I get asked a lot about how I trained Torvi to paddle board :)
Firstly, she's a rather special dog and I've been incredibly lucky to have found myself such a lovely, easy to train pooch! Secondly, she's small and nimble. Her movement on the board doesn't really affect my balance.
So from my experience, these are some of my tips at getting your pooch 'on board'.
Please note - if your dog has a nervous anxious temperament, work on this off the water first! Please don't add any stress to your dogs life. You may love the idea of the IG post with you and your pooch... but your lovely pooch won't.
If your dog is prone to chase wildlife you will need to train your dog to control their impulsiveness to jump off your board and chase! Respecting wildlife and nature is incredibly important.
A few things you may want to purchase first.
A change robe ( these can be found on our website) the chances of you going in when you first start the training are high! Having something warm to out on after will be much appreciated.
A dog buoyancy aid. These can found on Amazon or other Sup sites! Make sure you get one with a handle on the back so you can easily pull your pooch out of the water onto the board. Scratching claws on the board and deck pad isn't great.
A couple of bath mats like these. Put them in their bed so they get their scent on them and get used to the feel.
The bigger the dog the harder it is… not going to lie!! Every move they make will affect you.
Weight restrictions are based on the board - so check what your board max is then if all is good, follow some of these steps.
So, on to the training;
If you have room in your garden, house. Pump up your board and put the bath mat on the board and encourage them to lay on the board ( don’t put your fins on) practice getting them on and off the board and shower them with treats.
When you finally get the board, the mat and the pooch to the water. Stay calm and relaxed and try and limit the spectators. Keep a steady breath to also keep your pooch calm and again, practice popping your pooch on and off.
Move the board into the water, Ideally in a shallow location where you can have your feet in the water to steady the board. Invite your dog into the board. Steadying it and showering them with praise and treats.
Then gently get on the board and go for a paddle.
Keep it short and keep practicing.
Try and choose somewhere your pooch won't get distracted and feels calm.
Don't try and paddle too far with your dog on the first time! Little and often is good. Loads of praise.
We would love to see some of your pics of dogs on board, so please share and tag us in my pics.
Have a wonderful paddle
Love Lee and Torvi