Paddleboard Dog Breeds: Which Pups Are Best Suited for Water Adventures?

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Which are the best dog paddle board breeds to take on water adventures? That’s what this article looks to answer.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the world of paddleboard-friendly dog breeds, offering insights into their characteristics, top choices, and tips for making your paddleboarding experience with your dog safe and enjoyable.

So, grab your paddleboard, leash up your canine companion, and let’s jump in!

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Characteristics of Paddleboard-Friendly Dog Breeds

Before we delve into specific breeds, it’s essential to understand what makes a dog paddle board friendly. Here are some key characteristics to look for:

Size MattersIdeally, ‘paddle pups’ are medium to large-sized breeds. Their weight and size contribute to the board’s stability and balance, ensuring a smooth ride.
TemperamentA dog’s temperament is crucial. You want a calm, obedient, and well-behaved companion on your board. Dogs that are easily excitable or anxious may not enjoy paddleboarding (and you may not enjoy paddling with them 😉 )
Water AffinityNaturally, a love for water is a significant advantage. Breeds that are strong swimmers and genuinely enjoy being in the water are more likely to embrace paddleboarding.

So those are some of the most common characteristics that I see with the best dog paddle board breeds out there in the water.

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Now, let’s explore some of the top paddleboard dog breeds that embody these characteristics.

Dog Paddle Board Breeds: The Best Pups To Take Into The Water

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are the quintessential water dogs. Their friendly and outgoing nature makes them fantastic companions on your paddleboarding adventures. These dogs are strong swimmers and are known for their love of water, making them an ideal choice for water activities.

dog paddle board

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are not just lovable, but they also have a natural affinity for water. Their sociable temperament and gentle disposition make them excellent partners for paddleboarding. Plus, their enthusiasm for outdoor activities will ensure they enjoy every moment on the board.

dog paddle board

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and agile dogs, perfect for those who want to combine paddleboarding with some exercise. Their herding instincts make them alert and responsive, ensuring a safe experience on the water.

dog paddle board

Portuguese Water Dog

As the name suggests, Portuguese Water Dogs have a long history of working alongside fishermen. These dogs are exceptional swimmers and have a curly, hypoallergenic coat that helps them stay buoyant and comfortable in the water.


Newfoundlands are known for their massive size and strength. Their webbed feet and thick, water-resistant coat make them excellent water dogs, capable of helping with water rescues.

dog paddle board

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are loyal and versatile water dogs. They excel in retrieving waterfowl and have a strong swimming ability, making them great companions for paddleboarding.

dog paddle board

American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniels are compact and agile dogs with a love for water. Their adaptability to various environments makes them great paddleboarding partners.

dog paddle board

Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels are known for their unique appearance, including a curly coat and a topknot of hair on their head. They are excellent swimmers and highly intelligent, making them ideal for water adventures.

Making Your Dog Paddle Board Ready

Now that you’ve selected a paddleboard-friendly breed, it’s essential to prepare your dog for the adventure ahead. Here are some crucial steps:

Basic Training: Ensure your dog responds to basic commands like sit, stay, and come. This will help maintain control on the board.

Introduction to the Board: Familiarize your dog with the paddleboard on land before hitting the water. Let them sniff, explore, and even sit on it to build confidence.

Safety Gear: Invest in a life jacket designed for dogs. It provides buoyancy and keeps them safe in case they fall into the water.

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Practice Near the Shore: Start your paddleboarding adventures in shallow, calm waters close to the shore. Gradually work your way up to deeper waters.

For a detailed guide on how to train your dog to paddleboard:
The Ultimate Paddleboard Dog Training: Teach Your Furry Friend to Ride A SUP… Fast!

Safety Tips for Paddleboarding with Dogs

Safety should always be a priority when paddleboarding with your furry friend. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

Life Jacket:

You want to ensure that your dog wears a well-fitted life jacket at all times when it is on the paddleboard to make sure that there is no problem when they are swimming.

Our Recommendation: Kuoser Dog Life Jacket

dog paddle board

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– It is comfortable and won’t ever hurt your dog.

– It comes in 6 different sizes and 7 different colors so that your pup looks great in the water

– Includes a quick release buckle that you can use to quickly release your pooch

– It’s actually EASY to clean!

Secure Leash:

Keep your dog on a leash attached to a secure point on the board.

