11 Best Small Dogs for Hiking and Camping

It is said,” Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole”. Most dog owners remain confused about traveling with their dogs. However, many experiences can vouch for the benefits of travel with a dog. Your vacations can be made easier with small dogs; they come with many advantages which are useful outdoors.

The hiking experience and quality time in the outdoors enrich the relationship between the dog owners and dogs. Take the trip with any of the best small dogs for hiking, and enjoy the outdoors to the maximum!

best small dogs for hiking and camping

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Advantages of Hiking with Small Dogs

  • The best part of small hiking dogsis their size; they are easier to carry while hiking.
  • They are easier to manage; feeding, bathing, and getting them ready is not a hassle.
  • The best part of small hiking dogsis that they can be taken to more places than large dogs.
  • These small hiking dogs are more suitable because they are easier to transport in vehicles.

List of The Best Small Dogs for Hiking


Most dog owners are confused about ‘What dogs are good for hiking‘? If ever you are confused, Yorkies could be one of the best small dogs to take hiking. They are great exercise partners and have a great interest in outdoorsy activities. Yorkies can be easily considered as one of the best dogs for running and hiking.

Typically, their nature is very brave and full of curiosity for the outdoors; they are a great fit as the best small dogs for hiking. Yorkie owners have often expressed about the dog making the hiking better with their great navigation skills; they are quite alert for danger too. Their speed and adventurous attitude make them one of the best small dogs for hiking.

  • Average height: 8 to 9 inches
  • Average weight: Not more than 7 pounds
best small dogs for hiking | Yorkie


They can be considered the perfect fit as one of the best small dogs for hiking. One might get confused about their size and think otherwise, but this breed of hound, originating from Germany has a big personality. They are known to be very energetic and forthcoming in outdoor settings. Dog owners typically consider this dog as one of the small dogs that are good for hiking.

The charming nature of Dachshunds is great for hiking; they are not known to create hassle or trouble for their owners. If one is looking for dog-friendly hiking trails, Dachhunds can be considered. However, dog owners must look out for spinal problems in this breed before hiking. Otherwise, their tenacity and loyalty, make them the best small dog for long hikes.

  • Average height: 8-9 inches
  • Average weight: 16-32 pounds
best small hiking dogs | Dachshund

Norfolk Terrier

One of the best small dog breeds for hiking, the Norfolk Terrier, is not only a great companion for outdoor adventures but also adds to the experience of hiking. The best quality of it which categorizes it as one of the best small dogs to take hiking is its temperament; the dog might be the smallest of all breeds but its liveliness and absence of mood swings thrill the dog owners.

One of the best small dogs for hiking purposes, their size does not hamper their spirit. As one of the best dogs for running and hiking, their swiftness and agile nature add to the many unexpected adventures while hiking.

Norfolk Terriers love human contact and thrive very well when they are with humans. Their nature is full of power and courage, their athletic bodies make them the best dog for hiking companions.

  • Average height: 9.8 to 11.8 inches
  • Average weight: 11- 13 pounds
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Norfolk Terrier
Norfolk Terrier

Miniature Poodle

Poodles in themselves as great for outdoor activities and the miniature ones are no different. Regarded as one of the best small dogs for hiking, they are very fond of the outdoors. If one is looking for the best small dog for walking in a long adventure, take this one! They add to your experience with their social and outdoorsy nature. Dog owners find it difficult to keep them off running into the wild!

Besides their social, interactive nature, their courage and agile behavior make them a great fit as small hiking dogs. Miniature poodles are great lovers of swimming and other activities of athleticism. In a way, they are made to great small hiking dogs. The incredible smartness, gentle and quiet attitude, and keen virility that they portray, add to the thrill of hiking for dog owners.

