Summer is the perfect time to start hiking again, but who wants to hike alone? Everyone’s so busy these days; it can sometimes make you wonder how you ever got the time to get together with your friends and hike in the past. Yet here you are, with time to do so yet again, and nobody to accompany you… or is there? There’s one friend of yours who is always ready for an adventure, and that friend isn’t a human at all – it’s your dog. Indeed, dogs are the perfect hiking companions!
Some dog breeds are better than others when it comes to hiking, however. An English bulldog, for example, has little interest in going uphill and then downhill several miles; a tendency towards hip dysplasia and generally just a great love of chilling out and taking a nap. No, what you want is a dog that is able to really keep up with you and tackle the hike with great zest. Some breeds, in fact, are ideal for exactly that…
1. Bernese Mountain Dog
With a name like “Mountain Dog” it’s hard not to imagine that this is the perfect hiking companion. The Bernese Mountain Dog is absolutely huge, bred to pull cards and function as working dogs on a farm. Their strength and stamina make hiking a breeze for them – and actually quite enjoyable to boot. They are also quite affectionate and very intelligent, which makes the great trail companions!
2. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was, yes, bred to hunt lions in Africa – that’s right, these dogs were crafted over the course of hundreds of generations to hunt down the king of the jungle. As such, they have a special love of rough terrain and the wilderness, and are often called the Navy SEALS of the canine world. With their high tolerance for heat and their great physical capability, they are great fun to have on a hike!
3. Portuguese Water Dog
While some choose to hike in the mountains or through the forest, if you like to hike near water, then the aptly named Portuguese Water Dog is for you. They herded fish into nets, dove into the water to retrieve their owner’s lures and tackle, and even served as messengers between ships. The like to stay within sight of their owners, which is something that any hiker-with-a-dog will appreciate, given how scary it can be to see your dog disappear into the wilds for even a moment!
There are many other dogs that would be great on a hike, but if you’re a serious hiker and considering getting a dog – consider these breeds especially!