How to Paddle board with Your Dog - DogGear

How to Paddle board with Your Dog

Your passion for paddle boarding can be shared with your pooch, so you can both enjoy this sport in the water. There is no reason anymore to leave your four-legged friend behind when you SUP if you can train your dog to do paddle boarding with you. Stand-up paddle boarding is definitely a great bonding activity for you and your furry companion. Though training is challenging, the result is certainly rewarding.

Things needed for paddle boarding

When you want to share your love for paddle boarding with your dog, you have to make sure first that you are very good with SUP. Practice more and ensure that you are capable of handling any situation in the water. Also, check your dog’s ability to swim. If your pet is not a good swimmer, train your pooch first to swim and help your pet to appreciate the beach and water. You also need to prepare essential items for your paddle boarding.

Suitable paddle board

Choose the right paddle board that is suitable for a human and dog to use. It is ideal to have paddle board that is long because it is more stable. Select a board that is more than nine feet in length and at least 32 inches wide. You have to put your weight and your dog’s weight in consideration when you choose a paddle board. Always opt for a board that is larger than your dog, so the ride will be comfortable. More importantly, make sure that you purchase a paddle board that has a full deck pad intended for excellent surface traction.

PFD (Pooch Floating Device)

Put on a PFD on your pooch for safety purposes. Your dog can get disoriented when tipped and thrown into the water, and you need to be sure that your pooch is okay. It is ideal to buy a PFD that has a handle, so you can easily pull your dog back to the board.

Others

  • Dry bag for your wallet, sunscreen, keys, and other important items.
  • Water bottles
  • First aid kit
  • Towels

Simple steps to train your dog for paddle boarding

You must get your dog ready and trained for paddle boarding before you take your pooch into the water. There are simple steps that you can take in order to get your dog to enjoy the waters with you. 

Get your dog comfortable with the board

The first thing you need to do is bring your paddle board inside your house, and put it near your dog’s territory. Allow your pooch to voluntarily explore and sniff the board, and let your dog feel that the board is not something to be scared of. Leave the board with your dog for a week to make your four-legged friend comfortable around the board.

Put treats on the board

During the whole week, place treats on the middle of the paddle board so your dog will have to walk on the board to get the tasty treat. Do this a couple of times a day to help your dog feel comfortable on getting on the paddle board. You can also give your dog the command to sit on the board once your pooch went to get the treat. And when your canine friend sits on the board, give your pet another treat. Doing this process will make your dog think that sitting on the paddle board is a good thing, because of the treat. This would give your pooch an impression that the board is a good place to be.

Create special commands

You need to create your own special commands to have your dog sit and get off the paddle board. Choose your commands carefully, and train your pooch with them. This is vital to your paddle boarding because if your dog sees something he wants to chase in the water, you may be thrown off balance when you canine friend suddenly jumps off the board. Give your dog a treat every time the command is followed properly, and don’t give a treat when your pooch jumps off or gets on the board without your command.

Train your dog to sit and stand on the board

Once your dog can properly execute your special commands, the next step is to train your pooch to sit and stand on the board with you. Give the command to sit on the spot for your dog, and sit beside your pooch. If your dog stays seated, give a treat. Then stand on the board and if your dog still did not get off the board and sits quietly beside you, give your pooch a treat again. Get your paddle and mimic paddling on the water, creating movement on the paddle board. If your dog did not move and walk away, give a treat. Do this a couple of times a day until your furry companion is used to what you’re doing.

Start your paddling experience

Bring your dog and board to the beach and start first in the shallow water, to make sure that your dog gets the hang of the activity. Once your dog is comfortable with the adventure, go ahead and start you paddle boarding experience with your pooch in the water.

Tips for paddle boarding with your dog

  • Inflatable SUP boards are ideal for dogs
  • Have patience
  • Cut your dog’s nails
  • Always bring a lot of treats
  • Never put a leash on your dog while paddle boarding
  • Apply sunscreen to yourself and to your dog
  • SUP only on open water, and sit or kneel near hazards
  • Rinse your dog after the paddling
  • Talk, and show affection to your dog while you are in the water

Final words

Paddle boarding with your canine friend is a fun experience for the both of you. But never forget to check everything for safety, and make sure that your dog is ready for the adventure. Train your pooch well, and you will be rewarded with extreme fun and excitement. And don’t ever forget the treats.

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