How to SUP with your dog.
Summer is starting. We decided to teach our beloved Golden Retriever Happy how to stand up paddle with us.
Wondering how to turn your dog into a stand up paddle lover? Here are the steps we followed:
1/ In the garden (2 weeks)
- Introduce the board to your dog. Make him stand on it. Praise and treat everytime.
- Let the dog relax / sleep on the board
- Repeat several times a week, so the dog gets used to seeing the paddle board.
2/ Learn how to stand in the front
- We taught Happy a new command: “In Front” (or Devant in French), we did it like asking her to turn around and sit making her follow the hand holding the treat. We released the treat and praised her when she was in the right position.
- We did it on the board, at home, in the park, and repeated multiple times
3/ Get used to the paddle
- We introduced the paddle to Happy
- We got on the board, paddled on the grass, switched sides… and rewarded Happy every time she stayed on the board
- We had to repeat several days until Happy got used to the paddle. As she was a little afraid when we switched sides, after the exercise, we asked Happy to touch the paddle with the nose. The helped her accept the paddle being close to her.
4/ On the beach!
- We got Happy to stand on the paddle on the shore, no problem there
5/ First ride on the lake
- We sat on the paddle very close to the shore and asked Happy to jump on it. Without hesitating, even if it was moving a little, she came to us. As she was not afraid, we decided to take turns with my husband and go paddle around the seaport. Happy did great! She did so great people asked us for pictures!
- Our SUP: we chose the Red Paddle Co 10’8’ Mega ; it is inflatable, very stable and perfect for Happy. The only downside is that the paddle that came with it is a little heavy. If you purchase the SUP + the paddle, I would recommend you check which paddle comes with it (weight, material).
- Happy’s life jacket: the K-9 Float Coat from Ruffwear ; Happy is used to wearing a harness when we go hiking so getting used to the life jacket was not a problem. The K-9 has a sturdy handle that makes it very easy to lift Happy back on the board if she swims nearby.
Let me know if you have any questions on how to SUP with your pup and enjoy Summer!