What do you do with your dog?

For those of you who own a dog(s), what do you do with them when you spend the day paddling? What about when you spend the weekend paddling?

This will be an issue for me as I am planning on getting back into paddling this spring and have a 2 year old dog that I usually take everywhere with me. Paddling doesn’t seem to be a sport which is very conducive to having a dog, although i am sure many folks do. Just curious how you handle it. Most of my paddling will be day trips and occasional weekend trips (camping).

Your profile says you

– Last Updated: Jan-11-08 11:34 AM EST –

canoe... can you take him in the canoe with you? Some dogs are good campers - they'll snuggle with you in the tent and behave quite well. I have one that is a gem on a camping trip, and one that is a nightmare! Just depends on the dog.

I am lucky enough to have an ex that is very helpful in caring for my two dog(s) if I'm on an overnight camping trip. If I'm just out for the day, the dogs are fine at home for 6 hours or so, and I make sure to spend some quality time with them either in the morning or evening.

Try paddling the metro Hooch with the
dog. It’s an excellent opportunity to run easy rapids and get the dog used to resisting the temptation to chase geese, herons, etc. I’m not a “dog person” myself, but I’ve had friends who tood their dogs on all the easy whitewater runs in north Georgia.

We’re getting a fair amount of warm weather in Georgia, but you may want to wait until the water warms up.

He Get’s AM, I get PM
He gets a nice long walk in the morning, breakfast, then he’s up for sacking out for a while at home while I go paddling. I’m back for dinner and hang out with him for the evening.


It depends

– Last Updated: Jan-11-08 2:35 PM EST –

on your paddling skills and the dog's behavior.

Where do you plan to paddle, the Hooch or Allatoona Lake?

The Hooch has some tricky places for canoes and too many geese. If your dog will eat goose then please take him to the Hooch.

Seriously, I'm on the Hooch all of the time and I hardly ever see anyone with a dog in their canoe but just about every power boat has one.

Taking a dog paddling will depend on your paddling skills and the dog's behavior but you question really wants to know about weekend trips.
Sorry I can't help but many of my friends take theirs to kennels when they go out of town for the weekend.

Paddlin' on

It’s no problem taking a dog paddling.
I’ve taken mine on several multi-day canoe trips. I put down a pad where they sit so they don’t slip. My wife takes one dog in the bow and I take the other. You train them to sit between your legs. Use a PFD which has straps so you can pick up the dog and set him in the canoe. After awhile the dog will get use to the routine and not be a problem. They love paddling even the one that doesn’t like the water. I’ve even went through rapids with them on board. We just got a third dog so that presents a problem since you can’t let one wander around in the canoe unless you want to go swimming. I’ll have to work it out on a warm day on a quiet lake.

dog sitter
I’m sure there is a teenager near you who could walk the dog, play with it, and feed it. The dog will have a good time and the teenager can make a little change.

Dog sitter/Kennel
We have two dogs. If our day starts at 7 AM and goes to late evening, we have a dog walking service come in.

When we go away for the weekend or for an extended trip, we use the same kennel we’ve used for the past 14 years.

We really can’t take our dogs with us as we’re in sea kayaks that only have enough room for us and our gear. However, both boys know every kayak dealer from Maine down to RI…

My ex took care of him

I bought my kayak late in August, only getting or needing to try to kayak once w/her as I did not want to leave her in my pop up camper which cannot be secured.

In the spring, I’ll take her out again to see if she’s okay w/kayaking as I’d like to kayak to campgrounds I have in mind. In other cases where I’d usually take the pop up, if she doesn’t take to kayaking, I’ll rent a room for the night so she can stay in it during the day and then I can enjoy it at night w/her.

I don’t think she will love kayaking, so I’ll leave her home for day trips.


put em in the hatch
with a rawhide chewy and he’s good.

He can get a drink when we land.

I am my dog! NM

"He can get a drink when we land."

Don’t we all?

They stay home, in an outdoor kennel
They are well-exercised, since we take them for long walks almost every day (won’t do it when it’s subzero or pouring rain), year 'round. They go on hikes/climbs with us elsewhere, too. But not paddling or bicycling.

