Best Dog Breeds for Paddling

-- Last Updated: Aug-26-05 11:48 AM EST --

The thread on kayaking with dogs couldn't have been better timed, because just last week, my wife, stepson and I, who have been talking about getting a dog for a year now, decided on a standard dachshund, and will be geting one either by the end of October, or else sometime after January (we don't want a new puppy around Christmastime, when we will be flying up to my mother-in-law's small cabin in Red River NM, with her two obnoxious golden retrievers), and was imagining how fun it will be to take him camping and kayaking. I have a SOT so he should be fine. Don't worry, I'll be getting him his own PFD.

Like I said, we have settled on a dachshund, but we did a lot of research on breeds to see which we liked best. I think if I were only picking a dog to be a kayaking companion, I would get a Schipperke. They are the traditional dogs of the barges that ply the canals of Belgium and the Low Countries. They are small, sure-footed, and good swimmers. Does anyone else have an opinion on good breeds for paddling?

i take my little guy everywhere.

Standard Poodle
Originally breed in Germany as waterfowl retrievers. Mine used to try to swim in his water dish! In wintertime I’ve seen him break the ice at the edge of ponds away (when it was thin enough) just to make room to swim.

Best water dog I ever had…
…was Scaramouche van Cliburn a liver spotted Dalmatian. Damn, I miss him.

A Ferocious…
A ferocious Cocker Spaniel!

At least she thought she was.

They are good water dogs. Maybe too good. I rescued mine from class II rapids she dove into.

And she would swim straight out to try and catch ducks.

And jump out of our canoe to swim to the kid’s canoe, and back again.

I miss her alot, but we are gone everyweekend. Alot of weekends we stay at upscale hotels on the beach that do not allow dogs

Gators prefer poodles…
Sorry…too easy!

Keep on paddling!



Just To See
My dog an eighteen month old lab mix alway is very disappointed when I leave without her. To make matters worse she smells the saltwater on me when I return. I have given a lot of thought as to how to take her with me. Most of my thoughts have endded with me thinking that I needed a differant boat, maybe a canoe.

Yesterday I was going over to a little beach on a sound for some practice. So I deceided to take her with me so she could take a swim. I had thought of attempting to make some sort of platform for her and try her out. I tied an old piece of carpet about two feet behind the cockpit.

I will have to take pictures. She will ride up there and the boat is still managable. However she jumps off whenever she sees something interesting. (with her anything could be interesting)

I may try it again and see if things improve but as it is I did not feel like I could get much beyond ten feet from shore.


rec bats for dogs
This is a great use for a second boat–get a cheap plastic used rec boat with a larger cockpit. Almost any dog can sit in your lap, or right in front of your lap, with no problem (actually, my 60 lb husky mix can sit in my keyhold cockpit of my real boat, right on my lap–but she makes the boat too unstable.)

Once upon a time we had a english sheepdog mix, an idiotic dog, who loved to run along the shore when we canoed. She adored rapids–she would hop in at the top, ride them down barking the whole time, then run back up and do it again, over and over. The other dogs thought she was nuts; they stayed on shore like sensible dogs.

I think personality of the individual dog is more of an issue than breed. Some dogs love it and some hate it, and I’ve seen all breeds on the waters…including mixes (“mutts”). I’ve seen supposed water dogs hate it, and prissy lap dogs love it, too!

Just my opinion, anyway.

one of my mother-in-law’s golden retreivers is afraid of water - won’t even go in a swimming pool.

I started my 90 pound lab (and hes not fAT)when he was puppy in a canoe and now he rides great in his canoes or his double kayak

was the best water dog I ever saw. His mom was a purebred Lab, and his dad was…who knows. Had webbed feet, looked like a Lab, but never grew larger than about 16" at the shoulder. Use to ride on the deck of a buddy’s Hahn C-1 while he boated the Yough.

So if there is such a thing as a “Miniature Lab”, it would get my vote!


