A Border Collie in the mountains

A Border Collie in the mountains (Photo by Sheila Swayze on Unsplash)

Hiking though the beauty of the great outdoors is an absolute joy for adventurers of all ages. For some of these people, the addition of a faithful dog can greatly enhance the experience. Exploring the nation’s tremendous natural beauty with a canine companion can be a new and rewarding way to find the best vistas and most beautiful landscapes. Our list of the best adventure dog breeds shares some information about America’s favorite pets for outdoor excursions.

A recent study believes it has answered the age-old question: do people really care more about dogs than cats? According to researchers from the University of Copenhagen, the answer is… yes! Pet owners feel that cats are independent while they get more love from their pups. They also perceive felines as caring less about them and needing less care in return compared to man’s best friend.

For many dog owners, part of the appeal is having a companion for hiking, camping, and fun at the park. For these types of dog owners, going to dog parks can become a routine. On average, people take their pets to the park about four times a week. Thirty-two percent of canines love the freedom of roaming around without a leash, 25 percent enjoy meeting other dogs, and 12 percent enjoy just cooling off in the water.

Some dog breeds crave time outdoors with their favorite humans. A combination of endurance, curious intellect, and an infectious level of enthusiasm make certain breeds more amenable to an adventure in nature. Thanks to the recommendations of ten pet experts, StudyFinds has put together a list of the best adventure dog breeds. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

woman with dog standing on edge of cliff facing forest and mountain
A woman and her dog hiking in a mountain forest (Photo by Ryan Stone on Unsplash)

The List: Best Adventure Dog Breeds, According to Experts

1. Alaskan Malamute

white dog standing on rock during daytime
Alaskan Malamute standing on rock during daytime (Photo by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash)

These large dogs have great fun on outdoor treks. Though it should be noted that due to their thick coats, they tend to be better suited for wintertime and cold-weather adventures. According to BeChewy, Alaskan Malamutes are friendly and very devoted to their owners. The also like to be trained and aren’t afraid to give their opinions on how to perform commands.

This particular breed of dog comes from a “tough winter climate in Alaska,” notes Greenfield Puppies. Alaskan Malamutes, bred to pull sleds, are built for tough adventures and love exercising outdoors. They also love playing in the snow, so best of luck trying to get them back inside the house.

These dogs go from playful puppies into large workers, says The Manual. Even though they love to work, they are also fond of snuggling. Alaskan Malamutes, though, do need to be taught that they don’t run the house or they will try to become the alpha dog.

2. Border Collie

Brown and white Border Collie
Brown and white Border Collie (Photo by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash)

Border Collies are notoriously intelligent. This, coupled with vast energy reserves, can make them great hiking and exploration partners. These dogs love both the summer or winter, so they love being outdoors constantly, notes Daily Paws.

Border Collies were initially bred as a sheepdog. They love to run, so you better be sure to stay in shape if you’re bringing this dog breed into your house, says Get Set Pet.

These dogs love going on adventures, so if you want to stay active, Border Collies will keep you going like the Energizer Bunny, according to Airpets.

3. Standard Poodle

black short coat large dog on green grass field
Prancing poodle (Photo by Kieran Wood on Unsplash)

Standard Poodles are strong dogs that have good tolerance for many types of weather conditions. They are also energetic and can make for enthusiastic companions outdoors. Poodles came from Germany and were initially bred for duck-retrieving, according to Matador Network. These pups have an incredibly high stamina and can swim extremely well. Their coat also insulates its body from cold water.

Poodles are “misunderstood and maligned,” as Men’s Journal writes, mainly because this breed is now popular in dog shows. Their poofy and ridiculous-looking hair can give off bad vibes to the rest of the public.

Since Poodles love the water, they’re great dogs to take to lakes or the beach. Airpets says, these dogs love getting wet and making their way around rough terrain, so they’ll have a grand time wherever they are outdoors.

4. Siberian Husky

black and white siberian husky on boat on lake during daytime
Siberian husky puppy (Photo by Jordy Chapman on Unsplash)

Siberian Huskies evoke an image of a sled team crossing the frosty tundra and can be very talkative when they want to voice their opinion. These active pups need a lot of exercise, making them great hiking companions. They also can handle cold weather, so you don’t need to worry about them being outdoors, notes iHeartDogs claims.

This dog breed came from Russia, initially bred to pull sleds in the snow, reports Men’s Journal. They have become very popular house pets, as they’re not very aggressive.

They’re “eye-catching looks” captures everyone’s attention, according to Airpets. Siberian Huskies are a classic northern dog that loves to run around in the cold.

5. Bernese Mountain Dog

black, tan, and white dog resting on snow covered land
Bernese mountain dog in the snow (Photo by Anastasiia Tarasova on Unsplash)

These famous mountain dogs are strong and capable. When coupled with a thoughtful trainer, Bernese Mountain Dogs can become great adventurers. According to Nationwide Pet Health Zone, these canines can go on long distance hikes in cold temperatures. These affectionate dogs are also very agile for being so big.

Bernese Mountain Dogs originally came from Bern, Switzerland, as a general farm dog. The American Kennel Club recognizes these pups as part of the “working group.” The Manual notes these pets make welcome additions for families who love being outdoors.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are very intelligent, calm, and make fantastic hiking partners, reports Daily Paws. They absolutely thrive outdoors in colder climates.

6. Labrador Retriever

a close up of a dog with a red collar
Labrador Retriever (Photo by Stephen Bellocillo on Unsplash)

One of America’s most beloved breeds, Labrador Retrievers can make a great trail buddy. They seem happy just to hang out no matter what the plans are. Labs love going on outdoor adventures and are very agile, intelligent, playful and energetic, notes Nationwide Pet Health Zone. Fun activities to do with Labs include camping, sailing, or hiking.

Labs were initially bred to retrieve from lakes and rivers. They’re easy to train as it’s led by its stomach, so make sure to have plenty of Scooby snacks around. According to Get Set Pet, these dogs have thick coats, making them able to withstand cold weather.

Labrador Retrievers have been America’s most popular dog for the last 26 yearsMen’s Journal calls Labs “an all-round awesome dog,” since they’re athletic, gentle, loyal and great with children.

7. Rhodesian Ridgeback

brown short coated dog on green grass field during daytime
Rhodesian Ridgeback (Photo by Ilona Frey on Unsplash)

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were originally hunting dogs. Though they do well on a hike or at the beach, Ridgebacks continue to make for excellent hunting companions. Ridgebacks were bred to work long hours, according to iHeartDogs, so they love to go hiking and backpacking outdoors with their owners.

Ridgebacks initially hunted lions in South Africa, and later became used for hiking and mountain climbing, reports Get Set Pet. They are also great tracking dogs due to their excellent sense of smell.

These pups are extremely athletic and make excellent guard dogs, notes The Manual. However, first-time dog owners might want to steer clear of Ridgebacks, as they can require a lot of work and training to be properly socialized.


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About Alan Corona

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  1. Glenys says:

    Hi there, thanks for sharing, I have had Borders for over 25 ýears, am very active, always with my buddy , Milliepied. Yes I’m a senior ,hi ND bye

  2. Amber says:

    The photo that you have representing an Alaskan Malamute is a wolf.

  3. Robert Littlefield says:

    If you update your list, you should definitely add Queensland Heelers. Go anywhere all around Fun Pups.

  4. Jewel Starner says:

    I always wanted aBorder collie ,I got beautiful a black and white,most caring loving dog and what a protector !