If you have searched for this article I already know you are a dog lover looking to grow your relationship with your favorite pooch. If you are looking for some simple suggestions on how to begin the process of incorporating your dog into a future water adventures in your kayak, you have come to the right place. These are tried and true tips that are sure to help:
Get Them Used to the Boat!
This seems so obvious but many forget this simple step. Your dog needs to be comfortable with the boat you are going to take paddling with you. Let him/her explore it while you sit in your kayak right in your backyard. Let them climb in and out of it, smelling it, and allow them to get used to the shape of the boat. This may not be something they are incredibly interested in doing at first. In fact, do not be surprised if the first time you have your vessel sitting in the back yard your dog doesn’t care at all about it. Like all things when it comes to conditioning animals, persist. Keep bringing the vessel out for them to see and experience. The more comfortable they are on land the better things will go when you hit the waterways.
Training is a Must
If your canine companion isn’t at a place where they listen to basic commands from you on a consistent basis, they might not be ready for a kayaking adventure quite yet. The good news is, there is always time to work on basic commands that will eventually get your pooch ready for the water. Pets WebMD author Joseph Saling states “any dog can be trained if it is sufficiently motivated and if the trainer has the skills, knowledge, and patience." Don’t feel confident enough to ace the training of your dog without some assistance? Search online, watch free online videos, or find a class near you. As long as you stay consistent, it won’t be long before your companion is ready for the wild.
Think About the Dookie
Your trip will not be a success if you don’t think about how this daily need is going to be handled. Some people have dogs that are trained to poop on command. The American Kennel Club claims on their website that teaching a dog to go to the bathroom given a signal is not difficult at all; just something that you need to reinforce consistently and train your pooch to do like any other trick. If this is the situation for you and your canine companion, more power to you. Having them use the facilities when you stop ashore during your travels will be easy. If you are not so blessed, you need to practice your quick docking skills. You will also need to pay attention to your pup for signs that the deed needs to happen soon. As soon as you see the first sign that your dog needs to go to the bathroom, start scanning the shore for an appropriate place to pull off.
It is also important when kayaking with a dog to consider what you are going to do with the number twos after they happen. You basically have two options:
There is nothing like the companion of a dog who loves you and if you are thinking of taking yours on a kayak trip with you this is probably something you already know. When in doubt just remember that you know your dog best. You know his/her comfort level in any given situation. Follow some of these tips to increase the likelihood of success when paddling with your favorite co-pilot and I am sure your adventure will be a worthwhile, memorable event.