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Old 05-02-2013, 10:39   #46
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Re: Dog Boats

We have a nearly 10 yr old Golden Retriever and 12 yr old Lab on our boat off and on since 2010. They have had the same life jackets Outward Hound since 2004 which are great in helping hoist them out of the water and keep their heads above water. They can get mildewy in the locker so I clean them 2x a year in the washing machine.

The sturdy dog booties are great for the cabin floors but do not leave on more than 2-4 hours due to the fact that dogs sweat through the paws and bacteria could start to grow and the booties maybe too tight. Plus keeps the stickers out of the paws.

Plus the salt water keeps the Golden's hair soft.

Have plenty of antibiotics (twice the human dosage for our big dog), because finding a Vet on the Gulf ICW was nearly impossible since she got an infection in the anal glands. Yuck... Thank god for our dog doctors on call, back home. It worked.

Bring the dogfood bags that are resealable, and bring more than you estimate because you may be stuck somewhere (by choice or engine problems) for a while.

Be careful of introducing new foods to their diet because they may have allergies. The Golden was allergic to shrimp (maybe shellfish allergy).

Our next big problems are their past injuries or age. The Golden had broken a little bone and tore a ligament in her wrist when the other dog's leash got wrapped around her paw when he jumped from the SUV after returning from a big sailing trip. No boat for 2 months.

Now the Lab continues to have vision problems and relies on us and the Golden to lead him to the right boat. But the eye drops and the doggles help a great deal. They are family, and we do what we can to keep them with us and healthy.

Disaster can happen anywhere. Don't be scare of what could happen. Enjoy the great times that you have together on the boat or the islands.

The bathroom on the boat is still difficult for them to grasp since they look at the land and look at me and back at the land. 'Take me to shore'
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:07   #47
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Re: Dog Boats

I stowed away a dingo from Belize who now lives aboard the Ruffian with me. She is about 30-40lb I imagine, and is an invaluable addition to my crew. I will state the obvious and say that having a pet is extra work, and you will have to make extra trips ashore to make sure the dog gets to run and be a dog sometimes, but I can't imagine not having her with me. She HATES floating channel markers and won't let you miss one, guards the boat when I'm ashore, keeps me warm on cold nights, and will happily dispatch any big fish I catch and don't want to handle. As for the potty, she finally chose a spot in the cockpit after the first few days of resisting, and now uses it if necessary. This sounds crazy, but when we are out for days at a time she will use the cockpit until she sees land in front of us, then rightly decides to hold it in anticipation of a trip in on the dinghy! All things considered I think it's very feasible.
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Old 05-02-2013, 13:11   #48
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Re: Dog Boats

@MNLanLock
I am familiar with such vests, which is NOT what I want. I would never trust my dog to be hoisted by either veclro or plastic snaps under their chest. These can give way and drop your dog. What we used in Search & Resue was a lifting harness that provided full support under the dog, legs and head through holes made for them, and the vest wrapped around the dogs chest and clipped over his back. Then there are two large diameter holes on the TOP of the vest for clipping the lifting lines. If there is no PFD made similar, I will make one.

@Mark,
Your comments are appropriate for many dog owners, particularly those who do not train their dogs and reflect the attitude of many boat owners, particularly those easily disturbed in close quarters. I will most certainly try NOT to anchor near you and will absolutely try to train my dog to understand "territory" from a nautical perspective. However, there are many, and increasing, numbers of people who very successfully sail around the world with their dogs. This is not to offend you, as a responsible dog owner should always try to maintain their animal in such a way that does not disturb people who don't like dogs or their inevitable characteristics. My dog has been trained to keep me informed about what is going on and he is a herding dog, which characteristically are barkers.

To leave my dog would be more traumatic to him than what he will have to do to adjust to a seafaring lifestyle.

Thank you boat dog owners for your advice on how to care for them at sea. Thank you who believe dogs should NOT live at sea for your comments about how us dog people can prevent disturbing you. There is no room at sea for petty aggravations. We all must live together in mutual respect and leave the pettiness to the sheeple in the streets of consumer society.
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Old 08-02-2013, 15:22   #49
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Re: Dog Boats

Vino,

Reading this thread gave me the push to finish a post to my blog that I had been working on about sailing and cruising with dogs:

I hope the info in my blog helps you.

Fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 08-02-2013, 23:19   #50
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Re: Dog Boats

Jesse

Thank you very much. Your blog info is great and the review of vests is just what I was looking for. Will have to check out a few and see how Aleutia likes them before deciding which one. Very slight added modification will give exactly what I want.

