10 Best Dog Breeds for Hiking

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is the world’s most popular dog, and for a good reason. This large, versatile breed does it all and is ready to learn. Labrador Retrievers also do well off-leash, which is a plus when hiking off the beaten path.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs might not look like they are suited to a lot of exercise, due to their size, but hiking is right up their alley. Bernese Mountain Dogs are best for hiking technical trails with a lot of elevation change, due to their unique ability to scale mountains.  

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs are athletic animals due to their working history. Although the breed is fairly rare, its closest relative is the Standard Poodle, which gives insight into the Portuguese Water Dog’s intelligence and athleticism.  


Beagles are the perfect hiking partners because they are always excited for an adventure. Although not well-suited for off-leash hikes, beagles are hardy and versatile.  

Golden Retriever

Like the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever is athletic and eager to please. This dog will happily join the family wherever it goes, including camping and hiking. 


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Great Pyrenees

Like the Bernese Mountain Dog, many people don’t often think of Great Pyrenees dogs as athletic. However, they are uniquely suited to climbing and hiking and indeed would be happiest blazing their own trail.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are skilled hunters that originated in South Africa.  As a relatively new breed, these dogs maintained many of the same traits for which hunters revere them.  As such, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are exceptional athletes that are well-suited to all outdoor activities.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Although some may find these dogs intimidating in appearance, American Staffordshire Terriers are among the gentlest of animals – as well as exceptionally athletic.


Brittany spaniels have been bred specifically for waterfowl hunting. As such, they have plenty of stamina, a willingness to please, and an adventurous spirit.


Dalmatians are often an underrated dog when it comes to outdoor activities, which is surprising due to their original purpose of running alongside fire trucks. This breed makes for great hiking partners because they always have the energy to burn, and are easy to spot if they wander too far away!

Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.

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