13 Large Dog Breeds Good For Hiking

Discover the best large dog breeds good for hiking that match your adventurous spirit. Get set for trails with a loyal, energetic companion by your side.

Best Large Dog breeds Good For Hiking (1)

Embarking on a hiking adventure feel more complete when you’ve got a furry friend by your side.

Especially if your companion is one of the large dog breeds good for hiking.

If you’re in search of the best large dog breeds for outdoor activities, you’re in luck.

Some breeds stand out as exceptional hiking companions.

Combining an affinity for the outdoors with impressive endurance.

Whether you’re a seasoned trekker or just starting to explore nature’s trails.

There’s an active dog breed for hiking that’s eager to join you on your journey.

What Makes A Good Hiking Dog?

When you’re on the hunt for the perfect hiking partner, certain characteristics are non-negotiable.

You want a trail companion that is not only willing but thrives when out in the wilderness.

Dog breeds suited for hiking are typically those with high energy, robust stamina, and an innate love for the wild.

Beyond a joyful disposition towards the outdoors, a good hiking companion is one that has endurance.

Herding dogs, for example, bring their legacy of constant movement and vigilance.

Perfect traits for a dog that will keep up with you over long distances.

The same applies to breeds with a history of pulling sleds or hunting.

Their lineage has equipped them with an exceptional level of stamina necessary for a solid day of hiking.

Large dog breeds that are good for long walks (1)

A good hiking dog flourishing with regular exercise is also social and adaptable, able to enjoy the great outdoors in rain or shine.

  • High energy levels for active days on the trail
  • Endurance to sustain long hikes
  • Social personality, comfortable around people and other dogs
  • Adaptable to various weather conditions
  • Enjoys regular exercise and maintaining peak physical condition

Before setting out, you need to assess whether your pup has the energy and stamina required for the trek.

This isn’t just about the breed, but the individual dog’s health and fitness level as well.

If you’re ready to invest in a lifelong hiking partner, consider the breeds that historically spent their days working alongside humans in expansive outdoor settings.

These are your prototypical outdoor dog breeds for hiking.

BreedEnergy LevelStaminaSuitability for Long HikesAdaptability to Weather
Australian ShepherdHighExcellentOutstandingGood in Moderate Climates
Border CollieHighOutstandingExcellent for Long DistancesGood in Varying Climates
Labrador RetrieverHighVersatileGreat CompanionWell-suited for Most Conditions
Alaskan MalamuteModerateHighGood for Rugged TerrainExcellent in Cold Weather

Remember, a well-chosen hiking dog means someone who can match your pace.

As well as share your enthusiasm, and bring joy to every outdoor adventure.

Whether you’re tackling steep slopes or cruising on gentle pathways.

Having the right furry friend by your side enhances the experience immeasurably.

With these aspects in mind, you can find an outdoor dog breed for hiking.

One that provides not just companionship but an unwavering, tail-wagging motivation to explore.

The 13 Best Large Dog Breeds Good For Hiking

German Shepherd

If you’re considering a canine companion for your outdoor excursions, the German Shepherd is a breed that stands out.

Esteemed as one of the most well-rounded working dogs.

These canines come with an abundance of high energy.

Making them well suited for long hours of activity.

This makes them more than just pets.

They’re partners capable of matching every stride on your hiking trail with vigor.

German Shepherds make excellence hiking dogs (1)

Beyond their physical capabilities, German Shepherds are also incredibly smart.

Their intelligence and eagerness to learn make them highly trainable.

This is why they excel in various roles including those in police, military, and service sectors.

This trainability translates to the trails, where a German Shepherd’s obedience is a critical factor for a safe and enjoyable hike.

  • Exceptional endurance for extended adventures
  • Intelligence that ensures quick learning of commands and trail etiquette
  • An innate instinct to protect, providing an extra layer of safety
German Shepherd CharacteristicsYour Hiking Benefit
High Energy and EnduranceAble to hike for longer periods without tiring
Protective InstinctsServes as a vigilant guard during your outdoor activities
Strong Work EthicKeeps focused on the task, whether it’s following the trail or carrying a pack
Adaptability and IntelligenceCan navigate diverse terrains and respond well to unexpected situations

Ultimately, when you set out with a German Shepherd by your side, you’re not just taking a pet for a walk in the wilderness.

