Me and My Dog
May 01, 2017
By: Maree Edwards
If you love your dog and you love to kayak or canoe, you might want to try bringing your dog out in the boat with you. Before you do, though, you should take precautions to ensure your dog doesn’t get injured or become uncomfortable.
Before I began bringing my Beagle mix, Katie, out with me, I did a lot of research to make sure I was doing it safely. These are the things I found to be most important to keep your dog safe while canoeing.
Help Your Dog Adjust to the Canoe or Kayak
First consider your dog’s temperament and personality. Not every dog likes the water, and some dogs are afraid of it. I’d definitely start by taking your dog to a lake or river just to test the waters, so to speak, and see if he’s interested in it.
Then get your dog used to your boat. Canoes and kayaks make a lot of noise, so you just want your dog to get used to the different sounds yours makes and the motion of the paddle. It’s a good idea to do a slow introduction.
Also consider your dog’s size in relation to the boat. Canoes are wider and have some space to move around, but kayak cockpits are smaller and just designed for one.
I live in a condo, so I store my boat behind the couch. Before we went out on the water, I’d take my kayak out and stick it in the middle of the room, just as a way to get Katie accustomed to it. I would sit in the cockpit and invite her in, but I wasn’t going to force her. Soon, she was sitting in my lap in the kayak’s cockpit. Eventually, I gently pushed her out of my lap in the boat, and she would just sit in front of me.