What dog breeds make the best trail dogs?

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  • What dog breeds make the best trail dogs?
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    Member

    Most dogs are fine with cats if they're brought up with them – they soon learn not to mess with them

    Working Cocker.

    flatfish
    Member

    english springer spaniel.
    no cat here but two small kids who he steers well clear of for an easy life, will run for hours, drinks from my camelbak, impatient when we stop for a breather, sleeps in the car on the way home then want's to go riding again when we get home.
    needs at least an hours walk a day to keep me sane.

    Moomin
    Member

    Beagles are a pain IMHO they are good looking dogs but too far strong willed and will do things when they want to. Have looked after many over the years.
    My weapon of choice is border collie, she was involved in an RTA and never claimed so took her in. really good with kids, the other dogs and cats.

    spacemonkey
    Member

    We have a springer spaniel who loves attention and exercise – he'll run for hours (as Flatfish says). However, we've let his natural exuberance get the better of his upbringing and subsequently he doesn't take well to training efforts. I mention this because he's great when out on open trails because he'll either stick to the "path" or wander just a little here and there, but when it comes to woods, etc, then he's off exploring – can be frustrating when running or biking because you have to stop (sometimes for quite a while) until he comes back. But I reckon with proper training he'd be cool. Great with our other dog and cat, plus he's fine with children and other people once he realises they respect him, and more so if they make a fuss of him.

    Labrador – had one in a previous relationship. Great for taking out – obedient, bright and generally very switched on in any company and in any situation. Perfect for trails because he's always aware of where you're going. He was professionally trained mind you, so that might make a difference.

    Collie – used to look after one for a friend. Could take him out for hours and similarly to the labrador, he would always be within 10 yards of me. Also great around other animals and family, etc.

    hh45
    Member

    Cocker and Springer Spaniels are often v clever and can run all day and not bothered by heavy undergwoth etc. You could do the decent thing (IMO) and get a rescued mongrel. Loads of these in mid size and normally v healthy, intelligent, fit and trainable. They just don't fit the designer mould that people seem to crave. My parents have had four in my lifetime and all have been great, good with kids, cats, farm animals and v good around the house. Only one (out of five) had to go back cos after two weeks it would not stop harrassing the cats. Save some money and save a dog's life – you won't regret it.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    We have decided to get a dog, as our circumstances can now allow us to keep one.
    I'd love to be able to take a dog riding with me and have the perfect trails to go on.

    We are looking for a medium sized dog ideally, a lab is probably too big, but we are still considering them. Top of the list at the moment are beagles, but I know they can be hard to train and often don't listen to commands. Is it possible to train them to return to a whistle or similar?

    Another important consideration is that it will need to be cat friendly, so something known for being docile would be best. If I could get any breed it would probably be a Weimaraner, but they are a little too big and I know they are not good with cats/small animals, which is a shame.

    corroded
    Member

    I'd highly recommend avoiding Beagles like the plague. Really tricky dogs. Springers are hyper and, although great fun, I wouldn't describe them as docile. Our Welsh Springer was always getting into scrapes. I'd have a look at the Viszla, which tend to have good temperments and I've always wanted a Boxer. I believe the STW-approved trail dog is the Border Terrier. But the suggestion to consider a rescue dog (from Terrier Rescue or a retired Greyhound) is a good one.

    oxnop
    Member

    I have a beagle so I would obviously say to get one.

    Dont just get a dog to be a mtb dog. Consider all aspects.

    Yeah, beagles are hard to train & are strong willed but they are really good with children/cats etc ( & chicks dig them )

    We took our beagle everywhere with us, camping/walking/climbing etc from being young and he was perfect off the lead, so we thought 'beagles are easy to train'.

    THEN 'dog puberty' starts, Finn was rubbish off the lead for a bit & we thought 'beagles are really hard to train'. But then we got him 'done' and he is now 2 yr old so he is now getting good off the lead again. (over the next few months we are going to be introducing him to some MTB trails)

    Here he is wild camping at 4mts old (excuse my bed head)

    And here he is more recently at the beach.

    So its easy to say 'avoid like the plague' but you need to think about what you want, my beagle never causes any probs they are seen as a dog with very few health complaints, he is brill with ALL other dogs & is suprisingly good off the lead. (& pretty cute!)

