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Old 12-01-2013, 12:25   #1
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Dog Boats

Hi group,

Getting ready to move onboard with a dog. Any help or advice on living with a dog on board will be most helpful. I have sailed with a couple dogs on the crew and one of them warned us of a serious situation that prevented a collision, so I know a dog can be a good crew member. Know nothing about how to care for a dog in heavy weather far offshore.

thanks,
Steve
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:40   #2
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Re: Dog boats

We cruise the east coast and Bahamas with our 40# dog Lucy. She will not "Go" on deck and this limits us. The Bahamas are easy about bringing in dogs but that is rare in most countries. Our longest passage is about 12 hours and that is easily doable for most dogs.

If you plan long distance treks I suggest you reconcider. We are happy to have our Lucy but understand the limitations it puts on us. Smaller is easier. Dogs adjust well but it is not easy on either party.
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Old 14-01-2013, 11:17   #3
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Re: Dog boats

The dog that warned us about a possible collision was named Lucy!

One boat I crewed on had a Golden Retriever who would not use the "poop deck" either. We had to find an island in the Sea of Cortez for her. Leaving my dog is NOT an option. We have been eight years on a Search & Rescue team, and he goes with me everywhere. He learned to load on a running USAF helicopter, so he will also learn where the poop part of the deck is.

While you caution is appreciated, I am more interested in hearing from folks who have experienced serious offshore heavy weather with a dog on board. How do you take care of the dog in such conditions... strap him to a bunk... use a padded kennel????

Other offshore dog considerations will be appreciated as well.

thanks,
Steve
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Old 14-01-2013, 12:30   #4
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I have my Aussie Bella with me for the 9 months of the year that I stay on my boat. Just have to take her on a morning walk & again in late afternoon. Staying in marinas makes this pretty easy most time. When anchoring out I'll take her to a sandbar or island in the 17' center console I tow. Probably having a good vac to suck up the fur she sheds is a important item, I vacuum the boat once a day with a smaller Dyson. She is deaf & nearly blind so she won't be any help navigating on the Mississippi & to friendly to be a watchdog but she's great company & I get my exercise everyday on her walkabouts.
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Old 14-01-2013, 18:39   #5
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Re: Dog boats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vino the Dog View Post
The dog that warned us about a possible collision was named Lucy!

One boat I crewed on had a Golden Retriever who would not use the "poop deck" either. We had to find an island in the Sea of Cortez for her. Leaving my dog is NOT an option. We have been eight years on a Search & Rescue team, and he goes with me everywhere. He learned to load on a running USAF helicopter, so he will also learn where the poop part of the deck is.

While you caution is appreciated, I am more interested in hearing from folks who have experienced serious offshore heavy weather with a dog on board. How do you take care of the dog in such conditions... strap him to a bunk... use a padded kennel????

Other offshore dog considerations will be appreciated as well.

thanks,
Steve
Steve
Hi steve, Our Lucy likes to be with us in the cockpit. We have a 3x3 area in front of the helm and put a piece of carpet there for comfort and foot hold. She has a PFD and an auto light and we keep her on a tether in the seaway. Our Vet suggested a "calm me" pill and that works well. I cannot articulate on longer than 30 hours. Just teach your pooch to use the fore deck or some area and you will be fine.
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Old 14-01-2013, 18:52   #6
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Re: Dog boats

We have 2 small dogs with us ! trained them to us potty pads when they were young puppys , now we just put one where we wish them to go ! after they use it once we remove it and they go right back to the same spot to do thier bizz! We are lucky as our boat has a very small steps in 3 places rather then the normal steep gangways used in most sailing boats !
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Old 15-01-2013, 22:35   #7
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Re: Dog boats

After being aboard for a while the dog will find a spot, just hope it is on deck. depending on your boat you can make a box line it with plastic, drill some holes in the box big enough for pvc pipe and cut the pipe long enough to clear the boat for drains(2-3 in), this will make it so it does not smell. and put a roll of sod in it.
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Old 15-01-2013, 23:22   #8
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Re: Dog boats

When it's rough, Nala freaks out. I give her 1mg of Valium and 10mg for me and everything is fine. She sleeps for a couple hours and then just stays relaxed enough to manage.
She still won't use the potty pad. Her record is 53 hours between Ensenada and Turtle Bay. We've tried everything. We have an abusive former owner to thank for her fear of making a mess in the wrong place.
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Old 16-01-2013, 11:17   #9
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Re: Dog boats

Thanks for the replies, folks. I am not worried about Aleutia finding the poop deck. As one of you said, he will figure that out himself and he knows what "go potty" means. May take him a couple times and a short bout of constipation to get it, but that is all I expect. The calm pills are a good idea too. I fully expect him to freak out when we hit heavy weather. How to deal with that with least trauma is my biggest concern, and how to keep him from being bounced around if all crew is on deck busy sailing the boat under the worst of conditions. He has been trained to be hoisted and load on helicopters, so getting him in and out of a tender will not be a problem, except he hates to get wet. I know it will be a new training regimen for him (and me), but I need to get him ready for long passage, possibly trans Pacific.

Anybody out there crossed an ocean with you dog?
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Old 16-01-2013, 13:11   #10
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Re: Dog boats

our dog dexter loves offshore. we have to make sure he doesn't walk to the bow on his own in heavy weather. we took him for 7 days offshore from Jamaica to Panama in rough weather. The other day we were in 15 ft swells and Dexter just sits and watches the waves.

We had friends move onto a boat they bought with their 115lbs mastif. She saw dexter do his business on deck and followed suit. In fact dogs learn best from a pack mentality where if other dogs are ok to do it and get praised, they will do so also. Anyways our friends dog loves the boat too.

On a funny note, we were sailing yesterday in about 20 knots and I was peeing off the side of the boat. Dexter took note and tried to pee off the side of the boat too.

I would bring your dog as they are the best security devices when you are cruising in unsafe places.
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Old 17-01-2013, 20:34   #11
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Re: Dog boats

@youeandthed, OK, I get it.... trust your dog and don't expect problems, just be prepared for whatever. That, of course is rule #1 for anyone cruising. There is absolutely no way I would leave Aleutia. We have been a team for almost 10 years doing more strange stuff than most dogs, so this is just another thing to add to his resume.

@sww914, is that a Ron Amy Vagabond on your logo photo? If so, did you get it in Alameda a couple years ago?
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Old 17-01-2013, 21:50   #12
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We sail with a dachshund, and sometimes the border collie too. No, we haven't crossed oceans, but we have between in very rough conditions. Both dogs hit the lowest spot they can find, usually in the cockpit, but sometimes down below, and just stay put. I just assumed they all did that...but wet can't stand the idea of no dog on board, Sooooooo they g

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Old 20-01-2013, 17:27   #13
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Re: Dog boats

Vino -- did you say what type of dog you have? Just curious.
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Old 21-01-2013, 10:48   #14
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Re: Dog boats

Australian Shepard, 10 years old in great shape, certified search & rescue dog also trained to load on running USAF helicopters.
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Old 21-01-2013, 11:45   #15
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Vino, someone mentioned your dog can load on USAF helicopters. Is this true?
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