Anyone have advice on boats and pups?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. Active Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Old Saybrook, CT
    2012 45 Yacht
    D6 Volvo Penta IPS
    So, we are somewhat seriously considering a couple of West Highland Terrier pups, as a friend is a local breeder and we've been thinking about it since we have lost the 2 kitties. We spend almost every weekend, during the season, on the boat; do a lot of 2 night cruises, either on a mooring or slipped at a marina; and, maybe 3 extended cruises, say 5 - 10 days.

    What have been your experiences, tips, things to be aware of good and not so good about bringing your dog(s) on the boat? All advice will be welcomed, as we'd like to know what we're getting into, and most importantly want to do the right thing for the new addition to our family, if we do decided to pull the trigger. Thanks for any and all insight!!
  2. Havana Shamrock

    Havana Shamrock Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 9, 2008
    Long Island.
    2005 500DB
    Honda 30HP
    Sea Doo 90 HP H.O.
    We have a Kerry blue terrier. Which was reported to be a good water dog however not our guy!!! He's 4 years old and has been on boats since he was a pup and never gotten comfy. He will not volunteer to get in the water. Bring them onboard ASAP and get them used to wearing a vest. He does sleep well on the boat though. I would never get 2 dogs at one time it's like having twin infants the dogs should acclimate to boating fine.
    One trick we learned from the breeder was to teach him to drink from a water bottle (like a rabbit) so there's no need for a bowl to spill. Also at home. Designate a sleeping spot for the dogs onboard so you'll know where they are in the middle of the night. Pretty much all I have. Post pics of the pups if you decide to get them good luck
  3. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    A lot of it will come down to the dogs and how they are on the boat, which you won't really know until you do it. But chances are, they'll be OK. Of course, you'll need a dinghy to give them a walk for those times you're on the hook. I see you've got a genny so at least you can leave the AC on for them if the rest of you take off for a while. Although given the size of Terriers, that probably makes things a little easier. I've always had big dogs, and that can be challenging at times. Our last dog was a wonderful yellow lab. He always wanted to be in the water, but then after a little bit he realized we were still in the boat so he wanted to come back in. After a few minutes in the boat, he figured out that the water was better so he would jump back in. But then... a little while later, he realized we were still in the boat...... you get the picture. The good thing was, once in a while he could come up the later himself. There was this one time, though, while at anchor in a cove (we had a runabout at the time), that my wife I wondered why the boat was moving...forward. We looked over the bow and there was Indy - anchor line in mouth and pulling us toward shore! All in all, I wouldn't NOT get a dog because of boating - you just may need to adapt some of your routines a little bit.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  4. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    We have a Maltese that we take with us - he loves the boat. I think the key is starting them early.

    When we had the 340 near the house we had a boat bag we always grabbed out of the closet on the way out the door. When he saw that boat bag he would go crazy, jumping and barking, did not want to be left behind.
  5. endless seas

    endless seas Active Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    1997 450 DA
    Cat 420
    We took our 10 week old Papillion on the boat and its her boat! She has her own set of boat squeaky toys,food bowls,towels etc.
    She is trained not go go past the inside of the transom.As far as potty is concerned early in the morning she goes outside with mommy to the swim platform where she uses a piddle pad then when I finally get up she goes to shore to do her business.
    She has pier puppy friends and every pet owner is respectful of everyone.
    Good luck.
  6. h_gerry

    h_gerry Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 19, 2013
    Oceanside, NY
    400 Express Cruiser - 1994 with
    Raytheon 41xx Radar, Northstar 6000i GPS
    Kohler 5E
    454 Mercruiser Inboards
    We have had our black lab mix on the boat since she was a puppy. It has been a great experience for the whole family. My advice is what Joe said, get them on the boat right away. Start small, bring them on the boat while tied to the dock. Let them walk on the boat and dock to get their sea legs. Then start the engine and generator with them on board. When they are used to the noise, take a short ride. Once they are aclumated to the boat, you can start with longer rides.

    Other general advice I have is to take a dog training class with them. The class will help you learn how to control the dogs and get them used to basic commands. The class will also train the dog to respond to the commands and more importantly, be around other dogs. Getting them used to other dogs is key to a happy life with them on the boat because you will see many of us with our dogs (and cats) on board.

    Last season, we took a long trip with the family including our dog, the CSR Northeast Flortilla, and it was a great experience.

