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Old 03-08-2014, 17:47   #1
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Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

My boyfriend and I plan to live aboard our Ericson 30 plus cruising from Massachusetts to the Bahamas. I have a 5 lbs yorkie, who really is my world and would love to bring her on our adventure as long as it's in her best interest. I am mainly concerned about her safety when left aboard alone. There is no air conditioning so she would have to be on deck. What have others done to ensure the safety of their little ones when left alone??? Main concerns: hawks/osprey (birds of prey), overheating, crazy person stealing her. Any other concerns that come to mind PLEASE SHARE. Thanks in advance

Also, how often to liveaboards find themselves having to leave their furry friend aboard alone? (If we could We'd bring her everywhere with us)

-Kate and Lola!!! 🐶
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Old 03-08-2014, 17:59   #2
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Re: Small dog safety when aboard ALONE

I've had a couple of Yorkies, they are fiercely loyal and very protective. It would not surprise me at all for a Yorkie to jump in the water to defend her boat from a Dolphin or similar. I believe your main problem will be keeping her on the boat
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Old 03-08-2014, 18:28   #3
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Re: Small dog safety when aboard ALONE

Thank you very much for your quick reply a64pilot! She is very loyal. I plan to have her leashed so she wouldn't be able to leave the cockpit area. Also, we will be putting netting/cloth material along the lifelines. I am taking your concern very seriously and will continue to look into keeping her on the boat and out of the water! Thanks again
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Old 03-08-2014, 20:08   #4
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Re: Small dog safety when aboard ALONE

We had a cat and Jack Russell terrier when we cruised the Bahamas and Carribbean on our monohull. The cat was always locked down below when we were off the boat and the dog was too when circumstances didn't allow him to dinghy in with us. Because of the unpredictable tropical showers, we were only able to keep a couple hatches partially open. We had quite a few DC fans that along with the hatches kept the inside temperatures comfortable while at anchor even on the hottest days. Even though our boat was completely "pet netted", we never felt comfortable leaving pets on deck when we were off the boat. We had seen too many pets jump off boats following their owners into shore.
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Old 03-08-2014, 23:46   #5
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Re: Small dog safety when aboard ALONE

We harness our pup and secure her near her crate when we leave her onboard. Not often and usually not for long. She is very pinchable so I would leave her below in some dodgy anchorages. It's much cooler below the waterline. We have good side opening vents.
We did very short trips to start to get her used to it - 5 minutes. Make no fuss when you leave or return then she will see it as less of a stressful thing too.


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Old 04-08-2014, 09:43   #6
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Kashmircat great idea with the DC fans we are now looking to make that happen! Thank you for your help

Teeto love your easing her into being left alone for short periods of time technique! Hearing others experiences has been a great help thank you

Kate & Lola 🐶
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:32   #7
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

I would keep your dog on a leash in the shade with plenty of water.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:46   #8
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

I think the leash may be a recipe for disaster. No one wants to find their best friend has hung himself! Best thing I suppose is netting completely around the cockpit with gates you can close so he cant go forward on deck. It'll be a little mesy but I dont know any other answer..Will he have shade/Bimini? Any method to go below? It can get quite hot even under a bimini with no wind. Possible to put a portlight in the cockpit-well side going to a 1/4 berth?
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:50   #9
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Yes, Yorkies have been snatched by hawks and other predatory birds. And since seagulls are also omnivorous and have snatched pigeons in the Vatican, among other places, one would expect a tempting lone Yorkie to be at risk.

OTOH there are chilled dog beds available. I've no idea where but I've seen them advertised, electrically water chilled in some way. Something like that would allow the dog to remain below, if they had the sense to stay on it.
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:17   #10
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Kate,

My wife and I are liveaboards in Massachusetts and we have a dog. Ours is a little bigger than yours, a 35-pound Aussie Cattle Dog mix.

Here is some advice for you:
  1. Forget about the concerns about leaving the dog below deck due to the lack of AC. We find that the temperature difference between inside and outside is only a couple of degrees and inside is typically cooler. Especially if you install some curtains or other shade devices to keep the direct sunlight out of the cabin. Even when the cabin is a little warmer, that is typically only in the shade. If you are in the sun it's still warmer on deck. Add some direct current fans (check out Defender for good prices or even better, since you are in Mass, go to the annual Defender sale in CT). We have five DC fans on our boat and our cabin is very rarely above 80 degrees. Also look into Breeze Boosters.
  2. Never leave your pooch on a leash unattended on a boat. As others have pointed out its asking for a disaster.
  3. There are things like the cool coat you could get if you are really concerned.
In general, we love having our dog with us when cruising. We don't mind taking her to shore to do her thing. Here is a post I did on our blog about sailing with dogs. And here is a series on the Monkey's Fist about Dogs on Board.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:22   #11
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

We leave our 42-pound labradoodle alone on the boat, but always down below. With hatches and ports open, it's comfortable even in the Caribbean. We never put the leash on him until he is on land, either from the dinghy or on a dock because I am too afraid of it tangling and hanging him. Cap'n Morgan has spent four winters in the Caribbean without an incident.
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Old 04-08-2014, 13:20   #12
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
OTOH there are chilled dog beds available. I've no idea where but I've seen them advertised, electrically water chilled in some way. Something like that would allow the dog to remain below, if they had the sense to stay on it.
They do, ours would lay on the airconditioner register, hair flying up laying there to keep cool when we lived in Texas.
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Old 04-08-2014, 13:24   #13
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Most dogs are very smart about moving to someplace hot or cold as needed. But I've met a few that were dumber than the posts they pee'd on.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:48   #14
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Thank you all so much for your help! Although, I had orignally thought keeping her in the cockpit was safest from the heat after hearing all of your suggestions and concerns my first order of business will be to get some reliable fans for her so she can stay safe below deck. Once I have everything set for her below deck I will experiment with different suggestions to see if keeping her on deck for short periods of time would be possible! Again, thank you For sharing the unique ways you care for your furry friends!

Kate & Lola ��
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Old 09-08-2014, 21:10   #15
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Re: Small Dog Safety when Aboard Alone

Get a folding cage and train your dog to get used to it, with maybe a hamster style lick water bottle attached.
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