-- Last Updated: Apr-08-13 12:38 PM EST --
You don't need 55 pounds of ballast to provide counterbalance for a 55-pound dog. You would nmeed the same weight if the ballast were placed roughly the same distance behind center as the dog is ahead of center, but put that counterweight way back in the stern and you will need much less, maybe even just a quarter of what the dog weighs (depending on dog location, etc.). Your boat will have more "swing weight" with a little extra weight in one end than it will with a balanced load and no ballast, but then, as the OP points out, balancing the load by moving the seat moves the paddler away from the pivot point, so either method has a certain disadvantage. Pick your poison.
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