The Ruffwear pack has a long history of experience in and on the water…heck, our Top Dog Otis even has a drop named after him on the Upper North Fork Kaweah River in California. Here at Ruffwear, we are big fans of “learn by doing” and in the spirit of this approach, we’ve put together some tips for you and your pup on making the most of your water-soaked adventures.

Since its initial introduction in the late 1990’s, Ruffwear’s K-9 Float Coat™ has been liberating our four-legged friends off the bank and into the water. Who says your dog can’t go with you everywhere?

Get your dog used to their new float coat before jumping in. Remember the first time you put on a life jacket? Imagine the puzzled look you’ll get from Sophie before she discovers the benefits of her new gear. Letting your canine run around along the shore is a great way to help them to get accustomed to it.

Give your dog a chance to get comfortable on the watercraft. From paddleboards to canoes and kayaks, we all need a moment to get our sea legs and so do our dogs. Using treats can be a great way to encourage your dog to get accustomed to the feeling of their newly-found sea-paws.

Launch smoothly, quickly, and efficiently. Often dogs will relax when they can no longer see the tempting bank that seems close enough to jump to. As with most things, getting the flow of having a new canine water dog takes practice.

Develop boat-specific commands. From keeping Fido centered in the Canoe, to stabilizing Ripley at the bow of the paddleboard, water specific commands can help you work together. Nothing like a few capsized test dunks to get you started.

“Yeah, I’ll steer while you take photos. Good idea!”
“Yeah, I’ll row while you take photos. Good idea!”

Practice makes perfect when venturing into another new undertaking of life with your best friend. Ears perked, a slight smile encroaching, and suddenly you realize they’re enjoying their sea-paws just as much as you are.

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