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DOGS & CANOES...lesson

Discussion in 'Other Camping' started by Northern Dancer, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQRMgfm9JufASRc85b8WFMuZ90hYRH_DoEejkXJGzWxahg4WKhNzg.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRbmOrPdFi3S4UI8nZkFu0zLYNM1R6LdDrFL8WYYTyDddu2vr-PQQ.jpg images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSSee2gfuVHR7QujlSaXNWqP2CBXc5l0qt3luoOE2sVpkZueY0FuQ.jpg

    This is in reference to the Commander's request about dog canoe training. If any of our Camping Babblers have other ideas - we would certainly welcome them.

    :troll: ESCAPE CLAUSE
    It is understood that some dog breeds would not do well with canoe training. I tend to think that hunting and water dogs would be best - though I could be wrong. :(

    :cyclops: THIS IS WHAT I DO
    You need to have a mat on the bottom of the canoe or boat - sometimes two. You can get bath mats cheap at the Dollar Store. Dogs get skittish and loose confidence when they can't stand without slipping. They don't like lying in a puddle of water either - that's why I always have a sponge as part of my canoe kit.

    :cyclops: FIRST
    You need to familiarize you dog with the canoe; the canoe being on dry land. EXAMPLE - Reese, come. When he comes I take him around the canoe, in different directions a few times. Just a tiny bit playful. He needs to see the canoe as non - threatening and certainly sniff it out. THEN - Reese - in. He may not go the first time. Reese - in. He jumps in, sometimes with a bit of help, and I give him a treat.
    MAKE SURE THAT THE CANOE DOES NOT ROLL. Reese - out. He jumps out with a lot of praise from me. Reese - in. Reese - out and so on.

    :cyclops: NEXT
    Reese - down.
    Don't try to accomplish every thing on the first day - make it a game and your dog will want to take part.

    You do these exercises as often as you need to and are assured that your dog will do the command instantly. Lots of praise and some goodies at the beginning. Lose the goodies eventually. Do all this stuff before the trip.

    :cyclops: WE ARE NEAR THE WATER

    Your dog needs to have a clear access into the canoe. Reese - in. Reese - down. Reese - out. At this time you are at the dock or shoreline - better a dock like situation for stability.

    :cyclops: WE ARE NOT ON THE WATER BUT CLOSE TO SHORE - that's for your benefit.
    Reese - in. Reese - down. Out we go and paddle a bit. The next command is, Reese - up. Reese - sit. He should be in front of you. Reese - down. I had my dog go down every time we approached shore until I had confidence that he wasn't going to do anything dumb. Your dog must understand In, out, down and sit. If your dog violates any of those commands they need to hear an angry master but lots of praise when they do well.

    It really doesn't take long but you must do it well from the beginning. Most of the commands are already known by your dog - we are simply applying them to a different situation.

    :cyclops: THE TEST
    A small excursion of some sort to get a good idea how your dog is going to perform. It doesn't have to be a long one - it could be a jaunt in the bay. After that, you expand until, in my case - it was fabulous to have Reese as a companion. Sometimes he would stand at the bow like a ship's captain. He looked really great and I was really proud.

    I do have a dog vest and a dog pack.

    When you have this down - we need to talk about, "So, what happens if the canoe goes over [for whatever reason]?" And there are a few other situations to consider.


    Looks great doesn't he? :)

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
    campforums and happyflowerlady like this.
  2. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    My dog is a standard poodle which is water/hunting dog I believe, so I guess I have an advantage there. It sort of looks like the one in 2nd picture of your post.

    I already forsee having a problem because my dog refusing to learn the command "down". I've tried a couple different methods, such as gently pushing her towards the ground from a sit position and using a treat to lure her towards the floor but she never seems to understand and if I pressure her too much she just gets up and runs away to the other side of the room.

    @BMWPOWER, your dog is very smart so I'm sure you wouldn't have any problems with all of this ;)
  3. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Reese needs medication to get him through the car trip [trip - not meaning to be funny]. He can't heel worth a dam. BUT...he scores really high on the other matters. So...I'm content with his few deficiencies. To be frank - he has a lot less than I do. :( Work with what you have.

    Patience and Praise are the key the words. It's worth it. If your dog can sit - start there. The issue is that she must be able to be in a stationary position. Keep trying...you might find it just works after she has been sitting for awhile - she may lay down for her own comfort.

    The next question is - could you see the instructions clearly, did they make sense and what can I say to improve the lesson plan? :bear: By the way...he is never satisfied...he's always trying to improve.
  4. campforums

    campforums Founder Staff Member

    What kind of medication? I hope Reese is okay :( Well whatever issues he has, he sounds very well behaved. Some dogs just have a very hyper personality and they will do what you say but are literally jumping in their seat waiting for you to release them.

    Since I have not tried out this lesson plan yet, I am not sure what improvements I could offer but when I do I will be sure to let you know if I have any problems. The mats on the bottom of the canoe are one thing I had not considered. I think that's probably the most useful tip considering the surface is not flat. By the way, how does Reese usually get in? Does he jump into it or carefully step in one leg at a time like a person?
  5. happyflowerlady

    happyflowerlady Survivalist

    Dancer, the steps that you have written out look like they would work well, and are similar to things that I have done when teaching a horse to load and ride in a horse trailer. Certainly a very different thing; but stiil, the similarity was there. The directions are easy to understand, and allow for plenty of time to teach just about any dog how to ride as long as they are correctly learning each step. So, all in all, Dancer..........Well done!

    I do have just one little question about the whole procedure though. I have heard that once you teach a dog to ride in a canoe, that they are just like your kids after you teach them to drive the family car. The dogs love it and want their own canoe. Do you think this is possible, and how do you then deal with that issue when it comes up??

  6. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Reese is fine. Hyper in the car - the word is a good adjective. The medication is purely to quiet him down when we are headed north. An hour or two after we arrive he is back to his normal self.

    Reese just jumps in and jumps out in one motion - as simple as that. If I can get a dock like situation it makes it easier but even then he is okay. He has climbed over the pack and headed to the front when coming close to shore and has jumped given the command.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  7. Northern Dancer

    Northern Dancer Survivalist

    Reese, and all dogs, want to please. So if we are smart we use treats sparingly, praises abundantly. Well...like I said in my introduction, "...he just can't paddle." I'm not to sure if it is the canoe proper he really gets excited about; I think it is more about being with me and exploring the canoe camp sites I pick. He's a fabulous companion, always at my side and comes immediately if I call or signal him. [I use sound and sign commands.]
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