Mountain Dog Challenge – Race to the Summit, or Ten

What would you do with your dog for a free doggie bandana? Make them sit, stay and shake in front of a crowd? Or maybe even enter them in a ‘best of the breed’ competition? For adventure seeking souls, both options sound pretty lousy, right? Well the guys at Further Faster NZ have come up with something even better. Fitness freaks and four-legged friends, get ready to scale great heights, take on rough terrain and bask in the ever-changing weather conditions with the one and only, Mountain Dog Challenge. 

A challenge designed for those with minimum laziness and maximum adventure, the Further Faster Mountain Dog Challenge is all about getting you and your pup outdoors, one with nature and having the best time ever! The challenge involves leashing up your four-legged friend and hiking to the summit of the 10 official peaks of the quest. Some are easy, some are hard but the beauty of the challenge is that there’s no time limit on how quickly you have to get it done! Take two years or four if you like, the team at Further Faster NZ will support you unconditionally along the way. 

dog on snow mountain
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Once you reach the top, take a photo or video of your dog and post to your Facebook or Instagram account, using the hashtags #furtherfasternz and #mountaindogchallenge. Why not chuck in a #dogfriendlynz whilst you’re at it so we can see what you’ve been up to too! Be sure to tag the shop @furtherfasternz so the team behind the challenge can share the love. And when you and your dog have completed the 10 official peaks, give the team at Further Faster NZ a shout and your pup will be rewarded with their exclusive Mountain Dog Challenge bandana to show off to all their dog buddies! It’s completely free and they totally earned it.


Now with dog friendly hikes and tracks scattered across our beautiful country, you may be wondering where exactly the 10 official peaks are. Further Faster have kept this side of things easy and currently have a challenge located in Canterbury and one in Wellington with many more editions to come.  


Where you’ll go

Keen for a sneak peak? Here’s Canterbury’s 10 official peaks to hike with your dog:

  • Mt Oxford
  • Mt Grey
  • Mt Thomas
  • Helicopter Hill, Craigeburn
  • Saddle Hill Summit Track, Banks Peninsula
  • Rabbit Hill, Korowai Torlesse Tussocklands Park, from Starvation Gully.
  • Mt Barossa
  • Foggy Peak, Torlesse Range
  • Mt Isobel

dogs hiking

Some things to note

As expected, there’s also some simple rules the team behind the Mountain Dog Challenge would appreciate be followed. To ensure the challenge is equally safe and fun for all parties involved (two-legged and four-legged included), Further Faster NZ ask you keep in mind the following whilst hiking around New Zealand:

  1. All of the peaks are Dog Friendly at time of writing (last updated May 2020), however if you find that this has changed please let the team at Further Faster NZ know and respect the current guidelines.
  2. There may be livestock at places, make sure you follow the famers and DOC rules and use a leash at all times when required.
  3. Mother nature can be a total cow, so if something happens that may put you and your pup in danger, turn around and stay safe. Take a photo where/if you can and Further Faster NZ can pretty much take that as proof of a good effort (which is good enough!)
  4. You do this at your own risk, you will need experience and the right gear. If you’re unsure, stay safe, spend a bit of time training and collecting the right gear. We’d recommend a Ruffwear harness – check them out here. At the end of the day, you have as long as you need to get it done!
  5. Your dog will need to be fit and old enough to do some of these peaks. Chat to Further Faster NZ or your vet if you are unsure.
  6. You can find details about these hikes on the DOC website. It is up to you to be responsible for your navigation skills and confidence in using them. Peninsula and Plains Orienteers (PAPO), Canterbury’s orienteering club can be a good place to learn these skills or better yet, take a friend (who loves dogs as much as you) and knows what they are doing.
  7. If you decide to head up a peak with another group member, we recommend that you meet for a dog date first to make sure the dogs (and humans) get on – it’ll make the hike a whole lot easier!
  8. Last but not least and most importantly, have fun! 
dog in snow
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Now whilst a bandana sounds like an awesome prize (for a dog anyway), we must admit, it’s definitely not the only good thing you’ll get out of an adventure as awesome as this. Providing unreal, scenic views, memories to cherish forever and exercise in the best form, the Mountain Dog Challenge truly encompasses all we believe in, here at Dog Friendly New Zealand.  


So what are you waiting for? Sign up now and get the deets straight to your inbox! Many dogs have done it and there’s many more to go. Register your interest here. 


We’ll see you on the summit soon!

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