Pets Aboard

Postby Wilhoite » Thu Feb 06, 2003 10:07 am

Mike Negley points out, quite correctly, that those who have an interest in the topic of pets aboard are not likely to find it in the "marinas" discussions. So I'll open this thread. To get it started, I'll copy and move the notes I put into the other thread over here.<P>------------------<BR>Ken & Sue Wilhoite<BR>GB 42 Classic #546<BR>Noble House<BR>
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Postby Wilhoite » Thu Feb 06, 2003 10:20 am

This note was posted on the Fl Marinas thread, and is being reprinted here. Several people have asked about "good boat dogs". Bichons used to be relatively rare so we offered the following in response to the question about our dogs on board.<P>We have two Bichon Frises. The breed has the virtue of not shedding and they don't have the dander that causes people with allergies to have a problem around them. The down side to Bichon's are that they can be high maintenance from the perspective of grooming. Since they don't shed, their fur has to be brushed (a white fuzz comes out on the comb or brush). They have a dual coat, an extremely soft inner coat and an a coarser (but still very soft) external "barrier" coat. <P>Bichon's are also "self exercising" in that they will periodically do what is called a Bichon Run...where they tear around the house, yard or boat as fast as they can run for several minutes. They like big spaces for this, but they used to do it in our house...running from the back shop area, through the laundry room, through the living room, through the kitchen, into a guest room, over the bed, and back again. Lots of fun. <P>They are very intelligent and willing dogs, but they can also be pretty stubborn when they are into something (like a good sniff at a tree when you want to keep walking). <P>Finally, the breed is generally small enough to be manageable for picking them up and getting them into dinghies, over rails and so on. In general, they are supposed to be around 14-16 pounds at full maturity. As it happens, our two guys are "big" Bichons...with Max coming in at about 25 pounds and Duke at about 22 or so. Nevertheless, Sue is able to manage handling them but it can be a trial for her to get them up over a coaming when it is at shoulder height. <P>We potty trained Max in our in-town apartment and at the office by using puppie pads. We also used them at the house in the shop when the weather was too bad for him to go out, or we were leaving him home alone for several hours. Today, (three years later) he generally waits for a trip to the grass or gravel of the marina. Duke was never potty trained; he generally followed Max. We have an old rug that was in the shop at home that Max adopted as his alternate site which we will carry on long trips for the back deck. We have made several long day trips with the boys and as a general rule, they "hold it" until we get where we are going. They cope by sleeping and staying quiet. If we went longer than 8 hours or so, though,I expect we will need the old rug!<P>------------------<BR>Ken & Sue Wilhoite<BR>GB 42 Classic #546<BR>Noble House
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Postby madeliene » Thu Feb 06, 2003 7:06 pm

2 months ago we got a portuguese water dog. She is now 4 months old and is a wonderful boat dog. We've trained her to some sod on the front of the boat and will soon switch it out to astroturf. She's taken to it well. Stella is presently going through her chew stage so if you have any suggestions on how to keep her off of the teak I would be most grateful. Have tried a product called bitter apple but it is not practical to spray it on all the teak every four hours. She's well suited to boating - a medium sized dog who doesn't shed and loves the water.
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Postby Mike Negley » Thu Feb 06, 2003 10:37 pm

I know of no creature more affectionate than a dog that has just gotten out of the water.
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Postby madeliene » Fri Feb 07, 2003 10:58 am

I've been wondering what to do about the teak rails. Stella, quite naturally, wants to put her paws on them to greet passers-by and they're getting scratched. The only long-term solution I can see is covering them or teaching her to stay off of them- any suggestions of how to go about that? It's good to hear about other dogs on boats and Mike, you're right - there's not much better than having a dog aboard - just completes the joy of boating.
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Postby Bill Ray » Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:35 pm

Our Cardigan Welsh Corgi 'Popcorn' at roughly 16 months age was a great Boat Dog for 8 weeks all the way to AK and back last year (see www.bedoeling.com for photos). She was a great incentive to get us off the boat at least twice a day, plus being a perfect conversation-starter with people.<P>Underway she does have her limits and will want comforting when the going gets rough enough to rattle pans and open the occassional cupboard. Otherwise she curls up on the settee (sheet-covered to protect the fabric) and sleeps until the engines stop. Then its shore duty time!<P>We tried to get her to use grass or Astroturf without success. She believes going on the deck is not allowed, and will only do it under considerable duress after holding it for more than 12-18 hours, and then only if we are not watching.<P>She loves those Grand Banks all-around decks for running too!<P>She chews a lot, even now, so we took along many cheap stuffed animals and artificial bones which she happily destroyed along the way. A little messy but causes no harm. We put her in a folding wire fence when leaving her behind, say to go to dinner, which protected the salon's wood.<P>Not all dogs take to boats however -- we have met people who have tried without success because their dog apparently could not take the noise/motion, even starting young. Not enough samples yet but it is possible this happens with planing hulls not nice gentile trawlers.<P>Some safety issues-- We stopped the boat when moving us all up and down from the flybridge given those tricky steps, and kept her confined inside the salon or flybridge when underway always. We kept her on a leash ashore in bear country, stayed on the open beaches out of the woods and I carried bear spray (Canadian-approved) for whatever good that might do. Remember to stock lots of plastic baggies for going ashore in civilization so our dogs stay welcome.<P>Happy boat-dogging!<P>Bill
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Postby Eric & Melinda » Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:58 pm

