Top Mistakes Made When Paddling With Your Dog

Samantha Eastburn with a pack of pups. | Photo: Isle Surf & SUP. Samantha Eastburn with a pack of pups. | Photo: Isle Surf & SUP.

SAN DIEGO, California - Taking your pup for a ride on your paddle board is a really fun way to spend more time with your furry friend while also getting some time on the water. There are however a handful of mistakes that paddlers are making when taking their pets on board. Here are a few of the top mistakes being made when paddling with your pets:

1. Pet Safety, ALWAYS have a life vest on your pup

It doesn’t matter if your pup knows how to swim or not, securing their safety with the correct fitting dog life vest is key. Most dogs do know how to swim, but they could get startled when falling off or they could accidentally hit their head when jumping from one board to the other. You NEVER want to chance it. If you have a larger dog and they decided to take a dip in the water, getting them back on the board can be a challenge. But on all dog life vests there is a handle on the top that helps you pull them up safely without choking them by the collar.

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Photos Courtesy: SUP Pups California

2. Forcing your pup on the board / putting them on the SUP first.

It is all about baby steps in the beginning. You do not want to force your pup on the board without introducing it to them slowly. Treats help if they are very uncertain of what it is. The Top mistake is putting your dog on the board before you get on. Your pup needs to make sure that it is safe and secure by seeing you get on first, then they will be more comfortable to follow. You NEVER want to force your pup into doing anything, patience is key.

3. Attaching their leash to yourself when paddling

No matter the size and weight of your pup, you NEVER want to attached their leash to yourself. If the dog is smaller and decides to take a dip in the water, that little nudge can bring you in after them and you can potentially fall on your dog. If the dog is larger and goes in the water, then they will for sure Pull you right in, and you can fall on your pup ending up hurting them. Just simply let the leash dangle on the board in front of you, so if they are pulling towards the rail or nose of the board, you can bend down grab their leash, give them a little tug to let them know that is it not ok and you are still there behind them.

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Photos Courtesy: SUP Pups California

4. Staying close to shore during your paddle.

This is a BIG NO NO! When you launch out on any body of water, there is going to always be different terrain underneath. You never fully know what is under you, so if you or your pup falls off you could step on something sharp or a creature that could hurt you/ or you could hurt them. Staying in the middle of the body of water that you go into is the best and smartest way to paddle with your pup. That way you both secure safety as well stay away from any distractions that are on shore ( other dogs, squirrels, etc.) that would possibly tease your pup into jumping in.

Avoiding these mistakes will help your chances of paddling with your pup be an awesome experience that both you and your pup will enjoy. For more info on paddling with your pup check out SUP Pups California Facebook page

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Last modified onFriday, 19 May 2023 09:11
Samantha Eastburn

Samantha Eastburn is an Arizona native with 23 years of water experience, 2 Flat water SUP Certifications and has been teaching SUP Pups California for 5 years now in San Diego. A life-time dog lover, she rescued her pup Jack 8 years ago and moved to San Diego after graduating college. She started to Stand Up Paddle board in the San Diego Bay with her dog and instantly fell in love. They together decided to create a program at The SUP Connection so they can teach and share their passion with other pups and their owners.

Website: www.facebook.com/SUPpupsUSA Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.