Eleven Breeds that Make Great Adventure Partners.

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, with over 300 breeds, dogs can perform many different services to humans. Some sniff bombs, guide the deaf or blind, rescue people from avalanches, herd livestock, protect the home or hunt and retrieve. Some of these innate traits make them great adventure companions.

Siberian Huskies(@hikeformiles)

Huskies are fun-loving goofballs, who are very smart and love to explore. They are agile and light on their feet, weighing up to 60lbs a husky's size is greatly due to their thick coats. Required to work together as a pack to pull a sled, huskies typically get along well with other dogs as well as people. Bred to pull sleds long distances through the snow, they love to work hard. Whether you're hiking, biking, trail running or skijoring, they'll have no trouble keeping up. Be sure to keep them on leash, huskies love to run and have high prey drives which might just lead them far from home.

Australian Shepherds


Australian Shepherds or Aussie actually originated in the wild west but were bred from dogs brought over from Australia. They were used on farms, ranches, rodeos and horse shows, doing whatever needed to be done: rounding up cattle, loading horses into chutes and trailers, herding ducks, geese, sheep and goats, and fetching, carrying and pulling. They are incredibly hard working, motivated and intelligent. They are so good with kids that farmers have trusted them as babysitters, which makes them great adventure companions for the whole family. Aussies can be too smart for their own good as well as stubborn, therefore not ideal for first-time dog owners.

Labrador Retrieves


America's most popular dog also make one of the best adventure companions. They have great temperaments, are athletic, and great with kids. They are loyal and easy to train which makes them great off They love to fetch both on land and in the water and thanks to their short coats, they dry faster than Huskies or Aussie. They tend to tire more quickly than some breeds and are notoriously prone to hip problems. Try one of the many brands of Hip and Joint treats or add a Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplement to their meal.

Border Collie


Border Collies have an endless supply of energy, as well as are extremely agile. With their blend of speed and agility, they make great trail running partners or would just as gladly scramble up a mountainside. They are considered one of the most intelligent breeds and take directions well. Border Collies love to work and are eager to please their owner. With their combination of wit and drive, they require lots of mental and physical stimulation or may become destructive.

German Shepherd


German Shephard dogs are brave, athletic and loyal. Reasons that make them a favorite as police dogs, military and bomb-sniffing dogs also make them great hiking and camping partners. Their trifecta of bravery, strength, and loyalty ensures you'll be well protected no matter what you run into in the wilderness. They crave physical and mental stimulation and would easily keep up hiking, biking or climbing. Unfortunately, due to their breeding for show purposes, many of them have problems in their hind legs and spine which can cause pain and lameness as they get older.

Australian Cattle Dog


In 1825 farmers needed to move large herds of cattle thousands of miles from the country farmlands to the city markets. Sheepdogs being used at the time did not have the endurance to move this far. In 1840 George Hall had domesticated Dingos to complete this task, and by 1890 they were the standard droving dogs across Australia. Speed, agility, intelligence, and loyalty make them an all-around good adventure buddies. They are protective and can be wary of strangers and will be sure to alert you to others on the trail. They require constant mental and physical training or may develop unwanted behaviors such as digging, barking, chasing, chewing, nipping or defending of its territory.

Rhodesian Ridgeback


Originally bred to hunt lions in Africa, they are powerful, athletic but surprisingly gentle with humans. Their short low maintenance coat makes them ideal for warmer climates and can be a great running partner even in the middle of summer. This doesn't mean that they are opposed to colder climates and still enjoy a good winter hike, but may need a coat. Their bravery and endurance makes them good running partners for horses. They require a strong owner since they can be quite stubborn and often mischievous.



When most people think of poodles they think of frilly princess dogs, but they were actually bred in Germany to retrieve ducks from the water. Their name comes from the word Pudeln which means "to splash". They are whip-smart and have great speed which makes them great as running or cycling buddies. Their thick coats make them great for snowy conditions but they are fast enough to keep up beside you biking or running. Their coats require lots of grooming and they need lots of activity and playtime.



Originally bred as a hunting dog in Hungry, they thrive in the outdoors. Vizlas make great hiking companions due to their friendliness and desire to please their owner. Often referred to as Velcro Vizlas, their extraordinary loyalty and exceptional trainability make they are great off-leash. They're especially good as trail running partners as they have speed, endurance and are great at avoiding obstacles on the trail. They need lots of activity and training to ensure they do not become destructive and cannot be alone all day due to separation anxiety.

American Staffordshire Terr.


Pit Bulls get a bad rap but they are working hard as police dogs, PTSD/service dogs, Drug/Explosive Detection, S&R, therapy dogs and good old family pets. Pits are among the toughest breeds out there. They have natural drive, stamina and extreme need to please and protect their family. Their muscular, lean bodies make them great athletes and their love of snuggling will keep you warm through any camping trip. When looking to adopt a pit bull, pick one of the millions in the shelters, never from the internet or a pet store as dogs from backyard breeders and puppy mills are much more likely to have health and behavioral problems.



This list would not be complete without including mixes. Mutts make up fifty-three percent of all dogs in the US are mix-breed and 28 percent of hikers have a mix breed dog. They come in all shapes and personalities. They can have any of the traits of the other dogs on the list but often have less genetic problems due to more diverse genetics. Adopting a shelter pet means not only that you’ll save its life, but also a life of another animal which will come to its place and get a chance to find a family, too. Not only are you saving the lives of animals that might otherwise be put down, you're saving yourself financially. Shelter dogs are typically about $250 to adopt while pure-breeds cost $1250 on average. Shelters do their best to figure out the dominant breed(s) of a puppy, but sometimes you might end up with more (or less) than you bargained for when they are full grown.

With training, exercise and a nutritious diet, any dog can make a great adventure dog! What breed is your adventure buddy?

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