10 Adventurous Dog Breeds
Which Companion Excels Outdoors?
Looking to head into the great outdoors with a four-legged companion? Whether you’re into water sports or prefer exploring by land, you’re bound to find the perfect match on this list of adventurous dog breeds.
Tip: Before heading to an outdoor adventure for the first time with your dog, make sure he’s had a recent annual checkup and is in ideal health for physical activities. No matter what time of year you take your dog on an adventure, be sure to keep him hydrated and cool to protect his well-being.
1. Border Collies
Considered one of the ultimate outdoor dog breeds, the border collie is known for its high endurance, off-the-charts intelligence (the “Mensa” of breeds) and supreme agility. Perfectly suited for exercise and outdoor activities, this breed will become bored if not given a job to do. Ideal for high-energy, active owners who have the time to maintain obedience training and plan regular outdoor excursions.
2. Bernese Mountain Dogs
Bred to pull heavy carts, the Bernese mountain dog has a hearty stamina that can endure long distance hikes, especially in winter climates. An outdoors dog at heart, the Bernese is surprisingly agile for a large breed. Known to be a very affectionate dog, it enjoys sticking close to family and happily tagging along on any excursion or activity.
3. German Shorthaired Pointers
Considered a prize hunting dog, the German shorthaired pointer isn’t all work and no play. This lovable, affectionate and loyal dog relishes time spent outdoors with its favorite people. Its high level of endurance and energy make it ideal for adventures whether in water or on land. This is a very intelligent, obedient dog that thrives on activity.
4. Australian Shepherds
A classic working dog, Australian shepherd is excellent at navigating rocky terrain and withstanding a day’s worth of outdoor activities. High energy and outstanding endurance combined with its intelligence and agility, the Australian shepherd is also a loyal companion that will be happy to explore the outdoors by your side.
5. Labrador Retrievers
This all-time favorite dog breed is popular for many reasons, including its eagerness to partake in outdoor adventures, whether it be water activities or trekking on a variety of terrain. Labrador retrievers are agile, intelligent, playful and energetic. Take them camping, sailing, hiking or train to run alongside a bicycle.
6. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Perhaps not as well known as other retrievers, this breed is the smallest retriever breed, averaging 50 pounds. Perfect for those who may not want a large breed dog, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling retriever has the same hallmark characteristics of golden retrievers and Labrador retrievers (happy, playful, ball chaser!). They get their name from their tails, which lure, or “toll,” waterfowl into shooting range. Great hunting companions, this agile breed also enjoys hiking and water adventures.
7. Siberian Huskies
The original sled dog is known for its endurance in cold weather. The Siberian husky is also an excellent trail runner, making it an ideal hiking companion in different climates, although owners should heed caution on hot days to make sure this heavily-coated pup has plenty of water to keep hydrated. You may want to outfit your husky with a GPS locator while on an adventure; these brave dogs are escape artists known to wander away when curious.
8. Portuguese Water Dogs
Perhaps one of the most ideal water companions, the Portuguese water dog is a good match for those who prefer to sail, kayak or go rafting with a four-legged pal. This is an athletic, intelligent dog breed that listens to and follows commands well. With a tendency to bore easily, the PWD is perfect for an active owner.
9. Rhodesian Ridgebacks
This African dog breed endures heat well, making it a great hiking companion in desert areas. For those who enjoy equestrian activities, this dog breed is known to be comfortable running alongside horses. Fearless and brave, the Rhodesian ridgeback puts its trust in those who love him, but owners need to adhere to strict training techniques with this canine companion as they can be very stubborn and mischievous.
10. Saluki Dogs
This Egyptian dog breed can run marathon distances, making it an excellent companion for runners or hikers going long distances (their unique skill is running simultaneously on all four legs rather than a staggered gait like most dogs). Salukis are graceful gazelle hounds who, according to DNA analysis, are one of the earliest descendants of wolves. They are known to “sing” when sensing danger and grow bored with repetitious activities; switching up adventures will keep this breed interested and happy.
Don’t Forget About Mutts!
Mixed breed dogs—especially those with a blend of breeds mentioned above—can be terrific, all-around adventure dogs. If you are looking for a dog that can join you on outdoor adventures, consider adopting a shelter or rescue dog with the characteristics best suited for your favorite activity.