You’re embarking on a journey with a working dog heralded for its high energy and ability to engage in long hours of activity without faltering.

A true manifestation of partnership on every trail.

Labrador Retriever

If you’re searching for a furry companion with a zest for the great outdoors, the Labrador Retriever is an outstanding choice.

Known for their high energy, these dogs are not only affectionate and loyal.

They embody the adventurous spirit that makes them a great choice for outdoor hiking.

Labradors have a natural preference to love spending time outdoors.

A Labrador retriever sitting on leaves on a long hike (1)

This makes every trip to nature an engaging and exciting adventure for both of you.

  • Labrador Retrievers possess an inherent love for water and playing fetch, which can add a layer of fun to your outdoor excursions.
  • They display an impressive capacity for learning and responding to commands, which is essential for safety on trickier terrains.
  • Their sociable nature means they’re great at making human and canine friends along the trail.

As you plan your next hiking trip, envisage the thrill of your Labrador Retriever.

Eagerly wagging its tail, ready to explore each new trail with you.

The boundless enthusiasm of a Lab can indeed rejuvenate your own experience of the wilderness.

Remember, the energy level of Labrador Retrievers requires a commitment to regular exercise.

Hiking is not just a leisurely activity for this breed; it’s a much-needed outlet to channel their exuberance.

So lace up your boots, grab the leash, and get ready for memorable outdoor adventures with your Lab.

The ideal hiking companion with a heart as grand as the landscapes you’ll traverse together.

Golden Retriever

If you’re a hiker with an active lifestyle, you understand the importance of having a companion that shares your love for the outdoors.

The Golden Retriever is not only an affectionate companion but also one that has the energy and stamina to keep up with your adventures.

Known for their friendly disposition.

Golden Retrievers make great hiking buddies.

Joining you with zeal on the trails and providing steadfast company.

A Golden retriever is excellent for hiking due to its stamina (1)

As an owner of this golden-furred friend, you’ll find their trainability to be a significant asset.

Their intelligence means that they can follow hiking commands and safety cues.

Ensuring a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

Plus, with their sociability, you won’t have to worry about interactions with other hikers or fellow canine explorers.

  • Eager to please and easy to train, ideal for obedience on the trail.
  • Robust physicality, perfect for varied terrains and long distances.
  • Affectionate nature, providing emotional support during challenging treks.
  • Highly social, fostering friendly encounters with other hikers and dogs.

Golden Retrievers thrive on activity and can be the perfect motivation for you to get out and explore.

They don’t just enhance the hiking experience with their companionship; they also promote a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Whether it’s a brisk morning hike or a challenging mountain trek.

Your Golden Retriever will be ready, wagging their tail with the same excitement and vigor that matches your own.

Bernese Mountain Dog

When you think of the perfect companion for long hikes in cold weather, the Bernese Mountain Dog should certainly come to mind.

These gentle giants were originally bred for rugged terrain.

They are formidable hiking partners who thrive in environments many other breeds may find challenging.

A Bernese MountainDog on a long walk (1)

Their impressive lineage as working dogs in the chilly, demanding Swiss Alps has equipped the Bernese Mountain Dog with not only a lush, insulating coat.

But also with the strength and endurance needed for challenging ascents and variable climates.

If you’re setting out for an adventure in the mountains or any outdoor trail where conditions can turn brisk, your Bernese will feel right at home.

  • Remarkably strong, capable of navigating rough paths with ease
  • Adaptable to changing elevations and weather patterns
  • Warm, thick coat provides natural protection against colder temperatures
  • Affable temperament makes them great hiking companions for any group or family

A breed that loves to be part of the action.

Bernese Mountain Dogs will ensure you have a steadfast friend at your side on every outdoor endeavor.

