Make sure to bring a pad or a mat for your dog to sit on. Dogs want traction. If their claws have nothing to grab, they feel vulnerable. This is particularly the case in Royalex and Polyethylene canoes, but also applies to composites.

Dogs like to occupy the front of the canoe. Often that means between the bow paddler’s legs or in the forward compartment of solo canoes.  They can be trained to stay in the center or rear, but those locations are not their natural inclination. Positive reinforcement, treats, and chew toys work wonders. The same works for encouraging the dog to sit or lie down, as opposed to shifting from side to side. Bench seats are great because they allow you to shift your weight to compensate for a dog’s restlessness.

If you paddle during tick season, make sure your dog is protected. And if the dog sleeps in the tent with you, make sure you’re protected. Every tick your dog picks up during the day will migrate onto whomever sleeps next to the dog at night.

Dogs are wonderful paddling companions, especially if someone else gets their ticks.