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Old 27-01-2020, 20:08   #1
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how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

Our Jack Russell barely tolerates boating. He's 4 now and cringes when he realizes the car ride means a trip to the marina. he's gotten seasick a few times, and just seems withdrawn and uncharacteristically lethargic whenever on the boat, even if relatively calm and only for a few hours.

my wife and i would dearly love him to be more comfortable, we both love sailing and hate to leave him behind. and more importantly, we want to take him with us on much longer trips (weeks or months...)

ive read on this forum that JRs love water and swimming. Not ours lol. as soon as we're near the dock he perks up jumps on deck and super excited.

what can we do? should we double down and get him a buddy? will he ever get used to boating? would a bigger boat help, where he can run around the deck more? (just and excuse for a bigger boat!)

advice much appreciated!

thanks
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Old 28-01-2020, 10:52   #2
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

The title of this thread is kinda misleading. Thought this was looking for a way to get Jr. interested in sailing.

Either way the answer might be the same, get another creature of the opposite sex and allow them out to sea together.

Worked for me anyway.
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Old 28-01-2020, 13:14   #3
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

What you describe is a situation where you've accidentally trained him to be afraid to go on the boat, plus he is susceptible to seasickness, so every time he goes, he feels horrible. No wonder he doesn't want to go. I don't know, myself, how to help him over it, but it will involve making it so much fun for him, he changes his mind about it. The Jack Russell Terriers I've seen here, are introduced to the water at a young age, and played with in the water.

If I were you, I'd talk to the vet about it, there may be a mild anti-seasickness medication for the dog, and that plus making it fun for him, might handle the situation for you.

And one other thought, there's a woman in GA, Tina Spring, who does a lot of conditioning with dogs, and is highly thought of. Her e-mail address is tina.sithappens@gmail.com Tell her Ann Cate referred you. I'm sure she'll communicate back to you, but I don't know what she'd say.

Good luck with it.

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Old 28-01-2020, 19:24   #4
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

We got a Irish (shorty) Jack Russell puppy in July and introduced him to the boat from the start.
The first weekend we just stayed at the dock to get him used to the space and gentle movement, the next weekend we went out for 3 days on the hook. I cut a fake grass mat to fit in the space of the anchor hatch and by the 2nd day he knew what to do although he was scared at first but with treats and praise he got it.
"Skipper" tolerates water but did not like his life vest but I think he is getting better. We tried to get him used to the water by getting a small plastic pool and playing with him but I wish he liked it better. This winter we are going to take him down to Annapolis (we are close and I need to pick up my sails) and they have a doggy pool where it is a gentle entry and he can see other dogs swimming and hopefully we will embrace it and feel totally at ease.
He likes sailing and the wind in his face and watching the birds so he does great, hope your guy comes around.
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Old 29-01-2020, 09:25   #5
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

With our Jack Russell he is a curious little guy that intently observes what is going on and learns very fast from it.
There was the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America Nation Trials near here in October and we took the pup to check it out. He was curious as all get out and watched the events, and they said we could "practice" at tunnel / obstical run, brush / scent tracking and the object on a pull rope. He watched the other dogs and was surprisingly good for just observing.
Maybe if your Jack watches others and tries to join in it would alleviate his discomfort.
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Old 29-01-2020, 09:53   #6
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

You can give Gravol to your dog, let a vet tell you how much since it is based on weight.
To get him used to the boat, just keep taking him out, he will figure it out himself. He needs somewhere he feels safe on it.
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Old 29-01-2020, 10:01   #7
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

A vest might help with his insecurity. Maybe a rat to chase! LOL.. Seriously though something to occupy his mind so he is having fun..
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Old 29-01-2020, 10:19   #8
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

Bribery works well with dogs. Get some of his absolutely favorite treats, and then reward him for just being on the boat at the dock, not going anywhere. Get him used to that with lots of treats and praise for a few days. To get the boat moving, have someone stay with him, again lots of treats and attention and just move the boat a little at first. Take very baby steps, and you can probably overcome the fear, but probably not the seasickness for long voyages, for that you may need medication.
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Old 29-01-2020, 10:24   #9
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
What you describe is a situation where you've accidentally trained him to be afraid to go on the boat, plus he is susceptible to seasickness, so every time he goes, he feels horrible. No wonder he doesn't want to go. I don't know, myself, how to help him over it, but it will involve making it so much fun for him, he changes his mind about it. The Jack Russell Terriers I've seen here, are introduced to the water at a young age, and played with in the water.