  • Average height: 11-15 inches
  • Average weight: 15-17 pounds
best small dogs for hiking and camping | Miniature Poodle
Miniature Poodle

Read Also: 9 Best Dog-Friendly Campgrounds in California

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The United States adores Pembroke Welsh Corgies as their pets and every second household prefers them as great small hiking dogs. They are one of the best small dogs for hiking as their build is athletic and strong. As a dog owner, you will prefer them as small dogs that are good for hiking. As a breed meant for muscular and strength-based activities, they are one of the best medium-sized dogs for hiking.

Dog owners love this breed because of their attentive and calculative nature; they are excellent companions as small hiking dogs as they keep a keen eye for danger and let their owners know about it. These dogs can be trained extensively by the owners as per their preference, and they make great obedient small dogs for hiking.

  • Average height: 10-12 inches
  • Average weight: 23-28 pounds
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Jack Russell Terrier

It is no surprise that large dogs are harder to manage and control on travel; while counting the best small dogs for hiking this breed cannot skip the list. Despite being one of the best small hiking dogs, their energy and love for the outdoors are unmatched by many. Their love for the outdoors originates from their nature of being vermin hunters; the build of the dog might be small but they have a great eye for the outdoors.

Exercises in the outdoors for any kind, like hiking, are great fun for this breed. They prove to be one of the best dogs for running and hiking. They are careful and concentrated animals when left out of the house; they are not troublesome for dog owners. Plus it is easier to carry them because of their size making them great small dogs for hiking and camping activities.

Read Also: How to Choose The Best Tents for Camping with Dogs

  • Average height: 10-15 inches
  • Average weight: 13- 17 pounds
Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier


This breed is greatly popular among dog owners as small hiking dogs. Beagles have it in their nature to be great outdoors, they are popular as hounds. They make one of the best medium sized dogs for hiking; their breed must not be considered dangerous or unfriendly. Beagles make great gentle and loving companions when one is looking for the best small dogs for hiking.

Beagles, however, have to be checked by dog owners constantly because it is like a hound to be easily distracted outdoors among foreign smells. This attitude is also helpful for dog owners because they keep danger away proving them to be great small dog breeds for walking. Beagles love to exercise and make lovely and helpful companions as small walking dogs.

  • Average height: 13-15 inches
  • Average weight: 22-30 pounds
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This breed needs no convincing as one of the best small dogs for hiking. They have the reputation for being the smallest dogs that are full of energy and excitement for the outdoors, which makes them preferable by most dog owners.

The keenness that this breed has for the outdoors makes the dog owners enjoy the hiking experience more. The nature of Chihuahua’s is to be entertaining which is why during long outdoors they are great fun to be around.

The size of Chihuahua’s makes them a great fit as small dogs that are good for hiking; dog owners can easily carry them if they become fussy or tired during long hiking trails. Most Chihuahua’s are known to make long hiking trips great fun and exciting, making them a good fit as one of the best small dogs for long hikes.

  • Average height: 6-9 inches
  • Average weight: not more than 6 pounds

Read Also: Best Dog-friendly Hikes in the Bay Area

Miniature Pinscher

The characteristics of this breed make them great small walking dogs. The Min Pins are great lovers of the outdoors. They are filled with energy and excitement making them one of the best fits as the best small dogs for hiking.

Their bodies are full of agility; however, their nature should not be mistaken as carelessness, they are quite careful of their environment making them less of a hassle for dog owners.

Typically, they can be trained by dog owners; this breed is fond of exercises and can perform very well under tense circumstances. If you are fond of hammock camping with dogs, this breed could be a great fit. Most importantly as one of the best dogs for a hiking companion, they have a great sense of direction in an unknown environment.

  • Average height:  10-12 inches
  • Average weight: 8-11 pounds
Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Pinscher


These dogs need no introduction; they are quite popular as one of the best small dogs for hiking. Typically, they are great companions, to their owners in the outdoors. Pomeranians do not make a fuss in an unknown environment, and their small size adds to the benefit of the owners. They can be easily carried and transported, as per the circumstances. As small hiking dogs, their large personalities add to the thrill of the hiking experience.