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I don't say many nice things about my German shorthaired pointer, but she is a wonderful trail dog!

    She's also great with kids and other dogs.
    Not easy to train though, they need Dominating with a capital D. And thick as 2 short planks.
    If you can work around the rest of it, you'll get a great family pet and a great companion on the trails. 🙂

    Love that beagle on the beach pic there!

    GaryLake
    Member

    I think it's just yours that is thick then – I was under the impression that they were ranked in the top 20 for most intelligent breeds of dog..?

    Premier Icon bruk
    Subscriber

    Lots of breeds ie collies and gundogs would make great trail dogs. However some of them can have other issues.

    It needs to be a choice based on your whole lifestyle not just 1 fun part of it or the dog will not be happy and then neither will you.

    Choice also depands on how experienced you are with dogs, ie I would not suggest a new dog owner started with something like a Wiemeraner or Pointer type dog.

    Head to your local rescue 1st and see what you can find. Often mongrels are healthier and can make great all round pets.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    oxnop, really good to hear from someone who owns a Beagle and just what I was hoping to hear to be honest.

    Having a good to ride is not the only reason to get one, but as I do so much riding it would be great to take a dog. If it didn't work out it wouldn't be the end of the world though.

    We have a nice sized back garden which should be suitable, but how easy has your dog been to house train?
    Your beagle is very cute, any other tips you have I'd be greatful.

    Pigface
    Member

    What ever you get dont take them riding to soon, about a year old to start doing long rides.

    crikey
    Member

    I think it's just yours that is thick then – I was under the impression that they were ranked in the top 20 for most intelligent breeds of dog..?

    Did they have some kind of dog exams then?

    ..and if so, why can't they open tins?

    ..or take themselves for a walk?

    jedi
    Member

    austrilian sheepdog/heeler (iirc)

    oxnop
    Member

    Matt, both myself and my GF ride (alot), we also have careers and are young so we had lots to consider before taking the leap.

    Finn was easy to house train, we were advised to use a crate so he would feel as though he had his own 'safe place' this also helped with toilet training. He was 9 wks old when we got him & was fully house trained within 10 days & never did a number 2 indoors! (we may of been lucky).

    You could get a dog which would be much 'easier' to train off the lead etc but with patience all dogs can be trained. When we go away he stays with our parents and they even let him be off the lead with not too much trouble.

    If you have any more questions/concerns then feel free to email me (in profile), im not a beagle sales rep or expert but do have first hand experience.

    Good luck (you'll need it) with whatever breed you decide on though!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    GaryLake – Member
    I think it's just yours that is thick then – I was under the impression that they were ranked in the top 20 for most intelligent breeds of dog..?

    Really? Well mine's in the remedial class then! I think it's what I was told by a fellow pointer owner – they are puppies until they're about 4. Mine's on(whining behind me now cos she's not allowed to see my son sleeping)ly 1 and a half.

    ..or take themselves for a walk?
    She can do that ok? Nips out the front door, comes back panting. 😯

    dano
    Member

    I grew up with a lab called sam we got from the pound… he was the best bike dog ever… he could run hard for near on 20 miles and was really good at stopping at roads and staying near the bikes… you do have to walk labs a lot thoough and watch their diet or they will be fat and useless…

    Lionheart
    Member

    Another vote for GSPs, great trail dog, they are bombproof with children and other dogs, ours is pretty intelligent, can take himself for a walk, but does exactly as told, might not open cans but manages doors (cant close them though!). We also have a Viszla, strong character, pretty demanding, very handsome (and he knows it!), pretty dumb, good trail dog, not so bombproof with other dogs and I am more wary around children.

    bullheart
    Member

    Any spaniel really. I'm wasn't a massive fan, but they go forever and rarely stop…

    scruff
    Member

    My Dalmation runs like the wind.

    oldgit
    Member

    My springer goes all day and keeps a good pace.
    Very freindly dogs and other trail users seem to find Springers highly acceptable which was an added bonus and one I hadn't considered.

    freeridenick
    Member

    My Huntaway is pretty good, runs all day but does sometimes loose concentration on the uphills and goes off for a good rabbit chase!
    But I guess thats why they are called huntaways…

    Premier Icon Lucas
    Subscriber

    We have a Lab Collie cross and he is ace. He has the best from both sides. Very easy to train, soft as sh*te, can run for ages and loves playing. But he will happily sit on his bed and not bother visitors and is great with children. We have a 6.5 week old son and a 19 week of nephew so along with friends children this has been well tested recently!!

