Are you an outdoorsy kind of person? Do you love hiking? If so, you should consider that when you go to adopt a dog. If you are an avid hiker that goes on strenuous terrain on a regular basis, you should seek out a dog that will be able to successfully keep up with your active lifestyle.
That said, most dogs make wonderful hiking partners. If you have them while they are young, it is highly recommended that you socialize them within that critical 8-12 week old period so they are not aggressive towards other people and dogs. Make sure that the weather you take them out in is appropriate for what they can handle (not too hot and not too cold), that they can solidly follow directions and that you keep them fit so that they can truly handle the several mile adventure that you plan on taking them on.
Dogs over 40lbs are typically better choices to take with you on a hike, but that isn’t to say that a smaller dog can’t handle it. However, your little dog needs to take a lot more steps to cover what, say, a labrador would take a couple to cover, so they might need a lift or a break sooner.
Socializing your dog is vital to taking them on trails where other people and dogs are. It is a courtesy to other hikers that your dog is not going to show aggressiveness, and it will save you a lot of trouble if they can curb their hunting instinct because they understand how to behave among friends – of both the four-legged and two-legged variety.
When you do take them, make sure you bring food and water with you and watch for signs of overheating. If you can’t feel your dog’s ribs through his chest, he might need a little bit more training before you take him on that 10-mile jive. Your dog loves nothing better than being in your company, though, so just because he’s little or isn’t considered to be of the outdoors variety doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take him out on adventures with you.