Dog encounters while traveling can leave just as big of an impression on us as a new dish or an iconic temple.
In this post, we’ve compiled over 20 stories of incredible encounters with pups from all around the world. We dare you not to fall in love!
I was so lucky, I got to spend a total of two months with these two babes right here! Meet Vedder and Marley. These two dogs are my friend Zara’s pups. I met her earlier this year and became friends with her when I stayed at her Airbnb for a month.
Later in the year she asked if I could help doggie sit for a month. I didn’t hesitate. I just spent the month of November cuddling and playing on the beach with these two cuties. I love them as if they are mine!
Without a doubt the most memorable dog encounter we’ve had on our travels was staying in a beach side airbnb in Wellington, New Zealand. We had the airbnb booked for about 6 weeks and it was right away we discovered the two local dogs who lived upstairs from us.
From the first time we put our clothes on out the laundry line, Sooky and Brian (two Shih Tzus) came bounding out the doggy door expecting an intruder: me. They barked for a minute or two before the started to snuggle against me. I rubbed their ears and before you knew it they were rolling on their backs asking for more.
For the next six weeks, Sooky and Brian provided constant companionship whenever we went outside to work or relax. And when we left for Australia, not seeing them anymore was the toughest thing to let go of. In any event, we had a lot of great memories of Sooky and Brian and we have this fun picture to remember them by.
“Who wants to handle one of the stronger dogs?,” the lead trainer asked the group. Um, sure, I volunteered. How hard could it be, I figured, since I grew up with a husky/malamute mix. He then explained that these sled huskies could not be controlled by a leash but instead we had to wear a belt harness around our waist. Oh, and if you have back or neck problems, better not do it. Yikes.
The husky program in Norway is one of Viking Cruises most popular shore excursions and Julie and I felt lucky to score our spots. After visiting the open kennel area with dozens of bred sled Alaskan Huskies, we walked for about an hour through wet boggy, hilly, mushy land. And I only fell on my face one time!
Hiking to the summit of Mt. Olympus, Greece, I came across a white dog hanging out on the trail. I knelt down to say hello, welcoming the break from a long strenuous uphill climb. She laid down next to me and we happily sat together soaking up the Greek sunshine.
Wanting to make it to the summit before the clouds rolled in, I reluctantly said goodbye and resumed hiking. A few seconds later my new furry friend trotted up the path ahead of me, stopping every few feet to wait for me before again bounding ahead to the summit.
We hiked like this until the final ascent where the trail became too steep for her to continue on. I’m sure she’s hiked this trail many times with many humans, but I was grateful that she chose to accompany me. She gave me that extra motivation I needed to reach the summit.
We’ve met many dogs traveling around the world, I love hostels or campsites where the owners have dogs because it feels more like home. The most remarkable encounters with dogs we had were while staying in dog-friendly places. It was in the North of Namibia in Grootfontein where we came to see Hoba, the biggest meteorite in the world.
We found a campsite on our camping app. When we arrived there the gate was opened, and two dogs were running around our car, both very excited waving their tails; a Labrador and a Jack Russell. We rang the bell and called but nobody came to us. It was getting late and we decided to find a spot for camping and try to find people in the morning.
Both dogs were following our car all the time. We pitched our tent, made dinner (dogs scored some bones) and went to the tent. Later the Jack Russel left but the Labrador stayed with us the whole night laying outside against the tent and snoring softly.
We camped at that place twice and both times the Labrador slept all night with us. Traveling and dogs for us are so related that we decided to name our dog after our favourite country in South America – Chile. Now Chile is a part of our adventurous team; we take her with us every time we go to the beach or camping.
Hiking the Annapurna Circuit Trek was one of the most amazing hikes I’ve done in my life. The Himalayas are simply stunning and you can’t help but gaze up at the snow-capped mountains as you walk.
Very little could distract me from those views. Maybe saying hello to the local Nepalese families as we walked through the tiny villages or moving out of the way from the numerous cows I met on the route.
