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Old 28-03-2012, 05:28   #31
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

Our miniature schnauzer hated to swim which worked great for us since he was easy to keep on the boat. Good size especially for air travel since we could stuff him under the seat in front of us for trips back home. Big enough not to be laughed at by the natives and good hearing to alert us of anything getting near the boat. No shedding and doesn't set off my wife's allergies.
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Old 28-03-2012, 05:36   #32
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

goboatingnow and allezcat both make very strong points. Dogs aren't well suited to boats, or maybe it's the other way around (even more so for bigger breeds). They're clumsy on a boat and they never truly get their sea legs. It's like having a toddler aboard.

If Earthbm is just taking vacation cruises and will stay coastal, bringing a medium or small dog ashore with walks morning and evening and training the dog to "go" on the nets is a good way to go. Dog ownership is great for kids and a wonderful experience. However, it does tie you down.

OTOH if he is planning on long passages I agree it's not pleasant for the dog, and the dog is much better off if left with friends or family ashore. I would not do the kennel thing either, and think it's an awful thing to do to a dog. Dogs have a very strong emotional need for companionship and need to be with their familiar "pack", but if left with a family or person they know it's the next best thing. If you don't have someone to leave the dog with, an alternative is to hire a responsible dog sitter to stay in your house with the dog. It could be a college student or retiree. The dog won't have to adjust to an environment change, and the added benefit is the house is occupied while you're away.
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Old 28-03-2012, 05:59   #33
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

One more important piece of advice to EarthBM - crate train your dog, or if you rescue one make sure it is OK being crated. It will allow you to leave your boat without worrying about damage to the boat (or the dog) if it gets stressed while you're away. Very important for puppies who might chew valuable items or electrical cords. We crate ours when we leave the house or at night when we sleep -- that way we know he's not getting in trouble. Also good to be able to do that if you have workers in the house or aboard, or people who don't like dogs (yes there are some). The dog thinks of the crate as his den and goes there on his own, it's his safe haven. No stress.
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Old 28-03-2012, 06:57   #34
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

we had a dog that would not be in a kennel .. hated it. we found a nice workaround for securing him .. a small length of rope tied to the leg of some furniture or something .. he never even considered biting thru it and was quite relaxed in his bed at night.
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Old 28-03-2012, 07:10   #35
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I think it's cruel to subject a dog to sea passages or extensive periods cooped up on a boat,
1 - Interesting. Our dogs seem to enjoy the sailing. We arrive at the marina, let them out the car, they poop in their gravel pit on the sea wall, and when I'm cleaning up that, they're trotting along the pontoons and hopping onto our boat. My dogs don't seem to think it's cruel.

But perhaps a dog cooped up on your boat might think so

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even more so for any large variety. Dave
2 - Size, in this case, really isn't important. Our 20lb Spaniel cross requires waaaay more space than the hundred pound St Bernard cross! Go figger!
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Old 28-03-2012, 07:25   #36
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

Saucy, my dog too likes to go with us. When he sees us get out the doggy PFD he gets just as excited as when we get out the leash. He loves to hop aboard the dinghy and he recognizes our boat (distinguishing it from others in the harbor) when we approach, showing he's anxious to go aboard. I think he likes the smaller spaces of our cabins vs. the larger rooms of our house, and the fact that we're all together in a small area. When we sail, he settles in next to one of the crew and puts his head on a lap. OTOH, after 6+ hours aboard he's just as anxious to get back in the dinghy because he needs to do his "business". We've not been successful in training him to go on AstroTurf aboard, and he holds it even after repeated attempts to encourage him (up to 12 hours). He does go on command ashore, and knows what "hurry up" means. I realize that eventually he'd go (if we keep taking him to the AstroTurf) and we'd praise him, but I hate to put him through that much stress.
Edit:
Also, we've had him out in some pretty boisterous conditions (gusts to 48k), but not offshore storm conditions. I think that would be pretty tough on the dog (and unfair), not to mention the rest of the crew.
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Old 28-03-2012, 10:33   #37
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
As a dog lover and having grown up with several large dogs. I think it's cruel to subject a dog to sea passages or extensive periods cooped up on a boat, even more so for any large variety. I denied my kids one as we sail regularly and I would not even subject a dog to the kennel thing. Do the right thing.

