Photos: Marko Butrakovic, Rick Iossi, Jacqueline Thomson
Paddling with your four-legged friend
There is a famous quote that says “dog is the man’s best friend”. The author of this sentence is unknown, but probably this person could have realized this after seeing a man and a dog paddling together. This sport makes the interaction between the owner and the pet even better, increases the level of friendship and, of course, it is a fun time for both!
People really enjoy the companion of their pets and like to stay with them all the time. So why not choose something that both can enjoy? Paddling is similar to walk with the dog, since the concept to take the pet to an outside environment is the same. “Stand up paddle boarding with your dog creates structure, enjoyment and exercise for owner and dog to enjoy”, explains the specialist Chris de Aboitiz, who works producing dog training education with Stand Up Paddle boards at SUP Dog OZ. But it is even more than this, because the pets are going for a special adventure and their owners are doing a good exercise and are relaxing. Considering that SUP is accessible to everybody, it’s not overly technical and it is easy to find a nice and inviting spot nearly everywhere, it is the perfect way to take a dog to a new experience.
Chris de Aboitiz uses Stand Up Paddling as the main part of his work educating pets and helping them to have a better connection with their owners
To have a nice time with your pets, you have to get them used to the sport. Before going to the water, make the dog familiar with the board, let it get used to it and interact with it. Always let it take its time and assure your pet that it’s safe. And the most important is to have a proper life jacket with a handle on the back, if it gets washed off by the water. Of course, you should wear your own life jacket as well.
Dogs have different characters which will show when paddling. Some of them don’t like water too much, but it does not mean that they will not enjoy the activity. Others will be crazy about it and it will be hard to get them off, as they like it so much – almost like little kids.
If you have more dogs the group instinct will take over and follow their master. So you can take as many of your four-legged friends as you can safely get on board.
Inflatable boards or hard boards?
Inflatable boards are considered to be a good choice for “SUPing” your dog for one reason: the dog’s claws may scratch a hard board. Unless the deck of the hard board is covered with a full EVA pad – like the Outback, which makes it perfectly suited for this purpose: SUP with dogs!