    Here are a couple of pictures of our Chelsea on board:

    Attached Files:

  7. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Apr 21, 2009
    Good idea with the piddle pad. Having always had big dogs, that's not something that would really work or that I even thought of. But with small dogs, you could probably even train them to do both on it and avoid the trip ashore? I mean, how much is it... like a shot glass and a few raisins? :smt001
  8. Converse48

    Converse48 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Chesapeake Bay
    2010 McKinna 57 Pilothouse
    We boat all the time with our two Catahoulas. One 80 pounder one 40 pounder. Get them started early. Get a dinghy. IMG_0702.jpg
  9. bbwhitejr

    bbwhitejr Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Apr 14, 2013
    Lake Lanier GA
    2007 44DB
    Cummins QSC 8.3s
    We have a 14 year old Peek-a-Poo. She is a small 8 lb female that does not shed. As we have had our boat for less than a year, she was not started early by any means. We trailer our boat and stay on the hook frequently. Going to shore is a pain at times. When the water is cold, a bigger pain. We have a small inflatable that works well when it gets cold, but still a pain. Have never thought of the piddle pads and not sure a dog of this age would take to it, but it would be a great idea. Otherwise, she is OK with the boat, but would just as soon stay out of the water. I think starting them early is great advice. I also love the piddle pad idea.

    Good luck!

  10. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled

    NO PETS ON BOATS! No cats, no dogs, and no pigs!

    Here I am, rafted up in a peaceful cove, relaxing with friends, and someone pulls up with barking dogs!
  11. Craigalan

    Craigalan New Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    Great Lakes
    2000 Sundancer 270 with all the fixins...
    Merc 7.4, 310 horses
    We have a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier who must be part fish. This dog loves the water and being on boats. We take him both sailing and powerboating. But, only for a few hour cruise and typically not overnight, unless we stay at the marina where he is able to get to grass areas for his biz.
  12. J.Wilt

    J.Wilt Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 29, 2010
    W. Mich. / Lake Michigan
    420 Sundancer 2005
    Cumming 6cta V Drives
    Highfield 310 , 15hp Mercury
    Here is a picture of our two year old Daisy Dog named Heidi relaxing on the boat. We started her very young also. Loves the boat but when we are cruising up on plane she gets really nerves, on longer trips we give her a Doggy Cocktail with 1/2 of a Dramamine pill to calm her down. Good idea to check with the marina to see how dog friendly they are. We have lots of dogs at our Marina and there are two designated poop areas a lot of pet owners just let their dogs pee & poop on the clubhouse lawn which makes everybody mad.
  13. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    I have a golden Retriver named Kenzi who sota loves the boat. While underway she's glued to my feet at the helm or down in her spot under the table. Once we go on the hook she's a different girl, she want to swim with the girls and if we go to the beach she just runs herself out and swims back to the boat after doing her stuff.

    Hints, train them as to what you would want them to do. On the dock Kenzi is glued to me unless she is told she can run. When other members have their dogs, they are only allowed to run until other members show up then she is leashed and by my side.

    Pick up after your dog and watch over them closely, keep them away from the ramp.
    Pee pads are a great idea!
    Make very sure they have a vest that fits them! I don't care if it's the best swimming dog know to mankind! Once they fall in and get scared they are tough to get control of and back on the dock or boat. I saw a Lab almost drown at our marina this past season after the dog fell off the dock. It took three grown men to get that dog back on the dock, even after to paddle boats got to the dog. One jacket with a harness loop makes an easier rescue.

    Good luck and be safe!
  14. munko

    munko Member

    Oct 16, 2012
    Lake Erie
    330 Sundancer 1994
    454 Mercruiser

    I purchased a life jacket after a friend took this pic of Marley eyeballing Canada geese while we were under way!

    View attachment 38868
  15. dwna1a

    dwna1a Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 23, 2012
    James River
    88 Weekender 300 "Seahorse"
    Twins 350
    Beautiful Golden...
  16. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 EC
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin 546s Plotter
    454 Crusaders
    Our 10 year old Poodle/Terrior mix has been trained to use pads/newspapers since he was a puppy. Never had to take him ashore. We keep the floor of the second stateroom covered with plastic then pads and or newspapers. Funny how some dogs would rather go cross eyed with pain rather than use the swim platform or pads. The key is start them as puppies. :smt001
  17. IanBat

    IanBat New Member

    Nov 19, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Pro Tournament 36' 1999
    Twin Cummins 5.9L 370hp B Series
    We have a Labrador.......what else do I need to say.

    First on the boat at the dock, last off. First in the water, has been known to 'accidentally' fall off the dock.

    He is often our main reason for going out on the boat.

    Only downside....he's Black!....white hair!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  18. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Our 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks go with us all the time. Both pics were taken on the boat. This is what they do most.

  19. NorCal Boater

    NorCal Boater Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jan 24, 2008
    Covington, LA
    Cobalt CM23
    GM SB 383" Stroker" Alpha Gen I
    Ridgebacks do not bark to bark. Typically, if a Ridgeback is barking something is you snuck on my boat and raided my cooler.
  20. dvx216

    dvx216 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2012
    2000 310 sundancer 5.7 vdrives

    twin 5.7 300 Hp. V drives
    Our Rat terrier loves the boat and swimming.

    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015

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