We love dogs here at Truck Camper Adventure almost as much as we love truck campers. In our travels we’ve been amazed at the number of RV and truck camper owners who travel with a dog. It’s no surprise, really. For many reasons, dogs make great traveling companions. In this article, guest author, Leo Wilson, provides an excellent overview on the eight best dog breeds and what to consider when choosing a buddy for your outdoor adventures.
People get dogs for many reasons, such as companionship and protection. Some may not want anything bigger than a fairly inactive lap dog. Others look for high-energy dog breeds that can accompany them on travels and adventures. However, not all dogs within the same breed are guaranteed to have the same personality and temperament though general breed standards that are likely to be passed down through each generation. A dog’s size and coat structure are also important things to consider when looking for an adventure buddy. Small dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers, can be adventurous but their short legs severely limit their climbing stamina. If you’re an active person who regularly hikes, a Yorkie may not be the best dog breed for your needs.
8 Best Dog Breeds for Outdoor Adventures
Taking a dog on a RV camping trip or other outdoors activity can benefit the human just as much as the dog. A dog’s sense of smell and hearing are extremely heightened when compared to yours. Bringing a dog can alert you to dangers before you notice them, such as bears, snakes and other predators. But how do you choose the right dog breeds from hundreds of choices? If you’re looking for a dog to join you on your outings, these eight dog breeds are known for their love of the great outdoors.
1. Labrador Retriever
Easily one of the eight best dog breeds for outdoor adventures, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the United States for almost 30 years straight. Known for their playfulness and happy-go-lucky personalities, Labrador Retrievers are the perfect dog for an adventurous owner. A dog included on RV adventures needs to be fed nutritious kibble to keep them in tip-top shape. The right food is very important for your Lab. Labrador Retrievers were first bred to hunt waterfowl, meaning they love water and are generally excellent swimmers. Their supreme sense of smell makes them great at tracking. They are often used as working dogs for the police and military because of their ability to home in on a scent. Labrador retrievers are eager to please their owners, which makes them an adventurer’s best friend.
Weimaraners are loyal and smart dogs who enjoy nothing more than being with their owner at all times. In fact, they are well-known for their extreme separation anxiety. Weimaraners are also known to be very stubborn, but with the proper time and training, they make a great addition to any family. The German dog breed was originally used for hunting large animals. They are still often used as gun dogs to retrieve downed game. They are nicknamed the “Grey Ghost” partly due to their ability to sneak up on their prey. A Weimaraner will need a dog coat for colder weather, as their fur is short and doesn’t offer much insulation. Despite this, Weimaraners typically love to frolic in the snow.
3. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are not only one of the most beautiful breeds, but also one of the most adaptable. While their double-coated fur offers them protection in the colder months, it can make summers difficult for them. Despite any discomfort the heat may cause, the breed is always up for an adventure. Originally bred to pull sleds in Arctic weather, Siberian Huskies have a strength and endurance that is unparalleled. They are still used in some cultures to pull sleds and their work ethic makes them an excellent breed to carry some of the gear for your next adventure together. A Siberian Husky would offer an enthusiastic “Awoo!” to any outdoor activity.
Thank goodness Lassie accompanied Timmy on his adventures, right? While there are several different types of Collies, such as Border Collies and Bearded Collies, Rough Collie Lassie is the most recognizable. Collies are known for their herding skills—they were originally bred as herding dogs, after all—and endless amounts of energy. While the breed’s herding instincts can make them excellent guard dogs, it’s their agility that makes them a perfect adventure companion. From playing in the snow to hiking challenging trails, a Collie would happily stay by their owner’s side through all of it.
5. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are most known for working with the police or military to stop the bad guys. The breed is highly intelligent, which makes them loyal and easy to train. German Shepherds possess a strength and endurance that suit them well for outdoor adventures. The breed was originally bred to herd sheep. German Shepherds are now commonly used as working dogs or guard dogs. They are adept at swimming, climbing and numerous other activities that fit perfectly with an outdoors junkie. However, due to their exaggerated hip angle, German shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia as well as elbow dysplasia. Be sure to feed your shepherd a quality diet with the right amount of fat, protein, and nutrients to keep them healthy throughout their lives.
Vizslas are close cousins of the Weimaraner dog breed. The sleek, red-coated dogs are athletic and full of unbridled energy. If you’re looking for an agile, loyal dog who enjoys traipsing the globe in your camper, consider a Vizsla. Originally bred for retrieving birds, Vizslas are still popular companions for hunters. Like Weimaraners, the breed is light on their feet and can easily sneak up on prey. While Vizslas do like to swim, they have short, thin coats that make them susceptible to cold weather. Throw a dog jacket or sweater on the Vizsla and they will happily continue to romp around in any type of weather.
7. Yorkshire Terrier
Easily, one of the eight best dog breeds for RV outdoor adventures, Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies, for short) are compact balls of energy and attitude. Their small size is perfect for spending the day as a lap dog. They also love adventures and exploring their surroundings. Yorkies are great companions for hikes and if they get tired, you can simply pick them up and carry them. First bred to control the rat population in mills, Yorkies are quick on their feet and able to fit into small places. However, it is important to note that Yorkies, and other small breeds, are prone to knee and leg issues. That doesn’t mean they can’t climb mountains, though. It just means their owners need to pay close attention not to let the small dog overextend themselves.
Beagles are great breeds for people who want a medium-sized dog who is fearless but also affectionate. The popular breed can be single-minded once they pick up a scent. For that reason, they should be kept on a leash during outdoor activities. In fact, all dogs should be kept on leashes during hikes to avoid snakes and other possible dangers. Originally bred as trackers, Beagles possess an enormous curiosity for their size. Beagles are highly energetic and require a lot of exercise, which makes them a perfect choice for outdoor junkies and adventure seekers.
Before You Choose
Choose a breed that matches your RV outdoor lifestyle. One thing that many people don’t take into consideration when getting a dog is if the dog’s temperament will fit into their lifestyle. For example, a couch-potato lifestyle might not be the best fit for super active breeds such as Siberian Huskies.
Dogs are great travel companions, but they also are an excellent means of protection. They can alert their owners to unseen threats. A bark from a dog can scare off any dangers, whether they are human or another animal. Dogs can be especially useful for single women to take with them on hikes or other outdoor activities. Sure, many dogs like to cuddle with their owners, but some breeds need to be exercised for hours every day. Camping, hiking or biking are all excellent adventure activities that also double as exercise for your pooch. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, consider breeds that love the outdoors as much as you do.
That concludes our article on the 8 best dog breeds for outdoor adventures. Agree or disagree with the list? We’d love to get your thoughts.