Man’s Best Friend: Learn How to Paddle Board With Your Dog

how to paddle board

They say that dog is man’s (or woman’s!) best friend.

You probably already walk your dog, drive with your dog, and watch TV with your dog. So why not learn how to paddle board with your dog?

Paddleboarding is a fun, full-body workout that gets you outdoors and on the water, and humans aren’t the only ones that can enjoy it.

So let’s get into it. Here are some of our favorite tips to teach your favorite four-legged friend how to paddle board with you.

Why teach your dog how to paddle board with you?

Before we jump into the how-to, let’s first address the why. Why teach your dog to paddle board in the first place?

It’s good for your health

For one, teaching your dog how to paddle board could be a great motivation for you. Studies show that people with dogs are more motivated to be active on a daily basis.

If you start taking your dog paddle boarding, you’ll be motivated to paddle board more often. Since paddle boarding is a great, calorie-burning workout, this will be great for both your health.

Your dog is your most dependable friend

Once your dog learns how to paddle board, you’ll have a permanent paddle boarding partner! You won’t have to wait to see if your friends are available because your dog is always ready for an adventure.

Get the right equipment

Once you’ve decided to teach your dog how to paddle board, it’s important to make sure you have the proper equipment for your adventure.

The paddle board

While there’s no one particular paddleboard that’s “right” for using with your dog, some paddle boards are better suited for canine use.

An inflatable paddle board is a great choice for dog owners. These paddle boards are less slippery, so it will be easier for your dog to stand on them. Also, they won’t get scratched up by your dog’s claws.

You also want to make sure that your paddle board is big enough for both you and your dog. Typically, a board that is at least 10 feet long and 30 inches wide should be big enough for the two of you.

A life jacket

Just like you, your dog needs a life vest to keep them safe in the water. Even though most dogs can swim, having a life vest will make them more buoyant.

When choosing a life vest, there are a few key features to look for.

For one, you want to make sure that the vest has a strong handle on it. This will help you grab your dog if he falls into the water. You should also make sure that the color is bright and visible so that you will be able to spot him.

Additionally, you should attach a leash to your dog’s life vest, and attach that leash to your paddle board. This will help ensure that you and your best friend don’t get separated.

Also, make sure to take your dog’s neck and chest measurements before purchasing a life vest. This will help you make sure that you’re getting the right size.

Make sure your dog is ready

It’s important to get the right equipment, but it’s also important to make sure that paddle boarding is right for your dog.

There are a few things that will show you whether your dog is ready to learn how to paddle board.

Your dog should be comfortable with water

While most dogs love water, some dogs hate it or are very afraid of it. If your dog hates getting a bath, it’s unlikely she’ll suddenly love water when she gets on a paddle board.

Additionally, some breeds of dog are not great in the water. Breeds like pugs and basset hounds have difficulty swimming, so paddle boarding is probably not the best activity for them.

Your dog should respond to basic commands

If your dog loves water, the next step before teaching him to paddle board is to make sure that he listens to your instructions.

Your dog should know his name, as well as commands like “sit,” “stand,” and “stay.” These commands will help keep your dog safe.

If your dog doesn’t know these commands yet, work on these first before attempting paddle boarding.

Your first outing

After you’ve determined that paddle boarding is right for your dog, it’s time to give paddleboarding a try.

Your first attempt teaching your dog how to paddle board is sure to have some hiccups. Here are a few tips to make it go more smoothly.

Go to a comfortable location

While you’ll certainly want to explore new areas with your dog, your first excursion should be somewhere familiar. It’s always best to have the fewest variables possible.

You should choose a location where the water is relatively calm. This will make it easier for your dog to learn to balance.

Start small

It will be easier for your dog to learn to stand on the paddle board is she is the only one on it.

To help your dog get used to paddle boarding, start off in water that is no more than waist deep. This way, you can help your dog stay steady on the paddle board. Once she is used to it, you can join her on the board.

Once you get on the board with your dog, it’s important to figure out proper positioning.

Bigger dogs should stand or sit in the middle or back of the paddle board. This will distribute weight more effectively. Smaller dogs have more freedom to walk around on the front of the board without disturbing it.

Be patient, and have fun!

Ultimately, there is no secret to teaching your dog how to paddle board. Being successful requires practice and patience.

If your dog knows basic commands and is comfortable with the water, you can start slowly introducing him to paddle boarding. Over time, he won’t only be comfortable on the paddle board, but will be excited to go out with you!

Have you taught your dog to paddle board with you? What were the most successful strategies?


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