Do I need lessons to teach my dog to paddle board?
No, you and your dog do not need any special lessons to learn how to paddle board. That being said your dog should know basic commands and have good recall. A special command can also help with getting the pup on the board or returning to the center of the board to stabilize balance. And dog training lessons can also be a great way to help socialize your pup.
Quick tips on how to get your dog used to paddle boarding.
If your dog is a puppy, you may have an easier time if you also incorporate a certified professional dog trainer. If not no worries, in the house or yard use the paddle board as a play object and have your pup get used to exploring it, lots of treats and positive association with going onto the board.
Get on the board with your dog and do normal daily activities with the pup while on the board with your dog from reading, to morning coffee or watching a show. If this is done right your dog will end up loving the paddle board, which will make the first time paddle boarding with your dog so much easier. Piper loves her paddle board and wants to be able to sleep next to it, this method was that successful.
We then recommend bringing the pup and the board to the water and letting the dog explore the board while on land, giving positive reinforcement and treats.
Once you feel your pup trusts the board it is time to get them out on the water, put the board in as you would normally launch it and then encourage your dog to get on the board. While they are on for the firs time hold the board steady and give your dog encouragement.
Even if your dog is not a water-loving dog, they will love to paddle board with you. They love to be able to grow with their pack and see you happy. The picture below is from the first time my puppy nephew ever went on a stand-up paddleboard and is the look he give me when I asked if he was having a fun experience stand-up paddleboarding.
Now he can't wait to get on a paddle board, they get so excited when the boards get pulled out.
If you love paddle boarding and have a dog you should try paddle boarding with your dog. Most dogs find it to be so much fun to be out with their human as dogs prefer to with you. And there is just something about being able to enjoy the outdoors with our favorite friends.
Puppy swim lessons.
We recommend doing a puppy swim lesson, this will help your dog gain confidence in swimming and wearing a life jacket should they decide to jump overboard, or if you wipe out. A confident dog is a happy dog.
And if you have a place nearby that does dog swim classes and your dog loves to swim you will have a place year-round to exercise and treat your dog to some of their favorite activities.
Dog life jacket.
We recommend you have your dog wearing a life jacket anytime they are on the water, from paddle boarding to motor boating. A dog life jacket with a handle will also help you get your dog back on the paddle board quickly and safely. Especially if you have a dog jumping in the water often to cool off or swim with you. And who doesn't love to see a dog in a shark life jacket?
Can I stand up paddle board with a large dog?
Large dogs are great to take paddle boarding, the only difference is to make sure you have a good paddle board with a high weight capacity. Piper is a large dog being a Great Pyrenees who loves her paddle board and the time spent on it. We have seen Samoyeds, Newfoundlands, and many other large dogs out on the water.
Show us you and your best friend paddle boarding at #glidesup on Instagram. No matter what board or type of dog you have, be safe have fun, and give the pup some dog treats from us. For a more in-depth look at paddle boarding with your dog check out this article.