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post #11 of 45 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Dogs?

We have 3 grown sons too! I just spent a week with my family day sailing our boat and while I would have loved to have the dogs with us it would have been a disaster.

Do yourself ( and your dogs) a huge favor and hire someone to walk and feed your dogs at home while you go out sailing.
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 07-26-2013 at 06:02 AM.
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post #12 of 45 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Dogs?

Originally Posted by MSter View Post
...or I will have to lead by example! ;-P
I tried that. Didn't work.

We use an 8 foot Portabote as a dink. Keep it folded on deck and unfold and launch it from the cockpit. Not enough boat for all your crowd in one trip but perhaps you could make two trips to the beach each way.

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post #13 of 45 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Dogs?

Mac the broken-coated Jack Russell hates water but hates being left behind. He prefers sailing with "the pack" then staying home. We also use a dinghy-blows up easily and you can get one for pretty cheap.

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post #14 of 45 Old 07-25-2013
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Re: Dogs?

I have a 110 lb. Bull Mastiff that lives with me on my Ranger 29R. She is just fine with the boat life. From the day that she stepped on you would think that she was born to sail.
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post #15 of 45 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Dogs?

We have two dogs, a 100 lb GSD and a 155 lb Landseer. Neither dog goes on the boat as it is just not fair to have them on board in the heat and unable to relieve themselves.
We found an awesome kennel that we are comfortable with and so are the dogs. The last time our Landseer didn't want to come home from the kennel. The dogs have a way better time there than they would cooped up on the boat for hours or days on end.

We have three rules;
No screaming.
No bleeding on the sails.
No slobbering on the charts.
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post #16 of 45 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: Dogs?

We summer aboard with our compact sportsdawg, Finn, and our mildly psychotic mid-size grand touring dog, Ellie.
Two different dogs, two different sets of needs. Finn likes to explore and has a bladder the size of an immature blueberry, so every 4 hours or so he hops in the dinghy for shore patrol.

Which is cool, because he can leap from the deck to the dinghy, and back. no fuss no muss.

Ellie, on the other hand, is like many bigger dogs- not much of a leaper, at least strategically. Frisbees, fine- she's got, like, 27' of vertical, but the landing is anywhere within a half-acre radius. So, the cockpit to dinghy (or vice versa ) shuffle simply freaks her out. which is okay, because she has a bladder that makes camels go "daaay-ummm" we can sail for 8 hours before she needs to crack the seal.

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post #17 of 45 Old 07-29-2013
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Re: Dogs?

We have a ~65 pound lab and she is a nervous wreck on the boat. We knew that from previously taking her on a power boat years ago, but decided to try the sailboat this summer. Panting and shaking so much that we had to return to shore. So, even though labs are thought of as mellow water-loving dogs, not all dogs will tolerate the movement of a boat.
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post #18 of 45 Old 07-29-2013
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Re: Dogs?

We sail with 30 lbs of herding dog who's usually pretty happy sailing. Mostly he's happy to be with us and enjoys his shore excursions. We've found him in the dinghy a few times when he wasn't told to go there.

Unfortunately he thinks we're just really dumb sheep, including barking out instructions while we're trying to dock. Apparently we can't even check the bilge without his help.

And we require constant supervision.

He's a little nervous in weather, especially at anchor. He's usually more comfortable than most of our guests. We once terrified family members by turning upwind and heeling (okay, we should've made sure they believe us that it was going to happen). As they all turned white and grabbed onto the closest part of the boat he hopped out and trotted around the foredeck.

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post #19 of 45 Old 07-29-2013
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Re: Dogs?

Hi all.
I have a dog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who doesn't like the boat at all. He's now very old, so will come to be replaced one of these days (or not, I'm not sure). Anyway, does anyone know what difference, if any, it makes in whether a dog takes to sailing, if they are started off as a pup? Sometimes, pups are quite nervous.
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post #20 of 45 Old 07-29-2013
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Re: Dogs?

I live aboard with a Yellow Lab (10% dog, 90% fish) and two cats. They seem happier living aboard our 37-footer than they ever were in big houses or with big yards. They haven't been out under sail, so they may not like heeling any more than I do, but they haven't ever minded motoring around. In fact, the dog is terrified of the decks (too slippery for her taste) but as soon as we cast off the lines she runs up and down the decks watching birds, trying to help with lines, et cetera. She's also been out on powerboat fishing trips going on plane with big loud engines and never batted an eyelash. She had no problem holding it for 8+ hours on fishing trips, but I would hurry her to a grassy spot once we docked. She holds it 8+ hours when I'm gone to work, too.

I tried Astroturf in the winter when the tides were very low and it was very difficult to get her on and off the boat. She hasn't been willing to use the Astroturf. (Yes, I even peed on it myself so she'd know what it was for... the things we do for our kids!) A few folks have told me that to really get them to go on the deck or the Astroturf you probably need to anchor out for a few days so there is no other choice. Their natural first choice will always be real grass on terra firma. But I do believe they can be trained with enough time and patience.

I have not yet gotten her in a dinghy... I don't have a swim platform or anything, so it'll be a few feet down from deck to dink no matter what. My options will likely be either trying a ramp or making a sling to lower her in by swinging the boom out over the dink. I've heard of people doing this; not sure she'll enjoy the feeling of puppy davits, but it might work.

Far and away most dogs would rather be with their pack than be left behind, so unless they are clearly very stressed by being aboard, I would make the effort to bring them along. If it isn't being fun for you and them, then perhaps they get to visit friends or a kennel while you cruise.
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