Please help me and my dog

I am very new to kayaking. All I know is that I love it, and that I love being out on the water. I want to buy a kayak that I can take my 50 dog in also, so that the cockpit needs to be big enough for her to fit into also. I am a beginner and a female, so I would need a kayak that is easy to maneuver and not to heavy. I just want to use it on a flat lake or very slow river. I am mostly interested in using it for exercise,spending time with my dog, and nature watching. Can anyone please give me some suggestions as to what kayaks I should buy. I also am a student so I really don’t want to spend that much money, especially since I am not sure how much I will be able to use it. I was looking into the Dirigo 140, anyone have any other suggestions or ideas? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

Recent Topic
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Best of luck in finding the right boat.

The Dirigo is a nice kayak. But, the
140 may be a bit heavy for you. The 120 also has a large cockpit and is less expensive. If looking at sit inside recreational kayaks, also take a look at the Wilderness System Pamlico and Pungo families. The Dagger Blackwater may fit the bill, also the Perception Acadia, just to name a few.

Dog paddling
I would recommend you check out inflatable kayaks. They work great for paddling with dogs. The better quality ones are tough as nails. You don’t have to worry about a dogs claw puncturing them. They are stable and easy to transport. Self bailing capability is a big plus when a wet dog climbs aboard. I paddle an Aire Sea Tiger with a 50 pound Siberian Huskie perched right out on the bow. There’s enough flotation and stability that she can walk all over the boat and I don’t even have to think about bracing or balancing. Aire makes great quality boats that hold their value in the market very well. The Super Lynx or Lynx II would be good dog boats also, although they don’t track as well in flat water as some others. There are cheaper alternatives like the Advanced Elements StraightEdge or possibly some of the upper end Sevylor boats that look like they would work well with dogs. Look for boats with open area in the bow. Most dogs will always want to be up front after they get comfortable in the boat. With an open boat the dog can jump out when you approach shore, leaving you to handle the boat without having to deal with the dog at the same time. The inflatables aren’t as fast as hard shells but they are far more comfortable and stable.


solo canoe

– Last Updated: Sep-27-07 10:40 AM EST –

Consider a solo canoe. It is far more suitable for what you propose.

I was taking my dog in a kayak (and he was only 21 lbs) and it was rediculous.

I found a good deal on a used Sawyer Shockwave solo canoe, and it was the way to go ! The dog had room to move around or lay down, and I had room to paddle and be unincumbered.
The Jack Russell I had at the time loved going in the canoe. He had a well designed PFD and would spend as much time swimming along in the water as in the canoe, and loved trying to catch dragon flies from the tip of the bow.

Two of my friends switched to solo canoes for the main reason and they both say it was definately the right move and made it far more enjoyable to take their dogs along.

A decent Solo canoe is also lighter than almost any kayak you will look at and easier to handle off the water.

The dog I have now (a Basset Hound) seems genuinely unimpressed with trips in the canoe so he stays home and sleeps.

Rent or borrow first
And try it with your dog on board. Some dogs love sitting in a kayak or canoe. Others just hate it. And as a general rule, canoes are much better boats for sharing with a dog.

Hurricane Aqua Sports sit on tops
For a dog that size I would suggest a SOT. But SOTs are usually heavy. Hurricane boats are made from thermoformed plastic. Much lighter that Roto molded boats.

2nd the canoe.
Or something like an open cockpit tandem kayak , like a Pamlico.

Pamlico 140
A Pamlico 140 may fit the bill for you. I have one for sale in the classifieds section. Contact me if you are interested. Huge cockpit opening and very stable.

well here in the okanogan valley
cobra kayaks are the pet carriers, sit on tops are another alternative

I have a tarpoon 120 and my dog use to ride in the back. it worked okay - but a small tandem canoe or a solo canoe would be a better option - my mad river guide works freakin awesome - plus alot more room for gear on camping trips - if you have the oppurtunity try as many boats as possible

I have a dirigo 14
It’s heavy but not to heavy to manage by myself

I’ve never put my dog in it, my 70 lb dog is afraid of water, I bought it so my husband could use it, he is only uncomfortably nervous in water.

