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We have a Border Collie that has been on the boat once. We would like to spend some nights on the boat with the dog. How do you get a dog trained to use the facilities? What & where do you place the ?? I would like her to go in the aft part of the cockpit on something I could wash down. I will appreciate any advise.
 

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If it's a sporadic thing, I'd row my dog to shore before bed and first thing in the morning. Our dog doesn't need to go more than that. I think it would be difficult to train most adult housebroken dogs to relieve themselves on a boat on a mat or something when it's ingrained in them to only go outside on land (puppy would be different). Mine would hold it until physically not possible.

Personally, our dog (labrador retriever) is very uncomfortable on the boat and we don't take her with us. Tried it once and between the motion of the boat and the awkward footing, she was very high anxiety and could not settle. We are lucky to have a great neighbor who loves dogs and will keep her when we head out for overnights.
 

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I have always taken my dogs ashore. They are very good on even long trips until I slow up and start getting the anchor out and then they start looking at me like LETS GO GOTTA PEE.

BTW - one of my dogs got seasick on her first trip. She tried sleeping in the V-berth on a rough beat and it did her in. I taught her to come on deck and look out at the horizon and never a problem since then.
 

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Each of my dogs have always use/used 'Astro Turf' mounted on the foredeck, with occasional potty-visits to shore for exercise.
Amazon.com : Potty Patch - As Seen on TV, Small, Color:Green : Pet Housebreaking Potties : Pet [email protected]@[email protected]@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/[email protected]@[email protected]@616v3cb24YL
The 'poop' goes into the holding tank, the 'pee' gets washed overboard by the deckwash pump.

Training is easy; but, its 'best' if you have already trained your dog to 'pee on command' - lot of info on the internet of how to do such training. Do websearch: "pee on command" + dog.
If the dog is already trained to 'pee on command', will ultimately & intuitively know what the astro turf means and will use it. Lavish praise and rewards will reinforce the conditioning of 'potty patch' usage. All my dogs will use the potty patch even during 'rough' conditions (dog needs to be restrained during those times by a leash/harness and lifeline-netting so the dog doesnt go overboard). We long distance cruise for 8-9 months at a time.
 

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I wonder if anyone has ever tried buying a square of sod and stapling it to a welcome mat (using sod staples). Would probably require a lot of water and wouldn't last long, but the pooch sure does love the smell of real grass.
 

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In my experience if you are anchoring every night, it is usually easy enough like has been said just to row to shore, I have never long distance cruised with the dogs, they only get to do weekend trips. If you want to train the dog to go on the boat the above suggestion of astro turf on the bow seems to be what everyone does. Things I have seen to make this easier:
1. Get the dog to pee on it before putting it on the boat, if they have a spot where they usually go you could even just rub it on there right after. You are just getting the scent on there so the recognize that as a spot to use.
2. Put an eyelet or something in the piece of astro turf, and tie a line on it. After it is used just drag it behind the boat for a couple minutes to clean it off, and like RichH said foredeck washdown gets the pee off, unless you are like me then a dollar store bucket with a rope attached dipped in the water does.
 

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Here is what NOT to do:
Boat shows up at marina. Dog gets off unsupervised and lays a HUGE steamer on the dock. Owners eventually see this and aim a hose at it to send it over the side. They did not notice the runabout on the other side of the dock that the poop was sent into :laugher
Airport version: While giving kids a tour of the airport and a free plane ride, a helicopter lands. First out of the helo is a Golden Retriever with a digestion problem. He get about 50 feet before letting loose with a huge amount of loose "stuff" :puke
Said "stuff" is directly in front of a nice V-tail Bonanze that is loaded up ready to go and the pilot did not see this happen. As he hits the starter button he suddenly sees about 10 kids and me running at him screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We almost had a large amount of "stuff" hit a 300 HP fan :eek::eek:
 

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Pretty well all the dog-owning sailors we know who bring the dog along do the shore thing twice a day, and most dogs seem OK with that. In fact, they seem to get into the routine to the point that they can't or won't perform 'off schedule'.. like getting up at 4 am to catch slack at some rapids, even taken ashore it's 'sorry, boss, but it's not time!"
 

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We've had our adult mini-Aussie on the boat for 6 years now….have yet to get her to do anything on the boat. She does her business on command, but on the boat she gives us that "are you out of your freakin' mind" look when told to "go pee".

