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Are Golden Retrievers Good Hiking Dogs?

Hitting the road to the beautiful and serene outdoors alongside your furry friend is quite an experience. You get ample time to bond, exercise, and catch some fresh air. There are a few dog breeds that make great adventure sidekicks. Yet many hikers still wonder, are golden retrievers good for hiking?

It is a question that lots of dog owners grapple with since the breed is largely rumored to be lazy because of its big size and laid-back demeanor. Contrary to these unfounded claims, Goldies make the ultimate adventure companions. Initially bred for hunting and game retrieval, these fine pets have a keen passion for the backcountry, bouncy personalities, and an infinite supply of energy.  Keep reading as this article seeks to find out why this dog breed would be an exceptional choice for your next excursion.

Are Golden Retrievers Good Hiking Dogs

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Why Are Golden Retrievers Good Hiking Dogs?

Several attributes stand out about these canines when it comes to exploring the outdoors. Here is a detailed explanation of seven unique reasons why these fluffy canines will not let you down when on a jungle trail:

i. They are curious and playful

Nothing comes close to goldies when it comes to curiosity and playfulness. It is like they were born for the outdoors, which might be true given that they were developed for hunting. They are fun to be around. Your golden retriever will always lead the way in exploring and enjoying the new fascinating smells, sounds, and sights. This is a lovable attribute that is also encouraging to you as an outdoor junkie.

ii. Alert and intelligent

This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons hikers might need a dog’s company. The breed is super intelligent and will let you know if there is anything dangerous around. This will heighten the level of your security and ensure your outdoor encounter is undisturbed.

iii. Have incredible innate stamina

Have incredible innate stamina

Golden retrievers come with natural stamina that pushes them to walk or run for miles and miles without panting or breathing heavily. Originally from the Scottish Highlands, these work dogs spent countless days alongside their masters hunting in mountainous and wooded areas. Therefore, they will have no trouble keeping up unless they are wounded, hungry or sick.

iv. Sturdy enough to carry a small load

Every hiker would love a partner that can pull his or her weight. That is what you get for choosing a golden retriever. The pooch, breed as a working dog, has a strong athletic body that allows it to carry some of its supplies like water and snacks. This will take a little weight off your backpack hence making the experience more enjoyable.

v. Obedient and effortless to train

The wish of any dog owner is to have a dog that listens to their command. Luckily, obedience should be the least of your worry when you have a Goldie. These canines are ultra-intelligent picking up new words and responding to directions seamlessly. Additionally, they like to impress their parents and will do anything to make you happy. All these attributes come in handy during dog training.

vi. Energetic

It is something they are born with. Nothing can hold back a healthy golden retriever. Be it rocky terrains or marshy plains, these dogs can traverse any jungle surface without breaking a sweat.

Energetic Dog

vii. Have a soft spot for long walks

Apart from their unparalleled strength and beastly stamina, these pets just enjoy walking alongside their favorite people. A long walk grants them the chance to spend more time with their human buddies. Nevertheless, do not allow them to walk for long in hot weather. Extremely hot conditions heighten their likelihood to overheat due to their thick coats.


1. How long can a golden retriever hike?

An adult golden retriever that is in shape and of good health is capable of hiking for about 5-10 miles without a fuss. This is possible thanks to several factors including their incredible energy, over-the-top determination, and unmatched athleticism. However, this breed of four-legged pals cannot cover and sustain the distance for a continuous set of days.

2. How far can you walk a golden retriever?

Well, it all depends on the age as well as the health status of the pooch. Nonetheless, retrievers are built to stay active throughout the day. A 45 to 60-minute walk at least once a day would be enough for your dog. As much as this breed will always ask for more, you need to proceed cautiously as excessive exercises are damaging to growth plates, especially for a young pup. In the same light, deprived physical activity could culminate in behavioral problems alongside hyperactivity and other health problems.

3. Are Golden Retrievers good camping dogs?

Indeed, golden retrievers make great camping companions. First, they are super obedient with minimal behavioral issues, an attribute that is imperative for your safety. Other than that, retrievers are full of stamina and energy, which comes in handy when exploring miles of the outdoors. To crown it all, they are intelligent and alert an aspect that will amplify your security when on a camping adventure.

4. Do Golden Retrievers like to cuddle?

The breed enjoys cuddling. These pups are often affectionate with a friendly demeanor. That might explain why they really treasure spending quality time with their parents. To add to that, they possess unbelievable emotional intelligence and can tell when you are troubled or when you need to snuggle.

5. Are Golden Retrievers lazy?

No, they are not! Golden retrievers are high-energy canines bred for the most demanding tasks all day long. Initially, they were meant to help hunters fetch game and birds in the wild. No lazy dog can survive that. The only factors that could make a retriever look like a couch potato include age, weight issues, medical problems, emotional distress, and excessive exercise.

6. Can you over Walk a Golden Retriever?

Yes! It is possible to overwalk your pooch. First, golden retrievers are big athletic dogs that will walk for an hour and run up to 30mph without complaining. However, your doggie can only go as far as you train it. If it is used to 45 minutes of playtime or walking, then you suddenly go beyond that, it will have a difficult time catching up. Plus, this could also lead to lethargy, anxiety, and mobility issues.

7. Is a 5-mile walk too much for a dog?

It all boils down to the breed, athleticism, and health status of the canine. Most breeds, including golden retrievers, can thrive in 5-mile walks or strolls of 30-60 minutes. Other dog breeds like schipperkes and Dalmatians can even beat the 5-mile mark in a day. Actually, you can walk your pet as far as possible given that it is comfortable.

8. Is hiking good for dogs?

Hiking carries a ton of benefits for your fluffy friend. It is a great form of physical and mental workout. 3 to 5 miles of physical activity helps to keep the canine’s weight in check. Moving on, the incredible sights, sounds, and scents in the wild promote mental stimulation. Generally, adventure eliminates boredom and keeps away behavioral issues.

9. Are stairs bad for Golden Retriever?

Although Golden retrievers and other large dogs may be prone to hip dysplasia and joint-related complications, stairs are not bad for them. They can only cause trouble for older canines with arthritis.  On the bright side, using stairs helps your pooch to improve motion and muscle strength.

10. Do Golden Retrievers shed a lot?

The breed does shed a lot, which is natural and completely normal as Golden retrievers are double-coated. You could say they are heavy shedders. They are known to shed profusely during fall and spring. The situation improves moderately during winter and summer. Bottom line; they shed their hair all year long.

11. Is Golden Retriever high maintenance?

Yes! These dogs are very demanding in terms of care. It is hugely because of their genetic weaknesses, particularly their double coat that makes them heavy shedders. Consequently, they require regular coat maintenance to get rid of ticks and flies. Additionally, being big dogs means that they are prone to arthritis and weight-related problems. This will potentially increase your visits to the vet.


The Golden retriever is a solid choice for any outdoor enthusiast looking for a reliable hiking companion. Nonetheless, goldies are easily overwhelmed by heat in warm climates owing to their thick fur. Thus, ensure that they are well hydrated throughout the hike under such conditions.

Apart from that, take regular breaks in the course of the adventure to allow the k-9 to catch its breath even if it does not exhibit any signs of exhaustion. Injuries from the unforgiving jungle terrain can be a great setback for your doggie. Watch out for that as well.  To top it off, it is crucial to prepare your pooch – both physically and mentally – for the adventure before setting a course. The process requires time and patience but will go a long way in building the pet’s endurance besides boosting its distance tolerance.

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