Train Your Dog to Ride a Standup Paddleboard

Hop On Top

Jack SUPing
Be sure your dog wears a canine life jacket for every paddleboard ride. Jack never leaves the shore without his!

Once your dog is comfortable around the board, it's time to get wet. With the board in shallow, calm water, such as at a lake or in a harbor, call your dog to come on board or have someone else put him in place after you get on. Have him sit or lie down as you paddle out. Stay close to shore at first until you’re both comfortable and having fun. Give him lots of praise during the ride.

“If you’re having trouble balancing on the board with Fido, get down on your knees and paddle or just sit on the board,” Celapino says. “The lower center of gravity will make it easier for you.”

If your dog falls off, don’t panic. Paddle to where he is and get down on your knees, Celapino says. Then reach down, grab the handle on the life jacket and pull him back on board. You might want to practice this in shallow water until you both get good at it.

More Safety Tips

Be sure your dog’s flotation device fits comfortably and securely. He should be able to move around without feeling restricted. Check to make sure the straps and buckles don't chafe his skin.

Protect your light-colored or thin-skinned dog from sunburn. Apply pet-safe sunscreen, especially on the face and ears.

Bring fresh water and a foldable bowl. Dogs become dehydrated easily in the heat.

Give your dog a thorough freshwater rinse any time he gets in the water. Saltwater dries the fur and lakes may contain blue-green algae that can make your dog sick.

Paddleboarding is a fun way to spend time with your dog in the outdoors and get in a great workout. As Celapino says, “Life is short. Work out with your dog."

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