What Are The Best Dogs For Running And Hiking?

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There are plenty of people that enjoy spending their time exploring the outdoors, running or hiking on steep trails and rough terrain.

Many of these active individuals would benefit greatly from having a canine companion to take with them – making memories and spending their time adventuring together.

Are you one of them?

By Allison Salonko.

Allison is a Veterinary Technician in the state of Indiana. She graduated from International Business College and Vet Tech Institute of Indianapolis with a degree in Animal Science and Technology in 2011.

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But, what breeds are best for this type of active lifestyle? Well, if you’re wondering this question, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to find my top 5 recommended dog breeds that just LOVE going long distances, running and hiking with you!

What Traits Should You Look For In A Canine Hiking Partner?

Before you start looking for that perfect dog, let’s talk about the physical and personality traits that you should be seeking out.


You need a dog that is lean and built for stamina and hours of activity.

Response to commands 

Having a dog breed that will listen and follow commands is crucial for everyone’s safety when on the trail.


Dogs that show aggression towards people or small animals are a risk to everyone’s safety when on running or hiking trails.

Good for any weather 

Not all breeds are well-suited to certain weather.

Huskies and densely-coated dogs are at risk for overheating during the hotter months.

#1 Rhodesian Ridgeback

This breed is powerful, lean and athletic.

Originally bred in Africa to protect homesteads from lions and other dangerous predators, this breed is incredibly athletic and strong.

They are intelligent and have a great aptitude for training and commands.

Your Rhodesian Ridgeback will surely impress you with their hours of stamina and determined physical endurance.

Even with their laid back personalities, they are affectionate and sweet with their families and love spending their time being active with their owners.

#2 German Short-Haired Pointer

The German Short-Haired Pointer is another lean and athletic breed.

They take well to off-leash training and are very good at learning commands and listening to their owners due to their hunting nature.

They make an excellent hiking companion thanks to their hours of endurance and attentiveness to their owners.

These dogs are bred for hunting for long hours in various different climates and terrains, making a wonderful choice for a hiking trail companion or running partner!

#3 Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a highly intelligent and trainable breed of dog.

They have stamina that can last hours as they were bred for herding sheep through various situations and terrains.

Not only do they excel at most jobs that they put their minds to, but they are also impressive agility and obedience dogs.

Regardless of their smaller and less muscular stature compared to the Rhodesian Ridgeback or GSP, they are always prepared and eager for hours of activity and a lengthy run or hike.

#4 Weimaraner

This breed of dog is sleek and lean, with an athletic build and body that can go for hours on a long run or hiking trail. They are a natural hunting dog, bred to spend hours working alongside their owners.

This loyal and fun-loving breed is truly built for speed and stamina, making an ideal partner and companion to take on long hikes or runs through the neighborhood.

The Weimaraner can be an intense and difficult to handle dog if they are not properly trained and socialized.

However, they are an excellent companion when trained appropriately.

#5 Vizsla

A lesser known breed of dog is the Vizsla.

They are strong and beautiful with a slight resemblance to the Rhodesian Ridgeback, except minus the distinct ridge associated with the breed.

These athletic and lean canines are well-equipped for long distance running, intense hiking trails and most active situations.

The Vizsla is strong and built for activity.

They can be nervous and timid around other people and animals, so it would be good to have them socialized and trained on-leash before bringing them onto a trail.

Picking That Perfect Dog For Your Outdoor Adventures

Life is all about experiences and adventures, that’s why it’s so important to spend our time and energy on activities in nature and traveling. As long as that’s your thing, of course!

If you’re one of those people that thrives in the outdoors, hiking up beautiful trails and seeing amazing views, then having a canine companion to take with you will make those experiences that much more rewarding.

Hopefully, this article has helped you feel more informed as you narrow down your search options.

That perfect hiking and running canine companion is out there for you somewhere!

Photo by Blue Bird.