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Old 26-01-2016, 20:21   #46
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

Yes, Nicholson, but they are water dogs. In case you didn't know, the Ridgebacks were used for hunting lions. They are a working dog, but of a very different stripe from, say, a border collie. In any event, he would not be a good swimmer, like a Chesapeake Bay Retriever or a Lab. He will need real encouragement to get to tolerate the water very well.

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Old 26-01-2016, 21:47   #47
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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Yes, Nicholson, but they are water dogs. In case you didn't know, the Ridgebacks were used for hunting lions. They are a working dog, but of a very different stripe from, say, a border collie. In any event, he would not be a good swimmer, like a Chesapeake Bay Retriever or a Lab. He will need real encouragement to get to tolerate the water very well.

Ann
My old black lab was brave, loyal and obedient as you please… but a hill breed Lab from Northern Scotland. Also… he had a bad experience when a 6 month old pup: he bounded out onto the surface of a pond in winter, which looked contiguous with the concrete around it, as leaves were strewn on both… only the ice was a couple millimeters thick, and down he went. Had to haul the poor wee lad out myself. He never got over that. Finally got him to swim by taking him out to a beach in the Outer Hebrides, and going out into the water myself in a wetsuit. He sat and paced and whined on the edge for 45 minutes until finally he took the plunge in… swam out to me, and tried to stand on my head! Just hated water. And boats? Marinas? Forget it. Tried everything and in the end realised I was just being cruel. A shock in their developing stages can stay with a dog for life. And sometimes training and encouragement just isn't going to change that.

Agree in general, BTW, and love Ridgebacks, though they are very dominant with other dogs. My ancestors used them in SA for hundreds of years…
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Old 27-01-2016, 00:06   #48
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

Yes, Muckle Flugga,

I had an Alaskan Malemute that, when he was about 4 months old, found a fish carcass on the beach, and saturated himself therewith. Well, he couldn't come back in the camper with us, could he? So, we took the dishwashing detergent to him, and my ex threw him in the lake, for him to rinse himself, repeatedly. Yes, this was cruel, but it was cold, and we didn't want to get in the water. Bad me.

So, not surprisingly, he was water phobic. One time, he got over it, when we all (his pack) walked across the stream and continued on. You might not believe the howling. "Come back, I'm in distress!" And we walked on, calling him. Finally, he decided to risk it. He joined us. And, thereafter, his fear was gone... I'm not proud of all this, because I know the breed doesn't like to get their feet wet, and their double coat when wet is quite heavy. But I didn't know 30 plus yrs. ago what i do now.

All of which is aside from what the OP might try. I suggest that she follow some of the kindly positive reinforcement solutions offered here.

Ann
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Old 27-01-2016, 02:08   #49
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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Yes, Muckle Flugga,

I had an Alaskan Malemute that, when he was about 4 months old, found a fish carcass on the beach, and saturated himself therewith. Well, he couldn't come back in the camper with us, could he? So, we took the dishwashing detergent to him, and my ex threw him in the lake, for him to rinse himself, repeatedly. Yes, this was cruel, but it was cold, and we didn't want to get in the water. Bad me.

So, not surprisingly, he was water phobic. One time, he got over it, when we all (his pack) walked across the stream and continued on. You might not believe the howling. "Come back, I'm in distress!" And we walked on, calling him. Finally, he decided to risk it. He joined us. And, thereafter, his fear was gone... I'm not proud of all this, because I know the breed doesn't like to get their feet wet, and their double coat when wet is quite heavy. But I didn't know 30 plus yrs. ago what i do now.

All of which is aside from what the OP might try. I suggest that she follow some of the kindly positive reinforcement solutions offered here.


Ann
Hi Ann, I didn't mean to suggest she shouldn't try. Dogs can get over phobias. It's just mine did not. Sorry to the OP if you thought I was suggesting cruelty for trying. Not at all, just that in the end I realised I could not continue to do it to my dog, because he was such a pathetic, shivering, sweating mess and so miserable every time…

And, aren't dogs just the best? It is one of my greatest (and very few) regrets, living full time on my boat and working on other people's, that I feel I cannot have a dog. It is my strongest pull landward.
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Old 27-01-2016, 07:55   #50
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

My dogs hate water, huskies are like that. 25 years of huskies and never had a swimmer.
The boy hates floating docks but loves the boat, especially when things get rough. I know makes no sense but the more things are pounding and bouncing around the more he gets involved. Flat calm day he sleeps on the V berth.
I've never done anything special with any of mine, just lots of socialization and strange experiences. I just put them on the boat like it is any other normal thing, don't make a big deal about it.
They are smarter than most owners! They figure out that if I act up I get treats you're done for! They act up and nothing happens the just don't seem to bother anymore.
LOL as far as mine are concerned cat = lunch. That siamese wouldn't have stood a hope in hell!
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Old 27-01-2016, 08:22   #51
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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My dogs hate water, huskies are like that. 25 years of huskies and never had a swimmer.
The boy hates floating docks but loves the boat, especially when things get rough. I know makes no sense but the more things are pounding and bouncing around the more he gets involved. Flat calm day he sleeps on the V berth.
I've never done anything special with any of mine, just lots of socialization and strange experiences. I just put them on the boat like it is any other normal thing, don't make a big deal about it.
They are smarter than most owners! They figure out that if I act up I get treats you're done for! They act up and nothing happens the just don't seem to bother anymore.
LOL as far as mine are concerned cat = lunch. That siamese wouldn't have stood a hope in hell!


