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Tips for paddling with dogs

I will be taking my two medium size dogs paddling with me. I wonder if they would be more at ease if I had some type of "grippy" surface on the bottom of the canoe for them.

Anyone out there that can give me some suggestions that would be durable and lightweight?

Thank you!


  • Either
    a rubber mat or outdoor carpet will provide traction for them.I'd stick close to shore/shallow water till you see how they behave.
  • MyPaddleDog.com - NM
  • Options
    Dogs in the canoe
    Thank you...they have been with me in kayaks and canoes before...but not in a solo canoe. I make them wear doggie life jackets because you never know! I am hoping they behave - but your point is well taken. I have to get used to the pack canoe myself!
  • canoe
    A cheap bathroom rug has worked well for our dog.
  • Dogs
    Practice paddling with them in warm water near shore at first. An old rug won't hurt, but clipping their toenails is all you really need to do.

    Most dogs like being in boats and readily take to it. I have had multiple dogs on week long canoe, raft, and sailboat trips and we all had fun.

    Teach them to sit and stay put. A reach and a touch with a paddle can wake them up if they are day-dreaming. One dog I had really liked to watch the salmon swim under the boat on the Sacramento River.
  • ppine, I beg the doggy watching
    the fish made an interesting float. :>)
  • A yoga mat..covers a large for both dogs
  • You may have trim issues
    and for sure the movements of the dog behind will be felt by you.

    You will have to work out the trim ahead of time. What usually does NOT work is dogs in front of you making the bow heavy ..steering suffers. The dogs will need to feel comfortable. Mine stands if she feels cramped. This is not always to my liking!

    A shower mat with grippy cups seems to work best. The other ilk like yoga mats seem to slide a bit much for my liking.

    Try smaller dog in front and larger in back.. but you will have to adjust if the bigger dog is the more moving.

    My dog has finally graduated to being in the back..but there she likes to stick her head between my arm and torso..and its darn hard to paddle!
  • "Take Your Pooch Canoeing"
    Check out this article by Darren Bush of Rutabaga/Canoecopia fame:

    "Dog Paddling: How to Take Your Pooch Canoeing"

    Good luck!

    Jeffrey Lee
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