Their hearty nature, built over generations for the outdoors, makes them the ultimate ally for exploring nature’s grandeur.

From their powerful build to their amiable personalities.

You’ll find that the Bernese Mountain Dog is not just a pet, but a true partner for all your long hikes and outdoor adventures.

Australian Shepherds

If you’re seeking a dog that embodies the spirit of the outdoors, the Australian Shepherd should be at the top of your list.

This breed is recognized not only for its role as one of the most diligent herding dogs.

But also for its matchless suitability to an active lifestyle.

Australian Shepherds are naturally athletic and agile.

This makes them a great choice for hiking enthusiasts like you.

An Australian Cattle Dog On A Long Walk (1)

The breed is well-loved for its friendly demeanor.

Ensuring a pleasant trail experience for both dog and owner.

Their impressive agility is not just for show.

It translates into superior capability in navigating the diverse terrains you are likely to encounter during your outdoor adventures.

When it comes to companionship on your hikes, Australian Shepherds offer the best of intelligence and athleticism.

  • Athletic Build: Perfect for challenging hikes with various elevations and rugged landscapes.
  • High Stamina: Can keep pace with you during the most demanding trails.
  • Intelligent: Quick learners and eager to take commands which are essential for safety outdoors.
  • Social: Naturally friendly, making them great trail companions for group hiking excursions.

Not only are Australian Shepherds well-equipped for outdoor adventures, but they also excel in dog sports, including agility—a testament to their versatile physicality.

Whether it’s a steep ascent or a lengthy flat trail.

Your Australian Shepherd will be right by your side, full of energy and ready for the next challenge.

EnduranceSuitable for long, challenging hikes
AgilityCan easily maneuver through difficult terrains
LoyaltyStays by your side, keeping you company and safe
TrainabilityResponds well to commands, great for off-leash hiking

Whether you’re tackling a mountain hike or a casual walk in the park, an Australian Shepherd can adapt to both with ease.

Their friendly and athletic nature makes them the ideal partner for anyone with an affinity for the great outdoors.


Picture yourself traversing a sprawling forest or climbing a rugged hill with a Weimaraner by your side.

Originally bred as hunting dogs.

These graceful animals are incredibly well suited for long hours of activity.

This makes them exemplary hiking partners.

Their elegant gait and keen senses enhance the experience of each outing.

Weimaraners are not just pets.

They’re loyal and energetic hiking partners whose company on any trail is both comforting and invigorating.

Weimaraner on a long walk, sat in long grass (1)

Whether you’re planning a swift morning hike or a full day’s trek, Weimaraners are up to the task.

Equipped with a natural affinity for the outdoors and a body built for stamina.

They relish the challenge and joy of the outdoor lifestyle.

As loyal and energetic companions, Weimaraners will keep pace with you, offering both protection and pleasure.

  1. Remarkable Stamina: With a heritage deeply rooted in hunting, a Weimaraner has the endurance needed for extended outdoor adventures.
  2. Loyal Companionship: Their devotion to their owner makes them attentive and responsive partners on any hiking trail.
  3. Unmatched Enthusiasm: A Weimaraner’s love for activity means they’re always eager to explore new terrain alongside you.

The qualities that define a Weimaraner go beyond physical endurance.

They are intelligent, trainable, and possess a surprisingly gentle demeanor that endears them to hikers of all levels.

Consider what this breed can bring to your outdoor explorations:

TraitBenefitHiking Scenario
AgilityAbility to navigate challenging terrainCrossing uneven paths and obstacles
SpeedKeeps up with brisk pacesKeeping momentum on long stretches
Friendly DemeanorMakes outdoor adventures a joyInteracting with other hikers and dogs
Protective NatureOffers a sense of securityRemote areas with potential wildlife encounters

In essence, your Weimaraner is more than just a pet.

They are companions who infuse energy, loyalty, and joy into every hiking journey.

Their incredible adaptability to both brief excursions and long hours on the trail ensures that, regardless of your hiking ambitions, your Weimaraner will be ready and excited to accompany you every step of the way.

