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Old 05-03-2011, 13:37   #1
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Dogs, Currents and Tides

We've all heard about dogs being grabbed by sharks after falling overboard underway, however an innocent game can also turn deadly. When playing frisbee or fetch, or bird hunting with dogs trained as retrievers, remember it's your job to make note of tides and currents. Training tells them to keep trying to get back to you and their strength may give out if the tide turns or if they swim into a runout. I've also heard sad stories of dogs that fell overboard from a boat anchored or docked in a strong current. Rather than swim easily to a nearby shore, the dogs died swimming their hearts out by trying to stay with the boat. It's always good, if possible, to have a means for a dog or cat to get back on board if it falls overboard. In cold water, hypothermia can also be a factor.

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Old 05-03-2011, 14:08   #2
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides


You can hang a piece of carpet over the transom for a cat to scramble up, but for a dog better have a large fish net pole the size of your canine friend. Please don't use your fish gaff pole to hook its collar.

I know there must be a better way, let's hear your ideas.

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Old 05-03-2011, 15:36   #3
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

Our dogs never go on deck alone. When on deck in any weather, life jacket and tether is on. Have never fallen overboard, but have tossed them in for a swim ad they can be hauled out easily.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:49   #4
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

We never allow our two Labs to swim from the boat - don't want to give them the idea they can go over board. Any time the boat is moving they are both in harnesses that have a big strap down their back so we have something to grab if we need to pull them out. We've never needed it on the boat but have used it several times on the dinghy and from a the dock. You are so right. Even though they are both very strong swimmers, they lack that common sense. I was frighten once when the younger one spotted a dolphin off the beach and decide to go meet it. Fortunately, they are well trained to come on command. They are never, ever allowed to roam the decks if we aren't there. Love them too much to loss them.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:17   #5
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

Toby wears a harness to which he is attached to the boat by a tether when he is on deck alone. There is enough length he can move around but not go overboard.

The harness also fives us a place to grab when he does go in, like when jumping into the dinghy for a shore trip.

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Old 06-03-2011, 09:03   #6
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

Cats are single use pets onboard, very practical. You need an average of one new cat per each passage, more, if there are any flying fish expected to fly around.

But I am always saddened by loss of a dog. Please tie the dog down and this includes the mouth as the one barking day and night on the neighboring boat is beginning to drive me crazyyyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!!

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Old 06-03-2011, 16:02   #7
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

Originally Posted by JanetGroene View Post
We've all heard about dogs being grabbed by sharks after falling overboard underway................
I've certainly never heard of such an account. I think this is a very rare event. I have heard accounts of alligators attacking dogs in Florida on a shoreline at dusk, but shark attacks on swimming dogs? When and where?
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Old 06-03-2011, 16:34   #8
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

I'd be more concerned with inebriated owners.
Some close friends of ours lost their dog while out on their dinghy, they'd had a few drinks while out and didn't notice when the dog went missing, it was found, washed up, down river a couple of days later.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:14   #9
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Re: Dogs, Currents and Tides

Thanks for this info, as it's actually something that I haven't thought at all. I live in a non-tidal area and me and my wife + our dog are leaving for a one year cruise in a tidal area. The dog loves water, fetch the sticks etc, but up until now, I didn't think there would have been anything dangerous.

The dog wont swim directly from the boat, that's a no no in the boat, but on the shore, it loves water. During sailing she wears lifejacket and in rough weather is down below the deck.

Only one time has she managed to fall of between the boat and pier, went down quickly, but I grapped her back to the pier. Probably didn't even notice what happened.

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