You have tried paddleboarding. Now you want to try paddleboarding with your best friend … Here is what we recommend:
- Safety First! Make sure that both you and your dog are equipped for the water with a life jacket. Did you know that paddleboards have been deemed a “vessel” by the US Coast Guard? This means that every person on a paddleboard or on a boat has to also have a life jacket on board (if you are 12 years of age or younger you have to wear a jacket at all times). Dogs, however, are an exception and whether they wear a life jacket or not is completely up to you as the owner. We definitely recommend a life jacket for your dog with a grab handle. At some point your dog will either fall off the board or will want to go for a swim and having a grab handle is a great way to help your dog get back on board.
- Land Drills– We have hosted several clinics over the years with certified dog instructors who start each session with land drills. Place the paddleboard on land and have your dog get used to getting on and off the board. This process should take up to 15 minutes and during this time the dog will become more acquainted with his or her new home and where they need to be sitting. The front of the board is usually the best spot for your dog and some boards include an extended deck pad like the YOLO Board- Dogwood or you can always order one online from companies like Pupdeck.com
- Move to the Water– Following the land drills it’s time to hit the water! Proceed to a shallow spot where you can stand with the board next to you and have your dog swim out to the board. For a beach, lake or land start we recommend turning your board around so that the fin is away from the land and that the nose of the board touches the ground. You can pick up your dog and place them near the nose of the board where they sat during the land drills. Positive reinforcement and treats are recommended here
BE SAFE, HAVE FUN
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