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Old 22-12-2013, 05:44   #91
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Re: Dog Boats

Thanks for everyone who liked my posts and especially SaucySailoress who asked for more information.
So here are some more ramblings from an OF about his seadogs.


A Moment of Supreme Bliss: We adopted a large dog (German Shepherd with Rottweiler) that was about to be put to sleep because it was too mean. Great we thought, he would make a good guard dog and my son aptly named him Chucky. Well he was extremely antisocial at first but with lots of TLC he soon calmed down and even became very affectionate with the great boisterous and playful character “alpha dogs” often display. I don’t approve of favoritism, but must admit he soon became my favorite dog of all time. Well one day we left the yacht tied to a tree near the beach (yes, she had a swing keel) and went to town to buy provisions with Chucky, Neg„o and Skinny on guard. On the way back we saw some Maracuja fruit growing wild so we decided to return later to pick them as they make wonderful juice. (Ever thought that if we planted the seeds from every fruit we ever ate, the world would have a plentiful supply and maybe obese kids would not be drinking the carbonated toxic waste they enjoy so much along with the other toxic waste called “fast food”?) Well we dropped the provisions through the forward hatch onto the V-berth and returned to pick the fruit. When we got back onboard Chucky was in the cabin and we did not need a CSI Team to realize that he had just stolen a large and very expensive piece of Gorgonzola cheese! Well for such a heinous crime he should have been flogged around the fleet, keelhauled then hung from the yard arm. But, he had a look of such supreme bliss on his face as he licked his jowls. I’m sure he was thinking “WOW, that was the best thing I ever ate in my life”. So I just could not spoil his magic moment by punishing him.


Size of dog: I think a good dog to take cruising should not be too large to easily lift on and off the boat. But the larger the dog the better you sleep knowing he is on watch to scare off any prowlers or sneak thieves. On the other hand small dogs are great, especially if you are going to allow them below decks and maybe sleep with the kids. I think the ideal combination would be a medium sized dog and a small dog. I only adopt strays, but if I were to buy a dog to go cruising with I think I would choose a medium sized Pinscher and fit netting to the lifelines to keep it safely aboard.



Length of fur: Far more important than size, is the length of fur and I would definitely recommend short-haired dogs as they are obviously easier to look after and adapt better to a hot climate. Tropical countries have incredible quantities of ticks, fleas and bot flies---not to mention seeds with large “Velcro hooks” that take hours and much yelping to remove.


Number of dogs: I like to have at least two dogs as they keep each other company and some dogs will destroy everything around them if they are left alone. At one time we had no less than five stray dogs living aboard and that was definitely far too many! I think three is the maximum for comfort, at least for us.



Cats vs dogs: Both certainly do adapt well to life aboard and are good company. I really do love cats and respect their intelligence, beauty and athletic prowess, etc, etc. But they STINK. Now I know all you cat lovers out there are outraged and I don’t care how many sand trays you have or which brand of cat litter you buy; your house or boat stinks of cats! OK, OK, calm down. The problem is you become so used to their "aroma" that you don’t even notice it anymore. If you don’t believe me, then ask your next visitors if your house/boat smells of cats. If they are honest they will reply, “No, it’s fine, don’t worry about that, but could you please open all the windows/hatches...”


May your wind be fair, your bottom unfouled and “on the rocks” refer to the double whisky you just handed me.
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Old 22-12-2013, 12:46   #92
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Re: Dog Boats

Good post, Freddy,

Maybe I will need to get another dog before entering foreign waters... or take on a crew member who has one, since my dog is used to going everywhere with me. He is OK by himself, but would be much happier left onboard for extended times with an assistant friend.

You forgot one thing about type of dog. While there are certainly disadvantages to long hair dogs, some kinds of dogs just come that way and there is nothing you can do about it but put in the time to deal with it. Everyone has a "dog type", just like everyone has an astrological sign. While it is not essential that you have a dog that matches your dog type, many must (just like some people match their astrological sign and others don't). If your dog type is a long haired model, I recommend getting a nice, small, vacuum cleaner that you like enough to enjoy using it, then vacuum daily or every couple days. Particularly carpets, corners, and most specially, grills to air intake, heaters, etc.. Carry a good selection of brushes, combs, scissors, and bug removers, etc., and of course, dog toys.

