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  #1  
Old 08-18-2008
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Sailing and Dogs

I am considering buying a boat this winter and would like to get some input from other boat owners on how they handle day and weekend trips with their dogs.

- The potty problem seems to be the least concerns, because from what I read, most dogs can be trained to just "do" it on the deck, which can be washed off with a bucket of water (or picked up with a bag, if it's not too "thin")

- Do dogs get sea-sick? Do they usually enjoy sailing? Of course, it depends on the dog and maybe the breed, but maybe there's a general rule that dogs simply don't like sailing - period? Are special lifelines required to prevent the dog from accidentally going overboard? What about heeling? Do they handle heeling well? I would like to try it out first hand, but all charters in my area do not allow pets.

- What to do with a dog, when you want to go on land in the summer? For example to a restaurant or bar where dogs are not permitted? Leaving the dog in an non-air conditioned cabin doesn't seem to be an option. Are fans in the cockpit maybe be an option to keep the temperature down? Or are there maybe bimini/tent-like solutions that allow the dog to stay in the cockpit? I have taken numerous camping trips and left the dog in the tent for a short amount of time (in adequate shade and with fans) without a problem.

- So, I think I answered my question already myself: It looks like air conditioning is the only good option. Are there any good after-market air conditioning solutions? If so, where can I find more information?

I would very much like to hear from other boaters and their sailing experience with dogs.

BTW, my dog is a Boxer, which are very sensitive when it comes to heat anyway, so I would like to make the sailing trips as enjoyable for her as for the rest of the crew.

Thank you very much!

Last edited by shuntphl; 08-18-2008 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 08-18-2008
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Down at the bottom of the page are some links to other threads and articles, but the main consideration, to me, is whether or not the dog enjoys being on the boat. If so, then any problems can be resolved.
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Old 08-18-2008
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Most dogs can take heat reasonably well if they have shade and plenty of fresh water. A C is only an option if you will have a boat large enough to carry both an A C and a genset. This leaves you with the concern of carbon monoxide poisioning unless the genset is very well vented. One cannot always count on marinas with shore power hookups on visitor docks, at least in our area. And some marinas have mooring balls instead of docks. My guess is that if your dog is very large or very heat sensitive, you had better budget extra bucks for kennel fees. My dog (a Schipperke) adapts very well to heat, heeling, infrequent potty stops. Our vet says you don't need to take him ashore, eventually he will learn to do it on the deck. The first time took 2-1/2 days! After he passed at the age of 13, on we now have a puppy of the same breed, and are trying to get him to use puppy training pads, available at most pet stores. The most successful story I know of boat trained dogs is Rudy at Libertysails.com, a long haired Dachshund. His owner writes a great website, and authored a really good book, "Living the Dream."
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Hi

We also have a boxer and I have some experience with dogs in sailing boats. Our dog is 16 months old now, the first time she was onboard the boat she was only 8 weeks old. Last summer she was on a 2 week holiday only 3 months old. My brother has a German Shepard; she is three years old now. Both dogs were aboard on the holiday last year.

This summer our Boxer was with us for three weeks two of those together with the German Shepard, the last week she was the only dog aboard.

First the dog must have a PFD - the one we have got has solid webbing, lifting strap and ring to put a security line on.

It is almost impossible to get a dog that has fallen into the sea aboard again. Having a good PFD with lifting handle makes this easier.

Our dog (without PFD) fell into the sea while we where moored this summer it was not a simple task getting her aboard again, imagine if the boat was moving high seas.

We always have PDF on the dog while the boat is moving. If the dog is walking on deck while moving we use a rope to secure the dog to the jack lines (same as we use).

Before last summers sailing we also added net to the boats lifelines (same as others use to keep children aboard).

To your other questions

Yes dogs can get seasick as people, last summer the young Boxer got seasick, this year none of the dogs got seasick.

I really don’t know if the dog enjoys sailing, dogs like to be with their folks. What I do know is that most dogs I know does not show any dislike for going aboard.

Both the dogs seems to handle heeling well, they like to find a place to lay down and rest.

In the climate (Norway) we are sailing temperature below decks is not a problem, even in summer.

Hope this helps
Knut
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Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
- The potty problem seems to be the least concerns, because from what I read, most dogs can be trained to just "do" it on the deck, which can be washed off with a bucket of water (or picked up with a bag, if it's not too "thin")
I would disagree, after house traing our dog, he will only do his business on soil. The poor guy almost jumped overboard one day and we knew it was time to get him back to shore right away.

