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  #1  
Old 02-26-2010
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Boat dogs?

It is with great trepidation that I even raise this. My boys really want a dog, and my wife is relenting and now pushing me to get them a pooch. Don't get me wrong, I love dogs. But we'd be talking about getting one that we can bring with us on the boat. So, what's a good boat dog?

We want something on the smaller size, and it absolutely must NOT shed.

We're thinking of a Westy (friends have one onboard, and he's working out well), or maybe a Schipperke. If not those, then something in that size range.
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Old 02-26-2010
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Take a look here:

Boat Dog
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Old 02-26-2010
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I just got a boat dog about 3 weeks ago. Her name is Plumb. She is a purebred pug.

Pugs are slow, small, can't jump very high, and are deceptively heavy for their size, 18 pounds. They swim like a panicking rock. Pugs also are allergic to fleas and are prone to hot spots in their double coat. They don't shed very much, and sleep up to 18 hours a day. They are highly trainable, very loving, and extremely docile and non-violent. Our pug was abused before we got her, and she is already becoming a very good dog. Her personality is incredible for having been abused.

They snore a lot, and their tongues often stick out of their mouths. I would suggest one as a boat dog. Plumb has 2 bad knees, so she needs help up the particularly tricky companionway in my boat, but otherwise she does alright.

Oh yea, pugs run at 103 degrees Fahrenheit, so they make a great lap warmer. They get cold easily, and overheat easily. I would recommend shaving them in the summer, and putting a jacket on them in the winter. They have very little fat, but plenty of extra skin, and a very soft, thick, but only 1/8" deep coat.

They are great to put in your lap in the cockpit if you are a cruiser type.


That being said, my mom just got a rat terrier puppy, and it seems a bit smarter, if harder to train. They are also better at navigating companionway steps, and have shorter, less soft fur.

I am also a fan of Glen of Imaal terriers. They shed a lot, but are extremely intelligent, long lived, and kind.

I would not suggest a lab. They are great dogs, but they love to "retreive" anything in the water, which could get frustrating if there have been really high tides, and they need a lot of exercise and are large.

I am pretty sure schipperkes are yippy. I hate yippy dogs. Pugs are the opposite of yippy, they are calm and loving, not barkers. They work as guard dogs, but are not obnoxious about it.
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Old 02-26-2010
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Daniel,

You are exactly where I was this time last year. I had resisted a dog in the family, feeling it would not work with our sailing and travelling lifestyle. We had a good gig going, as my sister lived a block away. She had a dog and we dog sat regularly, so I was able to convince the kids that the dog was "ours" too.

Then my sister relocated and I was hosed.

That's when the pressure really started building. Not just from the kids. My wife, too. I was outnumbered and outgunned.

Late last spring, we brought a Miniature Labradoodle puppy home from a breeder out in the countryside. I think it was the happiest day of my kids' lives. I kind of felt like a schmuck for holding out so long.

We chose this breed for a couple reasons. First, they are water dogs, with webbed feet. So they are strong swimmers. Also, they are low/no shed dogs because they have hair instead of fur. That is not to say they don't lose hair -- but they certainly don't blow their coats like most furred dogs. And they need to go to the groomer for a trim every 3-5 months or so.

Another reason we chose this breed is because several folks at our marina have them, and we'd had the chance to interact with and observe them around people/kids, boats, and docks/water, where they appeared perfectly at home and at ease.

The Miniature Labradoodle is a cross between a Lab and a Miniature Poodle, so they are not as large as the Labradoodles you might have seen. Our gal will be one year old tomorrow, and she is about 35 lbs. I can still pick her up one-handed and set her aboard from the dinghy.

Despite my initial reservations, I now have to admit that she is really no problem aboard the boat. She really took to it quickly, being very nimble on her feet (like a poodle) and fairly easy going like a lab. She is very content to lay about above or belowdecks, or cruise around in the dinghy with the kids.

Whatever breed you choose, I think you'll find it's not as much of a problem as you feared. I know I did. And our kids are so happy to have their "very own" puppy. The joy they get from this dog alone makes it worth it.

Sorry, I hope folks won't mind a few photos of our expensive mutt -- her Sailnet debut. Gosh, they grow up so fast :

















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Old 02-26-2010
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
I'd recommend the miniature golden doodle, miniature labradoodle, toy poodle or portugese waterdog.
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Old 02-26-2010
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Hi Damiel,



My name is Zorro. We need to talk or maybe do lunch! Schipperkes are the boat dogs. We bark at other boats in the fog that our owners only see on radar. ....and as a mosr special bonus,-

...are you ready?


....we pee off the stern!



We can also show a lot of teeth! 'choose wisely, Zorro
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Old 02-26-2010
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[QUOTE=tager;574556]I just got a boat dog about 3 weeks ago. Her name is Plumb. She is a purebred pug.

Pugs are slow, small, can't jump very high, and are deceptively heavy for their size, 18 pounds. They swim like a panicking rock. Pugs also are allergic to fleas and are prone to hot spots in their double coat. They don't shed very much, and sleep up to 18 hours a day. They are highly trainable, very loving, and extremely docile and non-violent. Our pug was abused before we got her, and she is already becoming a very good dog. Her personality is incredible for having been abused.

They snore a lot, and their tongues often stick out of their mouths. I would suggest one as a boat dog. Plumb has 2 bad knees, so she needs help up the particularly tricky companionway in my boat, but otherwise she does alright.

Oh yea, pugs run at 103 degrees Fahrenheit, so they make a great lap warmer. They get cold easily, and overheat easily. I would recommend shaving them in the summer, and putting a jacket on them in the winter. They have very little fat, but plenty of extra skin, and a very soft, thick, but only 1/8" deep coat.

They are great to put in your lap in the cockpit if you are a cruiser type.


My pugs were with you up till the "shave them in the summer" thing. They want no part of that. Be warned pugs shed constantly. They have 2 coats of straight fine hair. Ours shed all year long. Great dogs though, couldn't imagine not having either one of them.
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Old 02-26-2010
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To piggyback on Tags pug post, I've had two, current is a Black one named pimp, had him since 8 weeks old, his now 10yrs old, perviously a fawn named monkeybutt. in addition to everything Tag mentioned, they also do great impersonations

Exhibit A: Monkeybutt doing his impression of a Humbolt Squid

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Old 02-26-2010
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This is going to turn into one of the best threads on Sailnet!!

Tager, glad to hear all is well with the new pug.

John, you have the second cutest dog I've ever seen!

Thanks to all for the pix.

Dan, go for it! My little mutt was not supposed to shed. Right. The boat looks like a dog with all the fur if not cleaned every day! Just 'cuz they have some poodle in 'em doesn't make 'em non-shedding .

Here's Nikki, the protector and head watchdog of Dejala:
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Old 02-26-2010
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Go to the pound. you'll know when you see the right dog, and the right dog will find you. Both of ours are pound mutts, a shepherd/coyote mix, and a border collie/terrier/wookiee combo.

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