12 Best Dog Breeds for Kayaking & Outdoors

To know the best dog breeds for kayaking & outdoors is very important for outdoors lovers. Almost any outdoor experience is better with friends, as we all know. That’s why, when we were younger, we were constantly urged to use the “buddy system.”

However, as we get older, we take on additional duties, and our free time does not necessarily coincide with that of our friends. It’s at times like these that having a loyal, cuddly adventure partner by your side is invaluable.

Humans can benefit from having a kayaking dog for a variety of reasons. They encourage you to be more active, assist you in breaking the ice in unfamiliar social situations, and greet you cheerfully when you return home after a long day.

But, to be honest, not every dog is the same. While each breed has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, we prefer dog breeds that are bred for adventure since, well, we like to go on adventures!

We’ll go through ten of the greatest dog breeds for kayaking in this article. We’ll also go over a few key considerations to keep in mind when looking for your new adventure pup!

Best Dog Breeds For Kayaking & Outdoors

1. Irish Water Spaniel
2. Portuguese Water Dog
3. Australian Cattle Dog
4. Jack Russell Terrier
5. Siberian Husky
6. Labrador Retriever
7. Australian Shepherd
8. Goldendoodle
9. Golden Retriever
10. Brittany Spaniel

Preparing The Dog for Kayaking/Canoeing/Paddling

Kayaking dogs, without a doubt, make outdoor activities much more enjoyable. In this section, we’ll go over some general recommendations for getting your dog ready for your next kayaking expedition, no matter what breed it is. Let’s enjoy kayaking with a dog!

Get Comfortable With Water

Many dogs will do this naturally, but even if it’s in their genes, most puppies will need to be trained. It’s better to start with shallow water and work your way up to your dog’s comfort level.

Taking your dog to an off-leash beach where other dogs are playing in the water is also an excellent option. Seeing a “big-brother” go for a long swim can sometimes inspire your dog to attempt it for himself.

Being flung or dumped into deeper water during one of their first contacts might permanently scar a dog. While many people will rise to the occasion and learn to swim, not everyone will be eager to do so again.

Establish A Reward System

Rewarding your dog when he learns a new ability is essential. Because many breeds are strongly food-motivated, bring a Ziploc full of your dog’s favorite treat with you.

Begin small and give yourself a reward at each stage. You can underline that this is going to be a pleasurable activity by delivering rewards for each ‘task’ done, whether it’s putting your dog’s PFD on or getting settled in your kayak.

Familiarize Your Pup With The Kayak On Land

It may seem contradictory, but getting your dog used to your kayak on land is generally a lot easier. Allow your dog to climb in on its own, and then work on how you’d like to load the kayak once it’s in the water.

Establishing where you want your dog to sit or lie down while you paddle should be part of this process. You might also want to practice paddling with your dog so that he can see how your paddle strokes appear and is less likely to stand up into your paddle shaft.

Get Your Pup A PFD

While dogs can swim for lengthy periods of time on their own, they need a PFD just as much as you do on a long paddling excursion. Why would you urge your dog to do the same if you don’t want to rely on your own stamina in the event of a capsize?

The majority of canine PFDs are sized according to the dog’s weight. While the length of your dog’s spine can influence whether or not the PFD fits properly, you should make certain that the PFD you select is rated to accommodate your dog’s weight.

A handle is frequently sewed onto the top of many dog-specific PFDs, which provides an extra utility. This handle makes pulling your dog back into your kayak after it goes for a swim much simpler.

More Gear To Bring For Your Dog

You should keep a leash on your kayak at all times in case you really need it. We don’t suggest tethering your dog to the leash while paddling because it may limit its capacity to swim to safety in the event that you capsize.

A shallow or foldable water bowl is also a good choice for your dog to bring along. You won’t always be paddling on freshwater, and you won’t always want your dog leaning over the side of your kayak to quench its thirst.

Always consider bringing a dry bag with you on board, even if it is more for you than for your dog. Even if you manage to maintain your boat upright for the duration of your paddle, your dog getting in and out of the water and shaking will inevitably saturate anything not in a dry bag.

Bring an old towel that you don’t mind getting wet or worn out as well. This can sometimes be a useful item for making a temporary bed in the bow or stern of your kayak to assist your dog relax.

