This is one of those things that are not as hard as it seems, once you give it a go.
All my dogs are big. At the moment we have one VERY active young Irish Setter bitch. At three she needs plenty of action. Being on the boat actually is a good work out when we are sailing. She likes to ride in the bow pulpit keeping watch and keeping her balance is a bit of a workout.
When at the dock
we do walks, a no brainer.
, if the dog is not trained to do their business aboard, trips to shore morning and evening are a necessity. No matter how small a boat we have been on we have a tender
. A quick late night trip to shore takes care of them.
On one memorable occasion, when the inflatable
had sprung a leak and I had forgot to fix it and the doggy legs were crossed tightly the spouse climbed into the big innertube tow along we had aboard, pulled the 60lb puppy into his lap and paddled to shore coracle style and then back when she had had a stretch. He got a hero's welcome when he got back. I only advise this method in warm weather
and warm water!
pup is an avid swimmer. At anchor
a good swim around the boat would chill her energy levels out and near enough to shore she would swim there herself and then swim back. This only works where scooping up after her is not an issue.
A harness or vest with a handle aids lifting a big dog aboard.
I have a ramp
rig that can be deployed over the side to allow her to get on and off with out much help, but it's bulky. It can be used at the dock as well.
One other dog tip aboard;
Amazing.. Holds a lot and doesn't slosh and spill even when boat is heeling.
We keep one in the car as well and it never spills. Sometimes we lash it by the handle to something to keep it from sliding in weather