Best Wilderness Dogs

Brent Mccoy
• Thursday, 03 December, 2020
• 8 min read

If you have ever taken a trip and stayed the night or even spent a day out in the wild, you know that having a dog makes you feel a lot safer. Due to the different climates that you may live or adventure in, it is hard to choose just one breed as the best.

peaks wilderness alltrails dogs dog
(Source: www.alltrails.com)


They only overheat when exhausted in extreme heat and only struggle in the cold when it’s under 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The downside is that they can also be very energetic, and training at home might not work out, which forces you to hire a professional trainer.

They make excellent watchdogs (perfect for nights out in the middle of nowhere) and can be trained to protect you while you’re sleeping or when you’re being attacked. The Akita is a large breed that is not too fond of strangers but is very affectionate with their owners and their family.

Akita's are large and muscular and have thick fur coats that protect them in the winter. They are best for cooler weather or cold climates as they can quickly overheat if they become overexerted in the summer or high temperatures.

Unfortunately, they are more difficult to train and will most likely require a professional trainer to be obedient and get proper socialization. They are excellent watchdogs and guard dogs due to their intelligent, intimidating, and dominant nature.

Excursions into the wilderness are great for Akita's as their high intelligence will cause them to become bored if they do not have a varied schedule. It is an excellent opportunity for them to be out and about without interacting with other dogs, which can become an issue, and have a high prey drive.

(Source: www.flickr.com)

What tends to vary is the temperament and fur type and length, both of which play an essential part in surviving in the middle of nowhere. Typically, if a dog excels in one specific ability, you can deal with them having a lesser affinity for another.

TIP: Do not punish your dog if it does not attempt what you’re telling it to do, instead positively reinforce the behavior you want by using a reward system. It is the coat and the length of fur that determines how the dog’s body temperature will function in the climate you will be venturing into.

TIP: Some double-coated dogs can withstand a wide variety of temperatures, both hot and cold. They make a great companion for those who travel to a variety of places or go out all year round.

They also have to have good endurance to keep up with you if you move campsites each day or like to walk the trails. Muscular dogs are excellent methods of protection and can be better if you’re in a sketchy area or staying in an unfamiliar location.

TIP: Most dogs can be trained to handle long periods exposed to the weather as well as to build up stamina and endurance. Dogs that are only loyal to their owners offer a little extra when it comes to protection but can be an unwelcome addition to a family.

wilderness dog bringing tips into summer
(Source: www.theoutbound.com)

They can pose a threat to your significant other or children if they are deemed intimidating or dangerous by the dog. Your best bet is to choose a dog breed that can be trained to socialize safely with others while keeping their guard up.

An obedient dog is not too hard to find; it’s the training process that can make it difficult. That’s why obedience can’t be found in many protective, loyal, and friendly breeds, and you want a dog with one or all of these traits.

To give you an idea of how to determine how obedient your dog is and if they are an excellent choice to bring out into the wilderness, you can try teaching the basic command “heel” and measuring their response: Adjust your hands so that the toy or treat is slightly in front of your dog’s head.

Encourage your dog to look at the treat or squeaky toy as you say “heel” and step forward. If they get distracted while you are walking, squeeze the toy or wave the treat; praise them once you have their attention again.

Once you have gotten their attention for about 20 to 30 seconds, give them the toy or treat and lots of praise and affection. TIP: Intelligence is important, but you should still consider a dog if it is not the brightest yet still manages to follow you when commanded.

desolation wilderness california map alltrails area
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Sporting is a set of skills bred into a group of dogs that have been developed over centuries. Chase and kill Fishing Field activities Flush and retrieve game.

Additionally, they have greater agility and natural traits (water-resistant fur, webbed feet, etc.) Generally, sporting dogs rely on chasing-killing-retrieving instead of protection to help you survive in the wilderness.

TIP: Mutts typically make very well-rounded hunting dogs, especially when they have the physical features to back up their traits. Some (or multiple) afflictions can affect a breed and cause their health to deteriorate quickly.

Although you can choose any dog you want, try and find one that has the best potential to survive in the wilderness, such as the Akita or the Belgian Malinois. Aim for success and not for agony, which is what the dog will experience if they’re not meant for wilderness survival.

This dog was born and bred to work long hours in variable weather conditions with great stamina and poise. Best of all, if you plan to bring along younger family members, your “Berger,” as some fans call this dog, will happily help keep the “herd” together.

peaks wilderness alltrails dogs york trails dog
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

This is most common when the dog eats a large meal or drinks a lot of water after vigorous exercise, which means it can be a real threat while you are out hiking! Happily, there is a minor preventative surgery you may want to consider if you plan to take your dog on hiking trips with you.

These dogs were born and bred by the Chukchi people of Siberia to work in high endurance settings: hauling sleds, helping with hunting, and even watching youngsters when their parents were occupied elsewhere! While the Siberian Husky makes for a very focused work partner, these dogs are also known as gentle and loving companions when it comes time to rest.

Siberians have a thick double-layer coat that helps them work well in freezing climates. Border Collies need ongoing reinforcement and training to manage their intense herding instincts.

These herding instincts can actually work in your favor if you plan to take a group hiking, or you want to bring the kids along. These dogs love to run and explore, and you may find you have trouble enticing your pup back to your side.

Border Collies can be prone to hip joint issues, but if your pup comes from a reputable breeder, you shouldn’t have to worry about this on your hikes. The Lab has retained the number one most popular purebred dog breed spot on the American Kennel Club’s list for the last 26 years and counting.

nova scotia mountain lakes canada cove wilderness birch area map alltrails
(Source: www.alltrails.com)

Labs are also prone to a condition called Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC), which is most common in young adult dogs. A contributing gene has now been identified, and you may want to talk with your vet about having your Lab tested for EIC before you take a long hike together.

Another issue to watch out for is bloat, a potentially life-threatening condition where a dog’s stomach twists. Bloat often occurs after vigorous exercise, eating a larger meal or drinking a lot of water.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of those all-around good hiking dogs that some enthusiasts actually claim is “perfect!” Knowledgeable owners say the first three years of this dog’s life can be challenging, mostly because the German Shorthaired Pointer has so much energy and enthusiasm but hasn’t yet matured mentally.

Bloat, however, is a serious condition that can affect any German Shorthaired Pointer, so you should ask your veterinarian about a preventative surgery before taking your dog hiking. Blue Healers are generally healthy dogs in the hands of reputable breeders, who will know to test prospective parent dogs for genetic issues like hip dysplasia, deafness, and eye issues.

The Beagle, like many small dog breeds, can struggle with patellar location (dislocated kneecap), which can end a hiking trip in short order. Because the Beagle has long, floppy ears, ticks and infections can also be a concern on hikes.

dolly sods hikes trail cabins scenic rohrbaugh views log
(Source: www.wvlogcabins.com)

Drop us a line in the comments section below to share your favorite dog hiking adventure! Koppel, B., et al., Breed History, ” Parson Russell Terrier Association of America, 2018.

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