And, while we’re on the subject of comfort, that old, trusted bone or chew toy can be just the thing to keep your pet quiet in your kayak. Consider something that your dog has been working on for a while so that it stays calm and you can continue paddling!

While we should all have first aid kits (along with other safety equipment) on our kayaks, you should also consider bringing waterproof Vet Wrap tape for your dog. An antihistamine like Benadryl, if it isn’t already in your FA Kit, is also useful for any allergic responses from bites and stings that occur on your trips!

Best Dog Breeds For Kayaking & Outdoors – Reviews

All top water dogs have been posted below:

1. Irish Water Spaniel Puppy

Irish Water Spaniel Puppy

Irish Water Spaniel Puppy is one of the best water dogs. Another breed whose name includes the word “water”! The Irish Water Spaniel is the tallest of all the spaniel breeds, with a tightly curled coat that repels water instinctively.

This Irish cattle dog is a more uncommon species with a clownish reputation. These water breed dogs are likely to bring some much-needed humorous relief to your outdoor outings, as evidenced by their coat.

Irish Water Spaniels are recognized for being fun, bold, and diligent. On those less-than-ideal kayaking days when only the most prepared are out, these pups will be willing to join you.

This breed’s males weigh between 55 and 68 pounds and are 22 to 24 inches tall. Females can weigh 45 to 58 pounds and stand between 21 and 23 inches tall.

Even if they fall out of your kayak, these puppies are great swimmers. When you return home after a hard day of intense activity, they’ll love to snuggle up with you. It is one of the best dogs for outdoor activities.

2. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Water is literally in the name of this fluffy breed! The Portuguese Water Dog breed is recognized for being adventurous and athletic, two qualities that make these pups excellent kayaking partners.

These puppies are full of adventure-seeking enthusiasm and will push you to be more active. They’re recognized for being simple to teach and extremely intelligent at picking up on your specific orders.

This breed’s males can weigh anywhere from 42 to 60 pounds and stand anywhere from 20 to 23 inches tall. Females weigh between 35 and 50 pounds and stand between 17 and 21 inches tall.

Portuguese Water Dogs were originally bred to assist all types of fishermen. These pups nowadays will take any excuse to go into the water. It is one of the best fishing dog breeds.

These pups enjoy human interaction and attention, so they’ll be wonderful for meeting new friends. In addition to kayaking, these puppies like diving from docks in pursuit of a toy and engaging in agility-testing play sessions. If you are looking for the best fishing dogs, it is the best option for you.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog

The Australian Cattle Dog is one of the best dog breeds for hiking off leash. This breed was created in Australia and was designed to move cattle over great distances in difficult terrain. Australian Cattle Dogs have a lot of stamina, prefer to keep their herd together, and are quite robust.

This breed, which is related to Australia’s wild dog, the Dingo, is also known as the Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler. They’re vivacious and clever, and some have a strong sense of self-reliance.

This is one of the best small water dogs breeds, well-built, and extremely hardy. They’re wonderful for trail running because of their seemingly limitless energy, but they’re also loyal enough to curl up or stand guard at the bow of your kayak.

This breed’s males and females can weigh anywhere from 35 to 50 pounds. Males stand 18 to 20 inches tall, while females stand 17 to 19 inches tall.

Owners of these dogs should engage in some sort of labor, sport, or physical exercise with them on a daily basis, according to breeders. This provides them with the frequent physical and mental stimulation they require to avoid boredom. The Australian kayakers like this breed very much.

4. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is one of the best small dog breeds that love water. It is a good alternative if you’re searching for a smaller kayaking buddy. These puppies have a lot of energy, are always on the lookout, and are quite social.

Despite their tiny height, they are renowned to be excellent swimmers. Jack Russells have dark eyes and V-shaped ears, giving them an inquisitive appearance.

These are highly clever dogs, and you’ll be able to train yours to adapt to your kayaking adventures with ease. This is a breed that is both confident and expressive.

Jack Russell Terriers range in size from nine to fifteen pounds and stand between ten and twelve inches tall. They also have a lengthy life expectancy, ranging from 12 to 14 years.

When it comes to training, this breed is known to appreciate problem-solving tasks. They’re quickly bored, so they’ll push you to keep things fresh and exciting, which should fit perfectly in with your adventurous lifestyle.

5. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Dog Puppy

Siberian Husky is the best dog breed for hiking, camping & kayaking. Siberian Huskies are a breed of dog that originated in Northeast Asia and were bred by the Chukchi people for sled pulling, village protection, and companionship. This is one of the most hardy breeds on our list because of its legacy of surviving the harsh climate of the Siberian Arctic.

Huskies from Siberia are extremely active and lively dogs. If you don’t want them to turn into a spinning dervish in your house, you’ll need to take them on daily runs or another type of exercise.

Because of its high intellect, this breed may be one of the most mischievous. They will put you to the test as an owner, but if you’ve successfully packed up, they are one of the most loyal breeds.

This breed’s males can weigh anywhere from 45 to 60 pounds and stand between 21 and 23.5 inches tall. Females often weigh 35 to 50 pounds and stand between 20 and 22 inches in height.

Huskies are considered to be excellent swimmers and take to the water with ease. Despite the fact that their unusual coats allow them to shed a lot at certain periods of the year, Huskies are naturally clean and have very little canine odor. If you are looking for the best dogs for hiking companion, you can choose this without any hesitation. 

6. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Puppies

Labrador Retriever is one of the boat dog breeds that like water. It, perhaps America’s most popular dog breed, did not become so popular by chance. This is one of the most sociable, loving, and extroverted breeds.

You’ll undoubtedly have a hard time keeping your Labrador out of the water. That’s really a positive thing when it comes to kayaking since most dogs that aren’t excellent for kayaking earn that reputation because they’re afraid of the water.

Labrador Retrievers are also a sociable breed. While you’re out on the water, having one of these men (or girls) in the bow of your kayak is guaranteed to start a conversation with other paddlers.

This breed’s males usually weigh 65 to 80 pounds and stand 22.5 to 24.5 inches tall. Females weigh 55 to 70 pounds and are 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall on average.

Labradors are known for their constant cheerfulness, which is one of their most lovable characteristics. So even if your day of paddling didn’t exactly go as planned due to the weather, your pup’s smile will encourage you to return home for some warm embraces.


7. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Puppies

The Australian Shepherd is one of the best hiking dog breeds. The Australian Shepherd breed, despite its name, can be traced back to 19th-century American ranches. Because they were raised to aid in herding operations, these puppies are both devoted and intelligent.

They have some of the most gorgeous coats of any dog breed, and their brilliant blue or light grey pupil color is well-known. These puppies are extremely nimble both on land and in water.

For more sedentary dog owners, their continual need to keep the herd together might be a lot. Kayaking, as well as the rest of your favorite outdoor hobbies, is a fantastic way to release that energy.

This breed’s males weigh between 50 and 65 pounds and stand 20 to 23 inches tall. Females are generally 40 to 55 pounds and stand between 18 and 21 inches tall.

These Australian water dogs are a very clever breed that has been known to deceive inexperienced owners. However, when properly taught, this is one of the most devoted and adventurous breeds available. If you are looking for the best dogs for camping, it is the best option for you.

8. Goldendoodle

Mini Goldendoodle Puppy

The Goldendoodle is a crossbreed, as you might expect. A Golden Retriever and a standard, medium, or tiny Poodle are mixed to create this breed. It is one of the best retriever breeds for kayaking.

Both of these breeds are clever and sociable in their own right, and a Goldendoodle will provide you with both. Goldendoodles are also extroverted and social canines who will help you make friends everywhere you go.

Goldendoodles have a reputation for being easy to train. Some have even worked in local hospitals as guide dogs and therapy dogs.

This is an excellent quality to look for in a kayaking buddy. It’ll be good to know that your dog is well-trained when situations change and you need him to listen to you.

This breed may weigh between 15 and 30 pounds when mated with a miniature poodle. Weights range from 30 to 45 pounds when crossed with a medium-sized poodle.

Goldendoodles, which are a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Standard Poodle, weigh between 45 and 100 pounds. These puppies range in height from 13 to 24 inches.

9. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Puppy

The lively nature of Golden Retrievers is well-known. Many people will spend hours chasing the same slightly damaged tennis ball back and forth across the yard.

This is one of the most liable breeds, which is why they’re frequently used as blind guides and in search-and-rescue missions. They’re also strong canines with a reputation for being good swimmers.

Even within one breed, there is a lot of variety in size, although Golden males generally weigh 65 to 75 pounds and stand 23 to 24 inches tall. The average female weighs between 55 and 65 pounds and stands between 21.5 and 22.5 inches tall.

