Do you love walking along nature trails? You might feel lonely walking along forest trails alone and this is why you need a dog that loves hiking. A good dog breed for walking should be large to enable it keep up with you as you walk. Larger dog breeds have high amounts of energy and stamina. However, any dog that loves to be outside, it will play a good companion when you walk.
Breeds such as Pugs and Bulldogs are not suited to outdoor activities, especially if you have to spend a whole day on the trail. Thanks to their long snouts, these breeds lack the endurance and the breathing capabilities to keep up with you during long hikes through the woods or when you walk up a mountain. If you are doing a short town walk, you can walk with such short breeds. For short strolls, pick breeds such as Chihuahuas.
Below are common dog breeds for walking.
Labrador retrievers, and any other Lab mixes, have high amounts of energy making them ideal for long walks. Actually, even if you did not want to walk, you have to walk the dog to exercise it. Even better, the dog loves the outdoor environment. These dogs, as their name suggests, were bred to accompany hunters and help them retrieve animals. As such, they are happy to run through fields, to dive into water and they are good companions when you are walking through the woods.
Just like the Labrador Retrievers, the Border Collies breed loves outdoors. They were bred to help herders take care of herds; they are therefore tough, and with lots of energy which allows them to keep up with you on forest trails.
The dog is also said to be highly intelligent. It loves challenges and as such, you can go to more challenging walks. This adds up to a perfect walking companion especially for everyday fitness walkers.
The original Poodles were bred to retrieve birds from water. This makes them a great outdoor dog breed. The dog is tough and energetic enough to withstand cold and harsh weather, walk in water or under the rain, and is athletic enough to keep up with any walker. It does not matter how long the hike is, this dog breed has the muscles to go all the way. Besides the Standard Poodles, you can choose from other Poodle Mixes for a great outdoors walking experience.
Like their name suggests, these dogs were bred to herd cattle in the fields. As such, the dogs are tough enough for any outdoor environment, they are extremely friendly and love outdoors. The dogs are also very loyal to people making them great companions for an outdoor walk.
If you go hiking up the mountains and you have to camp, this dog breed will stay with you all along. To keep it safe in the woods, bring all necessities for dog care including lots of water and food and a first aid kit.
This is a large dog breed which makes it a tough breed for those looking for a dog that goes all the way. Originally, the dog was bred for hunting and as such when you take them on trails, they feel like they are home. Even if you didn’t have to walk yourself, you’d have to pay someone take the dog to the woods for exercise. It is also intelligent and highly adaptable making it the ideal dog breed for all-weather and tough terrain. The good thing is that the dog is always up for any adventure.
Siberian Huskies were bred for cold places. If you love walking in winter and need a dog companion, this might be a good choice of a breed for you. It is adapted to pull sleds, and run for hundreds of miles making it a great choice for a tough forest terrain. If you are going for a long walk in the woods or along any trail, the intelligence and endurance of this breed will keep it on trail.
This is another dog bred for herding; it is always up for an outdoor activity. They also stick by your side during the long walk. The dog is overly social and athletic making it thrive well in mentally and physically challenging situations. This makes them the excellent hiking companions. If you have been to a hike, this might be the breed you have seen most trotting along a trail or sitting by the lake.
Vizslas are not common in most parts of the world but they are good trail companions. The dog breed is energetic and tough enough to survive any trail seeing that it was bred for hunting. It is also very loyal to people and will stick with you anywhere you go. Since dog was bred to run all day, it needs a lot of exercise to stay in shape; you might even struggle keeping up with it. This dog might be a great choice if you will be taking a walk all weekend.
This breed just had to appear here. German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and their hardiness. These characteristics make them suitable for rugged trails. To keep up with this breed, you need to be an experienced fitness walker or be able to hike challenging trails. The breed is also overly loyal and it will always look forward to completing a challenge by your side.
The American Pit Bull Terrier, and pretty much every other Terrier breed, might be a great choice for people who love to spend a lot of time outdoors. This breed is playful and has a lot of stamina. The breed is full of energy making it great if you are looking to make a long hike. Due to their great stature, the dogs can even make you feel safer when you are with them along the trails.
Walking with your dog
Before you move out of the house, there are a number of things to put into consideration. First off, even when you have chosen the toughest dog breed for your walk, you will need to bring a first aid kit. You also need you have a tick spray that is safe to dogs to spray out bugs. You need to carry enough water for you and your dog; you might not come across fresh water during your walk yet the dog needs to stay hydrated all long the walk.
Having a dog that loves an outdoor experience is an added advantage for you. While you walk, you get to exercise and at the same time bond with your dog.
Dog Backpacking Essentials
If you only take strolls around your neighborhood, you only need to have a dog leash and you are good to go. If, however, you go walking along forest trails and may end up camping, you will need more than a leash. Besides the essentials you will pack for your hike, ensure that you pack for your dog the following items:
- A leash
- An insulated jacket or fleece
- A cooling jacket to keep them protected from the hot sun while you walk
- Carry bells and lights to track your dog especially at night. Also ensure the dog has an ID tag just in case you get separated in the woods
- A first aid kit, ensure you have all needed first aid kit contents for paw care
- Carry a few toys for your dog to distract it when you do something different during the walk
- Carry poop bags and trowel to leave the trail clean
- Carry extra foods and treats
- Have a special bowl and bladder for your dog
- Carry for them their sleeping accessories for use in the tent
The good thing is that these are items the dog can carry on its back; they do not add your luggage. Just ensure you do not carry any unnecessary items so the dog does not get so tired.
Which dog breed should you choose?
With all dog breeds listed above, and there might be other strong breeds out there, you might be spoilt for choice. Any of the breeds is great for an outdoor experience; you can pick one based on availability and adaptability to the prevailing weather in the area you will be walking.
Most of the breeds can survive in the rain and water but a few can’t. Some were bred to survive in icy environments and others in very hot environment. A dog that can survive the weather can survive the walk.
Do you have access to all these dog breeds or you will have to order some from neighboring countries?
It is important that you pick a dog you can easily buy from your neighborhood. This way, you know the dog has already been accustomed to your neighborhood weather and you do not have to wait for days for it to be delivered.