I’ve taken it out once or twice, unbelievable amount of space in the cockpit, and surprisingly smooth handling

Nice flat bottom which is easy on a dogs balance.

Maybe a canoe?
With my Belgian Tervuren of 55 lbs I use a canoe (a Bell Magic solo when I paddle alone with him, and a tandem Wenonah Adirondack when we paddle with my hubby or a friend).

I am also a female and for a solo canoe I wanted a relatively lightweight one (so that I can lift it up easily without help) and bought a used composite canoe, the tandem is a relatively inexpensive royalex canoe but easy to handle with a friend.

The solo canoe is big & stable enough for me, my dog and plenty of gear, but narrow and streamlined enough for speed and pleasure. My dog is well trained and behaves very well in the canoe, especially if we stop every once in a while at one of the many islands in our lake and I let him swim & fetch a stick for me while I enjoy some coffee etc.

I love hiking, canoeing, camping etc. with my dog and he is always eager to join me, so paddling without a dog was not an option for me and that’s why I decided on buying a canoe instead of a kayak (several years ago I used to kayak).

Some pictures:


Mertzi from Finland


I’m just like you, new to kayaking and love it having rented ones in the past. I just bought a sit on top for more stability, a Heritage Redfish 14. Some people use the SOT for stability, because they fish also.

I think you have 2 separate issues here. One is to find a proper kayak for yourself and then to see if your dog will come along. The sit on top tends to be more stable. The wider it is, the more stable it usually is, but the slower it is, but you can find a happy medium. Usually, the longer it is, the faster it is.

You should probably wait until next year when the symposiums start up again where they let people demo all sorts of kayaks so you can see what you like unless there are some still happening all year. With a sale, you can pick up a sit on top for $500+ or so, paddle (if you want a fairly light one and you do) $89+ and a flotation jacket, usually $60+. Dog floatation vests vary, sometimes by quality or by the size of your dog.

Someone mentioned a tandem, but as a newbie, I have to throw this question out, wouldn’t that be harder for Ivy to kayak in by herself? Also, haven’t I seen where people put their dogs in that front hatch if it’s big enough???

You sound like you love your dog and would like his companionship during your kayaking adventures. Unfortunately, they don’t all take to kayaking. Hopefully yours will. You can start out by demoing kayaks at a kayak rental place. They will be limited as to the brands available but atleast you can see if your dog will sit still and enjoy the ride, just stay close to shore to check out his reactions and start him out in the calmest waters available and be ready that you may both end up in the water. I hope he’s good w/verbal commands and can be called or retrieved in some way if he lands in the water or even jumps in because he likes the water.

My kayak has little room between my knees for a dog to sit in or a dog could sit in the back where there is a open storage area. Now w/my husband’s kayak, he has a sort of center console where there is no room for a dog.

Good luck!!!


Depends on where she is as to Demo’s.
Here in the Southland, fall is big for kayak and conoe demo’s.

Great pics !

Beautiful dog
You are blessed to have such a nice companion.

I would for sure go with a solo canoe.
I don’t have a kayak anymore because the dog and I did not have enough room even with a gigantic cockpit in a loon 111. Dogs like to do the circle routine before laying down, hard to do in a kayak, at least it was for Mel, my 50lb lab who loved paddling. It’s all about the dog when you take them paddling and a happy dog will want to stay on the water and not cause you issues. I paddle with RockC now and she loves both the Wenonah Vagabond and the Mad River Guide. Both are solo canoes with plenty of room for me and the dog and even camping gear when we need it. But, if you think you need a kayak, good luck!

Solo Canoe
I also enjoy dog paddling in my solo canoe. I put my dog right in front of me. Its easier if she gets bothered by a bee or wasp. You can see my canoe outfitting here: