If you’re a lover of the outdoors, you may enjoy nothing more than going for a trip down the river, in the sea, or on the canal in a canoe. If you’re also a dog lover, can you think of anything better than being able to have a first mate in the form of your best four-legged friend? Hopefully, he isn’t a scurvy dog!
Now you won’t have to feel guilty when he gives you those sad doey eyes as you’re about to leave for your canoe trip, as now you can simply bring your poochie pal with you. Also, if you wanted to go away for a few days there would be no requirement to get a dog sitter, leaving you with more time and money to spend on canoeing and boating accessories, you could even save up and buy a canoe for you and your pooch to explore scenic places together.
In this guide, your pooch will learn how to adopt the correct position in the canoe and what to do in the event of capsizing. This is an extremely important skill to learn if both you and your pooch are going to learn to canoe safely and all hands and four paws are going to remain on deck. Think of the initial training that you needed to undertake to learn to canoe safely; you're going to have to teach your pooch a few things about safety on the water too. Some dogs will take to this command like a fish in water, whereas others will take a bit more time to get those sea legs, therefore this command usually takes a couple of months to master. This skill is not suitable for young puppies, as your pup needs to be strong enough to swim against currents and therefore must be a strong, experienced swimmer; dogs need to be at least 6 months old to qualify.
There are a few different bits of equipment you’ll need to get started. High value treats are a good idea for praising your pooch when he gets it right, such as cooked chicken pieces or sausage. You will also need a canoe and, if possible, an area of water to practice. Rivers and the sea wouldn’t be very good for this, as for safety you need to avoid currents while learning. A swimming pool would be the best solution if you have access to a friend’s or neighbor's, however, a canal or still body of water would do if you can’t find a pool. It would also be a good idea to have a friend watching over you and your pooch just to make sure you don’t run into any difficulties. Most importantly, your pooch must be a strong swimmer, know basic recall well and have basic obedience skills. Good luck and be sure to wear your life jacket and put your pup's on too!