owners ensure they’re always by your side, ready for the next trail adventure.

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Border Collie

Border Collies are synonymous with intelligence, agility, and athleticism. Originally bred for herding livestock, they have an innate ability to navigate trails with precision and focus. Border Collies thrive on mental stimulation and physical activity, making them perfect companions for hikers who enjoy challenging hikes and varied terrain. Their high energy levels and enthusiasm for outdoor adventures mean they’re always ready for the next trail exploration, providing endless entertainment and companionship along the way.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers, or GSPs, are known for their enthusiasm, athleticism, and keen sense of smell. Bred for hunting and retrieving, they excel in outdoor activities like hiking. GSPs are highly energetic and require ample exercise to stay happy and healthy, making hiking an ideal activity to meet their needs. Their intelligence and trainability also make them excellent trail companions, as they quickly learn to navigate trails and respond to commands. With their contagious energy and love for exploration, GSPs turn every hike into an exciting adventure.


Beagles are curious, friendly, and known for their excellent sense of smell. Originally bred for hunting small game, they have a natural instinct to explore and follow scents, making them great hiking partners. Beagles’ compact size and sturdy build allow them to navigate various terrains comfortably, from rocky paths to wooded trails. Their friendly and outgoing nature means they get along well with other dogs and enjoy socializing on the trail. Beagles add an element of excitement and curiosity to hikes, always eager to sniff out new scents and discoveries along the way.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terriers may be small in size, but they’re big in personality and adventure. Originally bred as working dogs in Scotland, they’re accustomed to rugged terrain and outdoor activities. Cairns’ wiry coat provides protection against harsh weather conditions, allowing them to enjoy hikes in various environments. Their fearless attitude and lively demeanor make them enthusiastic trail companions, always ready for exploration and new experiences. Despite their small stature, Cairn Terriers have a confident and adventurous spirit that shines through on every hike, bringing joy and excitement to their human companions.

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Choosing the right hiking companion is crucial for a safe and enjoyable outdoor adventure. The eight dog breeds highlighted in this guide are not only known for their adorable appearance but also for their suitability as hiking partners. From the sturdy and loyal Bernese Mountain Dog to the energetic and intelligent Border Collie, each breed brings its unique traits and qualities to the trail. Whether you prefer long hikes in rugged terrain or leisurely walks in nature, there’s a hiking dog breed that’s perfect for you.


What should I consider when hiking with a dog?

When hiking with your dog, consider their breed, age, fitness level, and the trail conditions. Ensure they are properly trained, have enough water and food, and are protected against ticks, fleas, and other outdoor hazards.

Are all dogs suitable for hiking?

Not all dogs are suitable for hiking, especially those with health issues, elderly dogs, or brachycephalic breeds that may struggle with hot weather. Consult your veterinarian before taking your dog on a hike.

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