How to Kayak with Your Dog: Smart Tips for the Canine Owners

How do I teach my dog to kayak? This is a question that I battled with for a long time. Even so, I finally got a grip on it. Thanks to my personal kayaking trainer. Today, I find it very easy to tag my dog along whenever I go kayaking.

In case you are struggling with the same, today is your lucking day. I am going to show you exactly how to kayak with your dog. Could you take a look at what I have for you? It is simple and easy to follow, whether you are a pro or a beginner.

Buy Your Dog a Personal Floating Device

Does this surprise you? Well, it shouldn’t. There are very many companies out there that make super cool floating devices for dogs. So you should get your dog a PFD whenever you set out to go kayaking. It is the ultimate tip when you want to kayak with your dog. But why is this important?

  • If the dog jumps into the water, the PDF holds them/ makes it easy to rescue them.
  • The PDF comes with an easy to pick up handle at the top/ for easy retrieval
  • PDF also prevents them from hypothermia
  • It is within the coastal guard regulation/ you won’t break the rules

Get them Familiar with Your Kayak

More importantly, it would be best if you got pet to be familiar with the kayak. This will help them to attain a higher comfort level and, at the same time, eliminate any form of fear that they could have in the beginning.

To do this, you can teach your dog how to get in the kayak and sit while the kayak is on dry land. You can also hold the kayak still as they board so that it doesn’t rock. Personally, I would prop it up since this prevents it from tipping over.

In addition to that, you can teach your dog some commands that are related to safe kayaking, such as:

  • Get in
  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Lie down
  • Out

If your dog does exactly that, you can give them the treat to motivate them in the same direction that you need.

Start on Flat Water

Now you want your dog to get into a great kayaking shape. The best thing to do is to start with flat or calm waters. Large water bodies or fast rivers can be quite scary for your canine pal. Indeed, their experience is no different from one that a person gets.

So start them on flat waters where they can swim out in case they jump out of the kayak when scared. This includes ponds, bay, or shallow lakes. You can progress as their confidence becomes better.

Bring a Pal to Help

This might be tricky if you are using a single person kayak. However, if you can get your hands on a two person kayak, this will be very ideal if you want to go kayaking with your dog. Such a kayak allows you to tag along with a friend.

Why is this important? Most dogs tend to be very nervous on their initial trips. A pal will help you to hold them down and keep them calm.

Bring the Right Gears

Apart from the personal floating device, there are several other kayaking gears that a dog will wind to be helpful. Some of these gears include:

  • A harness
  • Leash
  • Sunscreen
  • Water toys

All these things help your dog to get comfortable. Eventually, they contribute so much to helping your dog to come around.

Kayaking with Your Dog

While the tips that I gave you above form a great part of how to kayak with your dog, they don’t actually show what you should do when you kayak. As such, I have decided to include a small section on how the kayaking should be. Take a look.

Step I: Talk to the Vet

The first step to kayaking with your dog is talking to the vet. This allows you to understand whether your dog is cut for this type of experience. The vet will examine the dog and tell you whether the dog is ideal for kayaking climates and temperatures.

Step II: Get Your Dog Comfy

Like I said before, you must familiarize the dog with the kayak. Walk them around when the kayak is on land. Show them their space. You may want to train them on a few commands of your choice to make your experience safe and easy to follow too.

Step III: Load in the Dog

Now that it is time to hit the waters, you should load in the dog first. Once they get down to their comfort zone, the next thing is to shove the kayak in the water and to jump in yourself. Then you can start off your paddling journey.

To keep your dog in the kayak while you push the kayak in the water is very important. This is where the commands come in. The best one to use is “stay” to keep the dog from jumping off the kayak.

Step IV: Maintain a Low Tempo

There is no need to rush. In any case, this is just the very first time that you and your dog are out kayaking. Thankfully, you began on flat water. But to make the experience even better and more comfortable for your dog, it is advisable that you begin at a very low tempo.


For anyone who wants to spend more time with their dog, learning how to kayak with your dog can be very helpful. It will give you more time, fun and enable you guys to blend more. This is very incredible. However, it can be quite challenging if you don’t have any slight idea on how to do it.

That’s why we have brought in this simple guide to help you. It gives you a great head start, and you can have your dog kayaking in no time.

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