Hiking with a dog: off to outdoor fun!

If you are sporty and enjoy being out in nature with your dog, then extensive dog hiking tours are just the thing. Whether you're planning a day trip at home or a challenging multi-day tour, we'll tell you which dog breeds you can share your hiking passion with, which popular hiking regions are dog-friendly, and where your four-legged friend can romp around and explore the area.

Hiking with dog: The top 5 suitable dog breeds

As a rule, any dog can accompany you on a hiking vacation, as long as it is fully grown and healthy. Even agile seniors still master certain distances and incidentally promote their blood circulation and musculature. However, some breeds are particularly gifted hikers. This is the top 5:

  1. border collie: as agile shepherd dogs with eager working character, they run with pleasure even long distances.
  2. Australian Shepherd: The active herding dog that enjoys agility and exercise loves to wander in wide open fields and wooded areas where he can run free.
  3. Malinois: This herding dog shows a willingness to perform and prefers to pursue activities together with his owner. The walking pace may be a little faster for him.
  4. Podenco: As an attentive hunting dog, they run at best on a leash over hill and dale, sniffing out exciting tracks of local game.
  5. Jack Russell Terrier: The active sportsman loves dog trails through wooded areas. Here he can explore the undergrowth and hit hooks in curves and narrow junctions.

Our tip: Short-nosed or short-legged dog breeds also like to walk. However, long hikes are often more difficult for them than for their more athletic counterparts. If you still want to cover long distances, your small four-legged friend can accompany you comfortably in a dog backpack. Larger dogs prefer to take a short break in the dog trailer.

The Paw travel guide: 3 popular hiking regions

As you can imagine, there are many great regions for dog hiking. Not only in the Harz mountains, Sauerland or in the Bavarian Alps you can enjoy the landscape with your dog and escape from everyday life - in these 3 dog-friendly regions you will find exciting hiking destinations and enough variety for your four-legged friend:

Thuringia: On the road with dog in the Thuringian Forest

Wanderst du mit deinem Hund durch die weitläufigen Gebiete des Thüringer Walds, entdeckt ihr viele spannende Highlights entlang der Saale. Besonders beliebt sind diese beiden Ziele:

  1. Drachenschlucht and Wartburg: The large Wartburg is a wonderful starting point for a hiking tour of about 11 km. A signposted path along the Wartburg leads you through a deciduous forest to the Drachenschlucht with its impressive, moss-covered rocks.
  2. Heyda Dam: In this reservoir near Ilmenau you can fish, surf and go swimming together with your dog. You can hike here especially dog-friendly around the lake in the sandy beach and on small forest paths without asphalted, stony routes.

Black Forest: Experience diverse nature with dog

The dense forests, lakes, gorges and waterfalls in the Black Forest are the perfect destination for varied dog walks with your four-legged friend. Explore remote forest areas off the main hiking routes together and enjoy the view of the deep valleys on mountain peaks. These 3 popular hiking areas offer your dog plenty of space to play around:

  1. Der Felsenweg am Feldberg: Auf dieser 9,5 km langen Wandertour genießt du die Sicht auf die Schweizer Alpen im Süden. Gemeinsam mit deinem Vierbeiner kannst du dich im fließenden Sägebach abkühlen. Wird es dir oder deinem Hund zu anstrengend, könnt ihr euren Wandertrip an einzelnen Stationen bequem mit der Seilbahn fortsetzen.
  2. The Menzenschwander Geißenpfad at Schluchsee: Here you can discover some exciting highlights on a 10 km hiking trail. Let the local goat herds accompany you for a bit. In order not to disturb the wild chamois, it is best to leash your dog here temporarily. Your pelt-nose will find special fun and sufficient cooling at the Menzenschwander waterfalls. Here he can romp and splash at will and you can enjoy a cool drink in the local restaurant.
  3. The Höhenklimaweg Titisee: With a length of 5 km, this hiking trail is also super suitable for short-nosed and weak four-legged friends. Especially on hot summer days, you can enjoy a short tour through shady forest areas with your dog away from the shore of Lake Titisee. The beautifully located ice pond invites you to rest and offers your dog drinking water and cooling.