Golden Retrievers are regarded for being simple to train, which is crucial when taking your dog kayaking. To keep your kayak steady, you’ll need a dog that follows orders to sit or lie down.

Golden Retrievers can offer fun and liveliness to your life, whether on the water or in your backyard. They also maintain many of those puppy-like characteristics throughout maturity, allowing you to feel and recreate as if you were a child.

10. Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel Puppy

The Brittany Spaniel is one of the best small dog breeds that like water. The small water dog breed originated in Brittany, France. These puppies were originally developed as gun dogs for bird hunting, which is why some people compare them to pointers or setters.

This spaniel breed is smaller than most setters and has longer legs than other spaniels. Because of their bird-hunting abilities, they are exceptionally smooth, nimble, and quick on their feet.

These good water dogs are also extremely intelligent and adaptable. This breed enjoys being pushed and has a constant desire to learn new sports and pastimes, which is ideal for the outdoor enthusiast.

This breed stands between 17.5 and 20.5 inches tall and weighs 30 to 40 pounds on average. They enjoy a lot of physical activity with their favorite person, who will soon be you.

Brittany Spaniels are quick to pick up new skills and like kayak, swimming, dock diving, and trail running. It is one of the best swimming dog breeds. It’ll also be your constant buddy while you maneuver from the kayak’s bow.

You Might Be Interested In:

  • Blue Heeler Brittany Spaniel mix, Link Here
  • Australian Shepherd & Brittany Spaniel Mix, Link Here
  • Brittany Spaniel Jack Russell mix, Link Here
  • Brittany Golden retriever mix, Link Here
  • Portuguese Water Dog Golden Retriever mix, Link Here
  • Brittany Spaniel Husky mix, Link Here
  • Australian Cattle dog Jack Russell mix, Link Here

Our Favorite Breed Is The ‘Australian Cattle Dog’

As the best dog breed for kayaking, we recommend the Australian Cattle Dog. It’s not only because of this extremely cute shot, either!

We believe it’s critical to feel at ease in your kayak with your dog’s size. And we’ve discovered that this breed is the ideal mid-sized dog for fitting comfortably in your kayak without taking up too much room.

Furthermore, this breed is devoted to and protective of its ‘adopted’ family. That implies they’ll always want to join you on an excursion so they can keep an eye on you.

Their size should not be excessive, since this would make paddling your kayak more difficult, and you should be able to educate your dog to adjust to the exact sort of paddle craft you like (as seen in the photo above!).

Finally, we picked this breed as our top selection because they have excellent overall health, a 12- to 16-year average lifetime, and are simple to clean and keep smelling fresh!

Enjoy kayaking / canoeing with dogs!

Have you found Best Dog Breeds For Kayaking to be entertaining? Share it with your mates so that they can get in on the KayaksZone adventure as well.

FAQs – Best Dog Breeds for Kayaking & Outdoors

Q. Can you put a dog in a kayak?

A. In a kayak, a dog with good obedience training will do well. Your dog should be able to sit, lay down, remain, and depart. If something gets your dog’s attention, you don’t want them to jump out of the kayak to pursue it. For a more gratifying and peaceful encounter, your dog should be able to obey your orders.

Q. Do blue heelers like water and swimming?

A. The Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler and Red Heeler) is a breed that adores being in the water and swimming. As a result, they are great swimmers in nature.

Q. Do australian cattle dogs like water

A. Most Cattle Dogs in Australia adore the water and are great swimmers. It is not an over-active breed, and once you have done your workout, it is glad to rest in your bed or cauldron, and keep your ear and eye ready for signals of oncoming action. It is easy to sit on your own feet.

Q. Do Terriers like water?

A. Yeah, Terriers like water very much. Water spaniels, Barbets, Setters, Retrievers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Akitas, Poodles, and Hungarian Pulis are among the dogs who swim naturally and willingly, according to experts.

Q. Do Siberian Huskies like to swim

A. Huskies can swim, although they don’t especially enjoy it. Huskies, on the other hand, may become proficient swimmers and even love being in the water given the appropriate circumstances and with adequate training.

Q. Can you inform me about paddle dog adventures?

A. Paddle Dog Excursions rents canoes and kayaks on Westhaven Lake, as well as offering river adventures on the Harpeth and West Harpeth Rivers. To know more, click here

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