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Old 13-06-2009, 07:50   #1
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Dogs Aboard for Extended Periods?

Hi all , not really wanting to lower the tone here but, ----. I have a dog and have sailed with him on short trips say 1- 2 hrs. No problems.
Have wondered though about two three day trips , and the associated dog bogs and piddles that will no doubt cause some inconvenience to me [ not the dog].
Are there any ways to avoid having fido turn a nice shiny boat into a rank looking and smelling dog dunny

Regards Jim { good dog, sit --woof }
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Old 13-06-2009, 09:06   #2
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Why would you want an extended period?
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Old 13-06-2009, 09:07   #3
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We have had our dog (a maltese) on board for about 5 years. She has used washable pads we get from Petsmart for her business all her life. This system probably wouldn't work well with a mastif but most people would not carry a large dog for a long period of time. Others have trained their dog to use fake grass on the bow.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:27   #4
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Yes ! I recomend

I think that carrying a dog –a vicious one- is a good thing, when I sail with my daughter in central America, we call the dog “the third sailor” we always keep it in the boat, so we can go shopping in ports without concern of being stolen, and the dog only need some water and a bag of dog food.

Sure, the dog will make his necessities, (in our case, at the front) so you will need a saltwater pump to clean the mess, is a small price to pay to go with our bellowed pet.

BUT do not train the dog to jump from the boat; the dog will jump behind you when you are going to the beach…..
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:43   #5
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Astro turf pad ( like a green welcome mat ) tied to a rope on the bow. Dog does her business on it, you toss the whole thing over board wash it off , pull it back up, tada!

Training to go on the pad is a whole other story, but it can be done.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:51   #6
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There are a lot of threads about sailing with pets, particularly dogs, already in the forum so a little search should yield lost of info.

Whatever system you use, you will have to train the dog to use it. Not always an easy task.

My article is at this link: A Serious Look at Cruising With a Dog

George
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:38   #7
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thanks guys and gals, all good thoughts!
regards Jim and fido
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Old 10-07-2009, 13:18   #8
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We've had our small dog aboard for over 6 years, including some offshore trips in the neighborhood of two weeks, and many trips that kept her onboard for over a week at a time. We trained her to use a doormat from Home Depot that looks a lot like astroturf. We put the mat on a tray so the urine doesn't soak through, and simply toss it over the side to rinse after she's done her thing. Oh yeah, we put a grommet in a corner and tie the thing to the boat.

We never let her out of the cockpit when we're underway, so we trained her to do her thing on the pad, in the cockpit. It works for us.

She's very friendly, but can be yappy if a stranger approaches. We found this useful in the Caribbean when the boat boys got too pushy. We'd tell them that she only bit people who came on the boat (she's never bitten anyone, nor would she). The came around less often after that.
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Old 10-07-2009, 13:44   #9
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We did a lot of cruising with our old dog (schooner) hence our name! I've got to admit having a dog that's friendly when your onboard and not friendly when your away is an amazing security boon. There's really no way to get around a barking dog which is silent, inconspicous and is certain to leave you with all of your fingers.
That's simply too much risk for a burglar when he can simply silently board another boat. And you can't negotiate with a dog like you can with a captive or surprised crew. In third world (developing?) countries dogs are treated as animals and if someone has a dog, it's usually a dog that has a simple duty of going for the throat of anyone who approaches. Vets in the states look at dogs and say how cute they look. Vets in other countries first question is whether they'll bite. Even if you tell them the dog is friendly, the vet won't believe you, and they have lots of scars which back up their distrust.

The downside is the dog will be very dirty (especially when trying to walk them on mud) and sometimes they refuse to be unpotty trained, which can potentially mean they are going to get unhealthy. They also can potentially become dangerous in rough passages when they start to flip out. Doggie downers will help out with that and are a good idea. Be prepared to feel incredibly guilty either way.

