If you are the sort of person who likes to get out and about in all weathers and actively enjoys exploring the countryside while rambling or hiking, the good news is that there is any number of dog breeds that will share your interest and make for the perfect outdoors companion!
If you are thinking of getting a dog and want one that can match you step for step and will very much enjoy long walks and lots of exercise in all weathers, you won’t have to look too hard. In order to find the right type of canine companion to match your requirements, there are a few considerations to bear in mind when it comes to selecting the right breed or type of dog for you. In this article, we will look at these considerations in more detail, and make a few suggestions of the best types of dog breeds for people who like hiking. Read on to learn more!
First of all, endurance is important for hiking, both for you and your dog! You will need to work with your dog over time to get them fit enough to keep up with you, but picking the right type of dog to start with is also important. Pick a dog that is comfortable in all weathers, with sturdy legs and paws and not too delicate. A thin coated dog will likely struggle in the winter, while a dog with a heavy coat will quickly overheat when exerting themselves in the summer.
The conformation of the dog is also important when it comes to walking long distances over varied terrain; a Basset hound or a Dachshund would be a poor pick, due to their long backs and short legs. Select a breed that is strong and sturdy but not overly heavy, and one that is not going to struggle to cart their own weight around!
Some dogs have coats that are apt to get into a right mess outdoors, and turn into magnets for burrs, thorns and other debris. A dog with a long coat that is prone to tangling would be a poor pick, as would many breeds that do not shed much, as they will be apt to get things trapped in their fur.
Most dogs from the various working dog groups that are used to being outside, staying active all day and keeping moving are a good pick, so consider sporting dog breeds or those that were traditionally used for hunting or pack work.
The Siberian Husky is the ultimate endurance dog, and one that is used to being outside year round in all types of weather! These dogs have a greater endurance level than virtually any other breed, and their thick coats and sturdy legs will help to protect them against rough surfaces and brambles. However, take care to ensure that the dog does not overheat in the hotter weather.
The Hungarian Vizsla is a medium sized sporting dog from the pointer-retriever grouping, and they have a lot to recommend them as good all-rounders and family pets. They are compact and rangy, love to spend lots of time outside, and are kind, loyal and eminently trainable.
The Weimeraner is at first glance very similar to the Vizsla, although they are an appealing steel grey colour rather than red. Again hailing from the working pointer breed group, the Weimeraner is agile, lithe, and more than capable of keeping up with you on even the longest of walks.
The Springer Spaniel is a lively, active and very friendly dog that loves to spend time with people, and will be more than happy to spend hours with you out on hikes! They are medium sized and happy to go outside in all weathers, plus their coat and paws are well designed to protect them from thorns and other hazards out on your hikes.
The Rottweiler may look like a big heavy slow dog, but they have significant ability for endurance and can maintain a brisk walking pace for hours when fit! They are not among the fastest of dogs on the move, but for hiking they will be more than able to keep up with you, and can walk all day quite happily.
The German Shepherd is an incredibly versatile all-rounder, with a working history including roles such as herding, guarding and hunting. They are also fit, rangy dogs that enjoy being outside and will happily hike beside you for a full day.
The Labrador Retriever is a fun loving, energetic and friendly dog that was just made for the outdoors, and will be perfectly happy to go out in all weathers. They have masses of energy and are not afraid of getting mucky or wet, and make for excellent companions for all sorts of outdoor activities.