A dog can be a person’s best friend, and if you’re going stand-up paddleboarding, then why not do that together with your canine best friend? Stand-up paddleboarding is so much fun already when doing it on your own, but it is even more fun when doing it with your furry friend. There are a few things to keep in mind when training your dog to stand-up paddleboard, but we’ll explain everything you need to know so you guys can go on your water adventure together!
Step 1: Your dog must already be listening well to you
In order for stand-up paddleboarding to work with your dog, your dog must be an excellent listener and follow directions to at all times. If your dog doesn’t have the basic obedience skills, then this is practically an impossible mission and you’ll have to start at square one. If this is where you’re starting and you don’t quite have the basic commands down yet like sit, stay, and go, then try enrolling your dog into obedience training first.
Step 2: Introduce your dog to both the paddleboard and the water
First things first, your dog must love the water for this to work well and be an enjoyable experience for the both of you. If your dog is water-shy, then it’s time to get him or her acclimated. There’s nothing worse than your dog shivering or panicking on your board and you have to turn back early.
Introduce your dog to water and enjoy some standard playtime. Go for a swim or play fetch in the water. Either way, make sure your dog is comfortable in the water and that they know you’re right there with him. If you have children, it’s really not that different from teaching your child how to swim.
Next, it’s important to get your dog used to the paddleboard. Start off on dry land and have your dog stand or sit on the paddleboard. Get him to do that for a few minutes until it’s second nature. If your dog is still getting up and walking around, then you may have to practice a bit longer.
Once your dog is used to the paddle board on land and has learned to sit or stay on it, it’s time to practice in the water. Take your paddleboard out onto the water and don’t get on it, but put your dog on it. This may take some time and practice for him or her to get used to. Initially, your dog may get overly excited, anxious, or may fall off a few times. With time and some patience, things will improve and your dog will be a pro.
We’re still not quite at the level yet where it’s time to go full on paddleboarding yet with your dog!
Step 3: Have your dog get acclimated to safety gear
Yes, even your dog must be prepared for your adventure! So think about what are some important things to pack for your dog in terms of safety gear and other paddleboarding necessities? You will want to have a life jacket for your dog, some treats (to entice him or her to stay seated), and poop bags (because accidents do happen). If you want, there are also doggy goggles that can help.
Practice your dog wearing the life jacket on land first, before putting him in it on the water. Initially, he may need to run around and get used to it, and you REALLY don’t want that happening while you’re on a paddleboard together!
Step 4: Practice sitting
Before you go all in on the stand-up paddleboarding, practice paddleboarding while sitting first. Sitting requires less balance than standing and is therefore easier to do if your dog isn’t quite used to the activity yet. You’re less likely to have an accident and more likely to have fun - and that’s the goal, right?
After practicing this successfully a few times, you’re finally ready! It’s time to do the real thing!
Step 5: Stand-up paddleboarding
Now that you’ve completed steps 1 through 4, it’s finally time. Being prepared is so important so you can relax and enjoy your adventure with your bestie versus stress out about how your dog may or may not react. Rest assured that if you’ve done the things recommended above, you can safely go out onto the water and enjoy the so popular sport with your furry friend. Enjoy!
Some extra tips and advice
Stand-up paddleboarding with your dog may seem less intimidating now, and it should! While the major points have been covered already, there are still some other things to keep in mind and consider when training your dog to stand-up paddleboard with you. Here are some extra tips and tricks to help you along the way.
Start off short, and increase amount of time each time. It’s easiest for your dog to not get too excited and out of sorts, when you only expect good behavior for a short period of time. Start off with 5 minutes and work yourself up to 30 minutes.
Placement with your dog is important. Since a paddleboard is quite shaky in the water, staying centered is absolutely key to not falling off and making a big splash - literally! Position your dog in the center of your board in front of you so you can manage to balance without too big of a challenge.
Keep an eye on the weather. Here’s the deal, if weather isn’t ideal, you probably would already think twice before going out, but when going with your dog, think five times about it. In fact, just wait it out. It’s safer that way!
SurfStar is known for its excellent and high-quality stand-up paddleboards. With its innovative features and technology, the stand-up paddleboards are loved by many fans and enthusiasts of the sport, and make for a perfect board for you and your dog’s first adventure! If you’re looking for the best top-notch board in town, then check out SurfStar - you won’t regret it!
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