Eifel: Hiking with dog through two federal states

Mountainous forests and lakes promise hiking fun for you and your four-legged friend. Starting in Aachen in North Rhine-Westphalia and ending in Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate, you'll find plenty of opportunities to let off steam on exciting and idyllic dog walking routes. These two hiking areas are particularly suitable for outings with your dog:

  1. Eifel National Park: Characterized by forest and water, the ascent is worthwhile at various lakes such as the Rursee. Here you can enjoy a great view of the dams and surrounding landscape. The theme trail "Wilderness Trail" leads you through imposing beech forests with old stream valleys. Here you can individually plan small or large walks along the water trail.
  2. Laacher See in the Volcanic Eifel: The beautiful area with volcanic cones and water-filled maars was not for nothing awarded as a UNESCO Global Geopark. The Benedictine Abbey of Maria Laach, built in the 11th century on the shores of the lake, offers you shopping opportunities in the farm store or the nursery. Or do you rather feel like a rowing tour with your four-legged friend on the water?

The right housing with dog

During your trip, you can either start from a fixed location and make daily tours in the surrounding area or move on after just one night or a few days. Before your hiking vacation with dog, think about what is particularly important to you in a suitable accommodation.

Wandern mit Hund Pause

Hotels often offer an all-inclusive package with breakfast and dinner included. If the rooms with dog permission are located on the upper floor, you will have to master the course through other vacationers for every walk. In addition, animals may not be allowed in the restaurant area.

Vacation apartments, on the other hand, offer enough space and freedom for your furry friend. However, there are additional costs, because you either have to cater for yourself or go out to eat in nearby restaurants.

In many regions you can also put up your tent and rest at trekking sites or campsites. Wildlife camping is in any case not tolerated in Germany.

These attributes may also be important to you:

  • Fenced area: Here your dog can run and play to his heart's content, while you enjoy your breakfast on the terrace of the vacation home.
  • Floor level room: Ideally, you don't have to walk stairs or take an elevator and you can reach your accommodation easily without many encounters with other vacationers.
  • Nearby hiking routes: If you are traveling without a car or do not want to waste time on a long journey, choose an establishment directly at the hiking area.
  • Shopping facilities: If you cook your own food or your dog may need new food, the nearest store is ideally nearby.
  • Veterinarians: If possible, find out in advance about veterinarians in the vacation area.
  • Restaurants: If you like to go out to eat with your pelt nose, dog-friendly restaurants are certainly interesting for you.
  • Dog parks: Some hiking regions have great dog runs where your dog can play and you both socialize along the way.
  • Dog rules of the region: If your dog prefers to run without a leash or particularly likes to swim, find out about hiking destinations without a leash requirement and lakes with permission for dogs to swim.

Our tip: Read carefully what potential accommodations have to offer on your hiking trip. Pets may be allowed in some hostels, but limited to small breeds of dogs. Elsewhere, however, the owners explicitly state that dogs are welcome.

Hiking luggage for your dog

So that your furry nose is equipped for your together hiking tour in the best possible way, these utensils should not be missing in your equipment:

  • Dog Harness: If your dog wears a well-fitting Y-harness , he can move freely and comfortably without rubbing or pressure - even over long distances.
  • 2 dog leashes: Some regions offer enough space for your dog. Here he can romp around on a long drag leash despite the leash requirement. On steep cliffs and ravines, however, he runs best on the short leash "at heel".
  • Mobile dog bowls: Foldable silicone bowls for water and food can be stored in your backpack to save space. Don't forget to bring water and dog snacks!
  • Towel: If your four-legged friend cools off during a long hike in nearby streams or lakes, rub him thoroughly dry afterwards. As long as it stays dry, your dog can relax on the towel during short breaks.
  • Dog toys: especially active dogs can romp and play at clearings or lakes while you enjoy the beautiful view.
  • Emergency bag: Accidents can always happen. Always have disinfectant, bandages, scissors, tweezers and tick remover with you for first aid.
  • Vaccination certificate: Sometimes the trip to a local veterinarian is unavoidable. Therefore, always keep the vaccination certificate ready to hand.
  • Excrement bags: You can of course dispose of your dog's waste in the trash cans along the paths.

Tip: You can also let your darling carry his own luggage. Special dog backpacks distribute the weight optimally. For this, a correct packing method and extensive endurance and strength training are essential. A dog should carry no more than 20-25% of its own weight. Example: a dog with 25 kg may carry a pannier with approx. 5 kg. The load must be distributed fairly. Some dogs are really proud to carry their own luggage!

Conclusion: As you can see, you can go on hiking trips with your dog in many regions. If you have found a suitable place to stay and know what is especially important for you and your four-legged friend, you can start your outdoor vacation actively. Where do you like to hike the most? What tips do you have for dog owners who are going on a dog hiking tour for the first time? We look forward to your hiking experience!

Our product recommendations for dog hiking:

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