My dog had a, *ahem*, traditional view on cats as well!
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Old 27-01-2016, 10:24   #52
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

What a great thread. We are in the process of looking for a new dog after our dear rottweiler passed away last year. She could not be near water without jumping in. She once jumped off a dock one night then had no idea how to get back up. I had to lead her to the boat ramp to get her out of the water.
One of the criteria for our new dog will be comfort around boats and water. I am relieved to hear of others who have had anxious dogs get over their fear.
My enjoyment of boating is greatly enhanced when my wife is aboard and hers when the dog is aboard so this is important to me.
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Old 27-01-2016, 11:34   #53
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

Dogs can get used to almost anything if they are brought into it slowly without a lot of stress and at an early age. Can you imagine your dog putting up with this? Some do and don't mind it apparently.

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Old 27-01-2016, 11:35   #54
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

You can probably acclimate most dogs to anything but some are like people, they have a phobia. Since breeds have been bread, for dog generations, for a specific treat some other treats may have caused the phobias?

I hate to see an animal reduced to a quivering mass of Jell-O.
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Old 27-01-2016, 11:41   #55
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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Dogs can get used to almost anything if they are brought into it slowly without a lot of stress and at an early age. Can you imagine your dog putting up with this? Some do and don't mind it apparently.

What on earth is that? Looks like nitrous oxide for grooming.
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Old 27-01-2016, 11:52   #56
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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What a great thread. We are in the process of looking for a new dog after our dear rottweiler passed away last year. She could not be near water without jumping in. She once jumped off a dock one night then had no idea how to get back up. I had to lead her to the boat ramp to get her out of the water.
One of the criteria for our new dog will be comfort around boats and water. I am relieved to hear of others who have had anxious dogs get over their fear.
My enjoyment of boating is greatly enhanced when my wife is aboard and hers when the dog is aboard so this is important to me.
I heard from a friend with years of boating experience that sometimes non-water-dog breeds make better boat dogs. By the time we had that conversation I had already adopted a lab puppy. The single favorite thing in my dog's life is swimming (eating is a close second). It is challenging on our boat because he is always looking for an opportunity to jump in the water. That is obviously dangerous at times and, more often, inconvenient, since you then have a wet dog to deal with. And yes, my dog is very well trained and will usually wait for permission to go in the water. Still, the strong pull for him is always there and sometimes it gets the best of him.

Another friend of mine has a small dog (Chihuahua mix) that dislikes the water and can't swim well. He is a terrific boat dog and totally comfortable on board for weeks at a time.

Not saying one or the other is better, just be aware of the trade-offs.
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Old 27-01-2016, 12:00   #57
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

Try a tight coat on the dog. It calms them. Google 'thunder coat'. Really works for calming a dog.
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Old 27-01-2016, 12:02   #58
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

I owned a Golden for a long time. Worst boat dog ever! Loved it but jumped off and went swimming every chance it got. Then you are stuck with a wet dog all night.
Luckily she was smart enough to figure out how the ladder worked so she would climb back on board when the swim was over. Owned even smaller boats back then, low freeboard helped.
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Old 27-01-2016, 12:33   #59
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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What a great thread. We are in the process of looking for a new dog after our dear rottweiler passed away last year. She could not be near water without jumping in. She once jumped off a dock one night then had no idea how to get back up. I had to lead her to the boat ramp to get her out of the water.
One of the criteria for our new dog will be comfort around boats and water. I am relieved to hear of others who have had anxious dogs get over their fear.
My enjoyment of boating is greatly enhanced when my wife is aboard and hers when the dog is aboard so this is important to me.
Labs and Golden are great swimmers but large and shed. Most terriers can swim like fish, don't need as much room and shed far less fur. Also loyal. JMHO
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Old 27-01-2016, 12:39   #60
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Re: Severely anxious dog on board

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What on earth is that? Looks like nitrous oxide for grooming.

It's an Oxygen mask and hearing protection for a dog, so you can take your dog flying with you.
If you can get a dog used to flying and wearing all that crap, a boat ought to be easy.
From having had several dogs, I think the biggest "trick" is easing them into it.
One step at a time, don't throw the whole thing at them at once.
People are like that of course too.
Wanna get your Wife liking sailing, don't take her out in a Thunderstorm
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