August is a great time to enjoy the trails with your dog. The end of summer temperatures are mild enough for you both to enjoy a midday hike. Time in the open air can help us unplug from technology and bond with our pet companions. While there are no rules regarding breeds best-suited for hiking, we’ve compiled a list of the top five best breeds for hiking. Read on to see if your dog makes our list.
1. Labrador Retriever
There aren’t many things labs aren’t good at, and unsurprisingly, they make wonderful hiking companions too. Rugged, outdoorsy dogs, labs love going on adventures, have the bodies to tolerate tough terrain and personalities that make them quite well-behaved when you encounter other hikers and their dogs.
2. Siberian Husky
As long as the weather isn’t too warm, huskies are great companions on the trail and if it is cold enough to upset your husky, you should probably be indoors yourself. They’ve got energy for days, so they’ll view most of your hikes as warm-up sessions. Their hair can hide an army of ticks, so be sure to give your husky a good bath after every trip.
3. Australian Shepherd
Don’t worry whether or not your Australian shepherd will enjoy hiking – just be sure his leash is secure before you arrive at the trailhead, so she doesn’t leave you in the dust. The combination of their adventurous spirit, incredible energy and happy-go-lucky attitude makes them one of the best hiking companions one could desire. Additionally, despite hailing from Australia, these herding dogs are reasonably tolerant of both hot temperatures and cold climates.
4. Border Collie
Border collies are smart, agile and capable dogs that love to run – what more could you want in a good hiking dog? Most border collies are a bit sensitive, so you’ll want to make sure your dog feels confident out on the trail, so it probably pays to start introducing your pup to the trail from a relatively young age. Border collies will eye-stalk just about anything and everything that moves, but they have a relatively low prey drive, which helps prevent them from dragging you through the forest in pursuit of squirrels, chipmunks and birds.
5. Australian Cattle Dog
Australian cattle dogs are better suited for hiking than you are. They are often a bit much for first-time dog owners, but most experienced puppy parents will find them easy to train and eager to please. Like their shepherd brethren who also hail from the outback, Australian cattle dogs are surprisingly capable of enduring both warm and chilly temperatures. Simply put, few dogs are as well-suited for accompanying you as you travel over the river and through the woods.