How to Train Your Dog to Ride in a Kayak

Planning to go kayaking but don’t want to leave your furry friend behind?

Well, you don’t need to. These furry little adorable creatures are super talented and just need a push, and who knows they might just become better at kayaking than you!

There are several different ways when it comes to training your dog to ride in a kayak, and it is highly dependent on the type of training they receive that which of the methods would be suitable for your dog.

So, scroll through and educate yourself regarding the methods and then decide upon which one would be the most suitable for you and your new almost kayaking partner. Here are a few methods suggested below that you could adopt.

How to Train Your Dog to Ride in a Kayak

Tips To Train Your Dog to Ride in a Kayak

Method 1 – Comfortable Learning

This method is highly advised to be the first choice for everyone, and it is likely to be the most effective and safest one when it comes to trained dogs, as these trained dogs are quite suitable for it.

  1. Introduce – The first step should be to introduce the dog to the kayak and command the dog to jump in and out, you can use words like “get in” and treat them when they do so. Try this a few times till the time dog is aware of it. In case the dog is too small, you’ll have to push and help them to get in and out.
  2. Staying – Teach the dog to stay in the kayak, use the term “stay”, and treat it while the dog stays there.
  3. Get Out – Use terms like “get out” to now aware of the dog jumping out of it and then treat it accordingly when they listen.
  4. Water Time – Now is a bit difficult step, because it highly depends upon the dog if the dog is comfortable enough in water or not. Just shift the kayak into the water where it is shallow, and now repeat the above three steps to teach them.
  5. Practice – Keep practising it until your dog gets comfortable, and if they feel uncomfortable right now, do not push it too far, and just try it on some other day.
  6. Trial Voyage – When your dog is trained and you think it is ready to go for a voyage, take them on a trial voyage that has a short duration and is in shallow depths.

When you think, the little voyages are going successful, you can then slowly start increasing the durations and can go to different places and have fun on your voyages with your furry friend, and feel no guilt about leaving them behind.

Method 2 – Leash and Assistance

This method is to be used in case the first one doesn’t work, that is when the dog is unable to get hold of the commands and is a bit scared, also you would require an assistant (or just a willingness to help a friend) to help you with this particular method,

  1. Try – Try to introduce and command your dog to get in the kayak, let them investigate, learn about the kayak, and get comfortable in it.
  2. Water Trial – Keep the kayak half in water, and half on shore, so the dog gets introduced to the water but also doesn’t feel unsafe or get anxious and jumps here and there because of it.
  3. Leash – Now, hold the leash of the dog for the next step and sit calmly with them.
  4. Assistance – Ask your assistant to slightly give a bit of a push to the kayak and send it in the water.
  5. Reaction – Check your dog’s reaction, and how it is reacting there if the dog feels safe enough and calm enough. If the dog feels uncomfortable just ask the assistant to push back the kayak to the shore and let the dog off.

When you kayaking with dog tips and try this method a few times and gradually your dog will start becoming comfortable with the kayak and water, and then you can over time start your longer voyages and take your kayaking with dog tips along with you.

Method 3 – Luring

This method is suitable for little pups, and the dogs that aren’t trained or less trained, as the name itself suggests, “Luring”, you can get the treats packet out, because it is about to get finished now,

  1. Luring In and Out – If the commands aren’t working, it is fine, just keep your treat in the kayak, and let the dog jump in and eat it. Then let the dog stay and treat them again, then put a treat outside and let them jump out and eat.
  2. Adding Commands – Now along with the treats, start using the commands so they respond to both, the treats as well as the commands.
  3. Substitution – Now, substitute only treats with just commands, and repeat till the time your dog starts following your commands.
  4. Water – As you see your dog is getting comfortable in it, go ahead and put the kayak in the water, first on the shallow depths, and then slowly further.
    You can increase the duration of your voyages slowly, but just ensure your dog’s safety and comfort remains the priority.

Safety Measures

Best Kayaking with your dogs can be an enjoyable and exciting experience, Just make sure that you follow these few safety measures when taking your dog kayaking,

  1. Make sure he is relieved enough, otherwise your dog would feel extremely uncomfortable on the kayak.
  2. Never ever tie your dog to the kayak, because it might not be safe in certain situations. For this particular safety measure to apply your dog should be trained enough to listen to commands, so it might be difficult for a few, but you shouldn’t compromise on the tying situation regardless.


All the methods are effective in their own way, just make sure whatever method works for you, do not let the safety measures and precautionary tips slip off your mind, and you double-check them always.

At the end of the day, kayaking is meant to be fun for both of you, so it is important for you and your dog to have fun and not feel uncomfortable.

Hope the article helped! Happy Kayaking!


How do you train a dog to ride in a kayak?

Training a dog to kayak involves gradual exposure, starting with short sessions on dry land to get them accustomed to the kayak, then gradually introducing them to the water while reinforcing positive behaviour with treats and praise.

Is it hard to kayak with a dog?

Kayaking with a dog can be manageable with proper training and equipment. It may require patience initially, but many dogs can adapt to kayaking and enjoy the experience once they become familiar with it.

Where should a dog sit on a kayak?

Ideally, a dog should sit or lie down in the center of the kayak to maintain balance. Placing a non-slip mat or towel underneath them can provide stability and prevent them from sliding around.

What kind of dog is best for kayaking?

Breeds with a love for water and moderate energy levels, such as Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, or Portuguese Water Dogs, often make excellent kayaking companions due to their natural affinity for outdoor activities.

How do I train my dog to be an adventure dog?

Training an adventure dog involves consistent positive reinforcement, exposure to various environments, and gradually building up their endurance and skills through activities like hiking, camping, and water sports. Patience and consistency are key to developing a strong bond and trust between you and your furry companion.

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