How to Train Your Dog to Paddle Board

Are you wanting to bring your pup out on the water with you? Hey, you can!


Are you wanting to bring your pup out on the water with you? Hey, you can! Many dogs enjoy stand up paddle boarding with their owners.

Keep in mind that your dog may or may not have the right temperament for it.

You are the one who knows your dog’s personality best! If they tend to be anxious or fearful of new experiences, or of the water in general, paddle boarding with your dog may not be possible. The last thing you want to do is traumatize your best friend!

What kind of board do I need?

You’ll want to make sure you have a board that’s wide and long enough for your dog to comfortably sit. Generally, boards over ten feet long will offer plenty of room for you and your dog. If you’re selecting a new board and eventually plan to bring your dog out on the water with you, make sure the maximum weight rating of the board includes the combined weight of both you and your dog!

The Pelican Boracay NXT 10’4 inflatable paddle board has a sturdy platform making it the perfect board for you and your pup. It's a budget-friendly option that is made for paddlers of all levels with a maximum intermediate weight of 250 lbs. to fit and support you and your furry friend.

Pelican Boracay

The Boardworks SHUBU Kraken is another great option for tandem paddling with your pup. It is a rigid, stable, and maneuverable board that will give you confidence in rough waters. It is 11' feet long with a maximum intermediate weight of 240 lbs. to fit and support you and your furry friend.

BW Kraken

How do I keep my dog safe?

Get a life jacket, or personal floatation device, for your dog. Try this on well before you get to the water; you’ll want your dog to have time to acclimate!

Speaking of safety, your dog is going to follow your lead, so make sure that you are comfortable and confident on the board before adding your dog – no need to take them out the very first time you go.

Dog Paddleboard Lifestyle

How should I prepare?

Let your dog get used to getting on and off the board before you get in the water. Try placing the board in your yard or home, then let your dog sniff and explore the board. Make sure to give them treats generously when they put a paw on the board! Do several sessions at home before you get to the water to ease the process.

Once your dog is comfortable wearing a life jacket and climbing on and off the board, it’s time to take it to the water. Try to keep an upbeat attitude so your dog doesn’t get too stressed. Let your dog get on the board in shallow water, then climb up on your knees once they are on. Once you feel balanced, you can try standing up.

Note: your dog may jump off the board at any time, which can cause you to fall as well. Make sure you have enough clearance to fall safely.

If it doesn’t go perfectly the first time out, that’s OK! Try it again another day, and keep in mind that not all dogs will be up for SUP.