We have a Portuguese Water Dog who lives aboard our 40 foot ketch with us, and has since he was a puppy. They are the perfect size for a sailboat: big enough they can get up the compainionway ladder and have a bark that might intimidate a badguy, but small enough they can easily move around.
It has taken a while to get him comfortable riding in the dinghy, but he has settled in and now loves it.
We cruise about 6 months each year. Our cat stays with friends. Toby, our dog, goes along. Toby is an entlebucher (Entlie) the smallest of the four Swiss Mountain Dog breeds. A rare breed in the US, there are only about 500 of them - more in Canada and Europe.
Toby is a high energy cattle droving dog who weighs in 60 pounds. He so smart it's sometimes scary. Loves games, attention, and cheese. He usually requires daily shore trips, but will go on the boat (not inside) if he has to (during passages) and can hold out for long periods if he decides to.
He loves going on the boat with us, riding in the dinghy, playing frisbee on the beach, swimming after sticks and balls, and rolling in the sand until he is completely covered.
It's fun having a dog on board, but lots of work. Toby is a double-coated dog and he sheds like mad sometimes. Other times is ok. We use the "furminator" steel comb, which helps.
We have been cruising now for 5 years and have had a Yorkshire terrier on board since he was 5 1/2 weeks old...fully potty trained to the astroturf in the box on the stern, but still storms the beach like a seasoned Marine...has warned us on several occasions when were dragging, a 'no wake' buoy' went by the boat, and once when the water pump was cycling all night...he has fallen in several times, but on each occasion it was while at a marina and he misjudged the jump...but start young...
Nichole and I just got a cat 3 months old. One of those russian blues rescued from a shelter here in San Diego. Names Bernard for the famous Bernard Monteseu (sp?). Any way he just chills under the dodger, doesn't mind any roughness or set of heel. HATES The engine though.
Got a Jack Russell Terrier. He loves the ocean and beach and especially boats. Any boat. He became such a pain in the butt when snorkelling, climbing on my back to ride, I built him his OWN damned dink. Put a boarding ladder on it, and he's way happy.
I love animals and lhad several dogs over many years, usually two at a time to keep each other company when no-one could be with them at home. Home has normally been country and not a big city.
IMHO it's not really fair on a dog to keep them if they don't get a chance to exercise at least daily - so when we resolved to sail away for longer periods - we were lucky enough to have the dogs adopted by one of our sons who lives close by.
I do hear all the above tales of dogs apparently 'enjoying' a cruising life - but also see how pleased the ones we watch seem to be when they hit shore. I can't help but wonder what each would answer if they (as opposed to the owners) were asked about cruising happiness.............
We have two dogs: a schnauzer and a shitzu. They usually end up coming with us on the boat. The shitzu tried to jump off the boat when we are underway so he has to be tied up when he is in the cockpit. One time when we were underway he jumped into the dingy, while it was hanging from the davits. We weren't paying attention to him - turned around and there he was, standing in the dingy.
I have a little Affenphincer named Spike that never leaves my side, I found him on one of my trips to Hawaii.. He was supposed to be for the other half but attached himself to me. Our Large dog is now full of Arthritis and is no longer able to get on board.
When on the boat Spike wears a "water colar" that alarms when wet. He only wears his PFD in rough seas.
I would not consider sailing without him! lol
I think he is more active on the boat than what he is on the hard.
My shepherd loves the boat. He has never fallen off the boat but has walked into the drink 8 times off the finger in the marina. He gets a bit sea sick when it is rough but that has never put him off.
Also loves the dingy. Has been across the Cook Strait a few times.