Alaskan Malamute

Embarking on an adventure through the snow-clad landscapes?

You’ll find the Alaskan Malamute as a steadfast partner revered for their strength and affinity for cold weather.

Alaskan Malamute is an excellent dog for hiking (1)

Look no further when selecting a four-legged companion for those long distance hikes.

This working dog breed boasts a glorious past of pulling sleds.

Ensuring they can handle the rigors of winter treks with ease.

Not only are they well-equipped for the physical demands of the outdoors.

Alaskan Malamutes are also a great choice for hikes due to their social and playful nature.

They relish the opportunity to engage in activities with their owners.

Their durable coat offers insulation against the chill, making any expedition an enjoyable experience.

Endurance for Long DistancesPerfect for extended hikes, they can traverse vast stretches without tire.
Cold ToleranceA bushy coat protects against frigid temperatures.
Strength to Pull WeightAble to assist with carrying supplies or even recreational sled pulling.
Jovial DispositionMakes a friendly and enjoyable companion on any trail.
Working Dog HeritageInstinctively good at following commands and understanding tasks during excursions.

As your journey weaves through the hushed pines and over the frozen brooks.

Your Alaskan Malamute is more than a pet.

They’re a reliable co-adventurer, infused with the spirit of the northern wilderness.

Through fresh snowfalls and crisp air, cherish the company of a breed that defines the essence of partnership in cold climates.

One that refuses to back down in the face of a challenge.

So, lace up your boots, pack your gear, and unleash the potential of a lifetime of adventures alongside an Alaskan Malamute.

German Shorthaired Pointer

When you’re seeking a canine companion that embodies the spirit of adventure and resilience, the German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP) is a breed that stands out.

Originating as versatile hunting dogs.

These energetic canines have adapted seamlessly to the demands of modern outdoor activities.

If you love to tackle rugged terrains with a companion by your side, a GSP might just be the perfect match for you.

Known for their high levels of activity and zealous disposition.

A German Shorthaired Pointer on a long walk (1)

German Shorthaired Pointers are not just energetic; they are also friendly and obedient.

This makes them excellent hiking partners.

They have a remarkable ability to traverse challenging landscapes with ease.

This means that you can confidently take on steep inclines and uneven paths with these alert and agile dogs.

  • Their short, dense coat is well-suited for different weather conditions, offering protection without the burden of heavy grooming.
  • As former hunting dogs, their instincts provide them with enviable navigation skills and alertness, helpful in outdoor scenarios.
  • GSPs are immensely friendly, ensuring a harmonious journey with fellow hikers and animals you might encounter.
  • Their inherent obedience is a testament to their trainability, essential for off-leash adventures where control is paramount.

If you’re enthusiastic about maintaining an on-the-go lifestyle with a loyal four-legged friend, consider the German Shorthaired Pointer.

A breed that’s not just good for hunting but exceptional for embracing the vast expanse of nature’s playground.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

When you’re searching for a canine companion to match your zeal for the great outdoors, the Rhodesian Ridgeback naturally stands out.

Bred for the challenging terrains of Africa to track down large game.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have evolved as the quintessential hunting dogs with an indefatigable spirit.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback on a hike (1)

They don’t just have the stamina for long walks; they thrive on them.

Demanding the sort of rigorous activity that will keep even the most active families constantly on the move.

  • High Energy: These dogs are natural athletes, with a vigor that props up your hiking pace and encourages you to press on further and explore more.
  • Stamina for Long Walks: Their robust constitution allows them to handle extended periods of exercise, making them the ideal pick for those day-long treks.
  • Affection for the Pack: Though they might present a reserved demeanor with strangers, Ridgebacks are deeply affectionate towards their family, forming an integral unit on any adventure.
  • Great for Active Families: If your family’s routine features regular outdoor jaunts, a Rhodesian Ridgeback’s liveliness perfectly complements your lifestyle.

As you consider bringing a Rhodesian Ridgeback into your life, picture the journeys ahead.

