Paddleboarding is one of the only sports that you can comfortably and safely do with your dog. Supping is not only great exercise for humans, but can be extremely rewarding to master it with your pooch! Providing exercise and stimulation as well as an increased trust between you and man’s best friend. Here at Bluefin, we LOVE dogs and we LOVE SUPs so Dogs on Paddleboards are our idea of heaven. Here is a picture of Bluefin Co-Founder Charlotte with her pup Blue. On their 10′ Cruise Stand up paddleboard model!
Fancy paddling with your pup? We have put together our top tips below on how you can get started on your new doggy activity:
Tip 1: Ensure you are geared up!
Dogs, just like humans should wear a PFD (personal flotation device) whilst using a Stand Up Paddleboard. This will mean that if your dog jumps in the water they will be safe and also much easier to see. Also, if your dog gets injured whilst paddleboard a PFD will ensure they have some buoyancy in the water. Also, we recommend that when looking for a PFD for your beloved pet, make sure it has a handle on the back. This means, that not only is your dog transformed into a fashionable accessory but just like a handbag, you can handily pick them up out of the water! As well as holding on to the on the SUP if things get a little choppy. Plus, they also look SO cute in their jackets!
We are currently developing our own Pup Flotation Devices (PFD). But, if you need to buy one in the meantime, we recommend Ruffwear.
Tip 2: Ease them in!
Depending on how confident your pup is, it may not be the best move to take them straight out to SUP. We would recommend easing them into the world of paddleboarding. Pump up your board and put it in a room in your house, or out in your garden. Let you pup walk over the board, sit and lie down on it. If they need some encouragement to approach the board, lay a blanket on top or place a treat on it.
Bluefin Tip: Make sure you put on their PFD whilst training them to go onto the SUP. This will mean that they associate wearing their jacket with going on to the board.
Tip 3: Practice makes perfect!
Teaching your dog commands like “on” for getting on to the SUP and “off” when they dismount the paddle board will help you have control when paddling. We have found that with our food-orientated dogs that treats are a great incentive. Place the treat on to the paddleboard and use the command “on” and the same to ask them to get off the SUP. A ball or favourite toy may work for dogs that aren’t as greedy as ours!
Try the “on/off” command on dry land at first and then down at the shore before you em-bark (get it!) on your first adventure!
Tip 4: Get out there!
Stand on your SUP on the shore and ask your pup to get on to your stand up paddleboard. Make sure you are stood in the right place, and your dog is towards the nose end of the board. Try rocking your feet from side to side to mimic the SUP on water! Remember to keep rewarding your pup with treats if they are staying still/in position on the SUP. It is also useful to mimic a paddling motion to get your dog used to you waving a big stick in the air!
Once you both feel comfortable it is time to get out there! Practice in shallow water at first, heading out to deeper stretches once you have got the hang of it! Keep your first expedition short and sweet with lots of treat and praise.
We will be writing a Blog Post on doggy paddling techniques soon! So keep an eye out!
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