A New Kind of Doggie Paddle

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

A New Kind of Doggie Paddle

April 5, 2020

Dogs love to swim. We even call it the “doggie paddle” when we paw at the water with our arms. But it turns out dogs love to paddle around in boats, too. Canoe fan David Bahnson knew his dogs were sad when he’d row away across the water in his canoe. So he turned the storage holes into seats for the dogs. Now they come rowing with him! These furry friends here are Golden Retrievers, a very loyal breed that happily fetches shoes and newspapers for their owners. They weigh around 60-70 pounds each, plus David is in there — so that boat is carrying a few hundred pounds. And who knows, maybe they snuck a bag of dog food in there, too.

Wee ones: How many passengers are riding the boat?

Little kids: If the dogs could row, and the back dog rows 1st, then David for a while, then the front dog, then the back dog to start over, then David…who rows next?  Bonus: How many seaworthy legs do David and his 2 dogs have?

Big kids: If the trio paddles from shore at 1 pm, rows for 40 minutes, and then rows back in the same time, at what time do they reach shore again?  Bonus: If they row 42 feet out into the water and then turn around to come straight back, but the dogs jump out halfway back to shore to swim the rest, how far did the dogs travel by boat?

The sky’s the limit: If David weighs 200 pounds, and the dog in the back weighs 20 pounds more than the other, and all 3 passengers weigh 320 pounds, how much does each dog weigh?




Wee ones: 3 passengers.

Little kids: The front dog.  Bonus: 10 legs.

Big kids: At 2:20 pm, since they take 80 minutes.  Bonus: 63 feet, since they ride the first 42 plus another 21 feet.

The sky’s the limit: 50 pounds and 70 pounds. If the total is 320 pounds, the 2 dogs weigh 120 pounds together. That means if the one who weighed 20 pounds more dropped those 20 pounds, they’d weigh 100 together, or 50 pounds each. Then the bigger dog weighs 20 more than that, or 70 pounds.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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