They must not be confused as those dogs who will blindly follow their owners; as one of the best dogs for hiking and running, they have a lot of patience and assertiveness while outdoors. Poms are fun-spirited and with their quirkiness, they are great entertainment in boring long walks. Plus, as one of the small dogs that are good for hiking, they are curious about their surroundings.

  • Average height: 7-12 inches
  • Average weight: 3-7 pounds


These small hiking dogs are known for their active nature when brought along outdoors.  These little fellas are highly competent and spirited which adds to the excitement of the dog owners. If trained competently, they can prove to be great at exercise and other outdoor activities as best small dogs for long hike.

They love to be involved in sporting and physically exerting tasks, which makes them a great fit. Training them isn’t a hassle either, because it is in their nature as one of the best small hiking dogs, to be athletic.

Dog owners should also vary because their small size is no match for their assertive, strong personalities. They are quite fond of their dog owners and do not go wandering off while hiking. Consistent training outdoors will shape them to be better as one of the best small dogsfor walking.

  • Average height: 8-11 inches
  • Average weight: 4-9 pounds
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Essential Hiking Gear for Small Dogs

Dog Backpack

Even if your small hiking dog is consistent and has proven to be great outdoors, it needs a good backup to continue the long walks without fuss. Backpacks come with supportive harnesses, leash clips, and plenty of space to carry the dog’s essentials. Dog owners should select the best hiking backpack for small dogs which would suit and support their trip.

Dog First Aid Kit

While taking your small hiking dogs, it is essential to carry an emergency first aid kit for your dog. Long outdoor hiking can bring in unwarranted mistakes for your pets. Having no aid might mean guaranteeing trouble. It can be easily avoided by a little vigilance. It is one of the most important hiking gears for small dogs.

Hiking Boots

While looking for a small dog’s hiking gear, never forget the boots. These hiking boots for small dogs enrich their travel performance and keeps them off the ground. Hiking boots are standard for small dogs when outdoors and adding them to your list, is important.

Hiking Harness

Even if one has chosen the best small dogs to take hiking, without the correct small dog hiking gear, the experience can be dull. Harness can be used extensively in many ways by dog owners to control and manage their dogs with ease. The small hiking dogs can be extremely energetic and hard to control whereas the hiking harness for small dogs can easily manage them.

Hiking Leashes

It is one of the most important camping gear for dogs. While taking small dogs for hiking, owners should keep in mind that the absence of a strong leash can cause much-unwarranted trouble. Carrying a leash for hiking with a small dog will keep them protected and also away from certain dangerous sights and other animals.

Related Post: How to Train a Puppy to Walk on a Leash

Tips for Hiking with Small Dogs

  • Before going to hike with your dogs, prepare them. Take them outdoors and suitably train them to avoid hassle on the main trip.
  • Small dogs are extremely energetic but can get weary and tired because of their size. Carry them in that case and avoid forcing them for anything.
  • While going on dog friendly hikes avoid too much-elevated walks. Hiking through higher slopes can drain them easily or cause them to be fussy.
  • Carry extra dog food and water in case of dehydration or hunger pangs. Do not keep them off food and water when they require it.
  • Taking breaks is important while taking your dog for a hike. Dogs have a different metabolism rate than humans, and might falls sick if rest is not given. Give them their own time for relaxation.

All these breeds of small hiking dogs are great companions to their owners for a long hike. Take the vacation and enjoy the outdoors with your little one!

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FAQ on The Best Small Dogs for Hiking and Camping

1. Is sunlight harmful to small dogs while hiking?

A: If the heat is strong, carry a dog umbrella while hiking.

2. How far can small dogs hike?

A: If proper breaks are taken, they can go a long way.

3. Can I take my small dog hiking?

A: Yes. Their size should not be confused with their high energy while hiking?

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