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Best Dog Ladder for Duck Boat

3 Best Dog Ladder for Duck Boat

Your furry partner won’t say it but she is silently wishing for one… and no, it’s not another visit to her favorite doggie park. She’s praying for a dog ladder for duck boat ahead of the upcoming duck season.

Well, you’re not alone if you have never given it serious thought- many of us took ages to realize how important this is. The problem is especially when he/she is hunting waterfowl in deep water.

Your four-legged partner-in-crime may have a tough time pulling herself up and would appreciate your help. In a nutshell, it’s in your furry friend’s best interest to invest in the best Dog Ladder for Duck Boat.

It beats hauling a big, wet canine back in with your hands (yikes!). So, what is the greatest dog ladder for duck boat? Read our reviews of the best ones out there below (we’ll touch on what to look for when buying later):

Best Dog Ladder for Duck Boat

Let me ask you: have you ever attempted to hoist a massive, slippery hound out of water? If you have, you’ll know how uniquely difficult the task is.

In fact, many of us have had our arms scratched up by doggie claws and suffered hurting backs in the name of supporting him.

Here are our three favorite dog ladders for duck boats to save your arms and back from the pain:

1. Beaver tail dog ladder

The Beavertail dog boat ladder is very sturdy, works well, and is a safe bet for your big Chesapeake Bay retriever.

The width of this ladder is 11-inches and it’s designed to be hooked to the edge of your boat and rest on the sides. And installation is a simple task-it mounts easily to a variety of duck boats.

More importantly, it’s very friendly to our dogs, and most get used to it pretty soon. In addition, adjusts easily whether in the water or from the boat or dock. It also folds up nicely for easy storage.

This two-way adjustable ladder has plenty of sweet features notably the well-thought-out rubber arms to prevent it from scratching your boat.

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  • Durable aluminum and stainless steel construction
  • Ultra strong – should support a large duck retrieving doggy.
  • Easy to install.


  • May need modification to fit some boats.

2. WaterDog Adventure Gear Hunting Boat Dog Ladder –rated for 130 lbs

This works great too and should make getting him back onboard a lot easier. We particularly love the 6 flat steps- they’re 4-inch deep and 4-inch in height meaning they work for near retrievers of all sizes.

Keep in mind that with this step design, you get a total vertical rise of 24-inches from the last step to the gunwale/transom lip. I should add that the steps have a slip-resistant top surface! The steps float easily as well.

We are also happy with the ladder’s “space-frame” design. It leaves high open areas all around to counter the force and negative effects brought by insane water currents.

It’s lightweight yet lasting seeing that it’s constructed of a mixture of specially engineered plastics, stainless steel hardware, and aluminum extrusions.

Like its peers, putting this together is a piece of cake and it collapses for transport/storage too.

Long story short, we highly recommend this unit for any waterfowler who wants to make life easier for their hunting buddy.

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  • Innovative design –easy for dogs to get the hang of how to use this.
  • Incredibly lightweight.
  • Floats, when dropped in water.


  • We are struggling to find a weakness- it’s that good!

3. Drifter marine dog boat boarding ladder

This new Drifter marine dog boat boarding ladder is one accessory all duck hunters must have in their arsenal. It’s super lightweight, foldable, smoothly adjustable, and extremely safe thanks to the slip-proof surface (has a strong mesh netting).

The mesh surface has another benefit: it lets water flow through to keep your ladder submerged even in crazy waves. 

The anodized-aluminum construction makes it extremely strong and it features rubber guards to ensure it doesn’t mess up your boat. 

It’s really one of a kind. 

The ladder hooks fit over boat walls not more than 6″ (it’s unsuitable for docks) and it safely supports dogs weighing up to 125lbs.

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  • Easily to store (folds seamlessly).
  • Exceptionally safe to climb.
  • Lasting build.


  • Again not for all duck boats.

Dog Ladder for Duck Boat – Buying Guide

The right ladder makes an entrance and exit from the boat easier and safer for your pup. The big question is: How can you be sure that you’re buying one that’s up to the job?

Learn about the essentials to look for when shopping, including size, what the ladder is made of, and where it mounts below.

Weight Rating

Like other ladders, dog models carry a label indicating the top weight they’re built to safely support.

The weight touted by the company will tell you if the ladder is adequate for your duck dog. And if you have a dog that’s a little on the heavier side, it’s best to lean toward heavy-duty dog ladders.

The good news is that there are ladders constructed to support heavier retrievers. Subsequently, we advise you to start your checks with the weight capacity.

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Safety and reliability

We believe that you shouldn’t compromise on safety standards when buying a dog ladder for boat. We are also firm believers in ladders that are constructed with reliability in mind.

Features of a Reliable Dog Boat Ladder

a) Sturdy construction

Anodized aluminum and steel are some of the construction material that makes dog boarding ladders extremely strong and non-breakable no matter how goofy the antics of your dog are.

b) The ladder should not be unreasonably heavy

The weight should be enough to hold the ladder down in place all the time but not excessive to make it annoying to handle.

c) Smooth edges

There should be no sharp edges to hurt your dog when they get on.

d) Slip-proof steps

Just like you, your dog needs a slip-proof surface for safe climbing.

Installation requirements

The fitment requirements are the other big thing – check what the label says the ladder requires to fit and narrow down to models that fit your boat.

Meanwhile, it’s worth mentioning that in general, most ladders are designed to mount either over gunwales/transom lips of Jon boats or to a platform (and cantilevers) into the water.

If you prefer a platform, ensure that the first step is underwater and roomy enough for your pet to get all 4 feet on.

What else should you ask for in a dog-friendly ladder for your boat?

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Other considerations

  • Ease of storage- some options feature arms and climbing platforms that fold easily for convenient storage.
  • Boat protection- extras such as rubber guards on all the important areas prevent a ladder from scratching the boat’s finish.

These are the canine ladders for duck boats we’ve liked and we bet you and your furry friend will love them too. Remember that it is important to take some time and train her on how to use the best Dog Ladder for Duck Boat.

First on dry land, then in water until she gains enough confidence.

Accidents do happen and having her use the ladder when she has not mastered how to get in/out of the ladder safely magnifies the risk.

Over to you.

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References and Citations:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Boat Ramp Rules and Regulations

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