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Old 10-12-2015, 09:12   #1
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Sailing with a dog

Hi there! Maybe my question is silly but I'm quite new... Have you ever sailed with a dog? I'm so afraid of my Tina's reaction.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:16   #2
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Many do, hard to say without trying. Get a dog life vest please.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:34   #3
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Re: Sailing with a dog

We sail with our dog. But he is not an offshore cruiser yet. He is quite fond of the boat and ccruises around the deck, nose off the bow if the weather is good.
Of course a life vest is a must. Equally important is making sure your dog has his/her "spot". A place they can retreat when they feel stressed or just need to rest. Also, create and stick to a routine. This gives your pup something stable when everything else is changing quickly.
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Old 10-12-2015, 09:59   #4
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Take three! They love beanbags - if you have space
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Old 11-12-2015, 00:08   #5
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Re: Sailing with a dog

There are two issues with dogs on board.

1- sooner or later they need to "do their business" which means either they have to learn to do this on board (not all dogs will) or else you will be stuck not being able to sail much more than 8-10 hours at a stretch so the dog can go ashore.

2- if there are waves, the dogs will have a hard time finding something they can dig their claws into to stand still. Dogs hate the feeling of sliding around.

We sailed with our dog for many years. She put up with because whe wanted to be with us, but when the weather got rough she was not a happy camper - even though we made a comfy bed for her where she could lie snugly
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:08   #6
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Dive contemplated taking my Aussie Terrier out with me.

How do they go getting up and down the gangway hatch?

And will they poop on deck? Or is it a case of just cleaning up after them?
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:21   #7
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Monty hated boating at first being a terrier but during 15 years of boating he was happiest on the boat, small space close to his pack...us.

Easier to let them do there business on deck if they will, monty preferred a shore visit.

He passed a few months ago, we miss our shipmate big time.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:32   #8
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Did 6 months on board this year sailing from Sydney to past Townsville and back with Veto, our "baby". She was happy most of the time, but got a bit nervous in rough seas or when we had not sailed much for a while. She refused (generally) to wee or poo on the boat, so we took her ashore every morning and evening where possible. She went 36 hours at times without going. We tried to encourage her to go in the cockpit area, but not much success.
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:40   #9
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Afenton.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:05   #10
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Re: Sailing with a dog

We sail with our german shepherd and she loves it. She sleeps out on deck when we are on the hook and watches everything and everyone when at dock. She will do her business on the front deck, but prefers to go to shore. We have our tender up on davits and she just jumps right in when it's time to go. She sits like a queen while we winch her up and down.

When we are under sail she lays in the cockpit and sleeps. She naturally limits what she eats if we are in rough weather.

Awesome part of our family and a great security watch.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:08   #11
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Re: Sailing with a dog

The trick I have heard (not tried it myself) is a patch of astroturf. Place it where you want the dog to go. Afterwards, wash it off in the water. Pretty soon the dog will associate it with going. You could even begin the training at home, putting the patch down when the dog starts to go.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:21   #12
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Re: Sailing with a dog

I sail with Forbin, a Standard Schnauzer. He was around 3 when we first brought him on board and generally he's been great. Underway I keep him attached to a line and he wears his life jacket. Docked, moored, or anchored he is free to wander around deck, no issues yet. His "spot" is on top of the main sheet when it's piled on the cockpit floor, so I have to constantly move him so he doesn't end up hurting himself. We brought our neighbors dog on board a couple months ago and she took right to it without issue, didn't even mind the waves.

I've only run in to a couple issues...
1. He refuses to do his business on the boat.
2. Whatever the weather, he'd rather sit in the cockpit with me until he dies of hypothermia than go below where it's warm and dry.
3. I originally had him wear boots to have better traction and to not damage the wood inside but if you think human foot odor is bad, think again. He goes without now and does fine.

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Old 11-12-2015, 10:28   #13
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Re: Sailing with a dog

We have sailed with 2 dogs, our first dog was 7 when we first took her on the boat and she never really settled. She was OK in calm weather but got really stressed if it was rough - panting and trembling. She would never go on the boat unless she was ill.

After she died we got another puppy when we stopped sailing at the end of September and took her on the boat the following May. She has been fantastic - she takes it all pretty much in her stride, rarely looks more than a little fed up and will go on the foredeck if it is reasonably stable.

Both were Border Collies and they seem to have a lot going for them - they are smart and soon work out the best way of coping with problems, at 15kg light enough to manhandle if you have to but agile enough to cope on their own most of the time. They thrive on mental stimulation and love lots of new people and places.

So if you can at all start them young - when they are still finding the world strange with lots of new things to get used to - sailing is then just one more.

We try and keep our daily legs to ~10 hours but will go to 14 if we have to.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:32   #14
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Re: Sailing with a dog

The wife and i sailed Mexico for a year with a small dog. We trained him to use a potty box like a cat. We lined the box with a disposable absorbent pad( Wee Wee Pads). He loved going ashore but would use the box.
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Old 11-12-2015, 12:12   #15
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Re: Sailing with a dog

Welcome aboard, Bob.

Nice, practical, to the point first post.

Ann
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