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post #1 of 28 Old 4 Days Ago Thread Starter
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Security on boat?

With issues of being armed varying from country to country, wasp spray (bear spray?) machetes and spear guns, etc. seem to be the next in line for PPD's (personal protection devices), what about a watchful dog. What do people who have dogs think about their alertness and ability to warn you when something is amiss or at least when someone may be approaching your mooring/ anchorage? How do dogs like Rotwielers, Akita or Doberman Pincer do when cruising? Just thinking and wondering what others think or have pondered as well....

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Re: Security on boat?

Dogs are poisoned ashore here regularly. Anybody with half a brain will be checking you out before attempting to board your boat and will come prepared with a piece of poisoned meat.
Wasp spray does not work. Spear guns aren't much help, even if allowed in a country, on more than one assailant and if you are trying to face off someone with a machete, you are way too close to them IMO unless you are combat trained.
I've got no answers for you, except not being somewhere where this is a likely scenario.
There are probably a dozen threads on this site about this stuff and not one has come up with any valid answers.

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Re: Security on boat?

My view, and limited experience, parallels Capta's.

If you seriously think you need a weapon to defend yourself against baddies, THEN DON'T GO THERE. The world is a big place, and the vast majority of it is populated by people who do not want to do you harm. So why would you go to a place where you seriously think you have a high risk of violent attack?

Now, there is crime nearly everywhere. Put more than a few people together and you'll have bad apples. But these people want your stuff. And they generally want it easy. So there are plenty of ways to make it less easy on these thieves.

A skittish, noisy dog might be a useful way to make it less easy, but it introduces additional challenges if you plan to cross multiple borders.

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Re: Security on boat?

I agree Mike, I have no desire to visit such places. Was just thinking of such things out of curiosity, both of you have pointed out valid things, I never even gave it much thought other than what alternatives were, not so much the re-percussions or challenges....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanealoha View Post
How do dogs like Rotwielers, Akita or Doberman Pincer do when cruising?
I have not yet cruised with a dog, but I am a lifelong dog owner and have trained each of my dogs. The breeds you mentioned are large working breeds that require a lot of exercise.

My most recent dog was a medium sized Shepherd. I think she would have loved cruising. But she also required a lot of exercise. At home, I met her exercise needs by teaching her to fetch a tennis ball. I had a tennis ball hand launcher that I would use to launch the full length of my yard about 10 throws, several times a week.

She loved the water, and when we went to the lake, I could throw the tennis ball out on the water 10 times so she could get her exercise by swimming.

At our house, she was a great theft deterrent. She spent a lot of time outside on a cable dog run. Some of our neighbors had kids' bikes and lawn mowers that disappeared from their property. We never did. People would just rather not mess with a dog.
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Re: Security on boat?

At least in the eastern Caribbean you see very few large dogs on boats. In fact few few medium sized ones as well. Small dogs are much more frequent. Dogs are fairly intelligent. They get bored on a boat. They bark or otherwise demand attention. They increase the hassle and expense of clearing.
Some dogs are a great joy to their owners and worth the hassle involved. Those seem to be small ratters of various breeds who have grown up on a boat. In places like St.Annes or English Harbor you can track a dinghy going in by the sound of the dog barking as they pass by. Over a couple of days you know which bark is which boat and itís just background noise. Like Caribbean rap annoying but meaningless so to be ignored. So these dogs arenít even a warning system that would alert cruisers of a break in of an unoccupied nearby boat.
For less hassle a few pressure pads wired to flashing bright lights and a siren would serve you better. Now with cheap CCTV that you can monitor from your smart phone youíd be more secure.
Iíve had dogs much of my life. I love dogs. It hurts me to see how some people treat their boat dogs. It seems itís not a bell shaped curve. Some are great owners. Some are just cruel. But thereís few in the middle.

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Re: Security on boat?

Wouldn't take a dog into a live aboard situation for multiple reasons. Our dogs do come for local cruising and do bark at other passing boats or birds. I do take them ashore for a walk which is both a hassle and a pleasure. I have small dogs because getting a big one on and off a boat is a PITA. Wifey is less concerned about the security aspect from barking than she is that "we" are disturbing others with noise... and she's correct. Barking dogs can be very annoying.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: Security on boat?

I note the thread OP has already omitted weapons as a measure of security. The idea of a dog to be an early warning can be very effective. I think that's the reason many have them in their homes too. As noted already, they can be very difficult to care for aboard and clear into other countries.

I do not agree that the many discussions we've had have come up with no methods. For starters, you want to avoid higher risk situations, such as being alone, or in high risk areas. When among many, the best methods are to secure your things and do nothing to unduly draw attention to your wealth. No doubt, the fact you own a boat can make your wealth notable, compared to a poor local. Nevetheless, don't leave valuable in sight or give the appearance of being an easy mark. Being able to secure yourself down below, while you invoke methods to draw extreme attention to yourself (lights, sirens, extreme noise) may be effective, if you have others around. Some have shown their purpose built metals grates for the companionway or hatches, should slow down the intruder. Maybe just make the next boat look like an easier target.

In the end, just avoiding solitude in high risk areas, probably lowers your risk to that of crossing the street.


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Re: Security on boat?

I've read that a seasick dog can vomit twice its body weight in a day....

Your threat falls into two categories: People who want to harm you (the very few), and people who just want your stuff (the vast majority).

People who want to harm you are going to come prepared and determined, and they are probably going to succeed.

The people who want your stuff, including those willing to threaten violence to get it, are not looking for complications. They are looking for easy money. The way to avoid these folks is to make yourself an uninteresting target. Don't leave stuff on deck, lock up when you leave, make a show of securing your boat, secure your dinghy with a large and obvious lock and chain. You don't have to be completely unintersting, just be less interesting than everyone else.

Consider ways to barricade if you are boarded; harden egress points to prevent forced entry.

Consider security lighting. Ways to signal trouble and draw attention (maybe that seasick dog). Where help can come from, how long it will take, and how to get in contact.
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Re: Security on boat?

My boat has no lock... but a "hidden" latch and has essentially never been locked. Nothing stolen in 35 years.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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