If we’re going to be gone overnight or longer, a dogsitter takes care of them.

The problem with your situation is that you have made a habit of taking your dog everywhere with you. He has expectations now. Dogs don’t take kindly to sudden changes.

Why not try taking him paddling to see what happens? Keep him on leash inside your boat, just in case he tries to jump out after a duck or another dog.

Come warmer weather Banjo
is going paddling with me.

Please Don’t Leave
…the dog on a chain at your campsite. I have been camping with folks that insist on bringing their dogs knowing we’ll be out on the water all day kayaking. The dogs bark all day long back at camp disturbing other campers. I know because I’ve been told in a not so kind way and it wasn’t even my dog.

I love my dog but he stays at home when I go kayaking, if I had a canoe, he’d go on day trips only.

It all depends on…

– Last Updated: Jan-12-08 5:18 AM EST –

how disciplined the dog is. The younger they are when you start training, the better. The more time you spend working with your canine (min. 2 hours per day) the more intuned with each other you both become.
I had two german shepherds (litter sisters, about 100# each full-grown) that learned at a very young age how to behave in a canoe. They learned the more they behaved they were the longer and more canoe trips they'd go on. They had seen manatees, otters, dolphins, birds, bears, deer, etc. from my canoes because they knew the only two positions (except for loading and disembarking) they were allowed were sitting or laying down. To alert me to animals (in case I was napping while we were in the boat) was a lone, very low bark from each of them with their eyes, ears, and nose pointing in the direction of interest. They were also great gator alarms and knew to move quietly in swamps so they wouldn't draw the their attention.
I had had them out on canoe/camping/foraging trips for up to two weeks at a time and they loved every minute of it.
I would take some dog rations with supplemented with BBQed squirrel, rabbit, dove, armadillo, snake and/or turtle meat and half of the meals I ate. Taught them how I wanted them to hunt for some of their future meals by first seeking with their noses in wide sweeps while heading upwind, then go into flanking positions once sight contact was made, flushing the prey my way. Pull the trigger on the small crossbow and even if I only injured it (which seldom happened, majority of shots were kills) it slowed the prey enough to where the "Bitches" (my nickname for them) could catch up to it, nail it, and kill it less than three seconds later and retrieve it for me.
On cold nights they would sleep in my tent on each side of me on top of my wide sleeping bag, keeping me quite warm.
So even though I had to paddle and pole with an extra 200# of "bitch" flesh that took up some space in my 16.75 ft canoes, with all they could do I considered the weight and space they took up damn well worth it. Great tools and even better companions.
So work with your dog, teach it positive discipline, play long and hard with it and you'll have a companion that will enjoy many a mile with you in your canoe to the end of his or her days.

I take her with me, most everywhere.
She loves canoeing, riding in the truck, sleeping in the tent and hiking in the woods. I am a considerate dog person and do my best to keep her from bothering others. Leashed when called for, never left at the campsite or home alone for that matter. She learned the basic canine canoeing commands at a young age. “in the boat”, “stay in the boat” and “outta the boat”. RockC does get tied up for a while when we are setting up camp however. Otherwise she drags off our rain flies, trashes the tents and makes off with the firewood. She is afterall, just a dog

She has a foam pad in the canoe bow. A fleece blanket and tarp to cover her when it rains and a really comfy sleeping pallet in the tent. I really enjoy taking her out in the canoe and camping. But, it’s almost like taking along a kid. A kid that wants to jump on people, poop in their campsite and steal their food!

Thanks for the ideas
Thanks for the ideas! I am looking forward to trying to get him used to riding in the canoe with me as the weather warms up.

Seems like it would be ideal to have the option to take him with me in the canoe depending on where I was paddling, or leave him at home and have someone come feed him and play with him in the a.m. and p.m. (I have a fenced yard with a dog door to get back in the house).

Getting him almost 2 years ago is one reason I have been doing less paddling and more hiking/running during the week and spending the weekends backpacking or hanging out at our family’s farm. Can’t complain because he is super fun and an awesome companion. I hope he likes the canoe this spring/summer, as it would open up tons of options for the future.