Boating with Your Dog

We love helping dogs feel comfortable in boats! We take as much time as needed during the training process. Each dog is respected as an individual and always trained with fully positive methods and principles.

Although some dogs take to water and boats without hesitation, other dogs need a little encouragement and guidance.

Mountain Hooves & Paws’ “On the Water” program is designed for these dogs. We will provide you with steps to build the confidence your dog/s will need to ride in guideboats, canoes, or larger boats. We’ll help you teach them cues so they can relax in the boats, exit only when asked, and handle distracting situations such as other dogs, wildlife, and higher use areas.

Our programs go at you and your dog’s own rate – starting wherever you are. Your dog could be a total newbie to water & boats, or even have had a bad experience in the past. We do ask that you have some prerequisites in place as this is a training program for dogs who are comfortable with a variety of basic behaviors.

Locations: Lake Clear/Saranac Lake Region in the Adirondacks

Suggested Commitment:  At least 4 lessons

Outline of Program

  • Wearing a Life Jacket
  • Basic Swimming (With or Without Life Jacket)
  • Getting Into and Out of a Boat
  • Settling in a Boat
  • On the Water with One Person
  • On the Water with Two People
  • Settling in the Boat With Distractions (Other Dogs, Wildlife, High Use Areas, Other People)


  • Clicker Training Basics
  • Comfort on Leash (Loose Leash Walking)
  • Off Leash Recall (As Needed)
  • Basic Understanding of Lying Down on a Mat
You aren’t limited to one dog! With a little practice, you can take both your dogs on a boating trip. An important step is to understand your dogs’ comfort ranges and start where they can succeed.