Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
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I cruised for 8 years with Larsen , a timberwolf/rottweiller hybrid aboard. He was trained to swim to the transom of my dinghy and climb aboard as part of his dogoverboard drill. He was able to do this eventually on his own. From the dinghy he was able to jump aboard. As we had almost 5 feet of freeboard, I attached a rug to the caprail of the bulwark .This enabled Larsen to catch the rug with his hind legs where he would have otherwise found a slippery hull. Once this was mastered, he would go ashore to do his thing, swim back to the boat , climb in the dinghy, and jump back aboard. Unfortunately, he would sometimes do this where the locals did not welcome this from a 120 lb. beast and I would have to remind him where he belonged. I would do this by attaching lines to both sides of the cockpit. They would prevent him from getting to either rail. One day of this and he was ready to stay onboard. He once spent 3 days with a park ranger at the fort in St. Augustine after swimming ashore to play with school children on a field trip there. Fortunately, he was a big sweetheart, or the ranger would have sent him to jail.In more remote areas, it was good that he could come and go to shore , as I could never get him to go on the foredeck. A saltwater washdown pump is a must to deal with fur and saliva on deck.[not to mention what you have to deal with if they are deck trained for excreting waste]Dogs aboard need lots of exercise on shore.Good excuse for morning and evening walks onshore. You will find that you are not known by name, but as ------'s human.I found that coastal cruising was enhanced by Larsen's presence. Not sure how I would deal with him offshore.