I’m thinking about getting a dog to accompany me on some of my canoe trips. I got the idea by watching various videos of paddler and canine, and it just seems having a good dog along would be a perfect fit.
Have a look at Maddy the Goose canoe trip videos and you’ll see what I mean. In those videos Springer Spaniel Maddy is so obedient that she seems to be much more fun than burden and offers no chance of running off into the wilderness after a flock or turkeys or deer. But I’ve seen dogs on canoe trips that were more of a hassel than what their owners gained from bringing them along.
Some ideas that come to mind before taking a dog canoeing is to be sure they strictly obey the stay, heel and come command without a miss. Our terrier could never make a good canoeing dog because she only obeys those commands when she wants to…when she thinks she’ll get a treat out of it.
A question I have is whether a natural water dog like a lab would make a good canoeing dog? Seems logical that she would but I once watched a lab nearly dump a canoe and her master into the water when she suddenly decided to go for a swim and jumped out of the canoe.
One of the most interesting dog-in-canoe situations I witnessed was a guy who brought his Pomeranian on a three day canoe camping trip. He had a small dog crate mounted on top of a hard cooler and inside is where the dog stayed during the first day of the trip. On the second day the dog gained courage and began to move around the canoe. On the third day it rained and the dog stayed inside the crate. It also turned out to be a cool little dog around the campsite, but for a canoeing dog I think I’m looking for something a little different than a lap dog. Could you imagine a Pomerian following you around on the portage trails? One swoop from an Eagle and your Pom would be gone.
Maybe I can get Troy from MaddyTheGoose.com to comment in on this blog post with some suggestions and tips for canoeing with dogs.
I found a few website links on this topic -
Canoe dog image courtesy of archangelm at Flickr.