Introducing Your Dog To Paddle Boarding
Sharing the adventure of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) with your dog can be an enriching experience for both of you. Whether you're exploring serene lakes or gently flowing rivers, preparing your pup for their first SUP adventure ensures safety and fun. Here's how to get started, inspired by the journey of a Labrador named Mowgli who found his sea legs (and love for SUP) in the beautiful lakes of Utah.
They say Labradors love swimming, well my dog Mowgli took around 3 years to learn his love for paddle boarding. I let him get comfortable at his own pace. Even though I had grand dreams of paddling the beautiful lakes of Utah much sooner.
Can Your Dog Swim?
Safety First: Before venturing out, it's crucial to assess whether your dog enjoys and can handle water. Introduce them to water gently to gauge their comfort level. Remember, a doggie life jacket is essential, even for water-loving breeds, ensuring safety in deeper waters.
Training Your Dog for SUP
Off-Water Acclimation: Begin by familiarizing your dog with the SUP board on solid ground. Encourage them to explore the board by placing treats on it, simulating the board's texture and stability with a little water if possible.
On-Shore Observation: Let your dog watch you paddle close to the shore, demonstrating that it's safe and fun. Their curiosity or protective instinct might encourage them to join in sooner.
First Paddle Out
Board Familiarization: Start by coaxing your dog onto the board while it's partially on shore. Let them feel the board's buoyancy and movement in shallow water.
Gradual Introduction: Initially, stay on your knees to paddle, maintaining stability for both of you. As confidence builds, you can transition to standing. Your dog will naturally find their preferred spot on the board, be it at the bow, stern, or between your legs.
Keeping Distractions at Bay
Be prepared for distractions. Birds, other animals, or objects in the water can catch your dog's attention, potentially leading to unplanned swims. Use treats to regain their focus and ensure all gear is securely attached to avoid losses.
Choosing the Right SUP for Your Pup
Stability and Comfort: Opt for a SUP with a wide profile and a full-length soft deck pad for maximum stability and comfort for your dog's paws. Glide's O2 Fusion inflatable boards are known for their durability and are a safe choice for those concerned about punctures from dog claws
Essential Gear for SUP with Dogs
- Dog PFD (Pet Flotation Device): Essential for safety, make sure it's a comfortable fit for your dog.
- Waterproof Treat Bag: Keeps rewards handy for positive reinforcement.
- Dog Towel and Bowl: Keep your dog dry and hydrated, especially on longer outing.
- Fresh Water: Bring clean drinking water for you and your sup pup.
- Leash: Don't forget the leash, depending on where you are at your sup pup may need to be on a leash once the paws hit the dirt. Also good practice for keeping your furry friend once you are back at the parking lot.
Embrace the Adventure
Starting your SUP journey with your dog might have its ups and downs, but it's a rewarding experience that strengthens your bond. Not every outing will be perfect, but with patience and practice, you'll create unforgettable memories.
We'd love to see your SUP adventures with your furry friend! Share your moments using #glidesup and join a community of paddleboarding enthusiasts who cherish their time on the water with their pets.
Ekko Approved Dog paddle boards.
The Glide O2 Angler Fishing SUP makes a perfect sup for any pup.
The Glide O2 Lochsa, although don't run white water or rapids with your pup, that is not an Ekko approved activity.