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How I SUP: Lake Paddling with our Pups

Jenny Buckley |

Steph & The Spaniels is a popular UK pet lifestyle blog featuring Steph and her spaniels – Sev & Lily. 

They share their love of travel with readers, focusing on human & hound styling and making sure the dogs never get left behind! 

We hear all about their favourite place to paddleboard, and methods of getting the dogs started on the water.

Taking the dogs away on adventures is one of my favourite things to do! As a result, we’re always on the lookout for the best dog-friendly places to stay. 

The gorgeous cabins at Log House Holidays are our top choice. With no limit on the number of dogs you can take, you can experience a whole lake to yourself, cosy fire pit, row boats, log burners…

And best of all, a stunning log cabin for you, your friends and your dogs to enjoy a relaxing getaway! While the cabins themselves are undoubtedly gorgeous, it’s everything else that makes this place truly special. 

From your own mini beach to a personal fire pit for evening marshmallow feasts, a breath-taking lake lies just outside your cabin front door.

Enjoying the Lake

There’s just something about the water I love. Even just looking out over the lake with a morning cup of tea instantly makes me feel calm. And when I watch my dogs happily splashing around and enjoying a swim, I appreciate the little things in life so much more. 

Even better is being able to get onto the lake with the dogs. We enjoy both kayaks and row boats, but our personal favourite will always be our SUP. In fact, it was at this very lake my dogs first started paddleboarding with me. We’ve loved being out on the water together ever since, and have never looked back! 

Taking to it almost instantly, Lily enjoys just laying down on the board and relaxing. She loves nothing more than bobbing up and down, taking-in the sunshine and sounds of the water.

On the other hand, Sev definitely takes a more “go faster” approach! Always ready to explore and paddle, he loves being right at the front of the board. Or sometimes just sits on my lap, trying to get his wet paws on me as much as possible… 

Both dogs usually end with a little swim, heading back to shore after a cool dip. But it’s not long until they’re pestering to get on the SUP for another go!

Getting Dogs Started with SUP

For me, lakes are one of the best places to begin paddleboarding with dogs. Their calm, easy-going waters are great conditions to start with. 

It can take a long time to build-up your dog’s confidence to be 100% happy and content on a paddleboard. Positive encouragement is absolutely key! 

Begin with your SUP on dry land. Then, every time they stand or sit on the board, praise them with treats and lots of fuss. Lily particularly loves her ball too, so try using toys or anything else they especially love when praising them. 

Once you’re ready, you can slowly start introducing your board to shallow water. This allows your dogs to still hop on, provided they receive the same levels of praise. Over time, begin slowly paddling out further and further with your dogs onboard. 

But if you feel they’re getting anxious and just don’t want to be there, there’s no shame in returning to the previous step! Slow and steady wins the race, and making sure it remains a positive, fun experience at all times is crucial. 

Sev and Lily always wear life jackets too. We love the Ruff Wear options, as they’re equipped with sturdy handles should you ever need to grab your dogs if they fall.

With the current lockdown, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to head to our favourite lake spot anytime soon. But we can’t wait to get back on the SUP, making the most of the sunshine whilst bobbing along on the water! 

Work with us! 

Get involved! If you would like to contribute to our paddler blog email me. We want to hear about your SUP experiences.

Join in on Instagram here.