I agree totally with your blog discussion on food. Feeding a dog the same brand of food all their life is like raising your kids on a diet of exclusively Cheerios. Dogs need a varied diet, including fresh meat and veggies. When they eat good healthy food in a wide variety, all the sickness from diet change stops. The book "Food Pets Die For" will change any thinking persons outlook on almost all commercial pet food, filled with carcinogens, rendering plant rot, and trash discarded from human junk food industry. Cook your dog a steak once in a while. Dogs need people food. The dog food industry needs people who think dogs should not have it.
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Old 08-02-2013, 23:31   #51
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Re: Dog Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
Our Schipperke, Zorro, has been cruising with us for eleven years. He was missing overboard in 2003 for a couple hours and was rescued by another sailboat's crew. We were lucky to get him back. We now keep him on a halter and tether when at risk. He leaves all his product at the transom for easy rinsing and he will bark at other vessels in the fog that we only see as targets on our radar screen.
I am glad the story had a happy ending, the though of my dog missing on land is bad enough, but at sea would kill me.
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Old 13-02-2013, 08:42   #52
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Re: Dog Boats

Our dogs (mixed terrier and boston terrier) have been boat dogs since puppy-hood. We taught them to go on astroturf. We also installed sturdy netting on the lifelines, to keep them from venturing off or falling over. They are reluctant to go forward on deck in rough weather (I prefer they go on the push-pit then.) We also have a lee berth with lee cloth that they are very happy snuggling in during weather. We've done long passages, and sometimes they just won't poop or eat. When this happens, I supplement with peanut butter, and make sure they're well hydrated. I've also purchased a "Thunder Shirt" for the mixed terrier. This really helps! She'll fall asleep when I put it on her.
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Old 13-02-2013, 09:37   #53
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Re: Dog Boats

Hi everyone,
Loved the picture of the dog using a notebook computer! My cat loves to walk on the keyboard but I think that is because she learnt it is a great way of attracting attention and being a nuisance until I give up waiting for her to write the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and get her some milk.
My dogs never seem concerned about waves, but getting hit by spray is way too much like a bath for comfort so they snuggle down under their tarpaulin. One gets really upset with thunder; or is that just an excuse to go below decks and sleep on my berth?
All the dogs were strays so that makes them pretty street smart and they all love the boating life. I found a nice home for one and five months later visited the people that adopted him, but when I sailed away he started swimming behind the yacht so became a member of the crew again.
I can't imagine cruising without their company.
Thanks to the people contributing to this thread for all the interesting reading.
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Old 13-02-2013, 11:28   #54
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Re: Dog Boats

@Endeavor, Thank for your comments. Are you aware that peanut butter (peanuts in general) are on the list of foods not good for dogs? Peanuts develop carcinogenic afalatoxins when they get old.

Freddy, good story. Glad your swimming dog reached the boat. If you like dog books, read Merle's Door. It is the story of the life of a feral dog who adopted the author by swimming after him on a whitewater rafting trip. Great story.
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Old 13-02-2013, 15:02   #55
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Re: Dog Boats

Thanks Vino, will try to find this book.
I mentioned the story because here is a dog that swapped a nice house for an old yacht, it was entirely his decsion and shows that some dogs really do enjoy living onboard.
Actually had to go back to pick him up because he was whining pitifully and might have just swam on and on until he was too tired to return to shore.
Hope I'm not going off topic, but I like to listen to audiobooks to combat cabin fever and here is a link to download another dog book:
LibriVox White Fang by Jack London
Lots of other great public domain titles available too.
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Old 13-02-2013, 17:51   #56
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Re: Dog Boats

Here is another audiobook about dogs to keep the children happy while onboard.

LibriVox Bowser the Hound by Thornton W. Burgess

Enjoy!
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Old 13-02-2013, 20:38   #57
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Re: Dog Boats

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?
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Old 14-02-2013, 08:18   #58
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Re: Dog Boats

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Originally Posted by Freddy_Vagner View Post
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?
A sure way to ruin an anchorage
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Old 15-02-2013, 08:49   #59
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Re: Dog Boats

We circumnavigated with two dogs one a Beagle and the other a spaniel. We purchased a piece of outdoor carpet about 3 foot sq. and trained them to use the carpet while still at home. When we moved on board we just placed the carpet on the poop deck and they went right to it. In open waters we had the pfd's with a life line attached and we waited until they finished their business and helped them back into the cockpit. No problem. And they don't mind getting up at 3am for their watch.
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Old 15-02-2013, 12:47   #60
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Watch standing! I never thought of that! My collie is easily smart enough to make sure the AP is keeping us straight and to let me know if I'm about to run into someone!
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