How Do You Train a Dog to Paddle Board (and Does It Like It)?

Training your dog to paddle board is the same as training it to perform other activities. If it’s already familiar with the obedience training commands, all you have to do is add the commands specific for paddle boarding. Commands for getting on or off the board as well as other directions have to be learned and practiced. As per usual, treats play a huge part in training your dog to go paddle boarding.
How Do You Train a Dog to Paddle Board

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Some breeds of dogs will naturally take to paddle boarding while some may be reluctant to even go near the water. It will depend on the individual dog if it will enjoy paddle boarding. Some may grow to like it so you have to be patient in training it. As the saying goes, you can’t teach a water-averse dog new tricks such as paddle boarding!

Can Dogs Go on Paddle Boards?

You can train your dog to hop on paddle boards. All it takes is your time, your patience, and a lot of treats! You need to go step-by-step when teaching your dog to go on a paddle board. It has to be comfortable around the paddle board first before you can entice it on board.

Getting your dog to jump on a paddle board is a good first step into getting it to ride the paddle board with you. Once your dog is trained to get on a paddle board, all it takes is to continually reinforce the behavior so it becomes ingrained.

How Do You Train a Dog to Sit on a Paddle Board?

Training your dog to sit on a paddle board takes some effort and patience. Not all dogs are equal so some may take a little more time than others. However, the steps are the same. Below are some tips on how to do it.

  • Let your dog get comfortable around a paddle board. Lay down your paddle board in your yard or driveway and let your dog take its time to get acquainted with it. Once your dog is familiar with it, it’s time to take it to the next step.
  • Get on your board and call your dog to join you on it. Don’t force it to get on the paddle board if it’s still hesitant to do so.
  • When it does finally hop onto the board, immediately give it a treat. Remember, reinforcing the behavior is a better way of getting your dog to obey your commands instead of scolding it.
  • Next, teach it to obey your commands with both of you on the paddle board. If your dog already knows the commands like sit, stand, stay, etc., give it those commands. Don’t forget those treats!
  • You may have to this over several days so your dog gets really comfortable doing all those activities on the paddle board.

Can You Take Your Dog on an Inflatable Paddle Board?

Definitely. Actually, an inflatable paddle board would even be better than a hard board when you take your dog paddle boarding. The rubber-like material gives them a better foothold on the board while they could easily slip on the hard board.

Some paddle boards are fitted with a full-length traction pad. The traction pad is made of a non-slip material giving you a rubber-like feeling and grip. This gives your dog a good grip on the board and prevents it from slipping and getting an unplanned bath.

Can Dogs Pop an Inflatable Paddle Board?

Most modern inflatable paddle boards can withstand contact with sharp objects, your dog’s claws included. So no, your dog’s claws can’t pop an inflatable paddle board. Still, it’s always a good idea to trim your dog’s nails even if it’s not going on paddle boarding with you, right?

Reasons why your dog can’t pop an inflatable are:

  • Today’s inflatable paddle boards are made of military-grade material. Think of all those sea-going commando movies you have watched and you get an idea of how tough those inflatables are.
  • The inflatable paddle boards are made up of multiple layers and not just a single layer of material. There are several different technologies of constructing a multi-layer board but suffice it to say that all those technologies have a single aim in mind, to build a more rugged paddle board. Your dog has not only to puncture military-grade material but go through several layers of it as well.
  • Manufacturers subject their boards to different durability tests. Extreme examples of these tests can be found on Youtube. Of course, we always take with a grain of salt all those self-serving videos. But those tests are authentic, by and large.

Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Good for Dogs?

Yes, an inflatable is actually the better choice for paddle boards if you are taking your dog for a SUP with you. The inflatables are safer than the hard boards when it comes to dogs. Inflatable boards also have a softer deck for the dog to lie on as well as for yourself.

Choose an inflatable board with a wide nose to give your dog more space to sit in. A large-breed dog will need a board that’s 10 feet or longer. A dog-friendly inflatable stand-up paddleboard will give a better grip and be more stable compared to hard boards. It also has a rubber surface great for footing and keeping your dog’s balance.

Do Dogs Like Paddle Boarding?

Like humans, some dogs will take to paddle boarding and some will balk at it. Make sure that it likes the water first before bringing your pet along for a paddle boarding excursion. Try coaxing your dog into a pool or a bathtub at home and you’ll discover if it has what it takes to go paddle boarding if you don’t know already. Lucky you if it’s enthusiastic going into the water. If not, don’t force it or both of you will just regret the experience.

Some dogs may even get overexcited when they get to the water. This poses a different problem for you as it may want to swim more than it wants to ride on the paddle board. This is where its obedience training kicks in. Just be on the lookout if your dog decides to take an impromptu swim.