Sailing with Greyhounds. Any experiences? - SailNet Community

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Old 12-08-2009
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Sailing with Greyhounds. Any experiences?

Wondering if our two Greyhounds would do well on the boat. Anyone have any experiences with these delightful but quirky dogs?

17' Venture. 80lb. 7 yr old male, 60 lb 3yr old female. They live for car rides and handle quick cornering and unstable surfaces like champs. They're also both very content to sleep 22 hours a day. I don't like to subject them to it, but they can both easily go 10+ hours without food/bathroom.

Retired Greyhounds are neat in that the first few years of their lives they are trained athletes. Crated all day and night. Trucked long distances, let out to run only once a day. Seems like they'd be great sailors, right?

Curl up below deck and sleep? Wife bought them both doggie life vests that fit properly.

Anyone ever take one of these characters out in a smallish boat?

Or any skiddish big dog with no "sea legs"?

I'd hate to load up the boat, dogs, gear, get to the lake/river/bay only to find out the dog wants nothing to do with even getting near the boat tied to the dock. Then have to pack it all up and head home. With an 80lb dog and a boat that sits high on the trailer there's no way of getting him onto the boat at home without a great deal of drama.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-08-2009
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Here we go....

Look up Silver Donald Cameron. I think he sailed the ICW to the Carib with a whippet (close to a greyhound).
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Old 12-08-2009
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And the answer to "why?"
They come back from the kennel with all sorts of mental and physical trauma so that's not a very good option. With them at home I'm limited in where and how long I can sail before I have to get back to tend them. If they're with me I could go further or even overnight somewhere. (which I very much want to try!)
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Old 12-08-2009
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wow....on the face of it you are really asking for trouble....not with the dogs but with the smartarse comments that could well come your way....

but....

Nice choice of mutt....retired greyhounds have usually had such a hard and unloved life that they turn into the most pleasant of pets. Despite everything bad that can be thought about them they are really nice things.

No idea whether they would be any good on a boat though.
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My grandparents have had a few of these and my parents had one. My parents spent a lot of time trying to get the dogs out to the local sandbar so they could run. The trip there was never very fun but it was a great place for the dogs to let loose.

None of the greyhounds liked getting into the dinghy (it was an inflatable that we pulled right up to the shore, no dock). Once in they tended to go around in fast circles trying to figure out how to sit down and they never fully relaxed.

Only one of the dogs really figured out how to swim and I can tell you it was a huge pain trying to pull it back into the boat when it swam out into the channel and started getting pulled out of the bay. This was an isolated incident though.

I would think that it could work if you have a boat with a big enough area for them to lay down. I don't know how they would react to heeling. Getting them into the boat might be an adventure. The other thing that we learned is you can't take them in a boat where they can see the water through the hull (like a lightweight kevlar or fiberglass boat).

Good luck.
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Footwear

Can they handle boots? My scottie has trouble getting traction on fiberglass. The toenails don't do any good. I'm considering getting her some boots, but I don't know how she will take to them.

OTOH, a scottie is pretty much the exact opposite of a greyhound. The long, springy legs may give them better purchase.
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Old 12-09-2009
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Thank you for the book suggestion. I was looking for a new sailing book to read. Just finished one. Boots -- good idea. There isn't any deck area for them, they're pretty much be below-deck dogs, or maybe the cockpit, but there's nowhere to lay up there. Below deck it's just a half acre of vinyl cushions which already have little holes in them so a few more wouldn't hurt. I'd probably cut a piece of carpet to fit and leave the cushions home. (thinking of doing that anyhow)

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2009
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There is a classic thread here...search "Cruising with Bull Dogs". You should be able to find tons of useful info there.
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Would you look at that...cruising with bull dogs
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Old 12-09-2009
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Finally a subject I know about!

Here is a photo of my 7yr old greyhound enjoying the sailboat. At first I thought she would hate it, but all she loves it for the firsts few hours, then she keeps walking towards the open transom... I think this is a sign that she wants off. It's only when we have to keep tacking that she doesn't enjoy it.



We keep our boat on a moring... she seems to like the dinghy ride to the boat best!
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