    He is a bit smaller than a lab as his mum was a small collie and is fine with my brothers cat – he'll have a look a a sniff but has never chased her. Similarly he has shown no intrest in chasing other animals even rabbits!

    He comes running with me 4 times a week and will run just next to my heel and is the same while biking.

    Elmo the dog:

    GaryLake
    Member

    Did they have some kind of dog exams then?

    Well sort of, yes…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intelligence_of_Dogs

    It's all about their ability to learn commands, how quickly and how many…

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Anybody got a Field Spaniel?
    Met a chap with one whilst out walking mine. The dogs got on great and the Field Spaniel was nearly as quick as my pointer.
    It was like a much chunkier springer, nice brown colour. Gorgeous dog.

    Aaah!

    Milkie
    Member

    Any dog that becomes a trail dog, will probably develop problems later in life, I believe its hips/joints that are the problem areas.

    As said above do not cycle with your dog when it is under 1 years old. It's bones n muscles haven't properly formed, so it could develop serious problems later, or it may just crab everywhere, rather than running in a straight line.

    Beagle wouldn't be my choice of dog, all the ones I've met are badly behaved & stubborn. My choice would be a working Cocker or Springer, but again just realise later in life the dog will probably suffer with stiff joints and things, because you've used it as a trail dog. These dogs need at least an hour's walk a day, plus a load of training if you want a well behaved dog.

    Time for the obligitory picture!

    Premier Icon jimmy
    Subscriber

    Lucas – loving your Lab Collie cross. I wants one.

    I have posted this a couple of times, Monty is a top trail hound, he has been a little off over the last month or so due to his spleen removal operation.

    We are off to Cape Wrath next week and having a go at Golspie on the way home.

    Some top dogs here by the way

    Premier Icon Lucas
    Subscriber

    Cheers Jimmy – get one thery are great, he's my best mate!!

    Of course they look a little different as pups..

    infidel
    Member

    We have a Vizsla puppy who I hope will be able to ride with me when he's older (bumped into someone in Afan who was riding with his and he said the dog goes all day long) Like a smaller Weimaraner – he's brilliant! Very cuddly and family orientated too!

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Lovely dog infidel.
    They are very close relatives of the pointer. Bet you won't be able to beat him up the hills 🙂

    Milkie
    Member

    Most dogs will happily run all day. Thats not the problem, the problem is the damage it does to the dogs over a long period of times.

    Our dog will work until she's dead, which isn't a good thing. We had a close call, once.

    Premier Icon Lucas
    Subscriber

    That Visla has great ears!!! They might fit him one day. Lovely looking dog.

    SiB
    Member

    Spanish Water Dog all the way – used by European Police forces for a and I can see why – very intelligent and keen learners. Will run all day but as the name suggests be prepared for them going for a couple of swims on the way!

    Dibbs
    Member

    I used to have Boxer's and they would run until they dropped dead, it was difficult to know how far to ride with them so I stopped. For a while I helped to run a Dog Agility Club and the dogs that came nearer the bottom of the class included Setters, Dalmations and Pointers, if I wanted a dog to take with me on a ride (which I don't) I'd choose a Border Collie every time.

    ditch_jockey
    Member

    I suspect that the only time Bracken ever considers she's getting a decent walk is when I take her out on my bike! Like an earlier poster, we were very careful not to overdo any form of exercise until she was 12months old, and I waited until she was about 18 months before we moved on from strenuous walks to cycling.

    Rex
    Member

    Beagles get such bad press! I grew up with a beagle and he was the most chilled out dog I've ever known. Okay so recall wasn't great, but neither is the recall of my dirty lurcher / deerhound.

    We were told that is often better to get a beagle as a second dog, as then the established pack leader (the older dog) will help them tow the line when they are out. I'm biding my time until the lurcher calms down!

    Oxnop – what a great couple of photo's! Any chance I could beg a file of the black and white off you??! – my sister and i are obsessed with beagles and i know she'd love it…

    catnash
    Member

    Hey mat, I have 2 border collies and great for mtbing though need training.

    Have a look around this thread, you might recognise the trails…

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=297716

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 77 total)

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