SUP offers training for humans and dogs in nature
Stand-up paddling is becoming increasingly popular. And more and more people who have a dog recognize the advantages of this sport - because it can also be practiced together with the dog. Dogs and humans benefit from the positive qualities that this leisure activity offers.
Isa Federer and Gerd Habel are the squadron leaders and trainers of the Freiburg rescue dog squadron. In their free time, both of them ride the SUP board as often as possible - with their dogs, of course. As a dog trainer, Isa Federer knows about the positive effects of stand-up paddling for the team of man and dog: Balancing on the board trains deep muscles and coordination. And in order for the dog and handler to harmonize as a team on the board, it is also about trust, training and obedience.
All qualities that are also very important basic requirements in a rescue operation with search dogs, den here the dog and handler have to function as a well-established team and trust each other in every situation.
Dog training on the Lite Venture ULTRA with dog pad
Text and images were created in cooperation with the Malteser rescue dog squadron Freiburg.
coordination and balance
Dogs also have to learn to coordinate their bodies and all four paws equally well and purposefully. This includes compensating for bumps, shaky surfaces and weight shifts. The SUP also activates the deep muscles, which the dog uses unconsciously on the board just like we humans do. The SUP board is the ideal training device for this and offers exciting tasks with different intensities. For example, the training can be further intensified by waves and choppy waters.
In the rescue dog work, the dogs need this ability to move safely on rubble or in impassable terrain. A good feeling for the body, for example when jumping or balancing on a narrow surface.
trust and obedience
Swans meet us on the water, fish dive beneath us, pedestrians move along the shore or driftwood swims temptingly right past the SUP board. And yet the dog should remain calm and relaxed under the given command on the SUP. What a challenge! If the dog then jumps into the water, this usually means a cool down for the handler as well. It goes without saying that good obedience and some fun swimming while paddling with a dog are extremely valuable for both. But how do you teach the dog to do this?
You shouldn't try to stand on the board with the dog right away the first time. Humans should first familiarize themselves with the board independently of the dog and be able to steer it safely. You should be able to paddle straight ahead, change direction, stop, get on and off.
Then you can slowly get your dog used to the board and the rocking ground. In this way, the dog also learns to trust its handler. The dog should also get a feeling for the board and the rocking without "fellow paddlers". You can try it well in shallower water at the edge by first securing the board and standing next to it.
First attempts on the ULTRA iSUP with Dog Pad
The dog has to get used to swinging on the SUP
Practice prone on the SUP board with the Lite Venture Dog Pad
The ULTRA SUP from Lite Venture comes with an extra dog pad that can be attached to the front of the board. The dog is placed on this during the journey. The pad is an in-house development by Lite Venture and fits exactly on the inflatable ULTRA board. The robust cordura material is non-slip, padded and washable.
You can train the dog by giving treats and positive confirmation that the dog pad is his place. Lying/sitting quietly on the dog pad is encouraged and will be rewarded:
The big advantage of the Lite Venture dog pad is that it can be easily removed from the board. It is therefore also very suitable for "dry exercises" beyond the water. You can already train your dog at home to sit on the dog pad. He'll be familiar with it later on the water.
SUP-Dog Training: "Place" on the Dog Pad
Dry Training with Dog Pad.
"The dog pad is ideal for getting the dog used to its place on the board away from the water."
Gerd Habel, train driver (trainer) Rescue dog squadron
Gerd Habel says:"The dog must learn not to behave impulsively on the board and to remain calm. It must also not allow itself to be distracted and must learn where to look There is a place on the board. The Dog Pad supports this to a great extent, because: I can prepare the dog for it very well independently of the water. Our dogs are already practicing lying down on dry land and staying there. So the dogs have a ritual on the board where they know what to do."
Rehearsed: training on the Lite Venture ULTRA with dog pad
Gerd Habel and Isa Federer train their dogs Yago and Amigo on the Lite Venture ULTRA 11'6" with dog pad: a well-rehearsed team.
The dog knows: his place is on the dog pad
Yago, the three-year-old Rottweiler male from trainer Gerd weighs 48 kilos and lies very calmly and relaxed on the board - that's how it should be it be!
Safety for people and dogs
So that paddling together is also safe fun for humans and dogs, a few important rules should be observed: even if humans and dogs can swim, there are situations in which this is no longer possible. For this reason, both should wear a life jacket. (The exercises in these pictures took place in shallower water where it was possible for people to stand, so life jackets were not worn here).
Why is a life jacket so important for dogs?
On the one hand, it is possible that a dog, like a human, suffers a condition in which it can no longer swim if it falls or jumps into cold water. The change from heat to cold can cause the circulatory system to collapse and the dog can quickly find itself in danger without support.
On the other hand, the life jacket is also a very practical utensil because it has a handle that you can use to hold the dog can pull back onto the board or ashore. Without a vest, you simply cannot grab a dog that is trying to get back onto the board in the water.
The dog must never be tied to the board with a leash to secure it! Should the board capsize, the dog must be able to move freely. Especially when navigating a flowing water, it is extremely important not to secure either the dog or yourself with a leash on the board. Here, the current can push people and dogs under water if the leash gets stuck on a branch or pillar. In this case, there are special hip belts that you can use to easily loosen the leash.
The handle on the dog life jacket helps with SUP training
The main thing is that it's fun!
First and foremost, paddling with the dog should be fun for both of you! It's part of getting wet and it might not work right away...
This wonderful hobby allows for very healthy training for humans and dogs and is also a great leisure activity that can be practiced together .
We would like to thank the Maltese rescue dog squadron for the insights and the explanations on the training for safe stand up paddling with the dog!
It has to be fun - especially when it gets wet on the SUP
Important properties for the board: high load capacity and stability without inertia
The Lite Venture ULTRA SUP board is designed as a touring board: it can handle heavy luggage loads, but is not sluggish or sluggish when paddling. If you are already paddling with additional luggage (or with a dog), the board should not also be cumbersome due to excessive width. Nevertheless, it has to be stable and offer the paddler reserves when things get choppy - or the dog suddenly moves on the board.
With the inflatable board ULTRA, this is not achieved through unnecessary width, but through high rigidity: the double-layer, laminated dropstitch fabric is woven and has a very high basic rigidity. The continuous carbon stringer on both sides makes the board additionally stiff and minimizes vibrations. This creates a high level of stability against tipping - not because of width.
The volume leaves plenty of scope for weight, the board can carry up to 140 kilos and can still be maneuvered quickly and safely:
These inflatable boards are suitable for SUP with the dog
The Lite Venture ULTRA is available in four versions, all of which are very well suited for stand-up paddling with the dog. All four models have a high volume, are suitable for additional loads and all have a matching dog pad as an optional accessory.
In particular, the Lite Venture ULTRA models with the carbon stringer are excellent for suitable for paddling with a dog, because the continuous carbon fabric on both sides minimizes vibrations and thus provides greater stability and rigidity. This is a big advantage, especially with a heavier team or with more luggage.
The boards are not sluggish or slow. The stability does not come from a high width, but from a well thought-out design and processing:
Super stable with carbon stringer, suitable for beginners and advanced users:
Fits all Lite Venture inflatables 11'6" to 14'0" long: All Lite Venture inflatable boards can optionally be used with a dog pad. The pad is securely attached to the 9 D-rings and also to the handle of the board. It can be attached and removed quickly and easily.
This protects the board and the four-legged friend stands / lies comfortably on the padded pad.
With the Dog Pad, the dog can also be prepared for paddling away from the water from home: you can train him to "sit" on the pad and he learns that this is his place. The blanket is therefore already familiar when it comes to the water.