However, there was one character at one of our tea stops that caught my attention. You know the kind, cute, fluffy and very loveable. I must have spent the entire tea break playing with him and was very sad when I had to leave. He was definitely one of those dogs you wanted to take with you. And would have been perfect to keep you warm on those cold nights!
My favourite dog encounter came when my wife and I were visiting Chatsworth House in England – one of the finest (and most popular!) stately homes in the country.
Whilst walking the ground, we met this incredible dog, which I discovered on talking to the owners was a Hungarian sheepdog, or Komondor. Obviously, the most exciting thing was that he also appeared to have dreadlocks – like me! The owners were very friendly, and delighted to have me pose for photos with their dog on the grounds of Chatsworth. We attracted a fair bit of attention too!
Later, I learnt that this breed of dog is also quite famous – even Mark Zuckerberg has one. I thought my facebook page having a million followers was impressive, but Mark’s “beast” happily trounces that, at almost three million!
A few years ago, my husband, son, and I rented a small beach house in Port Townsend, Washington as part of a longer weekend in Seattle, Washington. My son was not quite two and we did not have a dog (yet!), although my son was madly obsessed with any and all dogs we encountered.
There were a number of cabins along the water and the house directly next to ours came with an elderly lab. He visited every few hours, looking for pets and belly rubs. But, my favorite was when he stole some cheese off our tables when we weren’t looking. For an old guy, he was pretty spry.
We now have two boys and a dog and they’re the light of my life. Here’s to many fun dog adventures in ’18.
Whenever I left my hotel in Bali Kuta, I would come across these two cute little stray dogs who lived outside of my hotel. There was one black dog and one white dog who seemed to be the best of friends. The black dog would always be off searching for food while the white dog was always people watching.
His favourite spot to sit was in the middle of the road that was on top of a square manhole. Every day, he would sit on that same manhole, claiming it as his own space. Because the block was in the middle of the road, cars and motorbikes would have to go around him to avoid hitting him. But when traffic gets too crazy, he’d move to the side of the street, returning to his square box only when it was safe to do so.
While we were house-sitting in Turkey we met a beautiful dog called Kara, a cross bred rescue dog. She was such a gentle soul who walked with us as we fed all the street cats without any of the normal cat/dog reactions.
What really endeared her to us was when we took her for a walk later in the day, would be escorted by one of the street-cats Mumma Cat, Kara would not leave till she came and even if she wandered off would wait for her to return before we could continue. It gave us some fond memories to add to our travel memories.
A big part of travel is encountering random dogs, and in more than five years of travel I must have met close to fifty if not more. One that I’ll never forget, though, is this yellow Labrador that I met in Salamanca in Spain.
I was walking through an industrial estate on a weekend; making my way back to the hotel which was on the outskirts of the city (I sure know how to pick them). All of the businesses on this industrial estate were closed, and almost all of them had guard dogs that would run at the gates to bark and snarl at me. Except this guy.
I don’t know who thought a yellow Labrador would make a good choice of guard dog. Personally, I would have chosen something more traditional like an Alsatian or a Rottweiler. This guy saw me coming and he ran to the gate with his tail wagging, just begging for attention.
If I’m ever in Salamanca again, I’ll definitely have to check to see if he’s still working as a guard dog or he’s been given the sack. I think he’s be more suited to the role of lazy family pet.
Over the last 3 years we have met so many adorable dogs, it’s so hard to pick a favourite. We have snuggled some pampered pooches housesitting in the USA, UK, and Italy.
But our favourite heartbreaker is Ninjo. Ninjo and his posse of 7 pack mates were all rescued from a life of destitution on the streets of Bali. Each dog received buckets of love, care, and medical treatment from Eli, their Swiss angel.
Ninjo had a severe case of mange, distemper and was malnourished when Eli found him. After several months of intensive vet care, and two years of fortnightly injections he is back to health. His majestic wolf-like coat is glorious.
