How to Paddle Board with Your Dog: Simple Actionable Tricks
Paddle Boarding can provide you and your pooch a ton of different physical and mental benefits. Paddle Boarding alone can be a bit tricky for beginners, paddle boarding with your dog is a whole other story! With the right amount of patience and practice, it can be done.
Actionable Steps you can take to SUP with your PUP
Before your maiden journey, there are some steps you have to take to make your pup comfortable with the board and its surroundings. Be sure that you are comfortable with the paddle board before taking your pup out.
Step 1: Start at Home (Land)
After you have got your board place it in your house or in the backyard for about a week. Let your pooch become accustomed to it. You can speed up the process by encouraging your dog to get on the board by placing a treat on it but, I would recommend doing this a day or two after your dog gets used to it.
Later you can add commands that encourage him to sit and stay on the board. You want to do this to encourage him to stay on the board when it is in the water. These steps will make your maiden journey more manageable as you will not have to constantly counter the weight shift done by your dog.
Step 2: Teach him a Special command to get off of the board (Land)
This will teach your dog not to prematurely jump off of the board without your command. If he listens reward him with a treat! This measure ensures that your dog does not get distracted by other critters that are in and around the water.
Step 3: Go on the Board with him (Land)
Do all of the above but this time be on the board with him. Practice the same sit, stay and get off the board commands and reward him with a treat. As soon as your pup starts mastering those commands and is comfortable with you being on it start gently rocking the board. He Probably won’t stay on long at first but with practice, he will start to listen, just make sure to reward him with treats.
Step 4: Go to Water
Once your dog is comfortable and obeys to all the above commands on land it’s time to go to your favorite paddling spot! In this step, however, you will not be making your maiden paddling journey. Instead, you are going to test how comfortable your pup is with the water. Repeat the same steps as you would on land but have the board wade in shallow water. Practice sit, stay and get off the board commands if he comfortable with this step than hop onto the board with him. Repeat the same steps until he is comfortable with you on the board with him. It will take a few practice rounds and maybe even a few trips but have faith! If all goes well you are ready for the Maiden Journey!
Step 5: The Maiden Voyage
Now that your dog is comfortable on the board and the water-based environment surrounding him, it is time to go out on your maiden voyage! To start off, it is best not to venture too far from shore. Chances are things are not going to go so smoothly and poochy may jump off a few times. That’s ok! It takes some time. Keep following the routine and be positive and the results will follow. Some dogs are more comfortable in the water than other so keep at it!
-It is highly recommended that you get a PFD for your pooch. While many dogs can swim instinctively a PFD will help in emergency situations. It is also easier to pull your dog back onto the board as each PDF has a safety handle
– Don’t put a leash on your pup when doing this. The last thing you want is the leash to be wrapping around him/ her when your dog is in the water.
– If your dog is not keen on water it is best to address this issue first instead of trying to paddle board first.
The Best Type of Paddle Board for your Dog
Inflatable Paddleboards are best for dogs, which may sound a bit surprising at first. Inflatable Paddle Boards are made of strong, multiple layered PVC materials that can withstand major impact as well as claws. Inflatable Paddle Boards also have a softer surface so if you were to hit your head the impact would be less than a hardboard. If you are curious what inflatable paddle board (https://floatingauthority.com/best-cheap-inflatable-paddle-boards/) it is best to stick with a bigger mainstream brand. “
Maureen McCarthy founded Love and Kisses Pet Sitting in 2006. She is a member of Pet Sitters International and has Feline Certification through the University of Edinburgh. She operates one of the most successful pet sitter businesses in North Carolina. Read more about Maureen here.
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