One thing is clear: People love their kayaks, and their dogs. The mailbox is overflowing with comments on the recent query about how to take a dog kayaking. Read some of the comments and advice here:
Ashton from Tennessee says: I take my water-loving, 110-pound, 8-month-old Great Dane, Sobe, kayaking every chance we get. I ordered a dog life vest off line but you can also pick one up at Petsmart...Ive tried to have him ride in the kayak but he refuses, which Im sure any water loving animal would. He swims the entire trip."
Heres a good suggestion from Paul in California: Use marine-grade Velcro to stick a piece of carpet in the dog's cockpit and over the sides so there's something to grip. Otherwise you will end up pulling your 80-pound-friend (toenails and all) into the boat."
Jennifer from Maryland writes: You can take your dog kayaking in mild whitewater. My dog follows me in my kayak on Class 2 whitewater. She has become really experienced with catching eddies and eddy turning." [Gear Guy comments: That makes me a little nervous. Water is awfully powerful stuff, even Class 2, and I can easily picture a dog getting caught in a snag or whirlpool. But maybe Im being too paranoid.]
Annie, another California native, has this to say about kayaking with her retriever: I let her off the boat when we would approach rapids. She just ran along side the river then met up with me at the bottom of rapid or during flat water. I think the only problems were poison oak exposure and [me] being really comfortable in the boat. When a 50-pound dog wiggles around, it can test your balance."
And lastly, a cautionary note from the Barefoot Handyman in Georgia: You might want to advise the person to NOT go kayaking with a pet in blackwater swamps! Gators love to grab pooches out of the boats and take them home to eat. They leave people alone, but when a pet is on board...watch out!"