Boating with Your Best Friend

  • See below for full description of the class!
  • Please select date and register for class – spaces are limited and on a first come, first served basis.
  • You can choose to pay via check (address will be provided) or credit card once you reach the checkout.  Thank you!



Class:  Boating With Your Best Friend
Where:  Field Course – Available from May through September
When:  Arrange by appointment:  Classes will be held for 2 or more interested dog/handler teams!
Duration:  4 Weeks
Cost:  $95

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

Boating with Your Best Friend is designed for these dogs. We will provide you with steps to build the confidence your dog/s will need to ride in Hornbecks (depending upon your dog’s size!), 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.

Outline of Program

This program will teach the beginning steps to helping your dog get into a boat and relax enough for a short, 5 minute canoe or other boating experience.  Once you’ve completed the class, you can increase the time with small increments.  At the most, we recommend taking the first summer with short excursions – less than 1/2 an hour in the boat at a time.  Fortunately, with our plethora of lakes and islands, you can go island camping or island picnicking easily within a 1/2 hour of getting into your boat!

– 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)


– Training Basics (Sit, Stay, Attention to Handler, Hand or Target Touch)
– Comfort on Leash (Loose Leash Walking)
– Off Leash Recall (As Needed)
– Basic Understanding of Lying Down on a Mat


If your dog is uncomfortable around water in general, we recommend you start the training with a few private lessons with us.  Also, if your dog has had a poor experience with being in a boat and is fearful, it might help to start with a few private lessons first!

Where To Meet?

We will begin at the Mountain Hooves & Paws training center with a dry land experience around a small canoe.  We will graduate to practical experience on the water — possibly the beach at Little Clear.  As the water temperatures will still be chilly, we recommend wetsuit booties to keep your feet warm while wading.