My apologies to dog owners that already know how to train their dogs, but for those that don't or are new to keeping pets
onboard here are some tips which I hope will prove helpful.
Regarding any form of "antisocial" behaviour, such as barking for no reason or humping legs, etc, I just use a single
command "NO!" and at the same time spray the dog's back with a little cheap
perfume (no need to buy an expensive dog training spray from your petshop). Soon you can economize on the perfume and the dog will stop whatever
it is doing whenever
you say "NO
". You really must not hit, shout or scare the dog in any way: just a firm "NO" is sufficient.
Once your dog has learnt to associate the spray with the NO command, if it starts barking at night no need to shout or get out of bed
, just give the perfume a quick spray, they have excellent hearing and will shut up immediately. If they don't then carry out the threat and spray them at the same time you say NO. They will get the message real quick.
Avoid using long sentences that merely confuse a dog, such as "Hey Pooch, would you mind not doing that on my wife's favorite sunbathing towel!"
I never shout at or punish a dog for doing a number 2 anywhere on deck
but in the cockpit it is not allowed cos the self draining holes are a little too small for an easy rinsing with a bucket of seawater. In fact they even get an edible treat whenever they "go potty" so they know that was a good thing to do. This way they don't suffer a guilt trip when they defecate and become "anal retentive" (BTW, we never use such polite words while onboard...). I'm going to try a piece of carpet as other writers have suggested.
If your pet has a severe episode of traveler's diarrhea and makes a has-to-be-seen-to-believe
mess everywhere don't punish him or her, this is just something that inevitably happens every so often and a smart dog will already know that that was not a good thing to do. If you have an issue about cleaning
up after your dog, you probably should not have a dog in the first place.
I don't know if this is natural or they learnt by watching the captain
and crew, but the male dogs pee overboard
aiming at one of the stanchions.
Never had this problem, but if your dog is really scared onboard perhaps you should leave it with a dog sitter and find a real "seadog" to keep you company.
I used to have a large Rottweiler that was too heavy to lift
aboard so I would put his front paws on the deck and then quickly hold his backlegs and lift
them up. The first time he did not understand and snarled when I grabbed his legs, but he soon realized this was the easiest way to get aboard from the dinghy
. Plus he had the honour of boarding the boat first. Very important for an alpha dog...
Some dogs will get aggressive if you give them a bone and might even bite one of the kids
if they get too close and the dog thinks they are trying to steal their bone. This is instinctive pack behaviour and if you have one of these dogs just avoid giving them bones.
When you leave dogs onboard to visit another yacht or whatever, when you return avoid the temptation to make a huge fuss over them, just a quick pat on the head
so they know they are good dogs. Otherwise they will get "hyper" waiitng for all the hugs and kisses when you return and that will make your absence even more traumatic.
Now enough talking about "irrational animals", what about those noisy kids, loud music
and couples that spend all night shouting and screaming at each other?