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Old 15-03-2008, 15:46   #1
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Dogs - Shark Issues?

My wife and I have a Golden Retriever "Tucker" that loves the water. Today, we live inland and our boat time with Tucker has been on a fresh water lake. It is a full time job to keep Tucker in the boat underway (we have a 20' bowrider now) and as soon as we are at anchor....splash! His favorite activity is to jump off the bow of the boat (his "high dive"), swim aft, board and repeat.

Our goal is to be cruising full time in the next few years (still undecided on boat type, but are leaning towards a catamaran). Though we are aware that Tucker will need additional training before his full time life at sea, he will be part of the crew. Given that he is a true water dog, we know we couldn't and wouldn't prevent him from swimming once the boat is moored/anchored. One of our concerns is losing him to a shark.

We are curious if our fear is justified. Should we be worried? Does anyone have an experience or story they could share?

Thanks in advance for any insight. We love our boy and want him to be safe.
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Old 15-03-2008, 16:07   #2
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We are curious if our fear is justified. Should we be worried? Does anyone have an experience or story they could share?
I would say Tucker is in no more danger than you would be. Sometimes and some places you might need to say no and mean it. If you would consider before you jumped in yourself I would do the same for your dog.

I would also develop a way to get your dog in and out of the boat as well as use a PFD. Dogs don't last in water much longer than people. If he went overboard by accident and you had to perform a rescue it is no different what so ever than rescuing your crew. Dogs need a PFD too just like you do. In open water they won't last and it's really hard to find an animal with just a head sticking up.
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Old 15-03-2008, 16:10   #3
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To date, and that is quite a long time we have heard of sharks attacking any dogs or cats, well, lets see...............never. But I would avoid swimming with your pet goldfish. You and the dogs will have a great time.
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Old 15-03-2008, 17:10   #4
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Dogs, cats, and humans are not on the shark menu. It is generally held that when humans are attacked by sharks, they are mistaken for something on their list of approved munchies.
p.s. Stop listening to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. They are sensationalists looking for ratings.
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Old 15-03-2008, 17:33   #5
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while i lived in nz, we saw from our boat a dog jump off its boat to swim to shore and get attacked and eaten by a shark, we were told that the smell of wet dog attracted sharks if they were around, after this we rarely swam in deep water with our dog again.
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Old 15-03-2008, 20:07   #6
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OK, So don't swim with your dog in NZ.
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Old 15-03-2008, 20:24   #7
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By the time you get to an area of concern, Tucker will be a lot older (dog years) and a lot smarter. He will see big things in the water and go…..hmmmm! So will you. Common sense will tell you when to keep him from swimming.

Simple Rule of thumb, if you can’t get the fish in the boat because sharks are everywhere hitting at them, best that you and Tucker swim from the beach, in the shallows. Very very rare!

As someone else mentioned, any incident is sensationalised! Don't let those fears control you.
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Old 16-03-2008, 01:13   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jentine View Post
Dogs, cats, and humans are not on the shark menu. It is generally held that when humans are attacked by sharks, they are mistaken for something on their list of approved munchies.
p.s. Stop listening to Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. They are sensationalists looking for ratings.
This comment makes me wonder,whether it be 'shark week' OR NOT,once the shark has "bitten",loss of blood accours.Now a shark just dosen't come up and "LICK"you.It bites(read "BITES")So being mistaken for"Approved munchies"has the effect of a fatal"Mistaken for dinner"syndrome.Now that sounds pretty sensationalist to me.

Now,not being in the majority of people with a dog aboard,I would bett there are a few who would let thier "dog" swim,happily,before they do also.

R.I.P,"My dog was taken today,"That old(mistaken for dinner syndrome)Damm,I should have realised."I supose it only happens on TV.NOT.

Animal fur does have a stong scent that sharks pick up on,so does blood,think deeper and smarter.Mudnut.
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Old 16-03-2008, 01:19   #9
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Conventional Wisdom...

When I was growing up in Papua it was conventional wisdom that dogs attracted sharks.

I would suggest :-
1) "Launching" from the tender close to shore may not carry a high risk.
2) A swimming dog would look like an injured fish on the surface so extended swimming over deep water may not be a good idea.
3) Barking dogs were reputed to attract sharks so keeping him calm may be positive.
4) From the point of view of a child in the tropics, swimming where dogs were active was not encouraged.

I am under the impression that sharks are cowards and would only normally attack when the odds are totally in their favour. This may not apply to white pointers (yes, this is a shark!), hammerheads and similarly aggressive species.
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Old 16-03-2008, 04:34   #10
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I should get something straight,If ya gonna let ya Pooch swim,do it on the lee side of the reef,less shark action there.Mind you,I have seen action on both sides.Mudnut.
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Old 16-03-2008, 04:45   #11
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See the International Shark Attack File (ISAF):
International Shark Attack File

How can I avoid being attacked by a shark?
Although the relative risk of a shark attack is very small (worldwide: 50-70 shark attacks/year) , risks should always be minimized whenever possible in any activity. The chances of having an interaction with a shark can be reduced if one heeds the following advice:
  1. Always stay in groups since sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
  2. Do not wander too far from shore --- this isolates an individual and additionally places one far away from assistance.
  3. Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight hours when sharks are most active and have a competitive sensory advantage.
  4. Do not enter the water if bleeding from an open wound or if menstruating --- a shark's olfactory ability is acute.
  5. Wearing shiny jewelry is discouraged because the reflected light resembles the sheen of fish scales.
  6. Avoid waters with known effluents or sewage and those being used by sport or commercial fisherman, especially if there are signs of bait fishes or feeding activity. Diving seabirds are good indicators of such action.
  7. Sightings of porpoises do not indicate the absence of sharks --- both often eat the same food items.
  8. Use extra caution when waters are murky and avoid uneven tanning and bright colored clothing --- sharks see contrast particularly well.
  9. Refrain from excess splashing and do not allow pets in the water because of their erratic movements.
  10. Exercise caution when occupying the area between sandbars or near steep dropoffs --- these are favorite hangouts for sharks.
  11. Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present and evacuate the water if sharks are seen while there. And, of course, do not harass a shark if you see one!
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Old 16-03-2008, 06:46   #12
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I don't know about sharks but alligators just love to eat dogs. There are quite a few alligators along the East and Gulf coast waterways of the US and with the protection of the government, there's more every day! From what I've seen, I think they like the taste of those little poodles the best!
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Old 16-03-2008, 07:10   #13
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Your dog'll be fine as long as he can swim faster than you can.
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Old 16-03-2008, 07:34   #14
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If you visit northern Australia, crocodilaes are a concern. CLean water more offshore is safer. That applies to sharks as well as bull sharks and tigers often cruise the shallows and inlets. Further south avoid harbor swimming because of the bull sharks. the beaches are generally safer, except for the occasional great white. Some people where fined at Merimbula wharf for using dead dogs for catching sharks, and people used to feed the great whites off the chipmill jetty with kangaroo road kill in Twofold Bay, but nobody has been taken there as far as I know, even in the early days when they were whaling. Robert
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Old 16-03-2008, 08:38   #15
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Some people where fined at Merimbula wharf for using dead dogs for catching sharks, and people used to feed the great whites off the chipmill jetty with kangaroo road kill in Twofold Bay
I suspect that I should not be smiling at this, but
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