Paddling with dogs

Anybody out there take their mutt with them paddling? My Jack Russel loves to swim and chase ducks (last time she got loose I found her swimming in the river a block from my house.) My wife bought a PFD for the dog and suggested we take her with us on the kayak. I am considering puttin her into the front hatch of my Carolina, but have also toyed with the idea of building some type of platform to put just in front of the cockpit.

Anybody have any experience with this?

No Experience
But my dog looks so forlorn everytime I pack up then leave her at home I have thought about it a lot.

I did once see a picture of a guy with his dog sitting/laying on the front deck.


He loves it
Lots of comments on this subject in the archives. My little “first mate” loves going along. (He wants to be anywhere I am, though.) The dog PFD is an excellent thing to use.


I have a JRT, too!
He (Sam)loves to ride on my rear deck. I slip an old rug or beach towel under the bungees to protect the surface of the boat and give him some purchase to keep him from slipping off.

It’s good balance training for me because the rascal won’t sit still. He has to lean out to one side so he can see where he’s going. He’ll move side to side and forgets to tell me before he does it. So sometimes I’ll just roll without telling him…

When we go out on our resevoir, he’ll bark like mad at the ducks, geese, and gulls. He digs it. He has a PFD, too, but only uses it on big water.


Wondered about this…
Would a piece of indoor/outdoor carpet work for a pad for a dog who sits/lays on the deck of a kayak?

Best one I ever saw (left camera at home dammit), was a cat in a tandem canoe, curled up on top of gear(no leash/no pfd), calmly surveying the scenery & grooming itself as the owners paddled downstream. Obviously “not” the first time it had ever been in a boat.


Bath mat
The best confidence/comfort surface I’ve used has been a rubber bath mat, the kind with the little suction cups on the bottom. It gives traction and a little bit of padding. It would probably stay put rolling, but I would never claim I could roll my Loon. I haven’t tried it on a top deck, just in the bottom.


Too renew a past suggestion, if your
kayak is narrow enough, straddle one dog over the bow and strap it down. Strap the other dog over the stern. Now you have plenty of drive, you just have to drag your paddle on one side or the other to steer.

Rolling with dog
I’ve met a Jack Russell (and owner) who can walk around the boat when the owner rolls - amazing!

My dog loves it!
Jake, my Boston Terrier goes with me when I’m paddling calm waters. Gets all poopy faced if he thinks he’s not going. I started by letting him get used to sitting in and on the yak in the yard. He was pretty comfortable when we first hit the water. He sits on the rear hatch cover on an old car mat and points his nose like he’s captain. We get some pretty funny looks sometimes and are in quite a few peoples vacation pictures and videos. He’s a pretty good swimmer but he still wears a PFD (puppy floatation device). Terriers don’t have alot of body fat so they aren’t very boyant. Most of their energy is spent staying afloat so they tire quickly. He likes to roll in dead fish, birds and other neat stuff he finds on the shore. Be sure you bring bags to clean up after he does his thing. Animal feces is a big reason for bacteria in the waters. Have fun and be safe.



That’s a hoot! I used to have a Boston Bull! And I can just see the expression if you told him he CAN’T go!Sometimes I think they have us more trained than them! HAHA!! I bet he sneezes alot in the wind on that yak!

Dog Paddling!
Wouldn’t recommend it if you live in GATOR country!

my constant and faithful companion rarely sets a paw in the canoe, and he’d have it no other way! He’s a Chesapeake bay retriever who will turn 5 in October. I live in southern Michigan, and from approx April-November, we hit one of the local lakes/rivers/streams once a week for a day-long paddle. Floyd seems immpervious to the cold, and i’m talk’n lakes partially covered in ice! For the past 4 years we have gone on week-long expeditions into Northern Michigan or Ontario, and I can count on one hand the number of times I insisted he ride in the canoe (rapids, logs, etc). He has no patience for it. Doesn’t use a floatation device, and I imagine he would strongly object to any suggestion of using one. It all depends on the breed, and Chessies are bred for the water!

Kayaking with a dog
I try to take one of my dogs with me every time I Yak.I have Australian Shepherds .One of mine went with me last summer then she took a time off to have her pups.She only had two,boy and girl.The boy was named kayak and the girl is called paddles.Paddles know longer lives with me but kayak has become my new partner.He is 6 months old and fits in just right.He takes naps if we are out to long then he will pop his head up every so offen to see whats going on.Real cute guy.

I’d be surprised and interested if any beagle owners have been able to get their dog in a boat.

If so, did he/she shake nervously the whole time they were on the water.

My beagle hides under a chair if she even hears the word “bath”. Yes- she does understand English but does not speak it well.

I wish…
…that my cat would do that!

Re dogs

I have a black lab who always goes paddling w me… she lays between my legs in our solo canoe, just curls up and takes a nap…

i always keep a pfd on her

we rolled twice in the first three days, untill she learned that ballance = dry… since then we lave loggd over 5000 river miles without rolling

Cats and Dogs
Our since departed German Shorthair Bonnie would sit on the “child” seat whenever my wife took her Keowe kayak out on the pond. She just loved to sit up there and survey her domain. She made sure only the authorized waterfowl were around. Canada Geese, ducks, and Great Blue Herons were OK, but once she saw an Egret and started barking her head off.

We once took Bonnie on a canoe trip on the Des Moines River. When we stopped for lunch Bonnie wandered about 70 yeards down the sand bar where she held a perfect point into a small eddy. When I went to investigate I found she was pointing at a school of fish. Now I’m not a fisherman but I had considered renting her out to those who do.

We also had a cat named Snowberry that liked to sit on the front deck of the kayak whenever we took it on the pond.

I may have a photograph of Cindy, Snowberry, and Bonnie in the kayak floating our pond but I can’t seem to find it. Maybe it was one of those great photographs I took without film in the camera, like the eagle and eaglet on a nest on the Namekagon, and the Trumpeter Swan on our pond :slight_smile:

Even my chocolate lab, who’s a good strong swimmer, wears a PFD when we go paddling in the bay. Well, actually I’m paddling and he’s dog-paddling, alongside the boat. Usually he heads for shore when he gets tired, but he’s easily distracted by sea birds, jumping mullet, etc., so I’m not sure he’d always be able to get himself out of the water before he got worn out–hence the PFD.

duck ettiquite
My dog goes with me in my Bell Magic solo canoe, which I have been using much more than my kayak lately just so my dog can go. Most dogs would want to chase ducks I would imagine, but I hope everyone paddling with dogs are not allowing that. This time of the year is mating/nesting season. So, dogs would be very disruptive to the that process. Also, some ducks go through a molting period during nesting so it would be very unfair to take a dog out into an otherwise unacessable area and let a dog run free.

I’ve seen photos of small platforms people have built on there kayak for the dog… But, with a big dog a canoe works quite well. A Kruger Seawind looks ideal too-but I have not paddled one yet.

I take my
Golden retriever/ husky mix , but she seems to like swimming over riding along. She does like to see the ducks and such.