Wide-open spaces conquered with your new companion at the helm.

Their sleek form cutting through the wilderness with purposeful stride.

Active families looking for a pup that can keep up need not look further.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback doesn’t just accompany you on hikes—they elevate the experience.

Siberian Husky

If you’re seeking a four-legged partner that embodies the spirit of the great outdoors, the Siberian Husky may just be the perfect fit for your adventuring needs.

Notorious for their ability to thrive in cold weather.

These working dogs are more than just stunning to look at with their striking eyes and thick fur coats.

They’re a powerhouse of high endurance and stamina.

A Siberian huskey is an excellent large dog breed for hiking (1)

Let’s delve into the qualities that make Huskies the ideal mountain dog for your most ambitious hikes.

  • Their ancestral role in pulling sleds over arduous terrains has ingrained a remarkable endurance in Huskies, allowing them to traverse challenging trails with ease.
  • Huskies boast a thick double coat, designed to protect them against freezing temperatures, making them well-equipped for expeditions in cooler climates.
  • Their social and amiable nature turns each hike into a delightful journey, as they often exhibit a pleasant disposition towards both their human companions and fellow canines they meet on the trail.
  • Far more than just pets, Huskies are companions, protectors, and tireless workers all rolled into one resilient breed with the tenacity to keep up on long, mountainous excursions.

Let’s compare some key attributes that highlight the Siberian Husky’s suitability as your next hiking buddy.

Climate AdaptabilityHuskies excel in cold environments and their coat offers insulating protection.
Energy & EnduranceThey have a natural predisposition to stay active and energized over long periods.
Social DispositionFriendly with people and other dogs, Huskies enhance the social aspect of hiking.
Work HistoryOriginating as sled dogs, they have the stamina to navigate rough, mountainous terrain.

It’s clear that the Siberian Husky is not just a companion but a guide and guardian through the wilderness.

Truly built for the adventurer at heart.

With their unparalleled zest for life and the great outdoors, a Husky can turn any routine hike into an extraordinary exploration of nature’s wonders.

Portuguese Water Dog

If you have an outdoor adventurous spirit and love spending time outdoors, the Portuguese Water Dog might just be your ideal trail partner.

Known for their robust energy and eager demeanor.

These dogs embody the essence of an intelligent and active hiking companion.

With their history deeply anchored in outdoor activities.

They’ve evolved to become perfect sidekicks for any nature enthusiast.

A Portuguese water dog on a walk in a field (1)

The unique attributes of the Portuguese Water Dog position them as more than just pets.

They are comrades in adventure, sharing every stride with exuberance.

Here’s what you can expect when taking this spirited breed along on your hiking journeys:

  • An innate affinity for water and swimming, offering delightful breaks and cooling off sessions during your treks.
  • A boundless enthusiasm for exploring, ensuring that every outing is filled with excitement.
  • An unyielding stamina that matches even the most challenging trails.

Below is a more detailed breakdown of what makes these dogs top-tier companions for the outdoors:

CharacteristicBenefitAdventure Impact
Adaptability to Different EnvironmentsThrives in both land and aquatic settingsAllows for diverse hiking experiences
Social and Affectionate NatureGreat for group hikes and family outingsEnhances the social joy of hiking
Intelligence and TrainabilityEasy to teach trail etiquette and commandsMakes for a reliable and controlled hiking experience
Endurance and AgilityCan handle long distances and varied terrainsMakes even rugged adventures feasible

Combining a love for adventure with the dutiful loyalty of a working breed.

The Portuguese Water Dog goes beyond just a pet.

They become a pivotal part of your trekking tales.

So, as you gear up for your next outdoor excursion, consider the Portuguese Water Dog as your four-legged companion who will eagerly join in, every step of the way.

The Versatile Standard Poodle

When you think of a hiking dog, the Standard Poodle might not be the first breed that comes to mind.

It’s time to reconsider.

With their intelligent minds and large-sized builds.

