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Dog breeds for hiking/running

Dogs, dogs and even some cats
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Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby IHikeLikeAGirl » Wed May 13, 2009 12:55 pm

I'm sure this has been covered, but trying to do a search on "good hiking dogs" had 3 very vague words in it....

After years of my daughter begging me, I am considering getting a dog this fall. Would like a medium sized dog with a mellow temperament; doesn't bark a lot; and that could go on long runs (10-16 mi), camping, and hike peaks with. Prefer one that "could" do short class 3 scrambling, if necessary.

Any particular breeds or mixed breeds come to mind?

Oh yeah, and I have a geriatric cat so, no breeds that like to chase or eat elderly cats please. :)

Would love to hear from anyone who has had kick *ss mountain dogs!
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby davebobk47 » Wed May 13, 2009 1:09 pm

I have a giant schnauzer that is rather timid but keeps up well on hikes. I've seen him do easy sections of class 3 although there are times he'll stop and refuse to go over an easy class 2 section but I think that is more his personality. He's easy going but very protective but a lot of that comes from the individual personality and up bringing. Also, they don't shed so that is always a plus although he does not do well in heat (over 80 degrees).
"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, awake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it reality." -T.E. Lawrence

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby skiwall » Wed May 13, 2009 1:19 pm

IHikeLikeAGirl wrote:Any particular breeds or mixed breeds come to mind?


I'm in love with my lab/chesapeake retriever/weimaraner mix, but I think I got really lucky. She's a little on the big side, but she's quiet, LOVES long runs, and excels at scrambling (a lot of that I think is training- when she gets to harder parts, she listens when we say "wait" and then goes where we point when we tell her to).
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby lodidodi » Wed May 13, 2009 3:01 pm

i have a siberian husky but he's a puppy so he hasn't done a 14er yet. They don't bark much but they sometimes whine or howl. They don't see other animals as threats which is why they don't bark much (this is what i've been told). They can go for very long hikes which is why people use them as sled dogs but don't do well in heat. So far mine has only gone 7 miles and he's been fine. They are considered medium sized dogs but look bigger because of their fur, they do shed. If you like to exercise a lot they are good, but if you don't exercise them a lot they get bored and can get in trouble. He can be stuborn too. If you introduce them to other family pets when they are young they will do good with them. He's good with kids too.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Poindexter » Wed May 13, 2009 3:04 pm

I bought a Australian Shepherd puppy for several reasons, but one of the major ones was because I wanted a workout partner for triathlon training and backcountry excursions. She's still a pup and I'm not supposed to take her running long distances until she's a year old, but they are a great breed. Super smart, medium sized, not vocal and pretty darn good looking dogs. If you get one try to find a breeder who lets them keep their tails, they look better with them and I think it helps their balance.
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby aHudge » Wed May 13, 2009 3:18 pm

We have two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, which are pretty good for everything you mention.

Great runners, very athletic, etc etc.
Males can get big...(100lbs +)
We have two females, who are 63 lbs (a little small for a female) and 80 lbs (a little big for a female).. but both are a nice size.

The only disadvantage is that they can get cold in the winter. (shorts coats) You'd probably have to get them a jacket.
Then again, they don't shed much which is pretty nice.


Roux on the Angel.jpg
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... and I guess you have to be prepared to explain yourself a lot (could be good or bad - depending on how social you are)
everyone always asks what kind of dog they are.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby JohnWilliams » Wed May 13, 2009 3:45 pm

I just got a german short hair pointer who loves to hike and climb. Her attempting to follow me up walls makes me a bit concerned. She too will get cold in winter. Look at a wire hair pointer. Smart as heck loyal and fun. Let us know what you pick!

