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Ruby22

Puppies on boats

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Hi

I am a person without a boat, but I am fostering a litter of Lurcher pups for a dog rescue and a potential home has come up from a couple who live on a canal boat. 

 

I’ve no boat experience, and although I know loads of people have dogs on boats, could anyone help me by telling me the practicalities of raising a young pup on a boat pease? Pup will be 8 or 9 weeks old when he leaves us and was born here.

 

The potential owners have no previous experience of having a puppy on board (they did foster an older rescue dog for a short while).

 

Thanks in advance. 

 

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Thank you, Yes, we’d insist on life jackets. 

 

 

The rescue are totally open  to the idea, I’m just curious about the practicalities, having only ever done toilet training (puppy, not me) in a garden. 

 

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Generally dogs are very happy on boats and starting them 'young' is better than 'trying to teach an old dog new tricks'.

 

We have never had a problem, even with the Pug (pugs don't swim), he fell in and just watched use with those trusting eyes as he slowly sank below the surface.

 

Life-jacket is a must until proven that they can swim.

 

Our two (Pug & French Bulldog) curled up in the saloon.

CAM00254.jpg

7 minutes ago, Ruby22 said:

The rescue are totally open  to the idea, I’m just curious about the practicalities, having only ever done toilet training (puppy, not me) in a garden. 

Puppy-Pads are useful, but as they get older they will 'wait'.

Many canal boats will travel less than 4-6 hours a day and when the boat is tied up the dogs will have a nice grassy tow-path to 'investigate'.

It will really be no different to someone going out to work for the day and leaving the dog in the house.

 

Our two are very good and will 'hold-it for 12-13 hours when we are at sea.

Edited by Alan de Enfield
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Oh Alan, thank you for the information. Your sinking pug story made me gulp! Glad he’s Ok. 

 

We’ve fostered quite a few rescue dogs and this is our 4th litter to a pregnant stray, but this is the first time a potential home on the water has come up. I’m curious to learn more ? 

 

 

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Nightwatch thank you for the info. Your puppies look so teeny ?. The mum of these pups is a medium sized Lurcher, but as she’s a stray, dad is unknown. They’re looking lurchery at the moment though.

 

Thank you for also saying that it’s more to do with the owner than the ‘home’, be it on land or water. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Alan de Enfield said:

That's not fair - he's got more than me !!!!

That's the caption we applied at the time. They are still like it now. What have you got that I haven't?

 

we have had two Staffie onboard. Not known for their swimming abilities. George the Staffie went in, tried to drink the GU dry, failed and decided to swim. He swam towards us with just his snout (snorkel) above surface. After loads of coughing and spluttering he was fine.

 

ours turned out okay.

IMG_1305.JPG

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We took or Lab pups to the boat with us, but we didnt live aboard. Boats stop quite often, at locks etc. when there is ample time for a wee break, also lots of towpath walking

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Depending on what triggers your dog, food or toys, work with your pup's personality, and use his preference to reward. Training has always to be positive, and never negative.

 

We house trained ours by putting them outside after waking up and after food and drink, it's the first thing you do in the morning, and the last thing at night (it's hard work for a couple of weeks, but it'll pay off well) - after which listen and watch for any signals they want to get off the boat for piddle. They can also piddle when they get excited, so until he can control his bladder better, maybe getting excited in play should be for outdoors :) 

 

Puppies have sharp puppy teeth, and he'll be using them like crazy. Don't let him cut his teeth on your hands, don't let him bite, you can tell him 'No', but a good trick we learnt was to yell out loud and clear 'Ouch', he'll soon get the message that he's hurt you, and he'll not want to do that. His mother would have given him a nip if bit too hard, it's a way of learning to be gentle. I knew someone who would pinch their pup's bottom, a bit like nip from his mother to train him to be gentle if he went too far.

 

Whenever they do their 'business' tell them they are a good boy or girl, and make a fuss. Also when you put them outside use a special word as a command for them to perform, ours does what he has to do on command (most of the time), we can often be heard whispering to our GSD on a dark towpath going "Pee pee Rusty.... be a good boy, pee pee". He'll soon get the hang of it.

 

We have to have our dog tethered when we're on the move, sadly he sees cats as prey, we can't trust him not to jump off the boat. Before getting off the boat, make him sit, then call him off the boat, saves him getting tangled up with your feet in a frenzied dash to get off the boat, ending in both of you taking a dip or worse.

