Are American Bullies Good Hiking Dogs? Guide with 10 Pro Tips

If you want to go hiking and wondering whether you can take your American Bully on this great adventure with you or not, then this article is especially for you.

So, are American Bullies good hiking dogs? American Bullies are good hiking dogs. They are highly energetic, and they will be able to handle walking for long distances, especially if they’re allowed to explore the trail freely. However, make sure to always keep your American Bully on a leash while hiking to keep it safe.

Keep reading to learn more about why American Bullies are good hiking dogs and how to go hiking with your American Bully while keeping safe.

Are American Bullies Good Hiking Dogs?

a photo of an American bully on a hiking trail to show that American Bullies are good hiking dogs

American bullies are perfect hiking dogs because they’re super energetic and adventurous. They also love spending quality time with their owners doing all sorts of activities.

Hiking is an ideal activity for them as they will be able to handle walking for long distances, and they will love being able to walk around freely and discover new things as they explore the trail.

If your American Bully is trained well, you can even let them hike off-leash and watch them exploring with lots of happiness and excitement.

3 Main Reasons Why American Bullies Are Good Hiking Dogs

American bullies are good hiking dogs for many reasons. So, let’s take a quick look at those reasons:

  • They are super energetic – American Bullies have high energy and love doing any activity that will allow them to move around and be active so they can release their energy.
  • They have strong muscular bodies – American Bullies have a strong muscular build that will allow them to walk for long distances while carrying a doggy pack without getting exhausted.
  •  They’re companion dogs – American Bullies love spending time with their owners and doing all kinds of activities as this helps them build stronger bonds.

How to Go Hiking with Your American Bully?

There are 4 things you should consider when you go hiking with your American Bully. Let’s break them down in more detail:

Get ready for the hike

The first thing is to get ready for the hike. 

You need to prepare your packs with all the supplies you will need, including food and drink. You also prepare your dog’s pack, but make sure that it’s not too heavy for the dog to carry

It will take some time for your American Bully to adapt to wearing its doggy pack, so try to make it easy for the dog and don’t put too many things inside the pack. The backpack’s fit and material also matter a lot, so you need to get one that your dog will be comfortable with.

I have tried lots of backpacks and finally settled on the Himal Outdoors dog backpack. It’s available in many sizes, the fit is great, the material is very comfortable and it never seems to rub on my dogs in a way that annoys them. It also has space for their food, water, and other supplies.

So far, it also seems to be very durable, which is a very nice surprise given its quite (very) affordable price. Bonus points for the styling, too, I like it very much.

It’s recommended not to let your American Bully carry a pack in the summer for long periods as the dog can get overheated and tired a lot faster in high temperatures.

American Bullies, generally speaking, are not the best dogs for warm weather, and you do need to know how to keep them cool to avoid them suffering from it.

I have a complete guide on how to keep your dog cool in the warm weather here that is definitely worth a few minutes of your time, and a lot of the tips there will work great for keeping your bully cool while on hikes.

Know the rules and the trail

You must learn and follow the rules of the hiking trail you’ll be on. You also must learn everything there’s to know about the trail, including any inclines, toxic plants, or animals that you might run into.

National park trails may not allow dogs to enter, but national forests may allow dog entrance with some exceptions. So, make sure you check the rules for the trail first before going with your dog.

Also, make sure that your dog is always on a leash to keep it safe and prevent it from running away. It’s also a respectful gesture when hiking with other people on the trail who might not want to get too close to a dog.

Keep the dog hydrated

American Bullies get overheated easily, and they will get overheated quicker while hiking.

Staying hydrated while hiking is highly important. So, make sure you have enough pure water with you for your Bully to drink, and try to avoid drinking from ponds or other natural water sources on the trail because the water might not be clean enough.

If you notice that your American Bully is panting with its tongue out and moving too slowly, then that means it’s getting overheated. Make sure to cool the dog down by making drink water or gently pouring water on its body.  

I have tested quite a few water bottles with my dogs, and the one I love the most (so much so that I now have about a dozen of them) is this bottle from MalsiPree. It’s affordable, it is very well built (never leaks, not even a drop with all the walking and running), and the design is perfect. I highly recommend you check it out.

Learn more about how American Bullies handle outdoor weather here.

Check the dog’s health

Check your American Bully’s health before hiking to check if it’s in a good enough shape hike or not.

If you are not sure about the dog’s fitness and ability to hike, you can start with hiking for short distances and then gradually make the distance longer as dogs get more and more used to hiking.

10 Safety Tips for Hiking with Your American Bully

For safe and happy hiking with your American Bully, here are some tips you should follow:

  • Make sure that you check the trail first to see if dogs are permitted or not.
  • Don’t break the rules and take your dog to a trail that doesn’t allow dogs to hike. There are reasons behind the prohibition as there might be dangerous animals or the ground is not suitable for dogs to walk on.
  • Make sure that your dog’s health is okay and that it is able to walk for long distances.
  • Make sure that your dog is vaccinated before you take him hiking. 
  • Don’t forget to pack enough food and water for your dog to keep him energized and hydrated.
  • Don’t let your dog wear a heavy doggy pack. It can make him easily overheated and tired, which leads to serious health issues.
  • Don’t forget to take a first-aid kit in case there are any accidents or injuries while hiking.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when required. It’s preferable to keep him on a leash at all times because the dog might not obey your commands or try to run away.
  • Check the weather before going on a hike, and avoid hiking when the weather gets too hot or too cold.
  • Make sure that your dog is chipped or wearing a dog tag with all its information so it can be identified if it gets lost.

When Should You Not Take Your American Bully Hiking?

You should not take your American Bully hiking in any of the following situations:

  • If the weather is too hot or too cold.
  • If your American Bully’s health is not good enough for such activity
  • If they are not trained well to walk on a leash or if your bully gets aggressive and barks a lot around people or animals.
  • If your American Bully has a strong prey drive and will try to chase down any animals or birds on the trail

Related Questions 

How Long Can American Bullies Hike? 

American Bullies can hike for about 60 minutes per day, which makes up about 16 miles of hiking per week. You should monitor how long your dog can hike before it starts to get tired. If you find that your dog still has energy after 60 minutes, you can let him hike a bit longer.

What to Do If Your American Bully Meets Another Dog On A Hike? 

If your American Bully meets another dog on a hike, you should avoid face-to-face or head-on introductions. It’s recommended to make your dog walk in parallel to the other dog so they wouldn’t feel threatened. If the two dogs begin to fight, try gently pull your dog away from the other dog.

You can learn more about how to help your bully to get along with other dogs here.

What Dog Breeds Make the Best Hiking Companions?

The dog breeds that make the best hiking companions are Siberian Huskies, Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs have high energy levels, and they enjoy doing outdoor activities.

Helpful Resources

Hiking With Dogs: 10 Breeds That Make Great Trail Partners

The Top 7 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in the U.S.

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