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Old 10-12-2013, 12:52   #1
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pirate Best Small Boat Dog?

I've read many a thread here but have noticed there's little mention of smaller dogs. My other boat is a giant catamaran but I live on a 29ft mono. I've never been a fan of small dogs but circs change. At this point I'd like a dog that didn't need to go ashore at all, sleeps in its own space, could get enough exercise onboard, use a litterbox of some sort, wasn't all black in color, doesn't shed much, requires minimal grooming, and barks even less. As Prof Higgins might say, I want a dog just like me!

I'm not against a pound dog and have had many but am thinking now that the expectations suggest a very young pup for training reasons and a known history for the obvious. Maybe 15# tops. Got to be fairly agile, and I'm thinking a low COG would be better than a leggier dog. My companionway isn't as steep as some.

The biggest issue I see is that a young dog will doubtless outlive me but a small handy boat dog would likely find another berth easily enough.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-12-2013, 13:36   #2
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
Ito go ashore at all, sleeps in its own space, could get enough exercise onboard, use a litterbox of some sort, wasn't all black in color, doesn't shed much, requires minimal grooming, and barks even less.

http://www.allsmalldogbreeds.com/sealyham-terrier.html
http://www.allsmalldogbreeds.com/havanese.html
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:37   #3
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

Blue, Zee would say you are describing a cat . Good luck on your dog search, lots of puppies need a good home.
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Old 10-12-2013, 14:44   #4
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

Thanks RD. I hadn't heard of either of those dogs. The Sealyham in particular has lost a lot of its popularity. Hello!

If it had the male pattern thing going, I'd wonder if this is what's in store for my next life?


Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2013, 15:10   #5
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

Hi, Blue Crab,

You really have, as Ocean Girl suggested, described a cat. Unless you detest them, you might be surprised how loving they can be. Don't bark at all. Easy to litter train, can be trained to use boat heads. Heaps of company, and don't bug you like small, high energy doggies can.

If it must be a dog, I wonder if a Sealyham isn't too big? Maybe a Maltese or a really small breed cross...

A final possibility, I have a friend who is a dog trainer, I could ask her about breeds and breeds vs. a pound dog, and what to look for in a pound dog, for you, if you like, just PM me.

Ann
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Old 10-12-2013, 16:46   #6
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pirate Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

Thanks Ann. I'll give cats some more thought. I've had some cats but cats on counters is one of my least favorite things. (My Cal 29 doesn't have a lot of counter space, and wiping off that 2 square feet occasionally might actually be an improvement.)

I think I'd like a little more interaction than cats offer but I'm also after extreme low maintenance...a plus for a cat.

A brief googling of the dogs Rain Dog mentioned, both of which I like a lot, reveals a bit of a financial issue as well.

For me, money is no object (I have very rare blood type that I can sell every 6 weeks or so), but paying a coupla grand for a dog too small to eat in a pinch seems wasteful in these hard times. The Sealyham is on the large size for my boat, but doable. Still, how much meat would a 20# dog provide?

The Havanese might be better in every way; especially from handling the warmish climate I prefer. And way cheaper too. I found one that can leave his momma by Christmas. It means a road trip to NY but I can do that. Maybe catch a show too.

I've read a bunch and know of many a tough story about unhappy boat dogs. Coupla years ago we had a poster on here, a couple as I recall, with two biggish dogs on a Cat 27 or somesuch. I'd put them right with my last two babe rejects: One, with ~50 cats (she was unsure of the actual #) I rejected without a FTF meeting. The other had only 7 cats. I met her, and was only out a buck or so for coffee. (Senior coffees at Mickey's at that.)

