Recently I came across the story of Bobbie the Wonder dog and it really got me wondering about the veracity of this.

So, aside from the fact that the dog found the way on his own, if a person is thru-hiking a 2500 trail, which I'm assuming is not a technical trail and that can be regularly done in 5 to 6 months without rushing. Can this person with a dog do the trail in the same time?

  • I live about 30 minutes from the pct in the high Sierras. Lots of portions of the trail prohibit dogs and I've seen a few battered and bloody dogs being pushed way beyond their limits.
    – Eric
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 15:24
  • 3
    The ability of different breeds varies massively - what breed are we talking about? Border Collie: yes easily. Pug: not a chance in hell.
    – t1m0thy
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 17:45
  • Ignoring breed (as @t1m0thy is right breed makes a big difference), Dogs are naturally endurance hunters. Canis Lupis (of which dogs are a member) are endurance hunters. They (typically) hunt prey by wearing them down. Wolves and dogs have been documented chasing prey for days. So a dogs endurance will (mostly) be a lot higher than yours.
    – user2766
    Commented Nov 23, 2017 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


People have taken dogs on long thru hikes in about that time.

This summer my dog was (I’m fairly certain) the first to complete a thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail.

We began our adventure June 20th at Chief Mountain in Glacier National Park on the Canada/Montana border. We hiked through 5 states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.


On average he carried 10lbs. of food (4 day ration) and my hiking partner or I would carry the rest. We averaged 20-25 mile days. Grizby came in handy at times finding the trail when it was covered with snow, sniffing out springs, and even swam across a stream and retrieved a sock I had left behind (It took me about 5 minutes to figure out how to teach him to do that).


My guide-dog, Tennille and I have trekked more than 6,000 miles together and have completed five thru-hikes throughout the United States. We’ve found that long-distance hiking is a very enjoyable experience if done correctly.


Hello! I completed my thru hike in 2015 with my dog, No Shame. We had an amazing journey full of ups and downs, seems that is the nature of the AT.


So yes, it is possible for a dog to accomplish something like that. It is also worth pointing out that Bobbie the wonder dog had help,

People who had fed and sheltered Bobbie on his journey wrote the family to tell about their time with Bobbie. The Humane Society of Portland was able to use these stories to assemble a relatively accurate description of the route Bobbie took.


and that he averaged 14 miles per day.

During his ordeal he crossed at least 2,551 miles (4,105 km) of plains, desert, and mountains in the winter to return home, an average of approximately 14 miles (23 km) per day.


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