Long haired dogs are a lot more work, but so are long haired, pretty wives, and children, but you don't see many sailors throwing them overboard. Everything you love has it's price, including the boat. Deal with it and feel the joy!
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Old 22-12-2013, 13:07   #93
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Re: Dog Boats

Hi Vino,

Good to hear from you again.

If you love Afghan hounds or Neopolitan Mastiffs then certainly take them along, I love them too.

Yes, I'm sure your dog would be happier with a four-legged friend to keep him company while you are away. Plus the joie de vivre as they chase each other and play together when they finally get to stretch their legs on land is a real pleasure to see.
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Old 23-12-2013, 03:48   #94
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Re: Dog Boats

Here is another doggy tale: As you are traveling you are going to visit countries where it is common for dog owners to allow their dogs to roam the streets; together with these dogs there will be a large number of street dogs and they love to form packs of "wild" dogs, especially at night.
Sometimes these packs can be very intimidating and will advance upon you and your pet dog on it's leash.
If that happens don't worry about it, just bend down and pretend to pick up a stone to throw at them. They will immediately run away to a safe distance and leave you alone. The locals have no qualms about throwing rocks at aggressive dogs...
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Old 23-12-2013, 10:20   #95
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Re: Dog Boats

When I was young, I had a black lab, that went commercial fishing with us and in the rough weather he would sit in one corner of the deck and I would sit in the other and we would take turns purging. Sadly he had to be put down after being accidentally run over. I fished on one vessel where the owner had a blue tick hound, he was huge, and he would keep me company when at the helm in rough weather, just lay on the floor. Later I had a 200 lb Rottweiler and I was worried about his size on our boat, but I built a ramp and he was fine. We never left port with him, the boat is in the middle of a refit. We recently got a Australian Cattle dog, and I took him down the ramp when he was 7 weeks old and he never blinked an eye at the gratings which usually spook most dogs, and when he came aboard he promptly "christened" the matt at the entrance of the pilot house. Smoke is almost a year old now and he is at home on the boat when I go down to work on it. I noticed he likes the water, he will break the ice in his water dish then shove his nose under and blow bubbles. I don't think I have any worries about him going to sea. He is a handful and has a very high energy level, but usually I get him to playing with an old fishing buoy and it wears him out. I hold with the philosophy that, "the more I get to know people, the better I like my dog." My Wife once had a cat that would deliberately jump overboard and go swimming.
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Old 23-12-2013, 12:43   #96
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Re: Dog Boats

Captain58,

In rough weather, did you use safety gear on your dog? Life vest, harness, teather? Was he allowed or did he want to go forward when it was rough?

Aleutia has lived on our boat for a year now, during the refit, but we have not taken her out yet.... getting very close. He is quite at home and I don't expect trouble, but would love to hear what precautions others have found necessary.
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Old 23-12-2013, 13:07   #97
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Re: Dog Boats

Boat dogs can become extremely terretorial and defend the boat against an intruder....

They can show a different face after a proper introduction.......
....................
...and they can take on some watch duties....
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Old 23-12-2013, 13:45   #98
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Re: Dog Boats

I've never had to tether Smoke, but I have netting on my lifelines and the only real opening is the boarding gates amidships. Smoke has not shown any interest in jumping off the boat or the dock into the water. I'm not inclined to use a floatation vest. We started getting Smoke used to the water as soon as he came to us, we have rain barrels and we would hold him and gently dip him in the water a little at a time and he loved it, now we have to close the door on the bathroom when showering to keep him from coming in with us. When we get into rough weather we will keep him inside. I know of a commercial fisher that has miniature dachshunds and she puts them in floatation devices.
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Old 25-12-2013, 03:26   #99
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Re: Dog Boats

More doggy tales: I noticed people talking about tethering a dog, which reminded me of the day we decided to tether Chucky in the cockpit so he could be on guard rather than follow us to town. Well being left onboard was a definite "no no" for an alpha dog so he jumped overboard and ended up being hung by his "life"line. Fortunately we were not too far away to hear his distressed yelping and ran back before an accident became a disaster. So---never leave a tethered dog without supervision and opt for a body harness rather than a collar, even in good weather.

