Kayaking with a dog

I do a lot of outdoor stuff, and want to include my dog in as many things as I can. I want to get a kayak, probably a SOT, for short to full day trips. My journeys will be in calm to moderate weather (no more than 1-2 foot swells or caps) in fresh and saltwater. I don’t want to spend very much, nor do I want one that is very large or heavy. What is pretty important is that I am able (with the proper training and prep) is to be able to take my 80lbs lab with me). I’d like one that is fairly versitile…

I’ve been kayaking a couple of times before, but I’m certainly a beginner.

Are there any dog loving kayakers out there that have recommendations?


If you can limit your wind and waves
that much, why not get a canoe and make the dog more comfortable? The canoe can be lighter, and faster, especially if you get the right double bladed paddle.

dog lovers unite

We have two labs, however we do not take them on our kayak trips. Mostly due to their weight, love of water and that pesky internal hunt instinct.

Keep in mind when you choose your kayak add the dogs extra weight and all your gear for both you and the dog into the weight limit on the kayak.

I have seen locally two inflatable (Sea Eagle, brand) hold comfortably a large paddler and a large dog with no problem.

As suggested in the other post a canoe is another good way to have pets with you.

Two decent choices
A Tarpon 160 only weighs about the same as your dog so maybe that is light enough. I think they are less than 1300 new so they are not too expensive compared to other kayaks.

Otherwise I’d really recommend a canoe.

^^^second that^^^
I started out in the sport paddling SOTs, and I still do quite a lot, but have found for bay fishing, for leisurely paddles with my toddler and/or my dog, my canoe is a far superior craft.

Another for canoes
When I got into paddling I only did kayaks. But as I started to spend more and more time on the water I felt bad about leaving my dog behind (50 pound Springer Spaniel) so I ventured into the world of canoeing so he could join me. It worked out well for both of us as he got to come along and enjoyed himself and I found that canoeing was pretty neat.


canoe is not the only answer

but a good deal of money is needed.

My dog would just jump out of that to be nearer me, She cant see me going out in my kayak or she follows

I don’t worry to much about taking her (she is elderly so tends to just sleep a lot anyway) but I would need an open or a canoe to take her with me which doesn’t seem viable at the moment since she is 15

Dog and kayak
So I’m hearing that most folk suggest a canoe. Ok, I get that, and don’t doubt your advice.

But a canoe is large, heavy, not very sporty. He won’t be with me ALL the time.

I weigh 180, he weighs 80, then add 15-20lbs for day trip gear, that’s less than 300lbs, so many medium sized kayaks can take us, and I’ve seen photos of people with medium-large dogs on their kayaks.

If you HAD to suggest a kayak, what might it be??

I paddle with Molly my yellow lab. about 70 lbs. A canoe is your best choice. You will not find a Kayak big enough for that dog that is much lighter or cheaper than a canoe.

But to try to answere your question. IF you find an older Old Town Loon with a very large hatch. They are often used for one adult and a child.

As previos poster said, Our Labs love water and critters. Molly swims a lot. I imagine that getting a 70 lb dog in the kayak in deep water will be hard. With a tandom canoe you can grab the handle of the dogs vest.And pull the dog back in without tipping over. Without the vest its a pain to grab the dog and get them in.

Good luck.

Open Kayaks
I believe Old Town makes an open deck tandem kayak and I am sure others do too. There is the Old Town loon line that I believe may not be produced anymore but you could find one used. Something like the 160T would work very well. Look around for something in that class.

WS Pamlico 135T
I recently bought the Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T with the dog and small kids in mind. I have a 60 lb German Shepherd dog that kayaks with me and this boat works well. It has a large open cockpit and the front seat moves all the way back against the back seat. This leaves plenty of room for the pup and centers the load well. I put a mat on the floor to keep her from slipping and she can sit, lie down and turn around easily. It’s practically a canoe, it’s so wide open. The boat tracks well, turns easily, is very stable and can keep up with other boats. The big drawback is the weight - it’s a little heavy at 70lbs but doesn’t handle like a tank.

That is one of the ones I was thinking of. They actually paddle very well.

Get a used 13 foot Old Town Loon kayak.

Works for me & 55 pound dog.


I would go the canoe route, but the Jackson daytripper 10 or 12 has enough open space for a pack of beagles.

If you want weight capacity
look into the Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame inflatables. I have an Expedition model (13’ touring kayak) and it has a 450 pound weight limit - a good bit higher than most hardshells. Or, you can look at their model called the Convertible. It seats two or can be setup for one person. It will carry up to 560 pounds.


Canoe myths
My dog hauling solo canoe (Bell Magic) is lighter, narrower, and faster than my first kayak (Old Town Loon).

By all means get a kayak if that’s what you want but don’t overlook the versatility of a canoe. Any kayak you get that’s going to haul you and a dog isn’t going to be “sporty”.


SOT w/dog
Check out the SOT’s by RTM. (www.rtmkayaks.com)

I just purchasd a Disco. Love it. 14’long. 50#'s. Sleek,fast & handles great.

But they do have other models as well to choose from-some may be better fit for you & your fuzzy friend.

Light weight Canoe with Lab pictures
My friend has a very light weight canoe and always takes his Lab.


His dog easily gets in and out of the boat, although he does tip it once and a while :smiley:

His canoe is much lighter than my 14’ plastic kayak, and easily carries all his camping gear + the dog.

Yeah, dogs like speed. Look how they
hang their heads out of car windows.