paddling with a 60lb dog?

I’m looking for my first Kayak so that my 60lb deaf Aussie Shepherd and I can enjoy day trips and weekend camp touring. Are there any suggestions for me to focus on while starting to look?

After moving from Chicgao, to Arizona recently, I decided to get back on the water, and try kayaking. Here are some specific needs:

  • I’m 6’ 220lb

    -Use on small to medium sized lakes, calm water, very little chance having to deal with getting stuck far from shore during storms, etc. But, there might be alot of fast motor boats, jet skis, so stablility a factor.

    -day outings, with an ocassional 2-4 day camp touring with gear

    -Absolute beginner to kayaking, so need a stable design

    -Size/weight I can easily transport/load from car top.

    I’m considering either a Kayak or Canoe. Hoping to look around for something used initially, then in a year or so, get a nicer one. Thanks for any direction, Nick

a number of possibilities
if you go canoe route choose one that has good secondary stability, and big enough you can place the pooch in an area that allows you to keep him towards the middle of the boat, if you go solo. I have a black lab 75 lbs. who is very mellow in the boat and will stay where I ask, but you may wish place some bags around your dog to keep his weight from shifting you all.

A number of folks rig deck platforms for their kayaks, but these are mostly for smaller dogs. If you go the kayak route either a hefty double, probably not worth it unless like to have humans share it sometimes also, or an open larger cockpit type cockpit can work fine.

Another option I used for awhile was the Bell Rob Roy, which is a cross between a canoe and kayak. My dog was able to sit right behind me, snug down and the arrangement of both of us sitting on the floor of the canoe/kayak was very stable. It does allow you to go camping together and have some deck protection and handle somewhat rougher conditions than a canoe. Just don’t forget it is NOT really a kayaka, no bulkheads, flotation and good reduced windage but not as good as a kayak.

a canoe will better suit your needs. Yuor dog will never really have enough space in a kayak to really be comfortable. Also to haul 2-4 day trips plus dog supplies for trips ,a canoe will give ya more space.

Maybe a Folbot A Greenland 2 or a Yukon may work for you.

And speaking of that…
here’s one that is listed on Ebay right now.

Hope that link worked. If not, Item number: 7113786223.

Good luck!

Bell Rob Roy
Probably be the bets of both worlds wrapped up in one. Darned light in KevKrystal 35lb. for a 15’ boat. Space in back of the seat definitely large enough for dog, cooler or maybe even both.

Happy paddling,


dog boats
I’m about 185 and my dog is 70 pounds. In our experience the Swift Shearwater, Hemlock Peregrine, and Bell Merlin II all work great…the Swift is roomiest and best able to handle big waves…then the Hemlock, then the Bell.

I have a 70 lb. mutt…
who has gone on some trips with me, no problems. I have an Old Town Loon 138. Nice large cockpit, plenty of space for the two of us. He even jumped out once, attempting to chase a duck. I thought I was going in the drink, but no issues what-so-ever, very stable. I also take my 7 yr. old with me. She sits on a boat cushion. Works great for that, too.

my solution
I paddle an NDK Explorer which is not suitable for dogs but is great for the type of kayaking I like to do.

My solution for paddling with my dog was to get a canoe which I did this Fall. I’m having a lot of fun learning how to canoe and my dog enjoys it too. So, if you have some flexibility you might want to look at the canoe idea. Here’s a few ideas to get you started a Bell Magic or Swift Shearwater. Both are solo canoes that are capable of carrying you, your dog, and some gear.