Kayaks for a 42# dog

-- Last Updated: Jun-08-16 12:59 PM EST --

Hey! I was just curious if anyone had any recommendations for a kayak that will fit me and my dog? I'm not looking for something huge as I am only 126#'s myself and my dog is a 42# Blue Heeler mix. I am not a newbie to kayaking but it will be my dogs first time.

I think your dog is large enough that a SIN (Sit Inside) kayak is pretty much ruled out and you should probably look at SOTs (Sit On Tops)…

Take a look at something like the Wilderness Systems Tarpon range…


Thank you for the suggestion! I completely agree about a SOT, that’s what I was thinking too. My only concern with some of the ones you shared is her sitting behind me. I think that would be for a more “advanced” canine who is use to kayaking. I could be completely wrong (again, kayaking WITH my dog will be a first for the both of us) and I think she might try (and fail) to get in my lap from behind. I think in the beginning stages it would be best to keep her in front of me at least by my feet.

Don’t forget to get
a PFD for the dog.

I’m not sure I’d ever

– Last Updated: Jun-08-16 3:04 PM EST –

have the dog sit behind me. Lots of good reasons to keep her in front.

But - you're going to get wet. Your dog is going to get wet. Now my dog loves the water so much that he'd rather swim beside me than be on a boat, but that's a lab for you. You have a blue heeler (cool dog!). Does she like water, is she comfortable, have you played fetch or just goofed around in the water with her?

My dog used to freak at any wave action until I waded out and made him follow me into and past the breaking waves. Then I held him up when he'd get wiped out from swimming. Now I can't keep him out of the water, and sometimes he just starts swimming towards the horizon. If I'm in the water, he comes to me to get a rest, rather than swim to shore. Easy for me to see that the time in the water has made him much more comfortable in it, which is my point.

Rookie's suggestion is a good one also. A doggie PFD is also cheap insurance and a confidence builder for dogs that either can't swim as well or are less comfortable in water.

Try A Used Ocean Kayak Scupper
With the front hatch cover removed with your dog sitting inside (like in a car) with front paws resting outside on the deck? Might have to modify inside the hatch with something to keep dog from sliding backwards or to prop it up higher? Or get a double SOT with dog sitting in front cockpit. Only problem, those plastic SOTs are very heavy (way over 30 pounds). Better to just get an open canoe and let the dog choose where to sit?

RE: don’t forget
Yes of course! I’ve got time to get that as I am carefully doing my research on kayaks before I purchase either - so I’ve got awhile! Plus I want to train my dog with a kayak outside the water before plopping her on one in the middle of the lake. I want it to be enjoyable for both of us and I’d hate to scare her right off the bat.

RE: I’m not sure I’d ever
My dog LOVES the water, she just can’t help herself! She’s and odd swimmer and doesn’t use her back legs too much so I would definitely get a life jacket for her. She’s very timid and would probably initially be afraid of the kayak so I’d want to train her in my backyard so she’s comfortable with the kayak before getting her on that in the water.

I wouldn’t mind getting wet, I guess it could be inconvenient come autumn but then maybe I get a canoe or something done the line. I just want to be active with my dog constantly and outside (we love the outdoors!)

What kind of kayak do you use with your dog?

RE: Try a used ocean kayak
Thank you for the suggestion! I’m debating a canoe as well!

If you end up in the water swimming with the dog, it will happen, you might be able to get yourself and the dog up onto a SOT, you won’t be able to get the dog back into a canoe. Even if you get back into the canoe and bail it you’d have to dead lift the dog back in without flipping the canoe, would be a really good trick.

Stay close to shore until you know how it’ll go.

I’ve got two big dogs, lifting them from the floor in the house is enough of a problem, doing it from a boat below your feet would be impossible.

Bill H.

Actually More Dogs On SUPs
Than on canoes and kayaks. Give it a try?

What about this?

I almost bought this when I was looking last year. I decided against it ultimately. I realized I would never bring my dog. I test paddled it and found it very stable.

RE: dogs
Thanks! You’re totally right! Getting my dog back into a canoe would be difficult… Hmmmm…

RE: what about this
That looks good, I’ll definitely have to look at their site. I really do want to bring my dog along so if there’s room in the front for her plus good reviews I’ll definitely take it into consideration. Thank you!

no kayak

– Last Updated: Jun-09-16 12:35 PM EST –

My only kayak is a SINK so there is no room for him. A canoe might work but aside from that, I'd have to wait until he slows down a bit more before putting him on a paddlecraft.

But if your dog is cooperative I'd think any SOT with lots of room in front would work. Good luck, you have a neat dog!

RE: No kayak
Thank you! I understand, some dogs are forever puppies and it can take a while to get them to calm down. My dog is going to be three this year and she has spurts where she wants to do what I call zoomies (she runs through the house doing figure eights up and over and around chairs tables, couches etc.) and then tries to herd me. Haha! It takes practice and lots of outdoor activities to mellow her out!

I agree with the SOT, it’s just a matter of finding one that has enough space in the front which I seem to be struggling with by looking online (I live in a remote location). So if you hear of someone who has had success with one or you’ve seen one with a bigger front space please keep me posted! Thank you!

RE: Actually more dogs on SUPs
Thanks, I’ve noticed that too. Have you tried this at all? I’ve been wanting to try it. I’m just concerned because it’s great for a calm lake day, and while I do live near a state park with a lake, I also live closer to a river (not a crazy wild river but still) I don’t know how well it would hold up on something like that.

I would like something where I could possibly do both (lake and river)especially if I’m going to be spending a decent amount of money.

I will definitely do some research on a SUP, thank you for the suggestion! :slight_smile:

Border Collie took all of 5 minutes to figure out that she loves to ride. She hopped on the back of my OK Prowler in the tank area back of the seat and has plenty of room to move around. Any 12’ or longer sit on kayak should work well. I’ve seen people on SUP’s with their dogs, but I would not be interesting in taking my dog on one as they like to move around and a SUP is just too limiting (that and a host of other reasons). It’s what you would call a very wet experience. And when you flip, trying to get your dog back on in deep water will be a problem.

Lots of good SOT kayaks on sale and also check out your local shops and Craigslist too.

But should be no problem for a sure footed 42 pound dog? I just paddle what I’m more familiar with, which is a double or two-person outrigger canoe with the dogs. And unlike kids, they don’t argue about whose turn it is to paddle.

There are a lot
of sit-in kayaks with large cockpits that will easily fit a 50 pound dog. One example is the OT vapor. There are numerous others.