5 Best Dog Breeds For Hiking Protection

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Dog Breeds for Hiking Protection
Caption: A man is hiking with his german shepherd

Hiking is a great way to get in touch with nature, but it can also be dangerous. Think about the dangerous wildlife you may encounter on the trail, for instance, bears, snakes, mountain lions, and coyotes.

And unfortunately, some individuals aren’t exactly the friendliest types. Plus, some may prey on the vulnerable.

That is where having a hiking protection dog comes in handy! They will add additional security out in nature, whether you are out in the open, camping with a group of friends, or going solo.

Here are the five of the top breeds for hiking protection. These dogs are loyal, protective, confident, and won’t be intimidated by danger or other challenges.

This article also outlines everything you need to know about each breed, including their history and temperament, to help ensure that you find a perfect match!

1. German Shepherd

German Shepherd
Caption: German Shepherd

German Shepherds were initially bred as herding dogs back in the late 1800s by Captain Max von Stephanitz. The military has also used them in World War I and II, where they served alongside soldiers on the frontlines of battle as a rescuer, messenger, sentry, and to guard and carry supplies.

And today’s German Shepherds are still the preferred dog breed for many police and military units across the world.

They are powerful dogs that need proper training from an early age to prevent them from becoming aggressive towards people or other animals.

And as far as temperament goes, German Shepherds are loyal, confident, and protective, making them perfect for wilderness protection! They are also intelligent, obedient, and have a strong sense of duty to their owners and family members.

And while German Shepherds can be aloof with strangers, these beautiful pups will become very affectionate towards their favorite people once you have earned their trust.

  • Origin: Germany
  • Type: Herding Dog
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Lifespan: 9 – 14 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Loyal, Alert, Confident, Obedient, Courageous, Fearless

You May Also Like: German Shepherd Price Guide

2. Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois
Caption: Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois has a short coat and comes in a variety of colors, including fawn, fawn sable, red, red sable, and mahogany, with a black mask, and are one of the four types of Belgian herding dogs, which are Groenendael, Laekenois, Tervuren, and Malinois.

Belgian Malinois looks very similar to German Shepherds. In fact, they are often mistaken for one another. Also, they both share many similarities, such as the fact that they were also initially bred as herding dogs. They were also used in World War I and II for various purposes, including carrying messages between units on the frontlines, patrolling the border, and pulling carts of firearms.

And today, Belgian Malinois is also a favorite among police forces around the world due to their intelligence and high energy levels. You will find them working alongside military and law enforcement professionals protecting people from dangerous criminals or serving up justice when it comes time to catch the bad guys!

The biggest difference between the two breeds is that Belgian Malinois tend to be smaller, weigh slightly less, need more physical activity, and are more energetic and much faster than German Shepherds!

In fact, these beautiful dogs should receive at least 1.5 hours of exercise every day. Otherwise, they may resort to destructive behavior such as chewing furniture or digging up your yard!

In terms of temperament, Belgian Malinois are loyal, confident, and protective of their owners or family members. However, they exhibit more aggression than German Shepherds. Belgian Malinois also boasts various other impressive qualities such as agility, endurance, and speed (they can reach speeds up to 30 mph!)

Belgian Malinois are highly active outdoor pups, and hiking protection would be perfect for these guys since they will always be on the lookout for anything that might be a threat to their family members!

  • Origin: Belgium
  • Type: Herding Dog
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Alert, Loyal, Aloof, Confident, Courageous

3. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback
Caption: Rhodesian Ridgeback

If you are looking for the perfect hiking protection companion, Rhodesian Ridgeback is definitely a breed to consider. They are a medium to large, muscular breed that was initially bred in Africa as hunting dogs. They are also referred to as the African Lion Hound due to their impressive tracking and hunting of lions.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a short, dense coat, with colors ranging from light wheaten to red wheaten, and come with a black mask and white markings. They also have a distinguishing feature, in which their ridge of hair grows in the opposite direction.

In terms of their personality traits, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are independent, loyal, confident, protective of their owners, and can be a bit strong-willed and sensitive. Plus, they have a strong prey drive due to the fact that they were originally bred to hunt big game in Africa, such as lions or antelopes!

If there’s something these amazing pups love above all else, it’s children and protecting their family members whenever necessary! They will always be on high alert, ready to run into action at any moment of need, and won’t hesitate to take action against potential threats, making them one of the best for protection while out on the trail!

  • Origin: Southern Africa
  • Type: Hunting Dog (All-Purpose Hound)
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, Courageous, Intelligent, Confident, Fearless, Strong-Willed, Sensitive

4. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher
Caption: Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher is one of the most loyal, intelligent, and fearless breeds out there. They were created by Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman in Germany in the late 1800s for protection while collecting taxes.

Doberman Pinschers are medium to large-sized, muscular dogs with a short, sleek coat, usually black with tan markings around the ears, muzzle, chest, legs, feet, and below the tail. They also have a cropped tail and ears.

Doberman Pinschers are very adaptable and enjoy the company of their owners, as well as children! Additionally, they have an innate need to serve and protect those they love and can get territorial over strangers if they sense a threat!

Doberman Pinschers are very active and enjoy daily walks and outdoor activities such as hiking or jogging! They love to be outside, making them a perfect companion for those who enjoy spending time outdoors.

  • Origin: Germany
  • Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Lifespan: 10 – 13 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Loyal, Alert, Fearless, Adaptable, Confident

5. Rottweiler

Caption: Rottweiler

Rottweiler, also known as Rottie or Rott for short, is a large breed initially bred in Germany to pull carts and herd livestock and has also been used as police dogs. They are hard-working canines with great stamina.

Rottweilers have a stocky, muscular body and short, straight, and coarse black double coat with mahogany, tan, or rust markings over their eyes, on each side of the muzzle, cheeks, chest, legs, and underneath their tail.

Rottweilers are confident, loyal to their owners or family members, fearless against anything they perceive as a threat and have a natural need to protect their loved ones! These pups are always on high alert for anything that might threaten the people they care about most and will make sure nothing gets past them without a fight!

If you’re looking for a great hiking protection canine, then Rottie is undoubtedly one of the best breeds out there that could keep you safe from any potential threats while on your hikes in the wilderness.

  • Origin: Germany
  • Type: Working Dog
  • Size: Medium to Large or Large
  • Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
  • Temperament: Obedient, Devoted, Fearless, Alert, Confident, Calm, Steady


The top five breeds for hiking protection are the German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Doberman Pinscher, and Rottweiler.

All of these breeds would be excellent companions while out on a hike because they’re loyal to their owners and protective by nature. The best part about owning one of these amazing pups is that they’ll always be on high alert for any potential threats, so you don’t have to worry about anything sneaking up on you!

These breeds are intelligent and fierce in their protective instincts. They will never hesitate to take action when it comes down to protecting the people they love most against something that could potentially harm them.