It sure does look like fun, especially with the many adventurous dogs you see across Instagram enjoying a water-filled adventure in a glassy turquoise lake. Well, there's more than likely been some heavy lifting behind the scenes before those shots were taken. The leg work, we can safely call it, does take some time for most fur balls, as once you get them comfortable in the water you need to stand on the board with them!
Here's some practical tips to once the two of you on on the board.
When you hit the water with your paddle board and pup for the first time, take it slow and easy. Short paddles close to shore are the call, even one 'incident' can harm the ability to easily get them back on the board. No one, including yourself, needs to feel any stress. It's easy to build up to longer paddles further away from the shore.
In our experience, your first few paddles should be you and your dog. Don't burden them with too many influences so they can feel comfortable immediately. No friends, no dogs, no toys. Water bonding time.
The best place for your pooch is just in front of the center of the board, or between your feet if their size allows it. A place they feel safe and you can feel balanced in case of any sudden movements. More often than not they'll squirm a little, get up and spin, check out a fish or two swimming by but if they get used to being centered on the board right from the beginning success is merely a few sessions away. Short paddle strokes allow you to use the blade for balance and in case Fido falls in, you're ready for a quick retrieval.
As we all know, learning to SUP on a windy day is not easy. Choose a location where you dog is familiar and a day with calm waters. If you're confident the pooch will feel it..if you're not, well you may both be swimming.
You'll see Rio, our little adventure pooch, sometimes with and sometimes without a PFD. That's a personal decision we've made as she is a great swimmer, has spent quite a bit of time on a SUP in all water conditions since she was 5 months old and spent her first season mostly sporting a PFD. Our SUP abilities and her comfort on the board allows us to bring her without a PFD on our local lakes. However when we're on the ocean, or going on longer paddles where the waters moving like rivers we put her in her Level Six Floater which has proven to be outstanding. Make the smart choice and make sure everyone is safe.
Now get out, paddle and have fun. And don't forget the pooch :)
By: Rosie @squidpaddleco
I love my boards but it I don’t pamper them. They have been dragged across rocky shores, through forested river banks and over and under log jams.
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