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Old 10-10-2005, 16:56   #1
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Concern for 'Peter Dog', the stubborn spoiled lab

Peterdog is a GREAT master at arms, and we would simply not know what to do without him aboard.

The problem is that he absolutely refuses to go aboard. All attempts to deck train him have failed.

The idea that he will 'eventually' go has been tried and we have lost our nerve, as he has held out for as long as 22 hours and we have made a way to get him ashore fearing for his safety.

I have noticed that it is hard to get him to drink now when we head off shore, and I am worried about this trend. He is too cleaver for his own good.


OBTW, he is a white lab mix. Not sure what he is mixed with, as we found him on the side of the freeway when he was ~ 6weeks. and are not sure where he came from. He is almost 5 now.

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Old 10-10-2005, 18:58   #2
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Read the thread About Dogs in this same forum. There are some ideas there, including a very long post from us.

You have my empathy; our Toby lasted even longer than your Peterdog. I think part of it is how “sensitive” the dog is. Toby doesn’t want to foul the boat, or any other place he inhabits, but isn’t one to go into a nervous fit when he finally cannot resist nature’s call. If the ordeal is going to make the dog a quivering mass, then the kinder thing to do is leave them ashore. If you think they will rebound emotionally then hang tough and let them work it out.

Limiting water only shows how intelligent dogs are. I limit fluid intake when I know I can’t use the head for long periods. Not that I am as smart as a lab.

Good luck with Peterdog.

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Old 11-10-2005, 03:02   #3
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try a small patch of astro turfat a suitable spot on the boat, IIRC you can get some special chemicals from the pet shop which help them to recognise that that is their special place.

Like humans continually forcing them to hold on for ever is not going to do their liver and kidneys any good.
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Old 28-02-2008, 15:19   #4
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By way of update, thought I would share a post I made on the web site. Peter did fantastic on the crusie!


Now, you have done it.. you when and asked about Peter.....

I have a question on Peter: how did you manage the pooch's potty on board while on long voyages? I've been thinking maybe a small roll of astro-turf that could be washed out over the side after he's done? Seems over optimistic to think he'd hit the target, being a boy and all it seems like it could get pretty messy...
Like many other aspects of this cruise, we were told we were nuts to take our 75# lab with us on the Ariel. It worked out wonderfully well.

We were concerned with his health and safety and determined to make plans that got him ashore as needed. Discussions with our vet confirmed that a dog can be injured by 'holding it' too long If you think of the average house dog's life, there is a morning break before folks go to work and then one or two in the evening. We made this our minimum for Peter and kept to it on all but one occasion.

Doing coastal cruising we would make sure to take him ashore first thing in the morning, and then again when ever we would anchor for the evening. We would often go back ashore after dinner or later in the evening as well.

On off shore passages we were fortunate to either leave in the morning and arrive the same evening, or to depart in the late afternoon and sail through the night (when he would normally sleep anyways).

He slept well onboard;

Peter on the passage to West End;

The 'mat on the foredeck' idea seems like it is good for larger boats, but on board an Ariel there is no part of the boat that is not Peter's 'den'. We did not try the mat, or the 'box of sod' as some suggested. We did find out that Peter would go on the foredeck once. He was taking Prednizone for an ear infection which makes a dog drink lots and lots of water (kind of like I drink coffee in the AM). We had only been underway for a couple of hours but he gave me the sign that he needed to go ashore (for him, a paw on the arm, and a soleful look). I was crossing some bay at the time, and land was a few miles distant. He paced the deck, and then paused on the foredeck. In spite of our praise (which seemed to confuse him) he sulked and acted embarrassed afterwards. A couple of buckets of water later the deck was fine, but as we use the deck for water collection I would not want that to be an onging thing.

Having Peter with is made a wonderful trip all the better. Here he is surveying the rocks outside of Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera;

I enjoyed exploring some islands I might not have seen otherwise, and took some walks I might have missed had he stayed home.

One of our beach walks;

Looking at his home, Man O War harbour;

If I were going to make multi-day passages I might not want him with me, but for island hopping or coastal cruising it worked out just fine.

He really enjoyed the trip as well, and the only time he was upset was the night before we had to rent a car and drive him home. Rose's mother passed away while we were near LaBelle FL. The funeral was in Michigan, so we had to rent a car and drive him ~1200 miles round trip home to Pensacola and get clothes for the funeral. (this was how he looked when we told him that the cruise was over for him);

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Old 28-02-2008, 16:47   #5
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My dogs pee on everything that I do when we go for walks. I am going to use that as a training technique. I will go up to the bow and pee on some astro turf and then praise him when he does the same. Sounds like a nice dog.
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 28-02-2008, 18:10   #6
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Beautiful dog. BTW, I have followed your recent travels on the other board.
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Old 28-02-2008, 23:23   #7
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[quote=Charlie;138844]... I will go up to the bow and pee on some astro turf and then praise him when he does the same...quote]

I had a friend who "single handed" with a alsatian. He tried to toilet train him by demonstrating the "cocking leg action" on the mast. The dog watched carefully and when the demonstration was completed, the dog stared at my friend with a look of complete disgust on his face as if to say "never ever pee on my boat again". After that, it was back to 12 hours (max) between shore comfort stops for said dog.

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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