Pups Onboard SUPs in 5 Steps
I have been using stand up paddle boards for the past years and had some amazing adventures. They were incredible adventures I got to share with my dogs. The idea may be scary at first but it is possible, and the rewards are amazing.
The way to do this is by training your dog before the experience so that eventually both of you can enjoy valuable time together wading across rivers, lakes, calm, still waters or the gushing waves of the ocean.
It helped that my dog was the type who liked adventure as much as I did and together we’d had great experiences behind and ahead of us.
There are 5 definite ways to train your puppy for adventures on a SUP that would last a lifetime:
5 Ways to Train Your Pup for SUP Adventure
- Take A Week With Your SUP In The House for Your Pup to Get Comfy
Lay down your stand up paddle board for 1 week where your dog is comfortable enough to train.
Place the board in a place where the pup would not be intimidated by the board. Perhaps he would sniff the board and start liking it.
- The Treat
Probably, after a couple of days getting used to the paddle board being around, it is time to give him a treat on the board. He may not take the treat immediately, but patience gets you where you want your dog to be. Try another treat the next day. This time he may take it.
Continue giving him treats on the SUP until he gets the idea and begins to like being onboard. Comfort is the keyword. Once he gets comfortable, it’s time to move on with the process.
After your dog gets accustomed with the SUP, it’s your chance to place a lifejacket or a PFD on your pup. This will make your dog associate boarding with the vest.
- Teaching Special Commands for Going Down and Back the SUP
It is essential to emphasize the significance of getting on and off the board with special commands. He may find a bird skimming in the water and decide to jump off and follow the distraction. This may cause you to fall off as well.
Teach your pup special commands to signal when he may go off by giving him a treat for doing so. For getting back on board, a treat would do as well. If the pup goes off the board without you telling him to, do not grant him a treat.
Teach him how to stay still and remain on board. After some time, you may now teach him how to go off board the SUP.
- The Practice of Being Onboard with your pup
Once he has managed to sit in the SUP, it is time to go on board with him. Gently sit behind him and if he sits, grant him a treat. Try to stand behind him and rock the SUP a bit. Some pups are uncomfortable doing so, but proper training will get you there. If all goes well move on with the process, if not take a notchback until your dog gets it done right.
The way to do this is by making him as comfortable as possible. Hope for the best. Trust your dog, and he will sense this positive vibe. Now, once he gets it done, you may now start practicing with a paddle mowing about.
- Being On Water
Different dogs have different natures. Here is where the challenge comes in. Your pup may not take to the water too fast so better stay next to the water for a while until he gets used to this new element.
Eventually, you will be able to take the SUP to the water with your pup. It’s all a matter of taking the same steps you did when practicing but this time in real time.
Soon you and your best bud will be cruising rivers, lakes, and seas. It all takes time, but the rewards for you and your dog is absolutely an experience to behold. Remember to place a life jacket on your pup and maybe a pair of doggles or doggie goggles to stave off some water spray. A little caution, never tie him to a leash while paddling because it might tangle him.
If you follow these training instructions, your dog is good to go. The bonding you and your dog will have will last a lifetime of beautiful memories. SUPs, whether foldable iSups are just as perfect as the stiff boards, maybe even better because of its convenience. Not to worry over the dog scratching a hole into the iSUP, it doesn’t happen.
So, go on and have that grand adventure. Your pup will love it!