Schooner would hold it for 24 hours despite walking him around and finally he would go up on the bow as it had a bit of dirt from the anchor around it. I'd look at all of the tricks, even picking up some quick dirt in a tray from a marina yard. It will naturally grow grass in it from residual seeds and that's the best bet for a stubborn dog. Of course, if you can make him use the home depot floor mat, then your golden. I think the perfect size for a dog is about 40-45 lbs. Small enough that you can easily pick them up if you have to but big enough that when they come growling you get a bit nervous.
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Old 17-09-2009, 20:38   #10
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I am a fresh water sailor moving to salt water cruising. Has anyone had trouble with salt water in the dogs coat causing skin problems? I have a Portuguese Water Dog whose hair grows long and thick (yes, I do trim it, but will a really short shave be necessary?) and I worry about weeks without a freshwater bath.
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Old 17-09-2009, 21:59   #11
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Our Golden Retriever had a horrible time with the salt water. We had to rinse her down with fresh after every swim - talk about wanton water use! The alternative was skin infections all over, so we had to do it. She only went on a few short trips with us before she went to doggy heaven at the age of 14.

Her replacements are 2 Sint Maarten shelter puppies. They are in and out of salt water multiple times a day, mucking it up in the mud flats of Maine, and not a bit of a problem. We use the Outward Hound life jackets, which are well balanced and have a neoprene chest wrap and a sturdy grab handle. When they have mucked it up, we just refuse them access to the dink until it is over their depth, so they swim off the filth, then we haul them onboard. One trick we have learned is to towel them off immediately upon return to the mother ship. We have several old towels reserved for the purpose. Not only does the towelling remove most of the water, but also the salt that comes with it and a whole bunch of loose dog hair. Within a few minutes, they are soft and fluffy again.

So that is the long answer to your question. The short answer is that it depends on the health of the dog's skin. If he is the sensitive sort, be prepared to use alot of fresh water, medicated bathes, and have antibiotics on hand by the case. If he has never had a problem with his skin before, he may never have a problem with the salt.

Regarding dogs' earning their keep on board: no one approaches our boat without a reception of barking, growling and gnashing of teeth. No one in their right mind would choose our boat to burgularize. And we were once saved from a collision with a catamaran that was dragging its anchor because one of the dogs just went beserk barking and would not be quieted. I rushed out into the cockpit to drag her below so she wouldn't wake the whole anchorage, only to find the cat bearing down on us with no one on deck. A few quick shouts and some powerful fending and no harm was done to either boat. Cariba dog earned her biscuits that night!
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Old 17-09-2009, 22:42   #12
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We took a 60 pound Lab with us to French Polynesia. She lived aboard for two years before we left. Tried to train her to go on a piece of Astro Turf but she wouldn't go on the boat. We took her on a trip to the Channel Islands and she finally went on the deck after keeping her on the boat for three days. No problems after that. Her bathroom habits worked out fine. All we had to was scoop the solids over the side and wash down with sea water via a canvas bucket. About a minute to clean up after her once or twice a day. No odor problems with a fiber glass boat.

The Westsail 32 has a pretty long companion way climb but she was able to do it on her own except in rough seas. She stayed below when it got boisterous but lived on deck most of the time. Didn't seem to have any problems being on the boat and we let her swim whenever we were becalmed or at anchor.

We took her to shore once in the dinghy. She jumped out of the boat and ran after a dog that was on the beach. She came back quickly but it killed her. She got distemper from the other dog and died. As luck would have it, a research veteranarian was cruising in the same anchorage at the time. He did an autopsy and determined it to be a new variety with no vaccine.
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Old 17-09-2009, 23:07   #13
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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
We took her to shore once in the dinghy. She jumped out of the boat and ran after a dog that was on the beach. She came back quickly but it killed her. She got distemper from the other dog and died. As luck would have it, a research veteranarian was cruising in the same anchorage at the time. He did an autopsy and determined it to be a new variety with no vaccine.
How sad. So sorry for your loss. And it does give us more tolerance and understanding of quarantine regulations. We want a balance of safety and reasonableness.

And yes, I still plan to bring my dog along.
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Old 18-09-2009, 06:34   #14
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With no taff rail we like the easy rinse off the stern,- no pads, -no "grass"...


...training can greatly increase the joy of cruising with the dog! 'Aythya crew
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Old 18-09-2009, 08:44   #15
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Our maltese has lived on the boat for most of her 5 years and has traveled about 20k miles offshore. She is trained to use puppy pads we got at Petsmart that are washable and reusable to th extent that she preers them to grass. The pads come in larger sizes but I don't think they would be usable by large dogs for obvious reasons. She has never been seasick and developes sea legs after a few days at sea.
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