How To SUP With Your Pup
Stand-up paddleboarding is not just for people. It is also an excellent outdoor sport that you can share with your canine family member. Taking a dog out stand-up paddleboarding can be an enjoyable outdoor experience for both the pup and the owner. You can make a fantastic adventure out of the SUP with your pup.
Before you even get to the actual point where you cruise together on the water, you can train your canine friend well first. With proper water training, preparation, and the right gear, you will make the activity even more fun and rewarding. Stay with me to learn everything you need to know regarding how to SUP with your pup.
Your chances of having the best and safe stand-up paddleboarding experience is heightened if you come prepared. Therefore, there are things you should prepare before the event. Here are some of the basic accessories you need;
- Dry bag
- Doggy treats
- Life jacket
- Water bottle paddleboard
- Favorite water toys
Before Entering the Water
Begin by familiarizing your dog with the stand-up paddleboard you intend to use. That would be an effective way to provide a safe, calm environment to train your dog. You can choose to place the board on the ground or the floor in a spacious room or the backyard. It will help get the furry friend comfortable being on the paddleboard.
This process should involve letting them get on and off the board several times. This might also test his basic obedience abilities. Instruct them to get on board, stay there for a minute, and then ask it to jump off. Such training will help them understand how it feels to be on the board afloat in water.
Teach Your Dog How to Swim
To SUP with a dog that already knows how to swim is always better. You will have an easier time teaching the furry family member with your board as he will be familiar with how the waters feel and its risks.
However, if your dog does not know how to swim, you should teach them before getting into the water for stand-up paddleboarding. Have them wear a life vest when teaching them how to swim, both for safety reasons to make the process easier.
Teach Your Dog Special Commands
While still teaching your dog the basic stuff, make sure that he learns and gets used to the commands you give. You should have specific commands for getting on and off the paddleboard, which your dog should learn and get used to, even before you get in the water with them.
Such commands and making your dog get used to them are both quite important. When you teach your dog to get on or off the board only when you command them to, he will not jump off just because he sees a duck while you paddle in the water. The best ways to teach a dog to obey commands strictly is with the use of treats.
When he obeys your commands, you give them a treat, and when he does not obey you, do not give them a treat. That way, you will be able to make them stay on the board while you are paddling in the waters and only jump off when you ask them to do so.
Practice sitting and standing on the board and teach your dog the same.
You and your dog need to sit or stand properly on the board while you paddle in the waters. Besides the need to sit comfortably on the board, you should both stay in the right spot. Therefore, take some time to practice sitting and standing on your board with the dog. Some dogs tend to learn this quicker than others.
So if you seem to be having trouble taking and staying in the right position, sitting or standing correctly, just take it slow and be patient with them. While he is still learning how to stay in his spot, whether standing or sitting, try paddling to see how he responds to this action.
He should stay in position without being disturbed by the movement of the board. It may take time to make the dog comfortable while you paddle on the water with both of you on the board.
Safety and the law
You and your dog should always wear safety gear. One of the essential safety gear for water is the personal flotation device. Besides the obvious safety reason, the law also requires you to wear them when on the waters.
The one for your dog should have handles that you can use to pull them onto the board from water when he falls off. Never leash your dog to the paddleboard because if you do, he may become dangerously entangled.
Time to go to the water
With you and your dog comfortably on board and wearing proper safety gear, either launch yourself away or have someone push you away from the shore. Once you have set off into the waters, keep sweet-talking, petting, and hugging your dog to help keep them calm.
Keep your first trip into the waters short, and be sure to praise your dog when you get back to the shore. From then on, you can make every next trip longer than the previous, cruising just as long as you and the dog can manage to stay on the water. Customize the SUP with your pup to make it more fun and adventurous. Use the time to have fun and bond with your pup while soaking up the sun.
Now that you know how to SUP with your pup, you should enjoy every bit of the process. The trick is in going at the dog’s pace always. Luckily, dogs learn new skills quickly. However, remember that some need more time to learn certain skills than others. You should also remember to pick a quality paddleboard for your dog.