I recently lost my paddling partner…a 65 pound female black lab. She was the only dog allowed in local paddling club paddles…she could jump from canoe to canoe, jump into an empty floating solo canoe, and actually saved me from dumping once. You want a dog with a good temperament and you need to train the dog (and use rugs or pads to ensure solid footing and comfort)…then the dog can actually help with stability and glide. Bigger dog will keep you warmer in winter. You also need to match the dog to the boat…boat depth must allow dog to rest their chin on the rail while lying down…smaller dog won’t lie down as much since they can’t see out.

mutt spaniel mix
I haven’t actually had my dog paddling yet, but I have high hopes for her.

she’s a 27# spaniel mix. she’s a quick learner, would make an excellent bird dog if we had birds to hunt, doesn’t like to leave my side, and should love water (but we’re not around it enough yet). she’s a bit hyper in new situations, which is why we’re going to train in a friends pond before we set out too much. she’s a barker (got some hound in her) but we’re working on that too. excellent companion and if I can contain her enthusiasm, should make an excellent paddling companion too.

I’m a big believer in you can train almost any dog to do anything. small steps at a time!

Dog boats
In my experience, dogs are more likely to be still if they can see out without moving. The low freeboard on my solo seems to work well for our girl:


Might want to build a platform for a small dog.

Love this string!
I’m a kayaker who never before saw a good reason to use a canoe. Now I do! I hate leaving my Lab at home!

I have a female German Wirehaired Pointer Lab Mix. She is 49 lbs, takes to the water naturally, stays close by, is loyal and very intelligent.

Oddly enough, this mix is not too hard to come across and as with mine the puppies are often free. Check Bird dog forums and you will come across them.

I will contribute CWDH!
ANd I am amazed that he is so well behaved at home (all things being relative).

Now if Pyker could clone Grey Dog he could retire on the kennel procedes.


A Canoe Dog,
Just any old dog or pup won’t do.

I like a water dog.

Like a lab. Then you and your dog

Should Go for training

When you say sit he or she should sit.

I have two lab. Which I’m very happy with. You should have any dog go through dog training and he or she will be your best friend for it’s life. good luck. Muskrat

Put a deposit down on a Toller
We may bring the pup to Raystown. We’ll see. The canoe/camping dog standard against which all others should be judged is Pyker’s Grey. I hope our dog is 60% as good as Grey.


I just returned from a three night river camping trip with my 9 month old 60 pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Though he is certainly too big to be an ideal paddling companion, he does pretty well, and the key, as always, is training. Within a few days of getting him, I started putting him in the canoe in the back yard, just to get him comfortable. Soon after I started taking him out on a calm lake to get him used to being on the water while he was small enough so that the danger of him tumping us over was not too great. He is now big enough that he is a bit cramped in the canoe, but at least he is calm and fairly under control. Getting him used to a canoe at an early age, combined with good basic obedience was key.

My Border Collie
has excellent manners on my kayaks. She is small at 32lbs. and is careful about moving around. She rides on my Prowler 15 SOT and just now starting to ride on the back of my Easky 15 where I layered a section of plastic carpet cut to fit in back of the seat and secured with velcro. She love water like a lab and likes to drag a paw over the side when moving or if the temp gets too hot for her…over the side she goes and paddles with me…it’s the herding instinct I think.

I am envious.
Hey Brian.


Beautiful animals! and a beautiful family.

How old is your pup? I really look forward to talking to you about your dog.

I’m still trying to convince my wife that a new dog would be a good thing. She’s still getting used to a house without dog hair.

Enjoy the Toller. I hope to join you someday.


canoe dog

– Last Updated: May-09-09 11:19 PM EST –

My husky/shepherd/lab/whatever mix from the humane society has been the world's best canoe dog, camping dog, and even kayak dog (although I had to get a rec boat just to fit her in it--she flips my skinny kayak. But when I'm out in that kayak, she would happily run along the shore for miles while I paddle).


It's with a heavy heart that I look at her snoring on her dog bed tonight--she's nearly 15, and her running days are coming to an end. One more summer of trotting along in the woods and that will probably be it for her.

We also have two pit bulls adopted from the humane society. They are wonderful dogs, and decent swimmers, but boy they hate being in a boat! There's nothing quite like a pit bull exploding out of a canoe....So much as I love those dogs, if you're looking for a canoe dog, pit bulls probably aren't the best bet.

great dog!
I love your dog!

This is Luke…
I have two dogs but my Aussie, Luke, is my traveling buddy (my other dog doesn’t travel as well). He loves to canoe, hike, camp, ride, you name it.


I’ll pay shipping!!
You can have my 2yr old English Mastiff. Her name is Malla & she is right in the weight range you are looking for 25-35lbs (+100). She doesn’t chew anything & she is a great dog!!

Just give me your addy & I’ll handle the rest.

Paddle easy,