Are Border Collies Good Hiking Dogs?

cute beautiful dog border collie sits on the edge of a cliff and looks into the camera.

Many people love their border collie and enjoy hiking when they have free time. Oftentimes, they want to bring their furry companion. However, are border collies good hiking dogs?

Border collies are good hiking dogs because they have high energy levels, long legs, enjoy water, and enjoy spending time with their owners. Many border collies can hike with their owners off-leash if properly trained. However, health issues may negatively impact a border collie’s hiking capability.

You can absolutely bring your border collie with you when you go hiking, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before doing so. Keep reading to find out more about these reasons as well as why border collies are good hiking dogs.

Reasons Why Border Collies are Good Hiking Dogs

Border collies are good dogs to bring with you when you go on a hike, and one of the reasons why they are is that they have a lot of energy. They have so much energy that it seems to be never-ending, so they will enjoy getting some of their energy out while going on a hike with you. It will give you an opportunity to bond with your border collie while they get some exercise. (Source)

Border collies oftentimes have long legs and enjoy spending time in bodies of water, so they can climb over rocks and through a river or stream easily if you come across them on your hike. If you are hiking on rough land, it may be a good idea to get some shoes or booties for your border collie’s paws to protect them.

Border collies are intelligent dogs and enjoy being trained with a gentle hand so if you want to go hiking with your dog but don’t want to hold a leash the entire time, you can easily train them to walk beside you without a leash.

Border collies love going on walks so if you bring yours with you on a hike, they will simply think that you are going on a really long walk. They will enjoy it immensely. Because border collies have high energy levels, they don’t get tired easily. This is extremely helpful when you are hiking with them because it is unlikely they will become too tired to move, but they will likely take a nap when you get home.

Reasons Why Border Collies May Not Be Good Hiking Dogs

Outdoor portrait of cute funny puppy dog border collie lying down inside in camping tent. Pet travel, adventure with dog companion. Guardian and camping protection. Trip tourism concept

Although border collies are good hiking dogs, there are some things that you need to keep in mind before you bring your furry companion with you on your next hiking adventure.

Border collies enjoy running, so if they get excited or are not properly leash trained, they will pull on the leash. You will need to be prepared for that so you don’t get dragged along the hiking trail.

Depending on your border collie’s coat, you may need to groom them after your hike, especially if you cross a river, go swimming, or they get brambles or other natural debris in their fur. (Source)

Border collies are prone to a few health issues that may inhibit your ability to bring them on your hiking trip, including:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Malignant Hyperthermia
  • Exercise-Induced border collie collapse

If your border collie has hip dysplasia, it will be very uncomfortable for them to go on a hike. If they have heart disease, the exercise could negatively impact them and cause the condition to worsen. If your border collie has cancer, they may not have the energy to go hiking with you, especially if they are going through treatment.

Although it is relatively rare, border collies can collapse if they exercise too much. If your border collie shows signs of exhaustion or it seems like they are going to collapse while you’re hiking, take them home as soon as possible. You may have to pick them up to get them to and inside of the car. Bring them to a veterinarian as soon as possible to rule out any other possibilities and so your dog can get treatment. (Source)

Border collies can also get Malignant Hyperthermia, which causes them to overheat easily. It typically occurs when border collies are put under anesthesia, but that doesn’t rule it out completely. If your dog develops Malignant Hyperthermia they can get heat stroke, muscle rigidity, and their organs can be damaged. To avoid this, don’t go hiking with your border collie after they have had surgery and when it is extremely hot outside. (Source)

Are Border Collies Good Hiking Dogs

bearded man walking and playing with his border collie dog in the woods on a sunny day

Overall, border collies are good hiking dogs because they have high energy levels, long legs, like swimming and water, and enjoy walking with their owners. However, look for symptoms of health issues and if your border collie is sick, don’t bring them hiking with you. Depending on your border collie’s coat, you may have to groom them after you get home from a hike, but that should be relatively easy because they will be tired and ready for a nap.

Before you bring your border collie hiking, make sure they have been properly socialized with people and other dogs, as you may come across other people and dogs on your hike. You don’t want your border collie to harm someone or their dog while you are on a hike. If your border collie is aggressive towards people or dogs, don’t let them off-leash, and be aware of your surroundings.

Border collies can be trained to stay with you off-leash, but don’t let them roam freely until you know they will come back to you when you call. (Source)

Keep an eye on the temperature outside before you go hiking with your border collie. If you are going on a hike while it is cold outside or you are going to be hiking in a snowy area, maybe put some shoes or snow boots and a coat on your border collie before you leave the house. They may have an odd reaction, but it will protect their paws from the cold and prevent hypothermia.

If it is extremely hot outside, don’t go hiking with your border collie, as they can cause them to become overheated. If your border collie is showing signs of heat exhaustion or like they are exhausted, bring them home and make sure they have plenty of water.

When bringing your border collie hiking with you, make sure you bring plenty of water for both you and your dog.

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