We fell head over heels for this boy. He is such a big cuddly mutt, very loyal, and gentle. Cuteness in canine form.
I’m not going to lie – dogs turn me into unintelligible mush in a way that babies just can’t. However, arriving at our accommodation in Kampot, Cambodia by tuk-tuk, over the unpaved roads with local mutts snapping at us through the dusty air, we were a little terrified.
When we arrived at Gecko Village where we were staying, a dog came bounding up to us. Seconds later, we realized that this pooch was a mush-making hound we would immediately adore. Zia was only 7 months old, with silky ears, eyes that would melt your heart, and a love of having her belly stroked.
Every time we came back to our apartment, she galloped over for some doggy-cuddles. We fell in love with her, and her French family who hosted us. And don’t tell Francois and Valérie, but she is one of the biggest reasons we will go back.
I was exploring an archaeological site in Mexico, not a well known one, therefore I was all alone on the site. As soon as I stepped out of my car this cute little dog came towards me and jumped on me as if he had known me forever. I started to walk around the ruins and he was with me all the time.
I loved the mysterious atmosphere that surrounded me but at the same time I felt a bit too isolated. The dog presence reassured me. Every time I stopped he would do the same. I decided eventually to sit down and enjoy the silence all by myself. The doggy came quietly behind me and started to lick my neck, I wasn’t expecting it so I jumped and had a good laugh. It was hilarious.
Then he sat beside me and patiently posed for me while I took a thousand shots. He was waiting for me to get up and go. He walked with me me through the gate. I felt blessed, as if I was the elected one until I knew from the guard at the entrance that he would follow anyone. I was disappointed 🙂
A year ago, we went to Maligcong, a quiet barangay in the Mountain Province in the Philippines. We wanted to see its majestic rice terraces, the best view of which can be found on top of Mount Kofafey. We stayed in a homestay and procured local guides for the trek.
Here is where we met Kunig, one of the two dogs who love to accompany the guides during climbs to the mountain. Kunig is a few years old. When we met him, he was quiet and a bit of a snob, ignoring the rest of us who would call him. However, he turned playful on the trail, running here and there or digging in the soil. When we reached the summit, he laid down and watched the sunrise with us.
Imagine hiking for 3 weeks straight and you’re about to conquer another ridiculously steep uphill to your tea house when suddenly this bundle of joy comes running towards you. This is exactly what happened while trekking the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.
With a couple hours of daylight left, our hiking buddies somewhere behind us and another portion of steep terrain ahead my spirit was certainly low. Though, out of nowhere the littlest fluffiest puppy I have ever seen came sprinting at us. The dogs in the Himalayas are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen, though this one was above the rest.
With a cuddle and a few licks his Nepalese owner comes running out apologizing. We reluctantly pass the puppy back, trying to procrastinate, but alas our bed awaits a few hundred feet above us.
Many a stray dog on our travels through South and Central America, but none as heartbreaking as the one we named “Blanca.” This dog was as plain as they come. Forget breed, lineage or standing, this mid-sized white cross simply fell in love with us, and so did we.
Three days spent in Drake Bay, a remote sanctuary in southern Costa Rica was all it took. Sleeping outside of our tent, taking long walks with us on the beach, just “being there” as if she’d always been part of our pack. Three days past, we headed out, driving almost a kilometer when we came to realize that Blanca was running behind, we’d left her here.
HEARTBREAK, the only word to describe the animal-human discussion that took place right then and there on the dusty dirt road, trying to explain to her why we were leaving her behind. Years have gone by, and we still ponder – what if?
We seem to have a habit of befriending stray dogs on our travels. Having grown up with dogs as pets, Mark is more of a dog lover than me, but I’m not immune to a cute pup with a wagging tail! Often we adopt a canine guide, and our visit to Ukraine’s Tunnel of Love was no exception.