Well here it goes<BR>Cats or Dogs, My wife Melinda and have had both and I have to say without hesitation CATS.<P>We have two on board, they never need to go ashore at 6AM, they never bark at strangers. If we go ashore for hours or even longer, not a problem (so long as they have food). The only down side we have found so far is they refuse to flush the toilet!<BR><P>Just one mans option...<BR>PS we still love dogs, we just find cats easer.<P>Quiet North<BR>GB36 #735<BR>
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Postby Rolf Hildre » Sun Feb 09, 2003 2:55 pm

We have a 14 month old Toy Poodle that does very well on the boat. Kimba enjoys taveling inside and especially on the flying bridge.<P>In the past, we have had a couple of boat dogs tht always had to go ashore to do their business.<P>Kimba was introduced to the boat as a young pup. We taught him to take care of business on our Cetol covered teak decks. After he has done "good work" he gets a cookie and lots of praise.<P>He has never used the inside of the boat as his office to take care of business. What a guy! The best part is there is no "business travel" in the dingy at 6 AM.<P>As far as chewing goes we have had good luck using "Bitter Apple". The juice was recommended by a dog trainer as a way to deter him from having teak for his meal or trying to be the Admiral.<P>As a practice we always keep a couple of small spray bottles close by or one in the pant pocket so that when he cuts loose with the Alpha behavior he immediately gets a shot of it in his mouth. He is now 14 months old and the Bitter Aplle treatments have become rare. Again, "What a Guy".
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Postby dekkgideon » Mon Feb 10, 2003 11:40 am

Regarding cats, what about claws? I would worry if a cat had no claws aboard ship, but understand those who are concerned about upholstery ashore. <P>Thanks, D. Gideon
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Postby Eric & Melinda » Mon Feb 10, 2003 4:11 pm

Both of out cats have their front claws removed, when they are on deck they are on a leash and we have a large fishing net handy. Everyone that I have talked to about this suggests that a cat will only go into the water once and then its never a problem again. If I have any complaints I guess it would be the hair getting into everything. But our dog was the same (shedding) just one of those things<P>Quiet North<BR>GB 36 #735<BR>
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Postby Milt Baker » Tue Feb 11, 2003 12:40 am

Dory is a 12-year old Schipperke, a 22-pound Belgian barge dog, bred specifically to be on boats. She was introduced to our GB-32 when she was eight weeks old, and easily made the transition to our GB-42 two or three years later. In the past three years Dory has traveled over 15,000 nautical miles aboard Bluewater, three times from Florida to Maine or Nova Scotia and back. She's never been seasick once! <P>In talking with literally hundreds of cruising dog owners over the years, one thing has come clear to us: you can't reach an old dog new tricks. Start your dog on the boat when he or she is a pup--the younger the better. Dory is as at-home on our GB-42 as in our condo, and she NEVER has to be taken ashore. She goes on the foredeck or after deck (depending on weather and her mood), and we wash it away with a fresh water hose. No sod, no Astro-turf, no rugs. Just virgin teak!<P>We have good friends who recently adopted a 12-week old Havanese pup (a branch of the Bichon family but with web feet). Coco Bongo has adapted perfectly to their Grand Banks 46, the only real home he's ever known. He's cruising in the Exuma Cays at the moment and living life to the fullest.<P>If you're thinking of getting a dog for your boat or your home, whatever you do buy the book called The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. It's available at amazon.com, and it'll give you a terrific focus on what YOU need to know to raise a puppy and make it a successful, contributing member of your family. It was absolutely instrumental in our "socializing" of Dory, and the rules and observations of the monks worked virtually 100% of the time for us.<P>Having a dog aboard makes cruising even better. Do it! But, if possible, do it with a young pup you can train from the get-go!<P>--Milt <P>------------------<BR>Milt Baker<BR>Bluewater<BR>GB-42-1028-CL<BR>
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Postby Keith Morris » Sat Feb 15, 2003 6:38 pm

NO parrots on board anywhere??? I have a Amazon and Quaker and a Cat on short trips, they get along well. Is there anyone that has tried taking birds along?
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Postby Hawgwash » Wed Feb 18, 2015 9:02 am

Keith Morris wrote:NO parrots on board anywhere???


Since Easter is approaching and this thread has been inactive for 12 years, I thought a resurrection might be cool.

After 12 years and who knows how many dog miles, there must be some new stories, tips and tricks to having pets onboard.

Technology alone must have advanced beyond sod and bitter apple by now.

I just have difficulty with the concept of waste on any surface of a boat and that carpet has to be stowed somewhere. This is not a squeamish, eeewww factor but rather the simple notion of somewhere, sometime, irremovable stains or smells will happen. We’ve all been there with used cars and homes and know the effect it has on value.

How many gallons of wash-down can ensure there is no trace evidence to be discovered two years hence when doing a deep down buyer survey?

Several squirts a day, on a 2 month voyage, really increases the negative odds in my view.

We've all heard the stories where "he" has continued boating long after "she" said either the boat goes or I do. If given the choice between the dog or the boat, I guess bocce ball would be my new pastime.
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Postby Bob Lowe » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:48 pm

There is an old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie."
Good luck,
Bob Lowe
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Postby Hawgwash » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:55 pm

Bob Lowe wrote:There is an old saying, "Let sleeping dogs lie."


And another one; "You have too much time on your hands."
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