Ps; my dogs name is Denali ha
-I tend to be a Longs Peak nerd. If you have questions about the Longs Peak Massif please, feel free to ask.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Inky6900 » Wed May 13, 2009 3:51 pm

You have a lot of criteria to fill what you want in a dog. The problem isn't finding a medium size dog that is quiet and nice. The difficulty could be finding a "mellow" dog that is willing to do most of the stuff you listed. Probably the better canine climbers are more energetic dogs that are constantly bouncing around with happiness. Their temperments aren't too laid back or "mellow" so to speak.

The other difficulty is all dogs are different and have different personalities. In a way they are like people. Many years ago a man saw my dog, Sawyer, and was so impressed with him that he too wanted to get a golden retriever. About a year or so later I heard from him and he was disappointed his dog (also a golden) was too scared to climb with him. I told him climbing dogs are not made, they are born.

Good luck on your search!
With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Presto » Wed May 13, 2009 3:57 pm

I've been eyeing piper14's Australian Kelpie. :wink: According to the breed information I checked out, they've a very durable build, good in all seasons, not too big -- medium sized dog (google for specifics), likes to be active, good with people but loyal to the owner, no habitual breed health problems. If you got one as a puppy it'd probably be fine with a cat (I did a search on the dumb friends league website and found several mixes that were good with cats and puppy age). We're looking for the future when we move to our property in the mountains so the "medium sized" "good in all seasons" and "durable" thing is an important factor for us. Happy trails! :D
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Tory Wells » Wed May 13, 2009 4:36 pm

There are dozens of breeds that fit your criteria, here are a couple resources to start learning more about them:
http://www.akc.org/breeds/complete_breed_list.cfm
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/a-z.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Dogs-Selecting-Best-Dog-You/dp/0793801443/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1242253801&sr=1-1
Most can hike and, with proper training, won't bark much and be mellow. I recommend watching the Dog Whisperer.....most people who have "bad" or overly energetic dogs blame the dog or the breed, when in reality the problem is the owner, the training (or lack thereof) of the dog, and the commitment of the owner to understand their dog and it's needs.

Be patient in your search and don't get stuck in the trap of getting the cutest dog you see. You should establish your criteria before you go to buy and stick to it. Also, if you are patient, you can usually find the dog you want (even a puppy) at a local animal shelter. If you are going to buy from a breeder, make sure they are a reputable breeder and not a puppy mill. I recommend NOT buying from someone in the classifieds.....puppy mills usually advertise there.

Good luck in your search!
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Presto » Wed May 13, 2009 4:43 pm

by lanternerouge08 » Wed May 13, 2009 4:36 pm

.....most people who have "bad" or overly energetic dogs blame the dog or the breed, when in reality the problem is the owner, the training (or lack thereof) of the dog, and the commitment of the owner to understand their dog and it's needs.


+1. Very true ... I watch the Westminster Dog Show every year (and bite my tongue during the "toy breed" :roll: ) and am impressed how the main commentator always enforces that people need to know the traits/habits of the breed (i.e., don't get a dog that needs exercise all the time if you live in an apartment, don't get a dog that needs a lot of grooming if you're not going to take the time to brush the dog, etc.). One thing to note is the "alpha male" consideration ... several dogs are headstrong and like to be in charge (i.e., beagles, etc.) and must be reminded that the owner is in charge and in control.
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Dog breeds for hiking/running

Postby Tory Wells » Wed May 13, 2009 4:53 pm

Presto wrote:several dogs are headstrong and like to be in charge (i.e., beagles, etc.) and must be reminded that the owner is in charge and in control.

+1.......Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer) calls it "being the pack leader" for your dog. Dogs naturally follow a pack leader (i.e anything that is dominant over them). If the dog ends up being the pack leader, you will end up with a misbehaved dog. Any breed can be submissive, it just takes more effort with some breeds. It also takes a commitment from everyone in the house (the o.p.'s daughter included) to train and lead the same way.
"Tongue-tied and twisted, just an earthbound misfit, am I." -David Gilmour, Pink Floyd

"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?
-Steve Gladbach

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