Dave
I can understand this as I would never keep a dog in a kennel either. On the other hand, my dogs love to go with me in the car.... even if they have to spend hours in there. If I pick up the keys.. they go wild. They have about 2 acres to run around at the house, but spend their time mostly being wherever we are... so I think the perception that keeping them on a boat is "cooped up" may not really be anything more than a "people" perception.... rather than a dog perception.... Just like the car, the dingy for them was the ulitmate adventure!.... They're thinking: "Ears flapping in the wind watching the horizon.... life dont get no better than this!"
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Old 28-03-2012, 11:22   #38
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

We had a Border Collie x Black Labrador. He died last year aged 17. We are still hurting. See our web page below, click "more" then "woof" for his own photo journal. What a fisherman he was. Caught a 20 odd pound Jack Crevalle, nearly broke his neck! He crapped himself meeting his first Ostrich and Alligator. He treated the shark just like any other fish. He loved Dolphins, hearing them well before they arrived. He ate Suchi often. He found injured sea birds and brought them home, or took us to them so we could help them. He was good on watch, he could smell a ship in the open ocean well before the radar picked them up. He could tell the difference between a cruiser in a dink and a "nocturnal visitor" He was on TV in Brazil catchin' fish. Damn we miss Jack...
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:08   #39
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My husband and I rescue pit bulls and they all love the boat and love to swim. They range in size from 80 lbs to 45 lbs and are all short haired and tons of fun. That being said, I would suggest you get a dog that you can lift into and out of your boat from the water and your dinghy. It is down right difficult to lift my big boy, Chili, into and out of the boat and down the companion way. But, Dolly, my little girl is a cinch.
Best of luck and I hope you do go w a rescue. There are so many good dogs out there!
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:26   #40
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I can understand this as I would never keep a dog in a kennel either. On the other hand, my dogs love to go with me in the car.... even if they have to spend hours in there. If I pick up the keys.. they go wild. They have about 2 acres to run around at the house, but spend their time mostly being wherever we are... so I think the perception that keeping them on a boat is "cooped up" may not really be anything more than a "people" perception.... rather than a dog perception.... Just like the car, the dingy for them was the ulitmate adventure!.... They're thinking: "Ears flapping in the wind watching the horizon.... life dont get no better than this!"
It interests me also to consider the confinement of the dog to the boat or a kennel as being "cooped up". I'm sure there's a need to consider the size of the boat, activity while cruising and the nature of the kennel. The kennel where are 15lb Schipperke stays while we are travelling away from our boat as an outside run attached to each dog's inside shelter. I can see how some dog's would be too confined, but each situation can be very different.
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:39   #41
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

My dog loves the boat and probably wishes I would take her out more than I do.

On the crate training....DO IT. My dog was crate trained for the first year. I still keep her crate in my home office with the door open. She is actually laying in it now. It's her home/space. Also it is great for taking her on car trips.
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Old 28-03-2012, 14:44   #42
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

Few people know it, but the minature Schnauzer was bred as a helmskeeper prior to the "iron mike" being invented.

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Old 28-03-2012, 15:40   #43
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

When we cast off, we'll be planning on taking our Dalmatian with us. As long as we can either take him on land or give him time to swim, I think he'll get plenty of exercise.

He's got great agility as well, so I think he'll do well on it - we haven't had a chance to get him on a boat yet.

Every situation is different though and a lot depends on the dog and what he likes. Ours loves the outdoors and running as well as swimming. As long as he's with us, I'm sure he'll be happy. I think the only thing he'll miss is our wood stove - he sits in front of it when its going - he absolutely loves it. But we plan on cruising in warm areas so i think he'll get over it.
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Old 28-03-2012, 15:41   #44
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Re: Best Sailing Dog ?

I dream with having a Lab and Golden onboard, but reading this topics I discovered this 'ducktrolling retriever'. He looks like a mongrel or mixed breed dog of my family. BTW, what about a loyal and intelligent mixed breed dog onboard?
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Old 28-03-2012, 15:46   #45
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Re: best sailing dog?

Portuguese water dog. For starters, they don't shed. Google/wiki it.
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