Our destination was a photogenic stretch of railway track a few kilometers out of the village of Klevan. Whilst stood at the train station pondering which direction to head in, this fellow wandered up to us, seeking a bit of attention. Mark being Mark, held his hand out and gave him a pat. That was it, they were firm friends and, when we headed off on our walk, we had a companion.
Rusty (as we named him) led the way and ensured we didn’t get lost. He walked all the way with us and then waited patiently whilst we took photographs before walking back with us. When we got on the bus to leave, we only wish we could have taken him with us!
When travelling, I always appreciate interacting with the locals. If the locals happen to have or happen to be a local dog that is an added bonus as I always miss my dog on my travels. I had the good fortune to meet many friendly dogs on a trip to Laos but this little guy was extra special.
He popped out of a storefront near my hotel in Luang Prabang and proceeded to follow me around. Everywhere. We visited temples, ambled about the streets and relaxed near the river. He was a delightful companion and it was tough to convince him to go back. This photo is from when we walked back to my hotel and said goodbye for the hundredth time!
This spunky little dog is definitely a memorable one. I encountered him while on a tour high in the mountains near Jardin, Colombia – about three hours from Medellin. After spending about an hour riding on horseback through both fields and trees, we reached a farm, where we were welcomed by our new friend.
There, we hopped off our horses and began the steep and sometimes-treacherous trek on a narrow and rocky trail to a stunning waterfall that runs through a cave. The pup led us the whole way, running up and down the hill, and all around us – he wouldn’t proceed unless we were all accounted for.
After hanging out at the waterfall for a while and posing for photos with us, he guided us safely back to the farm. We were definitely sad when it was time to say goodbye to him!
I had to give my beloved dog to a family member when I became nomadic. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I know she’s loved and happy but I still struggle with the loss. However, I have found ways to help ease the pain. One way is house sitting, which generally includes caring for pets.
I have given and received so much love over the years and it helps fill the void. It would be impossible to pick a favorite but there are a few that stand out. There was Jupiter, the incredibly intelligent and loving Border Collie we cared for in France who would stare into my eyes when I talked as if he understood every word.
Or Soi, the rescued street dog in Thailand who we cared for around the clock for four days when he became extremely ill and the vets were all closed. Oh and the blind Dachshund in Mexico who didn’t let his sight loss stop him from playing with his doggy siblings. I could go on but suffice it to say that caring for these dogs fills my heart and makes me happy that I can ease the mind of their owners when they go away.
I’m a proud dog person and meeting some during my trips really excites me. It’s true that they’re man’s best friend, they give happiness, comfort, and surprisingly guide you in your adventure. This was the case of my trip to Sagada where I got to meet the local dogs.
I’ve met a lot in almost every part of the area that we went to, in the coffee shop, in the mountains, and in the market. There was this one cute little dog that guided us from the jump off point of Echo Valley in Sagada all the way to the Hanging Coffins. He patiently waited for us every time we stopped walking. It was amazing to know that he fully knows the place; of where to turn and where to stop. He should definitely apply as a tourist guide!
While we were trying out some local delicacies, I got to meet a different dog that effortlessly posed for the camera with me. Before we departed, we visited first a cheap vegetable market where we interacted with chubby dogs. I really find these dogs in Sagada very friendly. You can touch or even hug them without getting mad at you.
A few years back, I was traveling extensively throughout the Caucasus and I was embarking on a super long day trip from Tbilisi to Kazbegi, in the north of the country. I am a huge animal lover and was really missing my dog during these travels, so I was delighted when we pulled off to check out a random monastery in the middle of nowhere because the religious sight was surrounded by adorable pups!
That initial excitement quickly turned into sadness as I made friends with one of them during this short stint and I realized I couldn’t take him home with me. Nevertheless, he took a few cute pictures for me and followed me to our marshrutka and said goodbye. I have had several pup encounters during my travels, but this one will stay forever ingrained in my mind.
Have you ever run into an adorable dog during your travels? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂
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