Hitting the water with the dog is great fun, but there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid failure. There are days when it works very well, but also difficult days when the dog is too excited, for example when many other dogs are walking on the bank, countless ducks awaken the hunting instinct or you go on a family trip with several kayaks and the dog would like to jump from kayak to kayak. What exactly are the first steps in introducing a dog to a kayak?
Getting your dog prepared! To familiarize the dog with the kayak, you need a lot of calm and patience. You will not have fun if your dog doesn’t enjoy a paddling trip. Especially when he doesn’t like water, it becomes difficult. Be fair to your dog before you force him to do something he doesn’t want to do. I started to train with my dog Barney on land. For a few days in a row, I practiced sitting on the kayak in the garden with him. A few treats help to motivate the dog. You will quickly notice if the dog is afraid to get on the kayak.
The training was successful? Ok, then on to the second step. Attention: your dog absolutely needs a personal flotation device before hitting the water! Not only as a swimming aid, but above all because the dog life jackets have a handle to pull the dog back on the kayak. This is really important! Sometimes Barney accidentally slips off the kayak or jumps into the water and without a grip on the life jacket, I wouldn’t get him back on the kayak! Do not leave the dog on a leash on the kayak, it can get tangled and prevent him from swimming. Many dogs don’t like to sit for a long time, so it is important to have a stable kayak with enough space to accommodate the size of the dog.
Check out these Dog Life Jackets:
What else should you think of?
– Don’t forget to bring plenty of water!
– You should also think about enough food and treats, depending on how long you are on the water.
– The favorite toy can sometimes have a calming effect.
– Some dogs are more at risk for sunburn than others, so don’t forget the sunscreen.
– Don’t forget to stay calm yourself.
– Give your dog shore time, maybe every half hour.
– If your buddy hates swimming, go to the water with water-loving dogs that show your dog that it’s fun.
– Keep your gear in a dry bag, you don’t want a wet dog shaking all over your stuff.
– Don’t forget a towel for your dog, you’ll need it before putting him in the car.
Dogs love adventure, so get out into nature and on the water! But always remember: no matter how much you want to take your dog kayaking, some dogs just don’t have the personality to be your kayaking partner and you have to accept that. But when it works, it’s a lot of fun!