Looking for a hiking companion that you can take home and cuddle without setting off your allergies or leaving dog hair everywhere? Whilst it may seem like an impossible task, there is actually a wide variety of hiking dogs that don't shed.
There are plenty of energetic dogs that are no/low shedding. However, a dog that is suitable for hiking isn't one that just enjoys walks or has a lot of energy. He/she needs to be easily trained to walk off-leash, stay within distance and be okay around strangers and other dogs.
Love dogs and hiking?
Have allergies? Hate dog hair around the home?
Check out our list of 7 hiking dogs that don't shed below.
We've scored each dog breed out of 5 for aspects such as ease of training, level of shedding, ease of grooming and exercise needs. They're all either "no" or low shed dogs, but some still shed more than others.
As you'll probably notice, dogs with virtually no shedding require more grooming, whilst dogs that don't require much grooming shed more. But these two things kind of cancel each other out.
Dogs that don't shed aren't "difficult" to groom, they just require more grooming than a dog that naturally sheds its fur. Things such as good brushing, regular bathing and clipping are a necessity.
Conversely, while a dog that requires virtually no grooming sheds more, if you do have a decent grooming routine (basic brushing and bathing), the hair shedding becomes minimal, similar to a low shedding dog.
More hiking related posts:
The standard poodle is most people's first choice for a hiking dog that doesn't shed. And for very good reason.
Poodles are the closest thing you'll get to a dog that doesn't shed. If you clip them close once a month they are also very easy to groom. If you don't keep them clipped however they can become more difficult to groom. Their fur is more like human hair and rather than shed it continues to grow.
Think poodles are just a "showy" dog?
Poodles were originally bred to be a hunting dog so they are naturally athletic and obedient. In fact if you clip them all over (aka a "utility clip"), you will see just how similar they look to pointer type dogs. Far from the typical image you have in your head when you think of a poodle.
Airedales are a fantastic choice for a hiking dog with low shed. Whilst they can shed, many do not really shed at all.
Whilst they are a working dog, they provide the perfect balance between hiking dog and family pet. They are not hard-wired to hunt like other sporting dogs but have the natural agility and obedience needed to handle long hikes. They are not needy, but still extremely loving, protective and fun.
Airedales train very easily and do not bark incessantly at strangers or when someone knocks at the door.
The standard schnauzer is another no/low shedding dog, very similar to the standard poodle.
While they are low shedding, they again need a proper grooming routine.
Where they differ from poodles is their temperament around other dogs and strangers. They have territorial tendencies due to their guarding instincts. Without proper socialization training they can be wary around people and dogs they do not know and tend to bark.
They make an excellent family pet. They are extremely loyal, intelligent and sometimes mischievous.
Weimaraners or "Weims" are an extremely popular hiking dog with minimal shedding.
Not only do they shed very little, but their coat stays very clean without needing to be bathed often.
They are extremely high energy dogs with a human-like personality. While this is great for hiking, they do not do well being left alone for long periods of time.
They are not a dog you should leave at home 8 hours a day whilst at work. Many Weimaraners suffer from separation anxiety when left alone too long. In fact, Weims often tend to be given the nickname "Shadow" due to their tendency to want to be within touching range of their loved ones.
Weimaraners are a wonderful family dog. They are fun, quirky, extremely loving and intelligent. They are bred to stay within range and can handle long hiking and camping trips.
Greyhounds are a wonderful low shed, low maintenance dog that can more than keep up on any hiking trip.
Whilst Greyhounds have lots of energy, they have a wonderfully mild and sweet nature. Once they have had their daily dose of exercise they love nothing more than to sleep.
Greyhounds however, can only really be a hiking or walking buddy when on a leash. Whilst they are sweet-natured, they have a strong prey drive and will set off running after a rabbit before you have even spotted it. And they can run. Fast. 40-45mph fast.
If you do like the sound of a Greyhound, we would absolutely recommend that you adopt one. Whilst we recommend you adopt any dog you get, Greyhounds are relentlessly put up for adoption when they are retired from racing. There are plenty of wonderful Greyhounds waiting for a loving home.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is an all-round fantastic hiking dog with minimal shedding.
Whilst a natural hunter, they are just as happy being a family pet you take hiking or jogging with you. As long as they have love and exercise they are content. They are fun, loving dogs and particularly enjoy the company of children who, more often than not, have similar energy levels and playfulness as themselves.
Similar, but not quite as intense as Weims, GSP's do not like to be left alone for long. Their intelligent nature means they need something to do and can get extremely bored when left alone. To curb the boredom they often find something destructive to do. So do not consider a GSP if you leave for work every day of the week.
GSP's are excellent at being trained, and having webbed feet means not only do they love to hike and run but swim too! So if you enjoy hikes that involve water, or even have a backyard pool, they'll be more than happy to jump straight in.
Dobermans have contracted an unfounded reputation for being vicious. And this couldn't be any further from the truth.
Their bad reputation stems from their natural instincts to protect and guard. They are a loving, gentle dog and are especially considerate of children. However, they are fearless in the face of danger and will do everything in their power to protect their family.
Whilst they shed more than other dogs on this list, they are easy to groom and maintain. If you don't mind regular brushing and bathing, they're shedding can easily be kept to a minimum.
Dobermans love the great outdoors and love spending time with family. So a long hike will leave your Dobie in their elements. They are extremely obedient and easily trained, so getting them used to hiking off-leash will be a walk in the park.
Love our guide to the best hiking dogs that don't shed? Let us know in the comments which doggy you'd love to take on your next hiking adventure!