Originally Posted by Seadog54
As a couple actively planning to sell-up and sail, where my wife would appreciate a dog for companionship and the security
factor it would bring to her.
I always said I wouldn't have a dog as it would be cruel to take a dog on a boat, when dogs
need regular exercise, eat a shed-load of grub and can be noisy and hairy.
Could anyone suggest a breed of dog which appears to have good security
image and doesn't shed loads of hair. I would also appreciate candid comments on dealing with toilet arrangements, exercise of dogs or lack of when voyaging afar, and any stories which would help 'sell' the idea to me? Or should I just get a plastic dog and a sound recording of barking?
We are a retired couple of cruisers with the same requirements as you. We have found a female Portuguese Water
Dog fits the bill nicely. She is now 7 months old and loves the boat, does not shed, alarm
barks at intruders and is a real sweetie. We spent a lot of time training her to "go" on a square of fake grass, which she does, but actually prefers to relieve herself on the trampoline up forward. I think it was a pure instinct reaction when she walked on it the first time.
These dogs are medium sized and bred for boats. They respond very well to positive training methods and are extremely smart. They do like to be with you a lot however so crate training is a great way to deal with any separation anxiety.
They traditionally were fed on fish
so that helps with the food
issue. Tug games plus raw meaty bones (such as chicken carcass ) to chew provide exercise and keep her amused.
They have a strong work instinct and love a job. We keep her fur short (needs clipping every few months which we do ourselves).
We are very much looking forward to a long sail over next summer/ autumn with her. If you are interested in the breed find a good breeder as the parents must be gene tested for a few genetic faults to make sure they are healthy.