Breeds and more breeds

– Last Updated: Aug-26-05 5:01 PM EST –

I’ve been breeding boxers and competing in dog shows since the early seventies, I’m a licensed dog judge and a veterinarian.
Since the mid nineties, when I moved to America I’m no longer practicing nor breeding and only go to dog shows every once in a while – too much political BS to my taste.
Beside my many boxers I had two really great daschunds, a smooth and a wire, both standards (the larger ones) and man this is one great breed of dogs.
My wire dog was nuts about water, the smooth one liked it as well but for a lesser degree.
I agree with Tattersprout's post above to a certain extent, of course the individual animal’s personality is the final defining factor, and it’s true that some dogs simply don’t like water, regardless of the breed, but…
There are breeds that are more suitable for a given activity than others who perform better on other fields (one of my present dogs, a bulldog, is a great pet but he panics in water and simply sinks like a brick, my Doberman on the other hand thinks he’s a fish).
The truth is that you will only find out about the puppy’s affinity with water after having him at home for a while, therefore it is a good idea to go with a breed that historically tends to like water.
Schipperkes are great dogs, with a manageable size and great temperament, so are dashunds.
I would go through the AKC’s webside, read the breeds descriptions, talk to breeders (they all love to talk about dogs) and see what suits you better, and that includes your sense of aesthetics, your willingness to groom longer coats (golden retrievers are water dogs by definition but they have rather long coats that take some time to dry, not everybody is willing do deal with a dripping dog on the couch), your temperament and the dog’s should match as well and since the dog is supposed to go with you in your paddling trips try to stick to breeds that are known to like water.
Size is an issue too. My Doberman comes with me on my canoes trips and my son’s fishing outings, but he does not fit in any SOT out there.
Good luck with your search.


If I were just looking for a kayak companion, dachsund would be on my list, but not necessarily at the top. But we weighed several factors:

  1. He would have to get along well with two cats, one old and ornery, the other young and playful, who likes dogs.
  2. We wanted a shorthaired dog since we didn’t want long hair all over the place, and we live in Houston, so I figure short hair is just more humane. Also, the fact that they have such short legs appeals to me because I figure it will be that much easier to train him to keep off the furniture.
  3. Right now we live in a duplex with a small barely useable yard (fortunately we are only a block away from a dog park)
  4. We want a dog with a great personality, not just as a family dog for my wife and me, but a playmate for my stepson, and all the dachsunds I’ve known have had great little gregarious personalities.
  5. We want a dog we can take camping who will sleep in the tent with us.
  6. We want a dog that is small in size but doesn’t act like a little dog.

Dog carriers for bikes
Does anyone know if there are safe carriers that you can attach to your back bike rack to take your small dog with you?

Paddle dog
My beagle loves to go kayaking. Usually naps in the bow…

dog carrier for bike
My miniature schnauzer loves to travel in one of those plastic open top boxes from Targer (size and shape of the old milk carrier boxes perhaps 16x16) I use a full harness on her and snap her inside. She jumped out before I learned the harness trick. She has enough movement to be able to sit and lie down but not enough to jump out. She always rides sitting and looking out to the world at large. Many times I feel the only reason I ride a bike is that she loves the outing, even more than I. I use a old carpet remnant for the bottom, the sides are mostly open for air but very sturdy. I put her plastic trash bags (pooper stuff) water and small bowel for water stops in with her and off we go! Dogs don’t care about appearance, but my box matches the bike in color and rides on top of the flat topped book rack and looks like it was made special for the bike. Test drive your neighborhood a bit before a real outing. If you get it right, there is nothing better than a ride with your best buddy.

GOOD GOD! There it is again, in…
… canine form now! Queeqweg. Freekeg. Mumblypeg. Whatever! Tis an animal that hath vexed me for near 5 months with my pathetic inability to describe, and thus stultify my journey’s continuance down the Mississippi of the mind.

Had a fine, upon carefuller inspection, breed of a canine canoeing compatriot, once. An Out-the-Door Deceiver, I believe was it’s one-of-a-kind breed. Still miss his faithful, slackjaw company a good bit. Where are the Doc Bob’s of yesterday?


kayaking with
I owned and kayaked with a min-dachshund for about 5 years. Started kayaking with her when she was 8 years old.

She is no longer with me. ;-(

since she could never be replaced I now own a MinPin and started kayaking with him when he was 6 weeks old.(now 2 yrs.old) At first he laid on my lap but now he rides on the deck right in front of me. I put down non-skid material and he handles most conditions great but, If it does get rough he is in the cockpit without me missing a stroke.

Seems the breed does not matter or age.

have fun

My beagle starts starts shaking when
she’s near water. If she hears the word “bath”, she hides under a bed. She will urinate in the house if it’s raining. I have never taken her in the yak because I know I’ll have to return home to drop her off. However, she’s the kids’ dog (even though she follows me around and sleeps by my side of the bed) so I have to put up with her.