I am sitting at anchor
right now with my 80 lb Basset Hound, which is a supposedly hydrophobic breed.
He is a happy guy on the boat. He does not like getting on and off. A regular dock
where he can jump on and off, he is happy with.
Last night we tied up on a 15' dock
(35' boat) and couldn't get him on or off, except over the life lines. What a lift
, nearly got his bigingees caught on a stanchion.
I think a lot of boarding a dog has to do with your comfort level, if you are relaxed, he will be relaxed, if you are nervous, he will be very nervous.
Maybe get more comfortable with the boat yourself, and the first mutts will sense your comfort level and feel more relaxed?