The canine pirate
 

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Said "stuff" is directly in front of a nice V-tail Bonanze that is loaded up ready to go and the pilot did not see this happen. As he hits the starter button he suddenly sees about 10 kids and me running at him screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. We almost had a large amount of "stuff" hit a 300 HP fan :eek::eek:
I almost had a human run into our prop as we started off, some girl darted out of an airplane that just arrived and ran inside, paying no attention to where she was going (she was an adult). If my copilot hadn't noticed her, she would have been hit by the prop. The way we were on the ramp, I wouldn't have seen her until she was right in front of me (too late).
 

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Total thread creep, but we had someone SUCCEED at getting into the prop at a fly-in. A friend of mine helped her out while we got her an ambulance to reassemble some missing parts of her scalp :eek: Lucky for her she walked into the back of a pusher prop so the first hit sent her AWAY from it.

I almost had a human run into our prop as we started off, some girl darted out of an airplane that just arrived and ran inside, paying no attention to where she was going (she was an adult). If my copilot hadn't noticed her, she would have been hit by the prop. The way we were on the ramp, I wouldn't have seen her until she was right in front of me (too late).
 

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What RichH said.

A lot depends on the age and brains of the dog, but a piece of astroturf from a carpet store scrap is what inspired that patch. If you are used to walking your dog, putting the astroturf down before they go helps to get their scent on it. If it smells like the right place to go (because you've gotten their waste on it) they'll be more inclined to use it. Then you give them a high-value training treat (liver snap, etc.) to reinforce the Good Dog!

In the worse case, you kidnap a dog trainer and tell them they can go home after they've taught the dog this one quick trick.(G)
 

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Unfortunately, I can't offer any advice that works because I never did get my dog to go on the boat willingly, but I can tell you what I tried and didn't work.
I have a yellow lab, the perfect water and boat dog. But she was 8 when we set sail for a year on our sailboat. I tried the astroturf with and without a pan under it to catch the pee.
I tried a spray that is supposed to tell the dog it's ok to go there.
I tried digging up dirt and putting it in the pan from the fancy doggy potty after I'd abandoned the astroturf when she refused to go on it.
I tried digging up dirt that she had already peed on (on land) and putting it in the pan.
I tried digging up dirt that another dog had already peed on (on land) and putting it in the pan from the doggy potty.
I tried getting another dog to come on our boat and peeing on the fancy doggy potty astroturf thingy.
I tried peeing on it myself.
I tried begging.
I spent 3 years on land before that trip teaching her the command "go potty" which she did perfectly on land but categorically refused to do on the boat.

On one crossing after 3 and a half days (no land in sight, and I'm begging her to pee the whole time) she finally couldn't hold it anymore and when she jumped up on the seat she let it go... FINALLY. I praised and praised her... possibly so much so that I proceeded to scare her and she is even more unlikely to go now.

Let me know if you figure it out.

Here she is on the boat, and a map of our crossing where she finally peed....yes, I remember where we were. And yes, there was a screenshot involved. :)



 

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This thread is timely, because our little toy poodle is getting too old to leave with people. We may have to take her along for a cruise this summer. Already I've decided not to charter a larger boat for this cruise, since charter companies don't allow pets. Instead, we'll take out own boat (where we allow our pet but not others' ;) .

Fortunately, she LOVES being on the boat, we just don't know whether she'll like peeing on the boat. Like most small poodles, she's very high strung, but as soon as we cut the motor and go under sail, she just relaxes and loves it. Unlike the rest of us, she prefers sitting on the leeward side. ;)

We've taken her on an overnight to a marina in Philly, but that was only a few hours of sailing. So I've got to think ahead to what we'll do for longer rides. I've heard mixed reviews of the Astroturf stuff, and the commercial product is very pricey. I know there's also a company out there who mail-orders real grass. I was thinking of harvesting some sod from a section of my yard (where it's overgrown some flagstone) and putting it on a rubber mat or in a plastic pan. But I have no experience with that, so I'm all ears.

We're not real cruisers, and will probably do mostly marina hopping, so there should be opportunities to go ashore as often as needed, but we might have to go for 8+ hours from one point to the other, so would like to have an in-boat option. So keep the suggestions coming.

 
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