Are you looking to take your dog on a watersport adventure? Bond with your dog on a standup paddleboard and explore. Follow this guide to ensure a puppy-safe SUP experience.
It is ideal to bond your dog with the SUP board. Owners can keep the board at home for the pup to sniff and check out the board. Place a treat on top of the board to promote dog-board friendliness. This is also an ideal time to get your dog used to wearing a life vest.
Know Thy Commands
Before hitting the water, practice standing and commanding signals. Make sure your dog knows where to sit (usually toward the front of the board) and follows the “sit,” “stay,” and “lay down” commands.
Practice Getting On and Off the Board
This is a very important step to training, as no owner wants to have to dive in the water to rescue his or her dog. Practice getting on and off the board and reward your dog for good behaviors. Your dog should hop on and off only when the owner commands the signal.
Make Friends with the Water
Most dogs have no fear when it comes to water. However, if your dog has never been around water, it’ll be a foreign experience. Let the dog play in the water and eventually throw a ball out so the dog needs to swim a little. This ensures your dog has no fear of swimming, especially if the pup falls off the board into deep water.
Ease into the Water
Every dog is different. Many larger dogs are adventurous and some small dogs may be more timid. It is ideal to SUP on calm lakes and waters before paddling the ocean and rocky rivers. SUPing on calm water is the ideal time to practice the commands to ensure your dog behaves on water as he did on land.
Go for the Gold
Once SUPing becomes effortless, you and your pup are ready for longer, bigger and more challenging adventures such as the ocean. Depending on the dog’s behavior, some dogs may require flat water SUPing for a while before progressing to wavier environments.