Are Golden Retrievers Good Hiking Dogs?

Golden Retrievers are the perfect breed for families and for good reason. They’re loyal, loving, gentle, intelligent, and energetic dogs who make great companions. But what about hiking? Are Golden Retrievers good hiking dogs?

Yes! Golden retrievers make great hiking dogs! They are intelligent, easy to train, and eager to please which makes them obedient hiking partners. But, because of their thick furry coat, they can overheat easily in warm climates.

When you decide to go hiking with your retriever make sure the conditions outside are cool and not too humid.

Hiking is a great way to spend time with your retriever dog to get some fresh air and exercise.

You can go on short hikes or long ones depending on your experience level and the available time you have.

However, before you go hiking with your golden retriever there are some things you need to be aware of.

What Makes Golden Retrievers Great Hiking Dogs?

Golden Retrievers are one of the best breeds of dogs to take on a hike. They are very friendly, loyal, and obedient which makes them great hiking companions.

Retrievers love being active and are always up for an adventure or trip, so will be happy to accompany you!

But, what is it that makes golden retrievers such good hiking dogs?

  • Intelligence: Golden Retriever’s intelligence is one of the most important traits for a canine companion on a hike!

It ensures that your dog will be able to follow instructions no matter how difficult they might seem at first glance.

  • Easy To Train: Golden Retrievers are also easy to train, so you can teach him how to behave in the wild and because they are obedient some can hike off the lead.

However, before you do this it’s important to check with your local area to make sure that they allow them.

  • Energetic: Every golden retriever, no matter how big or small has an unlimited amount of energy.

They can go on hikes with you for miles without having any breaks or problems.

This is a natural result of the breed’s background and intended use during hunting expeditions.

  • Strong Build: Retrievers are also naturally strong dogs which makes them perfect for long hikes.

They have strong legs which give them the ability to climb all sorts of terrain without any problem,

Moreover, their thick fur gives them natural protection wherever needed while hiking in cold terrain.

  • Can Handle Distance Walks: Because they have a strong build retrievers can hiking long distances without any problem.

They’re bred to go on long hunting expeditions which means they were made for the distance and can do it with no difficulty at all!

Golden Retrievers Hiking Dogs

What Types Of Hiking Is Best For Golden Retrievers?

So as you know now golden retrievers do make perfect hikers partners, however, they do have one weakness! Their thick furry coat!

Although their thick coats can give them natural protection in some hiking environments being in the sun is not one of them!

Unfortunately, Having thick fur means they can’t easily regulate their body temperature when hiking in the hot sun.

So it’s important for them not to hike in warm humid temperatures which can cause all sorts of problems.

So what type of hiking is best for Golden Retrievers? The short answer is cooler and not too humid.

In the summer it’s best to only hike early in the morning or late at night when it has cooled down a bit.

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Morning Hiking

If it’s summertime and you love to hike this time of year, but your dog gets too hot and sweaty, then consider starting your hiking early in the morning if not then (just shorten it) for an hour or two while the sun is at its hottest.

This will give them time to cool down a bit before hitting the trail again.

You can also take advantage of some shade during this period by walking under trees or through forested areas that offer plenty of protection from direct sunlight.

Evening Hiking

Hiking in the evening is great for your dog! at sunset, the temperature is a bit cooler and not humid your dog won’t overheat.

Golden retrievers usually prefer cool temperatures because they’re used to it in their natural environment.

However, If you prefer hiking during the day then don’t let the heat stop you from doing it!

Just try hiking in a different terrain where there is plenty of trees to help shield you from the sun. Just make sure you bring plenty of water if do.

Summit Hiking

Summit Hiking: This is another great type of hike for your retriever! However, if the surface is rocky this can be a problem for your dog’s paws! Your best option to solve this is to use dog boots!

Dog boots are a great way to protect your retriever’s paws from natural elements and make hiking more comfortable!

Long-Distance Hiking

Golden retrievers are also naturally strong dogs which makes them perfect for long hikes and because of their strong legs, this gives them the ability to climb all sorts of terrain.

They also have high energy levels which means they’re built for endurance and have an incredible ability to keep up with their human companions on long-distance hikes. 