Our Recommendation: Baapet Padded Dog Leash

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Has a padded surface that won’t cut into your dogs neck

– Comes in 4 different sizes and 5 different colors to make sure that you get exactly what you want.

– Is easily attachable to your paddleboard.

– Made of heavy-duty material that lasts for a very long time

Sun Protection:

You might not know this – but dogs can get sunburned! So consider dog-friendly sunscreen and provide shade when necessary.

Our Recommendation: EBPP Dog Sunscreen

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Specially formulated to be soft for the sensitive skin of your pup (like the ears and belly that loves rubs)

– It will protect your best friend from head to toe.

– Its non-greasy without strong scents that will have your dog running for safety.

– It won the Emmy’s Best Pet Product award – only the best for your good boy/girl


Bring fresh water for your dog to drink and keep them hydrated, along with a portable water bowl.

Our Recommendation: Collapsible Dog Bowl

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Collapsible design so it is easy to store in your dry bag or attach to your board.

– Made with high quality soft plastic that is safe and free from carcinogens.

– Comes in different sizes depending on how big your pup is (and how much water he/she needs)

– Dishwasher safe so it’s easy to clean.

See also  Everything You Need To Know About A Wooden Paddleboard (And If You Should Buy One)

The Best SUP To Ride With Your Pup

Selecting the right paddleboard is crucial for a successful experience with your dog. Consider the following factors:

Size: Opt for a larger board to accommodate both you and your dog comfortably.
Stability: Look for a board with excellent stability to prevent wobbling.
Material: Choose a durable and puncture-resistant board, especially if your dog’s claws could come into contact with it.

Our Recommendation 1: Roc Inflatable SUP (Best Budget SUP For Dogs)

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– Has a large non-slip comfort deck that can easily fit you and your paddleboard dog.

– Extremely high quality material that won’t get scuffed and damaged by your pups claws.

– 16.25 inch width makes it very stable

– It was designed with pets in mind!

Our Recommendation 2: Tower Adventurer 2

Where To Buy: Tower Paddleboards

Why I Love It:
– Sturdy design that is extremely durable and stable – this SUP makes balancing easy.

– Comes with a large deck pad that covers up most of the board (this is great for your pup)

– It has a great value price for a top board.

It comes with a 2 year warranty against defects

Top Dog Paddle Board Spots

Now that you’re all set with your paddleboard and well-prepared dog, it’s time to explore some fantastic paddleboarding spots:

Here’s what I recommend:

Lakes: Calm, freshwater lakes offer a tranquil setting for paddleboarding with your dog.
Calm Rivers:Slow-moving rivers can provide a gentle paddling experience, ideal for beginners.
Dog-Friendly Beaches:Some beaches are dog-friendly and provide a great mix of sand and water for your dog to enjoy.

Capturing Memorable Moments

Don’t forget to capture the beautiful moments you’ll share with your dog on the paddleboard.

Invest in an action camera to record your adventures from a unique perspective.

Our Recommendation: Go Pro HERO 10 Black

Where To Buy: Amazon

Why I Love It:
– You can get a waterproof cover that lets you take underwater videos while paddling.

– High image quality and great battery life.

– You can take photos, take videos and make awesome fish-lense shots.

Is currently at a great price!


Paddleboarding with your dog can be a fantastic bonding experience. By selecting the right breed, preparing your dog, and following safety guidelines, you can create lasting memories on the water.

So, grab your paddleboard, your faithful canine companion, and make a splash

Looking for insider guides to some amazing paddle boarding locations?
Check the Paddleboard Insiders Location Guides

Dog Paddle Board Breeds: FAQs

Can any dog breed go paddleboarding?

While any dog can be introduced to paddleboarding, some breeds are more naturally suited for water adventures due to their size and temperament. That’s what this article is about 🙂

What should I do if my dog is scared of the water?

Start by introducing your dog to water gradually, using positive reinforcement and patience. Seek professional training if needed.

Is it safe to paddleboard with a small dog?

It’s possible to paddleboard with a small dog, but it may be more challenging to maintain balance. If you plan ot do this then consider a larger board for stability.

Can I paddleboard with a puppy?

Paddleboarding with a puppy is not recommended. You want to wait until they are fully grown and have basic obedience training.

What’s the best time of day to paddleboard with my dog?

I find that mornings or evenings are often the best times due to cooler temperatures and calmer waters. Avoid peak heat hours to prevent overheating.

dog paddle board
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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!

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