Best Dogs For Camping

Looking for the best buddy for your camping trips? You can’t go wrong with these breeds!

The best dogs for camping include breeds like the Vizsla, Australian Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback and more. Breeds that are bred to spend a lot of time outdoors can be excellent companions for camping and overlanding trips.

These are just a few of the breeds that can have a great time on your camping adventures. Continue on and you’ll learn about seven more breeds that can make for excellent camping companions.

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Top 10 Dogs for Camping or Overlanding

You can take just about any dog on a weekend camping trip, but only certain breeds are going to be able to handle camping or overlanding adventures well. Because these trips tend to last quite a bit longer, you’ll need a breed that enjoys spending time in nature!

Whether you want a dog that is great for providing protection, retrieving, swimming, or just hiking around different kinds of environments, there are some great breeds out there to take with you. The following dog breeds are great choices to take on overlanding trips.

1. Vizsla

Vizslas are fantastic dogs for traveling with, especially when you’re going to be experiencing warmer weather overall. Because they were bred to be outdoors and work hard, they are more than capable of handling long walks and explorations through unique environments.

These dogs are also highly intelligent and extremely loyal. Consequently, you can rely on them to bond deeply with their owner and stick with them through all kinds of experiences. Just keep in mind that eye problems, epilepsy, and other health problems can plague this breed. Make sure any dog you adopt is healthy before taking them out on adventures.

Australian Shepherd

Another great working dog to take on the go is the Australian Shepherd. The gorgeous coloring of these dogs makes them a little easier to find out in the wilderness. Additionally, they are known to be highly intelligent, so training them can create some fantastic results.

With an Australian Shepherd, you’ll have a loyal friend for life. Some members of the breed can succumb to issues like hip dysplasia or epilepsy, so get your pup checked over before you go long-term camping or overlanding with your dog. Often, this breed is also great in most climates.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Those who like to travel around hotter areas will appreciate the durability of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. However, keep in mind that these dogs aren’t the best option for new dog owners. These dogs have strong wills and will need owners who are capable of more advanced dog training skills.

For those who have those skills, the Ridgeback is a great companion. They are quite affectionate and always ready to take on the wilderness with their owners. For those who enjoy hunting, or just a solid game of fetch, the intense prey drive on these dogs can make them really fun and useful to have.

Bernese Mountain Dog

For those who prefer larger dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog is an awesome choice. These lovable dogs are extremely mellow and very smart. Consequently, they make for a great choice for those who like to use their camping or overlanding time to relax more often than go on more physical adventures.

Additionally, this breed is better when you’re going to be spending time in colder areas, which can mean hot climates are tougher on them. You’ll also want to keep in mind that because they are a larger breed, their lifespans can be shorter than other options on this list.

Labrador Retriever

Those who are relatively new to dog ownership, or who just want a dog that is easy to train, a Labrador Retriever is a hard dog to go wrong with. These friendly dogs enjoy being around people, going on adventures, swimming playing and cuddling when it’s time to mellow out for the night.

Labs are a great choice for those who want to spend a lot of time in the outdoors because they have a fantastic temperament combined with a lot of energy. You won’t need to worry about them being too intense or alert. These are dogs with a fun personality as opposed to a more serious “working” personality.

Australian Cattle Dog

Some travelers may want a dog that is going to be able to alert them to potential danger. Australian Cattle Dogs are bred to work and protect, so you can rely on members of this breed to be keen on keeping you safe from intruders. This can be a comfort during your adventures camping , especially if you’re traveling alone. If you are travelling solo, then I’d recommend checking out our article about how to have a successful solo camping trip here.

Bringing a dog on an overlanding or camping trip can be a big comfort in areas where there are other critters in the area. If you want to know how to keep animals away from your tent, we researched a lot on the subject in our article here.

Another benefit is that when they are kept healthy, these dogs can live decently long lifespans when compared to other options. Just remember that these dogs are going to need to get plenty of mental and physical stimulation in order to avoid getting bored.

Siberian Husky

Those who enjoy dogs with large personalities are sure to get a kick out of Siberian Huskies. They are another great choice if you like traveling through mild or colder climates. Remember that because of their double-coat, they aren’t made to spend a lot of time in the heat. Road trips to Texas or Arizona may not be a good match for these dogs.

While these dogs are loyal and friendly, they also have a lot of energy and need stimulation. Otherwise, their mischievous nature may result in added problems. There’s no denying that huskies are gorgeous dogs, but they need experienced owners to make sure they get what they need to be happy.

If you can convince your husky that it is helping shoulder the load in the journey, you will have a happier and less bored (and less mischievous) husky.

German Pointer (Shorthair)

If you enjoy spending your time engaging in activities like hunting while out in nature, a German Pointer can be a helpful breed to have around. Not only are these dogs built to handle time in the outdoors very well, but they can also be trained to assist in hunting and retrieving. You’ll also find that they’re often quite comfortable in a variety of climates.

What’s worth keeping in mind is that because these are working dogs, they need plenty of exercise. Even if you don’t hunt, spending lots of time walking, jogging, and playing will help to keep members of the breed entertained and happy. If you’re someone who likes to push it to the limits in nature, this is a great breed to have by your side.

Portuguese Water Dog

Not all dogs like hanging around in the water. Because of that, it’s worth thinking about the kinds of locations you like to spend time in while camping or overlanding. If you’re going to be around a lot of water, you may want to bring a dog that likes water such as the Portuguese Water Dog.

Another great benefit of this breed is that they tend to be pretty easy to train. You won’t need to worry too much about a strong-willed nature that tugs at your nerves. On top of that, they also don’t shed as much as other breeds, making them easier to clean up after–a super great advantage for a dog hanging out in your car for extended periods of time.

Border Collie

Another all-around athletic dog breed is the Border Collie. These obedient dogs are fantastic for traveling with. They’re also very intelligent, so if you’re looking for a dog that you can spend time training, this breed is a prime choice. Often, the results of good training can be quite rewarding.

Furthermore, Border Collies are another dog with a decent life expectancy. Many of us want companions that can hang in there with us as long as possible. Just remember that these dogs do need a lot of activity to keep their minds and bodies in solid shape!

Which Dogs Are Good Off-Leash?

A number of the dogs on this list can be great companions for off-leash walking. Options like the Vizsla, Australian Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Border Collie can all be good options if you want to be able to let your dog roam freely.

Just remember that there are some tips you’ll want to consider, just in case something should happen that causes your dog to run off. In most cases, your dog should be well-trained enough to avoid that risk. However, some dogs can be more prone to anxiety than others. Our article on camping with anxious dogs can also provide some great tips for anxious dogs on camping or overlanding trips!

Tips for Off-Leash Walking

In many cases, the areas you may be traveling to can be remote and far away from other people and pets. In these cases, there is a lot more freedom in allowing your dog to walk without a leash. However, make sure to follow the rules and be courteous when you aren’t in such remote locations. Your dog may be well-behaved and friendly, but you never know how other dogs might react to them.

Spending time training your dog is key to ensuring they stick near you even without a leash. Clicker training is a highly recommended method for a variety of different kinds of dog training. You can learn more about this method through this article.

It’s also a wise choice to have some backup tools like a leash, harness, and microchip for your dog and a collar with your identifying information on it. That way, your dog stands a much higher chance of getting back to you if they are lost.


Peter is a software developer who loves to take every opportunity to go outside that he can get. Peter grew up going on long backpacking excursions with his family every Summer and now enjoys staying at the beautiful Texas State Parks and swimming in the amazing Texas Rivers.

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