Interesting to note how many different types (breed, size, length of fur (thanks for your earlier comments Vino!)) of dogs are mentioned in this forum and they all get a positive rating as a cruising dog from their owners. Moral of the story: it is far easier to find a good cruising dog than a good crew...

I read somewhere that if you combined the genes of a dog with those of a human being, you would improve the human but spoil the dog.
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Old 25-12-2013, 11:02   #100
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Re: Dog Boats

I am preparing my trip without limitation of years around the world. I'll take a rottweiler, and take other one mixed breed dog and one Yorkshire terrier. The Rottweiller just will link East Timor to Portugal. The Yorkshire dog will only come on board in Portugal.I believe I can do this next month of May (2014).
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Old 25-12-2013, 11:05   #101
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Re: Dog Boats

The only time I think about tethering Aleutia would be during heavy weather to keep him on the boat just like any other crew. We have not hit the ocean yet, so he does not know what he is in for, but he is a retired search & rescue dog who has been through a lot, including helicopter training, so I do not expect problems. Still like to think things through in advance.

As for leaving him on the boat while going ashore, no problem. He HATES swimming and already stays aboard on command, even with gates open. Will jump off to greet a friend walking on the dock, but then right back on board.

I plan on remodelling a standard dog life vest to integrate a harness into it, then make straps that go under his belly and hoop above his back with four loops, one on each corner of the dog. This will allow lifting in and out of the dinghy on davits as well as safety harness for heavy weather if we need it.

Still very much appreciate experience from you folks how have already experienced heavy weather sailing with your dog.
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Old 25-12-2013, 11:21   #102
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Re: Dog Boats

What kind of documents do I have to have dogs on board to display in the countries where we anchor?
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Old 25-12-2013, 11:38   #103
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Re: Dog Boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddy_Vagner View Post
together with these dogs there will be a large number of street dogs and they love to form packs of "wild" dogs, especially at night.
Sometimes these packs can be very intimidating and will advance upon you and your pet dog on it's leash.
LOL!! Our young lab crosses are confident beyond belief, and will always chase the local dogs, who will always run away. Here in India the street dogs are so unfit they normally give up running within a hundred metres, and then turn round and circle with their tails down. Then they'll stand and watch in confusion as our dogs prance around trying to get the local dogs to play.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
"the more I get to know people, the better I like my dog."


Quote:
Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
I have netting on my lifelines and the only real opening is the boarding gates amidships.
We closed that gap using a short width of netting (which I made out of the same string Omanis use to make their nets), which is attached at the top in the same way as the rest. But where the bottom of the main netting is attached to the toe rails, the gap is tensioned with bungee on both sides and bottom. We feed the bottom bungee through the toe rail once in the centre. We then fix both bottom corners with cheap caribina clips. This way we can open a corner for the dogs to get through, and close it easily... and when customs want to board in choppy seas it only takes a minute to undo completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aveladas View Post
What kind of documents do I have to have dogs on board to display in the countries where we anchor?
We have the vaccination records, with general vacs (make sure distemper is ncluded) and rabies. We also have them microchipped. We have always managed to get an export cert when we leave a country. We weren't able to get an import cert for India, on account of how it's illegal now to bring dogs in. Our dogs are both neutered, so I guess that rules out any worries that the dogs might be imported permanently and used for breeding... although we did have numerous enquiries at a Dog Show here in India as to whether we did have their puppies available!

The customs so far have generally ignored the dogs. They don't seem to see live animals, so much as an effective security system in an area where they are very aware of piracy problems.

I was once advised by a guy who circumnavigated with dogs that the Export Cert seemed to be all that was ever asked for.
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Old 25-12-2013, 12:01   #104
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Re: Dog Boats

Hey, Saucy,
Please explain the export certificate? Never heard of it. Where do you get it?

Also, where are you in India and for how long? I once rode a motorcycle across India.
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Old 25-12-2013, 13:34   #105
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Re: Dog Boats

Quote:
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I am preparing my trip without limitation of years around the world. I'll take a rottweiler, and take other one mixed breed dog and one Yorkshire terrier.
Great choice!
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