Ann
Dogs are incredible and always want to please their owners. What Cate said <above> rings true. Your JR might have some queasiness on a boat, like many animals and humans. But it sounds like he was unintentionally conditioned to be afraid of the boat. Fortunately, a tail does not wag the dog. - Dogs want their owners to make all decisions and when you cheerfully stick to your decision, your JR will do his best.
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Old 29-01-2020, 10:51   #10
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by i-Zapp View Post
Our Jack Russell barely tolerates boating. He's 4 now and cringes when he realizes the car ride means a trip to the marina. he's gotten seasick a few times, and just seems withdrawn and uncharacteristically lethargic whenever on the boat, even if relatively calm and only for a few hours.

my wife and i would dearly love him to be more comfortable, we both love sailing and hate to leave him behind. and more importantly, we want to take him with us on much longer trips (weeks or months...)

ive read on this forum that JRs love water and swimming. Not ours lol. as soon as we're near the dock he perks up jumps on deck and super excited.

what can we do? should we double down and get him a buddy? will he ever get used to boating? would a bigger boat help, where he can run around the deck more? (just and excuse for a bigger boat!)

advice much appreciated!

thanks
Stop torturing your dog. It is not their natural environment; leave him home. I truly don't understand people that can't go anywhere...and I mean anywhere...without taking their pet along. I know there are many of you out there but "cut the leash" and experience some freedom. I've lived with pets most of my life but there are limits and one of them is the boat. Your taking him along to fulfill your needs not his. Leave him home.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 29-01-2020, 13:02   #11
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Thumbs up Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJH View Post
Stop torturing your dog. It is not their natural environment; leave him home. I truly don't understand people that can't go anywhere...and I mean anywhere...without taking their pet along. I know there are many of you out there but "cut the leash" and experience some freedom. I've lived with pets most of my life but there are limits and one of them is the boat. Your taking him along to fulfill your needs not his. Leave him home.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
well, he's 4 and likely to spend the next 15 years or so with us. During that time my wife and I will likely be spending weeks at a time, or even months on the boat as we begin to explore the vagagond/liveaboard lifestyle.

he's a dog, but he's also family. leaving him behind is just not reasonable, feasible, or desirable.

thanks for the encouraging advice from others. it's true that early on he was traumatized in his very first boat trip (power boat, rough, during which time I actually injured myself pretty badly). The both of us will not soon forget that trip. but i hope he does before me!

thanks again!
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Old 29-01-2020, 13:21   #12
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

I take my Frenchy sailing often. He always wants to go, as he always wants to go with me wherever. But once on the boat, he "seems withdrawn and uncharacteristically lethargic whenever on the boat, even if relatively calm and only for a few hours." He has not ever been throwing up sick on the boat, but I wonder how he feels, and he's always the first to jump onto the dock.
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Old 08-08-2020, 13:16   #13
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

Mine just wants to jump overboard and kill the waves. Also, she hates most other dogs and when she sees one she goes insane. I didnt think this through enough.
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Old 08-08-2020, 14:00   #14
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

You will have to solve this if you bring your boat to Mexico because dogs are required equipment here, or so it seems, for any gringo actually. And if anyone, (like ourselves) does not have a dog, somebody else has to have two.

Oh, then you have to train him to go on board the boat, because longer trips often extend past the number of hours for which he can comfortably hold it.

Cleaning up the dog-dirt and hair. How do you fly home from your distant ports of call? Will you friends want to have dinner on a boat that smells like a dog? If you leave bowser onboard when you go to the store does he bark and bother the neighbors? Get used to carrying a baggie and using plastic gloves so you can pick up his droppings, and NEVER allow him to do it on the dock. Be prepared for snarling dogfights when you walk him at the market and other dogs are also there.

We decided we had to choose dog or boat. We chose sailing. If you need a hug or a lick on the face get lovey-dovey with your spouse.
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Old 08-08-2020, 17:17   #15
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Re: how to get our JR to enjoy sailing!?

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Originally Posted by i-Zapp View Post
would a bigger boat help, where he can run around the deck more? (just and excuse for a bigger boat!)

advice much appreciated!

thanks
Dogs are incredible beings who always want to please their masters. Unfortunately, many dogs are never given the opportunity because the dog's owner is trying to please the dog. If you're happy, your dog will be happy. If you're nervous and upset because you're worried about the dog, the dog will sense your discomfort and he will be nervous and upset.
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