Do you like to camp? How about hike? Fish? Hunt? Canoe? If you’re a real outdoors-person, the type that thinks a quiet weekend at home is the worst way to spend your time, then you need a dog that loves the great outdoors as much as you do.
The following breeds were created for a sporty, active life. These dogs will accompany their people on adventures with gusto, and may even help you to maintain your active lifestyle.
If hiking is your thing, especially mountain hiking or over steep, rough terrain, then the Australian Shepherd is your dog. Bred to herd cattle in the Western U.S., these dogs are as agile and long-winded as you can get. They love to climb and run, and can negotiate even the toughest terrain. This breed is also smart and loyal and will keep close to you in the wild.
What better companion could the boat or water lover have than a dog bred to herd fish into nets? The Portuguese Water Dog loves the water in all its forms, whether lakes, rivers, or even the rough and tumble of the sea. Those who canoe or regularly spend time at the shore will find this dog an eager mate.
Some folks can’t get enough of the cold. If you are a winter person who hikes, camps, or plays in the snow, the Siberian Husky will love and cherish you. While they may look like ferocious wolves, this breed is 100% domesticated, first bred to pull sleds in the great white north. Frigid temperatures are in the Husky’s wheelhouse. They’ll eagerly carry a pack of provisions through the snow as well.
The Lab is the ultimate hunter’s companion. Easy going and water loving, this breed will wait patiently for the marksperson to get his or her game and then go headlong into the water to retrieve it. What’s more, the Retriever is also the ultimate family dog. Time spent with kids and parents around the old campfire will please the Lab to no end.
The Bernese isn’t a high-endurance dog, but will work well for those who like to take regular moderate hikes. Your Bernese can also help carry gear, if you don’t ask them to go too far for too long, as they were bred to pull small farm carts. Friendly and good-natured to a fault, the Mountain Dog is a great breed for the family. He or she will also stick close by, even off the leash, making hiking a worry free pastime.
The Border Collie is another dog that was bred to herd and thus loves the challenge of the outdoors. These dogs are smart and agile, and so can handle almost any hike, even deep into the forest or up the mountainside. In fact, all of the Collie breeds, including the Rough and Smooth Collies and the Shetland Sheepdog, are all great companions for the active pet parent.
These curly headed pooches may have gotten the reputation for being the companions of New York dandies and ladies who lunch, but the Poodle was bred, in fact, as a hunting dog. True to form, the Poodle is still favored in the role of retriever by many hunters because of their keen intelligence, obedience, and love of the water. These dogs are also great sniffers, and as such are used widely in Europe for truffle hunting.
Keep an eye on your active companion as they begin to age. Joints can become arthritic, and the old ticker won’t maintain its hearty endurance forever. Be patient as your dog ages, and respect their limits as you would any elderly or aging family member.
More on Adventuring with Your Dog
Nutrition for Active or Working Dogs
Teaching a Dog to Fix their Leash
5 Steps to a Safe Drive with Your Dog