That being said, I have heard of cruisers that have trained their dogs to go in various places on board.

Quote:
- Do dogs get sea-sick?
Yes, they can.

we sail with our beagle Charlie, but only on day sails when we plan on getting on land in short order.
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Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuntphl View Post
I am considering buying a boat this winter and would like to get some input from other boat owners on how they handle day and weekend trips with their dogs.

- The potty problem seems to be the least concerns, because from what I read, most dogs can be trained to just "do" it on the deck, which can be washed off with a bucket of water (or picked up with a bag, if it's not too "thin")

- Do dogs get sea-sick? Do they usually enjoy sailing? Of course, it depends on the dog and maybe the breed, but maybe there's a general rule that dogs simply don't like sailing - period? Are special lifelines required to prevent the dog from accidentally going overboard? What about heeling? Do they handle heeling well? I would like to try it out first hand, but all charters in my area do not allow pets.

- What to do with a dog, when you want to go on land in the summer? For example to a restaurant or bar where dogs are not permitted? Leaving the dog in an non-air conditioned cabin doesn't seem to be an option. Are fans in the cockpit maybe be an option to keep the temperature down? Or are there maybe bimini/tent-like solutions that allow the dog to stay in the cockpit? I have taken numerous camping trips and left the dog in the tent for a short amount of time (in adequate shade and with fans) without a problem.

- So, I think I answered my question already myself: It looks like air conditioning is the only good option. Are there any good after-market air conditioning solutions? If so, where can I find more information?

I would very much like to hear from other boaters and their sailing experience with dogs.

BTW, my dog is a Boxer, which are very sensitive when it comes to heat anyway, so I would like to make the sailing trips as enjoyable for her as for the rest of the crew.

Thank you very much!

(CAPTION: FAT WORTLESS DOG AND SKINNY WORTHLESS DOG)

I just realized that we have ALWAYS had dogs on board, from beginners to live aboards. Though we lost one schnauzer, we still have the old fella and he now has a fat English Bulldog to keep him company (which he would happily push overboard).

Be that as it may, Bulldogs I think are one of the most heat sensitive breeds I know of and she is fine out in the cockpit. Someone mentioned getting a life jacket and I STRONGLY URGE you to do that. It will not take them long to drown once they fall in - no matter how good of a swimmer they are.

Our Bully seems to get a bit sea sick until she has been aboard a while. Scooter could care less. But Scooter has been on a boat almost all of his life (14-15 yrs in Nov). Our other Schnauzer did not get sea sick.

Yes, you can teach any dog to poop on board. Just dont take them to shore and sooner or later an accident will happen. I am sure there is piles of informatio non this, but we realized that they like to poop right after eating. Encouraging that is the trick to a happy boating experience. That being said, we always try to plan our trips so that we can get the dogs to shore - and at a shore it is accepted. If you take the dog with you, you will (or at least we do) have to plan around the dog too. In that respect, it is very much like having kids.

A boat with a/c and gen can be quite expensive. You can get by with just a/c but will only be good at the marina, (obviously). That may not be a big deal because if there is no breeze and it is scorching hot, are you going to be sailing anyways?? Nah, you gonna stayed parked at the marina!!

Your best bet is just making sure you have a nice covered bimini to keep pups cool. Keep water out and splash them in the heat of summer if necessary.

I think that answers all of your questions. Dogs are both a pain and a pleasure to take sailing. Which one it is for you depends on you - honestly.

Welcome aboard, by the way.

- CD
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Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailortjk1 View Post
I would disagree, after house traing our dog, he will only do his business on soil. The poor guy almost jumped overboard one day and we knew it was time to get him back to shore right away.

That being said, I have heard of cruisers that have trained their dogs to go in various places on board.


Yes, they can.

we sail with our beagle Charlie, but only on day sails when we plan on getting on land in short order.
Hey Tim,

My dog can EAT your dog!!! HEHE!

- CD
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Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Hey Tim,

My dog can EAT your dog!!! HEHE!

- CD
But Charlie is MUCH cuter!
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Old 08-18-2008
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Quote:
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But Charlie is MUCH cuter!
Yeah.. but CD.... sailortjk1's dog could probably even get ME a date!
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Old 08-18-2008
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I doubt it... the dog's cute, but even cute dogs can't work miracles.
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Yeah.. but CD.... sailortjk1's dog could probably even get ME a date!
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