In fact, a full adult retriever in good health can hike 5-10 miles per day with no problems!

Hiking Terrian

Hiking terrain refers to the physical features of a natural landscape and golden retrievers are known for their ability to navigate all sorts of different surfaces with ease and can handle a variety of terrains like rocky, rugged, steep, or even muddy ground!

As long as the trails are well-maintained your retriever will be able to climb them with no difficulty at all.

But if your dog is off the lead it’s a good idea to keep them close when they are climbing just in case they get into any trouble and need a push.

Forest Trails

Forest trails are great for golden retrievers as the cushioned ground with old leaves protects the dog’s paws.

But what’s really good about hiking in the forest is trees, which provide plenty of shade for dogs for cooling.

Muddy Trails

For some reason, dogs love being in the mud, and apart from their coats getting dirty, hiking on muddy paths is no harm!

Not only is the ground soft on their paws but this can also keep their feet cool during hot days.

Rocky Trails

Mountain trails can be difficult for your dog because the terrain is rocky with a lot of steep inclines.

But if you have a well-trained retriever and they are wearing boots to protect their paws then they will be able to handle it.

What Age Can golden retrievers go hiking?

Golden retrievers need to be at least one-year-old before you start taking them on long hikes, but even then the hikes should be short and sweet.

A great way to start is with a 20-minute outdoor walk every day and gradually work your way up from there.

If you are worried about the hike is too long for them, don’t be! retrievers have an incredible ability to keep up with their human companions on long hikes as they can handle any terrain thrown at them: rocky, rugged, steep, or even muddy ground.

Just keep in mind that it’s not just the length of the hike; heat and humidity also play a big role in how well dogs do while hiking so make sure you’re prepared when going on longer hikes during those times of the year.

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How Many Times In A Day Can Golden Retrievers Go Hiking?

Golden retrievers are known for their high energy levels which means they’re built for endurance and on those long hikes there’s no problem with them having enough gas in the tank to keep going.

The average golden retriever can handle hiking at least twice a day for a minimum of 30 minutes. But, it all depends on your dog’s physical health and age.

The best thing is that if you see signs of stress or tiredness while hiking then better end it prior!

Tips For Hiking With Your Golden Retriever

Hiking is an excellent way to spend time with your dog and explore the outdoors. Golden retrievers are a beautiful breed that can be great hiking companions.

However, they have their own needs when it comes to exercise and care. So here are some more tips for making sure you’re both comfortable during your hike together:

  • Backpack To Store All Your Gear: If you’re bringing a lot of gear to the trail then it’s best to bring along a backpack that has compartments for easy storage and retrieval.
  • Bring Plenty Of Water: Make sure you have lots and lots of water for your dog. If they get really thirsty, it’s best to give them some in smaller intervals rather than a lot at once which can make them sick.
  • Monitoring Their Behavior: Be mindful of the time when hiking with your retriever as golden retrievers are known to tire out quickly! Keep an eye on how much energy they’re using by monitoring their behavior and if after 30 minutes they seem tired then end the hike early.
  • Bring Snacks: Bring along snacks that are soft like beef jerky or hard-boiled eggs just in case there is no food available where you go hiking – remember, don’t feed them dairy products because these can upset their stomachs while exercising (may also be too high in fat).
  • Hiking During Peak Hours: Make sure that you’re not hiking during the peak heat hours of the day. It’s best to go early in the morning or later at night when it is cooler and if your dog starts panting then end your hike for now!
  • Use A Harness: You might also want to bring a dog harness with you when hiking with your Golden Retriever because these are designed for large, strong dogs. The support from the harness will help the dog’s back it’ll also prevent them from choking if your have them on a lead.
  • Bring A Leash: Bring along a leash so they aren’t too far from you in case there are any dangerous animals about, like bears or coyotes.


So there you have it! In this article, we have gone over the top reasons why golden retrievers make good hiking dogs. They are highly adaptable when it comes to different environments so you can take them anywhere.

They are high-energy dogs who love the outdoors so it’s no surprise that these furry friends are excellent at being outdoor enthusiasts just like their owners. Just remember that they need lots of food and water to keep their energy levels up!

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