Perhaps Bubba, a proven boat cat, would work out. You know if he can live with Zee all this time, he has earned his stripes.
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Old 10-12-2013, 19:00   #7
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

Hey Blue Crab,
Labradoodle can be small, wont shed hair, not black and very smart.
Loves chasing birds off the boat and dosent eat too much but I still cant get him to make coffee.
Loves help though.
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Old 10-12-2013, 19:09   #8
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
. At this point I'd like a dog that didn't need to go ashore at all, sleeps in its own space, could get enough exercise onboard, use a litterbox of some sort, wasn't all black in color, doesn't shed much, requires minimal grooming, and barks even less.
A dog that grooms itself, never barks and uses a litterbox? That dog is spelled "C--A--T."
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Old 10-12-2013, 19:32   #9
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

We sorta like out wire hair terriers, they shead little, only bark when folks get withing 50 ft of the boat and then it's just a woof unless it's dark! Do there bizz on a pad and eat anything but never much Love fish if it's cooked. And swim well! And they are very friendly, but just love there owners! Ours love sailing and just sleep when it gets rough!
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Old 10-12-2013, 20:09   #10
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

We cruised the Caribbean with 2 Jack Russell terriers and a cat many years ago. The good thing about Jack Russells is they are tough and when trained properly, make good watch dogs. A small dog can be easy prey for a large dog, but a Russell can hold its own until it (or it's attacker) can be rescued. The trick with terriers is to get one from a reputable breeder and to adequately socialize them. A more loyal dog can't be found.
We have 5 Whippets now and although they are GREAT boat dogs, we still miss our Russells.
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Old 10-12-2013, 22:33   #11
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

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snip
We have 5 Whippets now and although they are GREAT boat dogs, we still miss our Russells.
We're on our 3rd whippet (used to have two at a time but one passed away). Great dogs. I understand why you'd have 5.

They fit the OP's desire for a dog that's a laid-back "couch potato" (most of the time) but a whippet needs an occasional run. Other than that I don't think any dog fits his description. (IMHO he really wants a cat, just can't admit it.)

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Old 11-12-2013, 00:34   #12
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

While no one's definition of the ideal boat dog, my laika does just fine. He was brought up on the boat from a pretty young age and does coastal cruising for half the year. He's not low maintenance, requires a ton of running and sheds like crazy. But he can hunt his own dinner...



(This was his friend, Mr. Kitty, who grew up to be one tough customer!!)

Obviously, the dogs others have mentioned are what you're looking for, but I just thought it worth saying that most any dog on a boat under the right circumstances will do just fine

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Old 11-12-2013, 05:34   #13
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

BTW I want to add to my prior post that I wouldn't recommend a whippet as a boat dog, and especially not on a 29 foot boat with an owner who doesn't want to take the dog ashore. They're great dogs but they do need some room and every dog needs exercise. Whippets also don't tolerate cold and wet very well.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:13   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Crab
Thanks Ann. I'll give cats some more thought. I've had some cats but cats on counters is one of my least favorite things. (My Cal 29 doesn't have a lot of counter space, and wiping off that 2 square feet occasionally might actually be an improvement.)

I think I'd like a little more interaction than cats offer but I'm also after extreme low maintenance...a plus for a cat.

A brief googling of the dogs Rain Dog mentioned, both of which I like a lot, reveals a bit of a financial issue as well.

For me, money is no object (I have very rare blood type that I can sell every 6 weeks or so), but paying a coupla grand for a dog too small to eat in a pinch seems wasteful in these hard times. The Sealyham is on the large size for my boat, but doable. Still, how much meat would a 20# dog provide?

The Havanese might be better in every way; especially from handling the warmish climate I prefer. And way cheaper too. I found one that can leave his momma by Christmas. It means a road trip to NY but I can do that. Maybe catch a show too.

I've read a bunch and know of many a tough story about unhappy boat dogs. Coupla years ago we had a poster on here, a couple as I recall, with two biggish dogs on a Cat 27 or somesuch. I'd put them right with my last two babe rejects: One, with ~50 cats (she was unsure of the actual #) I rejected without a FTF meeting. The other had only 7 cats. I met her, and was only out a buck or so for coffee. (Senior coffees at Mickey's at that.)

Perhaps Bubba, a proven boat cat, would work out. You know if he can live with Zee all this time, he has earned his stripes.
I shouldn't go here, but if you are considering the possible necessity of eating it you are again thinking cat. Not only would a dog's loyalty be hard to swallow. Cat is the tender choice. The other other white meat!
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:30   #15
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Re: Best Small Boat Dog?

I have had a Jack Russell and they are a great dog but require LOTS of exercise. What about a Bichon? Smart, agile, loyal, hypoallergenic, and easy to carry ashore when necessary!
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