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Anyone take their dog with them? I recently got a rat terrier mix and I thought it may be nice to take her with me sometime. Problem is that she's really hyper and I'm afraid she may not mix well with a kayak. What did you do to overcome this? Any special training involved?

Rick

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I take my chihuahua/rat terrier mix, Guinness with me all the time. I got a doggy PFD for him at Petco called "Fido Float"; it works out nicely because when he falls in, it has straps on the back that I can pick him up like a purse to yank him out of the water when I need to. I put slip resistant stickers like you use in a bathtub or shower on the top of my boat since that's where he likes to ride. There are pictures on my member page, I think. Have fun with your dog, it's a great bonding experience!
here's a picture of Guinness the kayaking chihuahua
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I went on a weekend trip with a group and one of the girls brought her Schnauzer. Had her kayak all rigged for him and he went how, where he wanted to on her craft. The dog was not hyper at all and we camped out a couple of nights. The dog listened well, did not run after animals, and had better tent/table manners than half of the group! http://www.rockymountaincanoeclub.org/pics/2004/yampa-marsha.jpg

Make sure the dog has a PFD. Be sure she has the basics first, sit/stay and have good voice control of her on those before the first voyage. Don't even push off from shore the first time out, just let her sit and get comfy in the craft at the edge. Allow the water to slap/lift/move the boat without leaving the shore. Let her know that's what's supposed to happen and your first voyage should be just learning where she wants to be.

Good luck and post a pix when you venture out!
Hi Rick. Gracie, my three-legged wheaton-poodle mix always comes on kayak camping trips on Georgian Bay with us. She is not particularly calm or fearless.

I have a tandem kayak (a Current Design Libra XT) with a hard-cased centre hatch. I leave the hatch cover ashore and Gracie rides in style between the two paddlers. She has never jumped out of the kayak, but this has happened several times when canoeing. Sometimes she does decide to visit one of the paddlers in his/her hatch, or to sit on the deck, where she can slide into the water quite easily, and has to be encouraged back into the hatch. She does get bored/restless on long paddles (you will see she does not look particularly happy in the attached photo), and hates it when it rains (as do we all) but once we arive on a remote granite island she is in heaven, eating crayfish, chasing birds and generally entertaining herself. With respect to your earlier comment, I would not take her anywhere with alligators. Where I go there are (very rarely) rattlesnakes and bears, and that is worry enough.
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Life vest is really important as it makes it easy to pull them back onboard if they fall/jump off.
Sofie loves the Kayak and is pretty calm unless she see's a duck.


I am reading this thread with a great deal of interest. I do not own a kayak (yet), but do own a 9 month old Border Collie (30 lbs) who thinks she's a relative of Aquadog. I love to go bass fishing in my float tube, but can't bring her for 16 obvious reasons...doggie toenails v.s. inflatable tube = bad combo. I am certain she would take to kayaking and I'm interested to know what anyone thinks about the sit-on-top style kayaks for lakes. I'm not particularly interested in speed, just a kayak that I can handle and she can have room to sit or lay down on. I'm open to suggestions, please keep in mind I'm not Rockafeller and have a semi-limited budget to $600.
Sit-on-tops are great for fishing in lakes and taking your dog. I'd say that for $600, your best bet is to constantly check Craigslist and find a good used one. I think for what you want to spend, you can probably find a used 12 footer, maybe a Wilderness Tarpon, or a Native Mantaray.
Thanks for the input. I will do some search on those models. I was thinking about the "Yak" model, but after sitting in the 8 foot version [on land], quickly determined it was too short. I do want something with pretty decent stability both for my dog and for casting. The other challenge before me is being able to lift & load or unload the kayak if going solo. I do have a station wagon, so it's possible I "might" be able to put it inside with the back half hanging out and just tie the hatch down for transport, but that may not be the best solution. Suggestions for that?
My Border Collie is petite and will probably mature at about 40-42 lbs. The fishing kayak I am considering is the Pro-Angler 1080 and is 9 ft. 2 inches, but seems to have a pretty large cargo area behind the paddler's seat and plenty of flat space in front (which is where I think I'd prefer her to ride, but we'll see). I'm not very tall myself, but I don't plan on laying down in the boat (ha ha), so that should leave plenty of space for Lava. I don't think I'll be fishing if she's along with me and would only be doing scenic paddles around our local lakes with her. When I'm fishing, I'll have plenty of room for my gear and I since I don't generally carry tons of equipment, but tend to use one method and rod. Anyway, thanks for your input. I appreciate it.
I have an obedient 90 lb shepherd. I want to bring him with when I go kayaking, he loves the water. I'd like to also bring him on trips in the Keys, my only fear is getting him back in the kayak in open water. Any advice on getting dogs back onboard?
I'm probably not the one to ask. I only kayak on local lakes. Personally, I wouldn't take such a large dog on the open water, too many currents and sea swells could add tippy-ness factors that might be difficult to navigate if the dog shifted around, or even if he/she didn't shift. If a 90 lbs. dog went overboard, I sure wouldn't want to attempt hoisting it back onboard a kayak in open water, even with the dog wearing a lifejacket with a handle to try to bring it back on you'd be lucky at best to get it onboard safely again without ending up swimming with it after tipping over. My best guess is that the dog would have to swim alongside the kayak and be escorted to shore to get it back into the yak on dry land, which could be a VERY long swim for the dog before you find shore. Not a very desirable option and very risky in my opinion. But again, I'm not at all experienced on open water, so that's just speculation on my part.
I have a 15 pound JRT. HE does wear a life coat with a handle. It is sometimes a little difficult hoisting him back in the yak and I have to balance myself so that when I tip his way I don't go over. We only go on a small river so it isn't a problem. We have gotten caught in a couple of sudden storms and he has to get out and swim for it. Even the slightest movement makes it harder to paddle in rough water. My kayak is also small. Over all, he swims and when he gets tired we paddle to a rock to get him back in or I lift him in as he is small. He stands on either end and then when ready to swim, jumps back in.

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