Beginner with some questions

Hello everyone!

I am in the market for my first kayak and I would like to take one of my dogs out with me when I am comfortable with everything. My largest dog is about 36lbs and she is with me all the time. She’s probably the one I will teach to kayak with me before any of the others and I would obviously never take more than one out with me at a time. Anyway, my question is, I am looking for a reasonably priced beginner kayak, preferably a sit on top one so she can ride in front of me and I am just looking for suggestions on where to start looking or what kinds would work best for us. Thanks in advanced for any ideas and tips you can give me!


potential dog kayaks
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, since I expect to get a dog, soon. I don’t think SOT is the way to go, since the dog would be either on your feet, ahead of you, or, balanced on the a front hatch cover, or riding in the cargo well, behind.

There are some boats with long cockpits, like the WS Pungo 12 or 14, or the Hurricane expo-something 14, which people have sometimes used with dogs. But, it appears to me that the dog will still be sitting between and all over your ankles.

The boat that looks most promising to me is the Perception Prodigy 13.5. It’s got an even longer cockpit, to accomodate a dog or small human. The main seat slides, so the boat can be trimmed to passenger weight, or, for no passenger at all. I’ve been seeing them listed onlne for $799, which seems pretty fair.

I’ll be interested to see other suggestions (oh, yeah, canoes will come up), but, by now, I think I’ve considered just about everything.

SOT and a PFD for the dog but…
your profile says you live in the suburbs of Chicago. Are you thinking about doing this on Lake Erie? I would advise against that lake for kayaking with a dog on board.

lake erie - never.
no, I live by lake Michigan but I would never go out on the lake in a kayak myself, let alone with my dog! lol That would be terrifying! There are a few lakes and rivers near me that are nice and calm where I fish that I would be taking it out on.

This might work Best not to buy new for a first kayak

I Am New To Kayaking Myself
but have done a ton of research and have looked at many, already getting some ideas on my next step up the kayak ladder.

I know others will chime in here and perhaps my thinking is all wrong, but a WS Commander or a Native Ultimate would seem to me a decent choice for taking the pooch.

From everything I read and from looking at them, they seem to be extremely stable, light enough to load and unload by yourself, and would have room for your dog to sit comfortably.

I have never kayaked a SOT but from looking at them they don’t seem to be as dog friendly since there is no way for the dog to be near you comfortably for either you or the dog.

I am anxious to read the responses from the more experienced paddlers here.

Have you considered a canoe?
They can be lighter than a kayak and hold a lot more dog while keeping you drier than a SOT. Just something to think about.

Harry & Maria paddle a SinK Loon
because the cockpitis large enough for the dog.

I had to build a deck for my daughter’s boat for ehr small dog.

Regardless of the boat, put some blue foam sleeping-pad on the deck so he will have some traction.

A dog that is on cold, wet, slick plastic is ALWAYS moving around seekign secure footing.

Once they have a place to sitthat is dry and comfortable, they settle down easily.

also… PFD!!
I watched a woman toss a ball intothe lake while her husband was fishing. Her Lab would leap off the boat and fetch…

But I saw the dog getting more and more tired and swimming lower and lower as his fur waterlogged,

She’d pull him into the boat by his collar andi was waiting for his head to pop off.

I have a selection of doggie PFD’s that I loan to people for exactly that reason.

Also, when Cerridwen’s pug or my mini-pin goes overboard, I don;t worry aboutthem drowning before I can rescue them…

PLUS, that handle makes it easy to pull them back into the boat.

PLUS!! When my mini-pin tried to face off a wild cow, I could rush up, wave the cow off with one hand while picking up the dog by the PFD handle and running to safety.