Activities For Dogs With Owners Who Like Rowing

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Introduction

Rowing is one of those all-time great pastimes that really helps one commune with nature; whether you go out rowing through a densely wooded area or if you prefer rowing through a roaring river, there's something about this activity that helps one forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday life and return to a simpler world, if only for a relatively brief moment. Such a beautiful experience is something most of us would like to share with our best four-legged friends but we often don't know how to prepare them for the trip. So, if you'd like to know how to get your dog ready for a rowing trip, read ahead to see which types of activities will help your pet become seaworthy.

Swimming

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 - 60 min
Items needed
Swimming Pool
Dog Floaters
Dog Life Jacket
Activity description
Even if you don't intend to delve too deeply into the water, it's imperative that everyone participating in a rowing trip know how to swim in order to deal with any unexpected circumstances. That includes your dog as well; before you seriously consider taking them along on a rowing trip, you'll need to make absolutely certain that they'll be comfortable in the water. Fortunately for any dog owners worrying that their pet may not be too adept at swimming, all dogs have naturally webbed feet that help them take to the water easier than most other mammals. Really, the key to helping your dog become comfortable in the water lies in raising their confidence.
Step
1
Start shallow
As mentioned before, dogs are naturally equipped to handle the water due to their webbed paws. However, if you feel that your dog might not be ready to swim in steeper waters, start shallow to help build your dog's confidence and comfortability in the water.
Step
2
Swim deep
After your dog has spent enough time swimming in shallow water, they should be ready to swim in deeper water. Try taking your dog out for a swim in the deep end of a pool before you try taking your dog out for a swim in a lake or out for a swim at your local beach.
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Towing Fun

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
45 - 60 min
Items needed
Innertube
Floaties
Dog Friendly Rope
Activity description
Towing is an activity that will provide your dog with a fun physical challenge while also allowing you to kick back and relax in the sun. In order to properly pull off this activity, you'll need some sort of buoyant flotation device and something for your dog to bite onto. The idea behind towing is very similar to mushing, sledding, or carting but in the water; a person properly positions themselves in a floatie while holding a dog safe rope, prompts their dog to jump in and bite onto the rope, and then encourages their dog to swim around while towing the person behind them.
Step
1
Kids first
A great way to help your dog get the hang of towing is to try it with kids first; get a child-sized floatie for your children, nephews, or godchildren and then prompt the child to get on the floatie. With a rope in hand, or with the rope directly attached to the floating item, prompt your dog to start towing the tot around.
Step
2
Adult swim
If your dog has successfully towed around a child a number of times, they may be ready to try towing an adult around a body of water in a similar fashion. Try to be mindful of your dog when attempting this activity with an adult, however; if your dog seems like they're getting too tired or are straining themselves trying to tow an adult along, switch back to kids and see if your dog will become acclimated to adults with time and practice.
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Benefits of Boating

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Seaworthy Boating Vessel
Dog Life Jacket
Human Life Jacket
Activity description
Boating is without a doubt the most challenging activity on this list but take solace in the fact that your dog, should they be able to rise to the occasion and complete this activity, will officially be seaworthy enough to go rowing, swimming, canoeing, or surfing in any body of water. Boating is like dock diving taken up a level; rather than diving into the still water of a pool, your dog will be diving into the ocean where waters are never still even on a good day. This activity isn't meant to be too extreme, however, so only attempt it on a sunny day when the wind isn't going to be blowing too harshly.
Step
1
The five P's
Proper planning prevents pathetic performance; it's an old army slogan that's both very catchy and very true. Boating is meant to be attempted in any areas where a boating vessel can go. If you'd like to try this activity at your local pier, we suggest doing the research to see what the weather and conditions will be like. Doubly so if you'd like to attempt this activity further away from the shore.
Step
2
Better safe than sorry
In relation to the step before this one, bring along the right gear for this activity for the best possible chance of ensuring that things go off without a hitch (and that you and your dog will be ready if things don't.) Life jackets for yourself and your dog are a must, as well as sources of hydration if you're going to attempt this activity in salt water.
Step
3
Time to dive right in
After completing the previous two steps, you and your dog will be just about ready to get into the meat of this activity. Dock and anchor your boat to ensure that it stays still and then toss your dog's favorite fetching toy in the water. We recommend using a tennis ball or any other kind of buoyant device to keep the toy from sinking and making your dog work too hard.
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More Fun Ideas...

Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is the fusion of surfing and rowing. Just like with those two activities, dogs are very apt to paddleboarding and they will enjoy this change of pace. As with most of the other activities on this list, be certain to make your dog feels comfortable out at sea and keep a close eye on them throughout the trip.

Surfing

After you've done all of the prep work to get your dog ready for rowing, you should try going surfing with your dog once in awhile. It's very simple, just make sure that your dog has a steady grip on your board and go out for a session just as you normally would. If you feel that your dog isn't as seaworthy as you'd like, equip them with a life jacket just in case.

Dock Jumping

Dock jumping is a very fun activity for dogs that are either still getting used to the water or dogs who are very young and energetic. Dock jumping involves coaxing your dog to jump in the water after an item you've tossed in it and then encouraging them to swim back to you. Dock jumping is a lot like water fetch in many respects.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this Activity Guide will have helped to dispel the notion that dogs are only capable of being comfortable on land while also helping any dog owners who like rowing prepare their pups for the open waters. Most of the activities listed above are meant to be incorporated into one's weekly routines as a means of making certain that your pet remains flexible enough to handle anything that might come up on the trip. However, these same activities will also give you and your dog a chance to bond and see one another in a new light. By the time the two of you do set out to go rowing, you and your dog will be like one well-oiled machine and the both of you will be able to enjoy nature's splendor together.