Best Kayak for Huge Dog ?

Hi fellow paddlers ~ ~ we’ve decided to get a Newfoundland puppy, the big huge black furry water rescue dog. A male, eventually 150 pounds.

What is the best kayak for paddling a huge dog on board?

We tried a canoe and were surprised at how unstable it felt. No way. Love kayaking!

Obviously we’ll need a huge cockpit. Maybe a tandem and take out the front seat? What about a sit-on-top? Was just looking at the new WS Tarpon.

Have never kayaked with a dog on board but see various pictures showing it is done. This dog will be enormous and will need room to stretch out. Also, he’ll be doing water training and swimming and will plop a lot of water into the boat when he hops in.

I’m fat so that weight capacity is a consideration. Was going to buy a Tsunami 145 but that was before we decided to add a furkid. May still buy that but 1st priority will be the DOG KAYAK.

Advice please~!

Not many choices
I used to work in the kayak industry and there are not a lot of choices available for you. There is one boat however that could work…

The Clipper SEA-1 (part canoe, part kayak, big payload):

Hope this helps,


BIG roomy dog-friendly kayak ?
That looks interesting but not nearly enough room for the dog.

Did see a WS hybrid, Commander, but it doesn’t look as roomy for a dog as say the WS Tarpon 130T which is a sit-on-top tandem, able to take front seat out.

Looks pretty big, but wonder if those ridges will be too uncomfortable for a dog? Max capacity 550 lbs: that would work.

Hoping somebody with huge dog paddling experience will give advice, thx!

Folbot Greenland 2 or Klepper, Wayland
or Long Haul Double

I suggest looking at Sit-On-Top triples.
Relatively low sides, self-bailing. You could hang some step boards off the side for poochie to climb back in. Wide, stable craft typically.

But if you wanted to do a lot with the dog in the winter, I would suggest getting over the tippy issue with a canoe. Some canoes are pretty stable as dog platforms.

Training the dog will be a big issue. For example, in summer you may want him jumping off and playing rescue, but in winter you would not be in a SOT. You’d be in a kayak (not advised) or a canoe, and you would want the dog NOT to jump overboard. The dog also needs to learn to sit still much of the time, regardless of the craft.

Maybe a john boat.

big dog in the yak
I have a Native Manta 14.6 SOT. I have 2 regrets with this kayak and one of them is I wish I’d have thought of it sooner but I want to get 2 small dogs & I want to take them yakking with me. Native offers a tandem that you can remove one of the seats & it can handle more weight. Your big dog might fit in that. The 2nd regret is the weight of my kayak…its heavy. So you’d have to be prepared for that also. Otherwise this kayak is great! Check out the Native, its a great all around float. Someone looked at and sat in mine and said its the cadallic of yaks.

Absolutely big enough for a large dog
Sold a number of these to people with large dogs. The rear opening is very large.


Nobody thought I was serious when
I suggested this once before, but with a big sit-on-top you could cut four holes, drop Fido’s legs down into the water, and reward him with Milk Bones for driving the boat over the water.

Have had three Newfs
First one was TUG who I recued. 197 lbs. Died at 6 years due to heart trouble. Amazing dog but too big.

Current Newfs are brother and sister and about 130 lbs each and almost 11 years old.

Get a skiff! Get a good vet. Keep the ears clean, Keep the dog groomed, Let it swim!!

maybe a Vagabond

– Last Updated: Dec-28-09 3:48 PM EST –

Maybe a Phoenix Vagabond would do it - 550 lb capacity, humongous cockpit. Never seen or paddled one myself, however there's a dog shown in the photo gallery link:

If you'd like to paddle in style with the dog, get some high-priced paddling wear, a Panama hat, a rhinestone collar (for the dog) and try this one out:

Only drawback is you have to build it first; that, and keep the dogs nails trimmed so it won't scratch up that pretty hardwood....

Checking out boats
Looked at Native Ultimate and new Wildy Commander 120 (oooo cool to see ya Steve!), nice hybrids, but not big enough for a Newf.

Guess I’ll have to trek up to Aldercreek and measure, try. Never used a Sit On Top but the self-water-bailing sounds good with a sopping wet drippy huge dog.

Been emailing / Skyping with a great breeder in Belgium of all places. Newfie puppy is gonna have a long plane ride. We’re near Portland and will drive to Seattle to meet the plane.

Have good vet, will groom every day, dog will swim! And we will kayak. And somehow put the 2 together. Very large dog!

Any of you paddled with a big dog, what’s it like? Will be able to train the dog to sit still in boat.

my suggestion …
Looks like you’re going to have to get a tandem boat of some kind…Have you checked the Pamlico line from wilderness systems? I don’t see a SOT working out that well for you…they typically are designed for 1 person , regardless of length. Regardless of the brand, water in the boat is going to happen from the dog. you’ll have to train the dog to behave and not jump around to, you know how dogs like to stick their nose out the window while riding in cars.

Big Dog Seeking Suitable Kayak

– Last Updated: Dec-28-09 4:40 PM EST –

One of us is super fat so we already have a Perception Sundance 12.0, big open cockpit at 56x22." Only way to go bigger is a tandem unless there's something I don't know about. A good seat is important.

Can't tell from pictures how the SOTs drain. Are they as much fun to paddle as Sit-In kayaks? The self-draining sounds so nice.

Want quiet human powered kayak or hybrid. Surprised nobody's manufactured the perfect "Dog Kayak" yet. Big niche opportunity!

I Google all your suggestions and look at the pics and specs. Thanks!

WS Pamlico 160T…
has a large cockpit, I believe the capacity was around 625# or so, very stable, and I’d have one I’d love to sell;)


SOT or…
A sit on top might be the ticket, it sounds like the right thing for you but if you do want a cockpit, deck etc, I think that a Sawyer Expedition would be better than a Clipper Sea-1 The Sawyer is bigger than the Clipper or a Kruger and I believe cheaper too. Something to check out anyway.

If you tried some other canoes you might find one you liked. Some can be kind of squirrely, some, like a Grumman are stable as a pontoon but slow.

Eddy Line Shasta
This is a tandem so all you have to do is take out the front seat plus the weight capacity is 450lbs.

some models of sit-on’s don’t drain at all…much like a sit-in doesn’t …the scupper holes in some SOT’S will let water out, if you paddle fast! or you can plug them with scupper hole plugs … any hole in a boat lets the water run both ways. SOT’s are notorious for being wet, u have no protection from splash from waves or wakes from motor boats. SOT’s also have a rep for being barges to paddle, compared to SINK’s . I think a canoe , where you could remove the seat and can sit on the floor would work well.

Get solo canoe!
You can carry the dog and a cooler of beer!!!

Have you even bothered to ask
the dog? Seriously, don’t you think it should have a little choice since it is not a kayak for you afterall. It is especially for the dog. Take hime with you to the kayak shop. He will most likely pee on the one he likes best.

Do you speak from experience on the SOT?
We paddle two sea kayaks, a twin rec boat and two SOTs - Native Watercraft Manta Ray 12 and Emotion Charger. Both SOTs are not “Barges” by any means; they are dry, with water going back out the scuppers for the most part, and not really that slow (especially the Manta Ray is fast-enough for its purposes).

I have been told there is enough room in the back of my SOT to carry a child or small adult back there in the tank well. Kathy’s boat is almost two feet longer, so perhaps it could carry a big dog - or there may be an even longer version out there.

Another option would be to build a Pygmy Boats Osprey Triple. It’s 20 feet long and very stable, but is a closed cockpit boat.

Before you buy, if at all possible, you would do best to test paddle any boat of interest.