I have a 75 lb labrador retriever and she loves to sup with me. She is 7 and even rides with
me on my race board.
I started her on a surfboard in the pool.
I would do the following:
- start him getting on or off the board in the house (or wherever works for you). Take off the fin or wrap it in towels/pillows. Give him some command to get on the board and off, use treats if necessary to get his interest.
Make it super fun.
- Use your new commands to get him on and off the board in a pool or at the beach. You may need to play fetch and have him swim to settle him down before trying this. I would wade into the water and control the board without being on it.
- Next step is to sit on the board near shore and have him jump on and off on command.
- I would then progress to paddling on your knees and give commands to tell him where on the board you want him to be. (need to get the board balanced). I added a deckpad on the front of my dog so she wouldn't slide around.
- Then progress to standing and paddling.
To get my dog back on the board I sit (like I am surfing with my legs dangling in the water). I call my dog to the board and she naturally puts her front paws on it (you may have to work on this) and I pull her onto the board by the handle on her lifejacket. You can find a high quality lifejacket at fusionpets.com. You can also find less expensive models at Petsmart but they don't last long. You can see the lifejacket and my labrador on the board in a video at our local lagoon:
The other issue is whether your dog likes to jump into the water. If so, there is no way you will stay on the board if you are standing. If you notice he is about to jump go to your knees or a seated position. You may want to teach him to "stay" until you release him from the board.
I am lucky my dog doesn't like to jump off, she likes to lay down and slide in.