When stand-up paddling with a dog, humans and four-legged friends stand together on a shaky board in the water. The key here is to keep your balance. Dog trainer Anja Jakob explains step by step how to prepare.
Riding the SUP board (or standup paddling) is becoming more and more popular… and it’s also a lot of fun with a dog. The following tips will help you to ensure that your dog enjoys it too and that you don’t both end up unexpectedly and all too suddenly in the cool water.
SUP with a dog: step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Slowly get the dog used to the board
First, you should carefully get your dog used to the SUP board. It is best to place a wet towel or a rubber mat over the board so that your dog has a good grip and does not scratch the board right away if it gets stressed and wants to get off quickly.
At first, stay next to the board yourself and try to keep it as stable as possible. It may be helpful to have a second person stabilize the board while you take care of your dog.
Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the board
Next, you should first familiarize yourself with the SUP board on your own. Sit on the board or kneel down and start paddling for the first time. It’s not that easy to keep the board on course.
As you begin to feel more confident, you can try standing up slowly the first time. Make sure your feet are centered on the board. Without a dog, this is best to the right and left of the handle. With the dog in front of you on the board, your optimal position is a little further back so that the board lies optimally in the water.
Step 3: Build trust with the dog
Do you feel ready to try it with your dog? Then start sitting again. And also give your dog the opportunity to find his balance in peace and to feel more and more secure on the board. For example, you could practice giving your paw. Or ask your dog from the seat to the seat.
TIP: Practice with your dog that he always has to remain calm on the board until you give him the signal that he can jump off. Because if your dog later unprepared you for this, you will go swimming with him!
Step 4: Start paddling with your dog
When you and your dog both feel comfortable, start paddling…again, sitting or kneeling first. Because moving is something else for your dog. He also has to get used to the fact that you keep moving the paddle over his head to the other side.
Step 5: Standing SUP with dog
Then comes the great test of balance and trust… on both sides! Does it work while standing? EXCELLENT! To be on the safe side, stay close to the shore at first in case you decide to go swimming involuntarily. If you intend to ride far from shore and on very cool waters, then it is advisable to get a life jacket for your dog. With the handle on the back, you can also help him back onto the board much better.