Best small dog breeds that can still hike and adventure

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There’s a common belief that only big and sturdy dogs are ideal for hiking. In reality, some small dog breeds are even far better companions for backpacking and hiking. For an active person like you, there are many small breeds to choose from that will love going on adventures as much as you do. Looking for a small dog that will suit your lifestyle? We’ve compiled a list of top small dog breeds that you can take on an adventure and go on trails.

Can small dogs go on hikes?

Technically, hiking is a more strenuous and longer form of walking. And since dogs, in general, can walk long distances, then they can also hike. But it all boils down to training. For instance, if your dog is used to walking for 30 minutes tops a day, then it’ll be extremely hard for him to hike for hours. The same goes for humans–going on a sudden 2-day hike when you’ve never walked for more than a few minutes is nearly impossible. And even if you do succeed, the journey surely wouldn’t be smooth. In conclusion, so long as you prepare your dog, even small, healthy ones can be your hiking and adventure body.

Small Dog Breeds for hiking, camping, backpacking

  1.  Beagle

Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the USA and Canada with their huge lovely eyes and gentle demeanor. They’re bred for long hunts, therefore, have exceptional stamina. Beagles will easily sleep up on the trails. They also have an outstanding sense of smell.

  1. Daschund

Daschunds may have small legs, but they’re quite active and adventurous and are noticeable by their muscular and athletic build. They’re certainly willing to go on an adventure with you. This breed is typically suited for a couple of hours trek instead of multi-day hiking.

  1. Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russel Terriers are smart, highly energetic, and athletic pups. They love adventure more than anything. So much so that he can go on adventures by himself if you don’t take him to one. Being an incredibly smart breed, they’re easy to train and can become the perfect hiking companions.

  1. Miniature Pinscher

Despite their small stature, Miniature Pinschers are extremely active, thus, require tons of exercise. For this reason, they’re ideal for long walks or hikes with their family. He’s a fearless breed, often thinking that he’s huge, so he’ll definitely have no problem keeping up with you.

  1. Miniature Australian Shepherd

These gorgeous small dogs are highly intelligent and athletic. Mini Aussies are relatively easy to train. And given their endurance, small stature, and obedience, they make great adventure companions. Just let them rest their legs for a while, and they’ll be good to go.

  1. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies have big personalities and can be quite inquisitive. Known as brave, adventurous, and fast breeds, they can be a good companion for moderate treks or hikes. Their high stamina mostly comes from their terrier blood but still aren’t on par with Jack Russel Terriers.

  1. Corgis

Corgis are like big dogs trapped on a small body. Both kinds of Corgis are originally bred for herding, which gives them very high stamina. Overall, they’re fairly intelligent and easy to train. They’d be happy to accompany you on a backpacking or camping trip.

  1. Miniature Poodle

Mini Poodles are incredibly smart and easily trainable breeds. Their athleticism and agility are two of their strong points–after all, they were bred for duck hunting. Needless to say, these small dogs are built for the outdoors, so you can easily plan a hike or adventure with them.

  1. Papillon

Papillons have high intelligence coupled with high energy levels. They enjoy dog sports like obedience and agility the most. Thus, they’ve no problem going with you and keeping up with your activities. But given their smaller size, they may need some occasional lifts. Fortunately, though, they’re lightweight.

  1. Pomeranians

For a small dog, Pomeranians are confident breeds with large personalities. Thus, the owner has to have an equally strong personality and will. Poms aren’t as energetic as the other breeds on the list, but they can still hike for hours with ease. Friendly and bright, they also make great hiking buddies.


As you can see, many small dog breeds are also great for hikes, treks, and backpacking trips. Their stamina and exercise needs are more dependent on their breed and temperament than size. So, if you want a hiking buddy that won’t be too much of a burden on circumstances that will require you to carry them, then any of those breeds are worth checking out.



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