Going canoeing and kayaking can be a very enjoyable experience, and there is probably no better way to take part in this activity than with man’s best friend, a dog! However, taking an animal out onto open water can be a rather risky proposition. This is why it is important to prepare for it by learning as much as you can about it. There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind when you are kayaking or canoeing with a dog.
What Breed of Dog Should You Take Along?
This is one of the most important questions that you can ask, and is an essential part of preparing to take a pet canoeing or kayaking with you. The first thing you need to do is dispel a misconception: dogs that are naturally fond of water are the best breeds to take with you on your water expeditions. While this may seem like a logical train of thought, dogs that are naturally good swimmers are also usually quite large and heavy. This can be a real problem for you while you are in your canoe or kayak.
This is because of the fact that a large dog can tip your boat over. That’s a lot of weight that you have no control over. Dogs are living, breathing creatures, not a piece of equipment that you can tie down so that it doesn’t unexpectedly move and capsize your canoe or kayak. Such a situation is even worse when you consider the fact that once your boat is capsized you will have a large, panicking dog that you have to take care of along with yourself. This can make it difficult for you to get back to your boat because your panicking dog will keep capsizing it in its attempts to get back to safety.
Hence, smaller dog breeds are going to be your best bet. You can leave them relatively free to move around on your boat, thus making it easier for you to enjoy the experience with your pet without worrying about an accident occurring. That being said, canoe and kayak type and size matters a lot, so if you go for the best fishing kayak under 600 in 2019 recommended by experts at Top Rev X you might be able to take your larger dog breed out for a ride on your canoe after all.
The Training Process
Once you have the right breed of dog for kayaking and canoeing, the next thing that you are going to have to do is train the dog to be on a boat. Even if you have the right breed, your dog needs to be taught the right kind of behavior otherwise it might end up feeling afraid and causing problems for you while you are out on the water. Also, if your dog is new you might not yet know whether or not it likes to swim, which means that training needs to be done in this regard as well.
Whatever your training process is, it needs to start by first figuring out how keen your dog is on the idea of swimming in the first place. This is true even if you get a dog that is traditionally thought to be a naturally good swimmer like a Labrador. Water friendly dogs are not born swimmers, they need to be introduced to water early on during their developmental cycle in order to fulfill their swimming potential. This assessment process can help you figure out how the rest of the training process can proceed.
Start off with shallow water. Get the dog used to the idea of being in and around water. This will help it overcome its initial fear. Also, take your dog out on a canoe a short distance, short enough that you are floating on water but are too close to shore for it to be dangerous if the boat capsizes. You can also use these techniques to see if your dog loves water a bit too much. This could also cause problems because your dog’s passion for water could end up making it jump and putting your boat once again in danger of capsizing.
After the training is complete, you need to take common sense precautions. Make sure that your dog responds to commands immediately and without any complaint, because even the slightest bit of hesitation could put you both in danger of falling into the water. Make sure that you put a life jacket on your dog. Even if you are a skilled kayaker and even if the weather is perfect and your dog is too well trained to do anything that could end up landing it in the water, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Taking the right precautions could end up saving your dog’s life if the worst were to occur.
It would also do you good to keep your dog ready for emergencies. Use drills to instil good listening abilities as well as rational judgment into your dog. You are not the only one out there that’s on alert, your dog is going to learn to look after you as well. This is why taking dogs out onto the open water in a kayak or a canoe is such a popular activity. It’s not just fun, it can keep you safe as well if you train your dog well enough.
You should also make sure that you get the right kind of canoe or kayak. Just like there is Kayako in the world of customer service to help make things easier for you, similarly in the world of canoeing and kayaking there is a company out there that would give you the very best service. Make sure you buy from that company so that you can ensure that both you and your dog have a good time. After all, having fun is one of the most important reasons that people go canoeing and kayaking.
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