Suggestion for solo paddler with dog

I just got back from a fantastic excursion on the Russin River in Northern California and am interested in getting either a canoe or kayak for myself and a 30lb dog. I’m a bigger guy (6’2", 260lbs). My dog loves the water and I had to grab him a couple of times to prevent him from diving off our canoe.

I’d appreciate any suggestions on whether I should be looking at a kayak or canoe and perhaps any specific recommendations on what to buy. I’ll be doing mainly recreational paddling and at this point don’t expect to do anything beyond that.


Fo solo with a dog…
I started with an old town guide 147. It’s a tandem canoe, but it’s easy to paddle solo. You may want to replace the seat, it’s formed and solo you’ll be sitting on it backwards. It also felt a little tippy when my dog couldn’t decide which side to look/drink/jump from, but I’m fairly new to canoeing and my dog is 74 lbs. As a starting canoe the thing I liked best was the price. At 599 it didn’t hurt as much when my son lost it camping. By the way, if anyone finds an old town guide 147 with 3 fishing poles, an anchor, two paddles and life vest floating down the Potomac near Antietem camp grounds in Maryland, Id love to get it back.

Recreational kayak will work
Dogs will fit in many recreational cockpits, which is what you will be looking for anyway at your size. I used to fit a 70-lb golden retriever or a yellow lab in an Old Town Loon.

Be careful if your dog is emotional and a jumper. The only times I’ve ended up in the water have been dog related and one was in April in cold water. I never took a dog in a kayak after that except in warm water.

Seems like in your case you will want to stay close to shore unless the dog gets the hang of sitting quietly in the bottom of the kayak or canoe. Some understand this instinctively while others never get the hang of it and are always standing lookout, ready to leap out at the first chimpmunk on shore.

decked canoe
cheap? Old town Loon

Expensive? Kruger Sea WInd OR the Expedition from Superior Canoe Company.

Look at the Wilderness Systems

– Last Updated: Sep-16-11 10:08 PM EST –

Commander series.
Combination canoe/rec kayak.