A Standard poodle makes an excellent hiking companion (1)

Standard Poodles are not only obedient and easy to train but also exhibit a surprising zest for outdoor activities.

Whether you’re traversing a forest trail or climbing a hill.

These dogs are agile and full of stamina, making them great for outdoor activities and fantastic hiking partners.

Standard Poodle CharacteristicsBenefits For Hiking
IntelligenceQuick to learn commands and trail etiquette
Large-sized BuildIdeal size for navigating different terrains
ObedienceReliable and responsive to owner’s directions
Agility and StaminaAble to keep up on long hikes and handle obstacles
Affable NatureGood social behavior with other hikers and pets

Despite their posh reputation, Standard Poodles thrive when they engage in physically demanding activities.

Their traditional use in hunting and retrieving has equipped them with a level of athleticism.

One that is perfectly suited for the varied demands of hiking.

In fact, their endurance can often outlast many of their canine counterparts.

Making them great companions for those longer, more challenging trails that you may be eager to explore.

  1. Ensure your Poodle is well-socialized to adapt quickly to trail encounters.
  2. Keep your dog’s training consistent to maintain obedience on the trail.
  3. Include plenty of water and breaks, especially if your Poodle has a thicker coat.
  4. Check the weather – Standard Poodles can handle many climates, but it’s always best to be prepared.

So next time you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure, don’t overlook your furry, intelligent friend.

Standard Poodles are not only stylish but also make outstanding, obedient hiking dogs to accompany you.

With the right preparation, you and your Poodle will enjoy many happy trails together.


The Vizsla.

A hunting dog par excellence, radiating a magnetic blend of friendliness and vitality.

One that befits the most arduous of long-distance hiking pursuits.

This Hungarian breed is not only a companion but an embodiment of an active lifestyle.

One that elevates the hiking experience to new highs.

Gifted with an athletic build.

Vizslas are naturally inclined for exertion, transforming strenuous treks into joyful expeditions.

A Viszla dog out hiking (1)

These affectionate canines are forged by their hunting lineage to traverse vast distances.

Thriving on physical exertion that’s woven into their DNA.

As great hiking companions, they’ll match your steps, zeal, and even challenge you to push your limits further.

All while offering genuine affection as you embark on your shared journey across nature’s landscapes.

Their friendly demeanor extends beyond pleasantries.

Making Vizslas pivotal in forging a bond that resonates with camaraderie and mutual trust.

Through thickets and over crests, your Vizsla partner’s heart beats in tune with yours.

Steadfastly navigating the winding trails and steep ascents.

For those who share a zeal for an active lifestyle, the Vizsla emerges not just as a pet, but as a lifelong hiking buddy.

Fully equipped with the enthusiasm and endurance that outdoor adventures demand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Dog To Take Hiking?

The best dog for hiking is one with good endurance, obedience, and a love for the outdoors. Breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and Siberian Husky are excellent choices. They are energetic, enjoy physical activity, and can handle various terrains. Always consider the dog’s health, age, and fitness level when planning hikes.

Can Dogs Go On Big Hikes?

Yes, many dogs can go on big hikes, but it depends on the breed, age, health, and conditioning of the dog. Breeds with good endurance and physical capability are well-suited for longer hikes. Always start with shorter hikes to build their stamina, ensure they’re well-hydrated, and check for signs of fatigue or overheating.

Are Great Pyrenees Good Hiking Dogs?

Great Pyrenees can be good hiking companions for moderate trails, thanks to their endurance and protective nature. However, their heavy coat makes them more suited for cooler weather hikes. They may not be the best choice for very long or strenuous hikes, especially in warm climates, due to their size and risk of overheating. It’s important to consider the individual dog’s health, fitness level, and how well it can handle the specific conditions of the hike.

What Dogs Can Walk Long Distances?

Breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Border Collies, and Siberian Huskies are excellent for long-distance walking due to their high energy and endurance. These dogs are capable of handling extended walks, provided they are healthy and gradually conditioned for longer distances, ensuring a rewarding experience for both dog and owner.

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