Stand-up paddle boarding course on offer for dogs

Standing on a paddle board with two legs can be tricky enough - but these adorable pooches are learning how to balance on four.

Dog owner Daniel Gilfoyle has been teaching his pup a thing or two.

"He loves paddle boarding. He loves getting out on the water," he says.

"He hasn't learnt to swim yet… he's twenty-weeks old, kind of getting him in the paddling pool and getting him used to water."

SUP DoG School owner Sarah-Jane Cansdale loves getting out on the water, and has been teaching people for five years.

Teaching pooches though is proving to be a little different.

"I think it's a good idea if the humans get a lesson first," Ms Cansdale said.

"That's so they have the right technique and if the human is confident in the water on the board then the dog's going to pick up if they're not confident."

Paddle boarding students Peter Dredge and his Labrador Lexus are a special pair, and one of the first to give it a go.

Lexus is the only Alzheimers guide dog in New Zealand, and was trained to assist Mr Dredge's wife Anne. Since she's been in care, Mr Dredge takes Lexus everywhere.

"Lexus and I hang out together to wait and see whether Anne comes out and so we're doing stand-up paddle boarding as a means of exercising and communicating."

He reckons she was a natural from the beginning.

"We nudged the paddle board up to the bank and she climbed on and sat down, "OK where are you taking me", so she's a natural," he says.

"On Givealittle we raised $20,000 for her out and it has been worth every penny."

These classes are all about getting out on the water and having fun. Whether you're a newbie or a pro, there's something for everyone and they'll be several classes around Auckland.

If you're keen to get involved you can enroll online via the SUP DoG Club Facebook page or by emailing

And if you don't have your own dog - you might be able to borrow one - or two.


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