 

Introduce him to as many dogs as you can, and don't make him a 'mummy's boy' by picking him up when you come across a bigger dog, he'll need to learn not to be frightened of other dogs. He'll also need to learn when another dog doesn't want to be sociable. I find in most circumstances when we come across a nervous smaller dog, it's the other end of the lead from the collar end that's the problem.

 

I'm broody.... I want a puppy!..... :( 

 

 

Sorry, I've just reread what the OP wrote.... you don't live on a boat. So much of the above will be about teaching their granny to do something with eggs....

 

Edited by Jennifer McM

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I know of some lurchers. Well, they may not be all lurcher.

Edited by Nightwatch

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Thats good all  round advice from Jennifer.

Our new 10 week old cocker Bertie will be on his maiden voyage tomorrow with big stepsister Bella. Lots of pads, disinfectant, and patience for a while.

I would also mention crate training. We take no chances on long busy lock flights, and especially in tunnels. In they go, safe and sound. You dont need dogs under your feet halfway through Harecastle ....

I am sure the potential owners will have necessary common sense. Dogs generally love boat life.

Edited by Hartlebury lad
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Most dogs do just fine on boats. If brought up on the boat from a pup I really cant see a problem they will soon get used to the lifestyle. 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Nightwatch said:

I know of some lurchers. Well, they may not be all lurcher.

A lurcher is any dog crossed with a "sighthound" i.e greyhound.

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8 minutes ago, Tonka said:

A lurcher is any dog crossed with a "sighthound" i.e greyhound.

So a crossbreed. Didn't know that. We met a couple the other day who were looking for their greyhound. We had actually seen what we thought was their dog about half an hour earlier in the woods and adjacent gravel pits. We asked if he was a brown greyhound and they said yes. We told then where we had seen him and off they went whistling and calling his name. We then thought, a brown greyhound? 

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My daughter's lurcher is something crossed with a Saluki. Looks every bit a Saluki but is brindle which you don't get in pure Saluki's. At least they are crossbreeds at crossbreed prices and not trying to get kennel club status like the "Cockerpoo" and all the other so called trendy mutts 

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There's a  boat on the network with I think 4 greyhounds, well behaved and seem to enjoy the life.

Sorry I forgot the boat name but they are members here

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7 minutes ago, Tonka said:

My daughter's lurcher is something crossed with a Saluki. Looks every bit a Saluki but is brindle which you don't get in pure Saluki's. At least they are crossbreeds at crossbreed prices and not trying to get kennel club status like the "Cockerpoo" and all the other so called trendy mutts 

Yes they are terrible dogs these designer breeds!

 

20180609-142450.jpg

 

(Sydney the Schnoodle)

 

As lovely as Sydney is we would not have paid the current silly prices (£700-1500) for what is a mongrel with a dodgy name. We were more than  happy to rescue him from the terrible situation he had found himself in though.

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^^^ as everybody has said, and despite the hard work at the start, they are great to have around - I'd reinforce the comment about having a crate available.

 

One thing that happened to our pup soon after we had her (and it wasn't anything I'd imagine happening) - she went to follow me off the back when moored, and her feet slipped on take off. Went straight in the canal and fortunately I was watching as she went in - she came up under the uxter plate so I just reached in and pulled her out. I didn't make a fuss about it and it didn't seem to put her off boats, but she was never a swimmer after that!

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Thank you all very much for the info here.

It all sounds really possible, so next step is a chat with the potential adopters.

 

We have 5 lurchers ourselves; 1 collie/whippet, 1 Saluki/grey/whippet, 1 whippet/Parsons Russel & 2 Bull lurchers (mix of sighthounds with a little bit of a bull breed, commonly a staffie, for those who don’t know. Sadly a type often used for illegal stuff like badger baiting as the bull breed part gives them extra strength.) 

 

 

Now, next question is.... do I need a boat?!? 

We’re next to Norfolk, so the Broads are accessible.

 

(am mostly joking ?

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10 minutes ago, Mike Tee said:

^^^ as everybody has said, and despite the hard work at the start, they are great to have around - I'd reinforce the comment about having a crate available.

 

One thing that happened to our pup soon after we had her (and it wasn't anything I'd imagine happening) - she went to follow me off the back when moored, and her feet slipped on take off. Went straight in the canal and fortunately I was watching as she went in - she came up under the uxter plate so I just reached in and pulled her out. I didn't make a fuss about it and it didn't seem to put her off boats, but she was never a swimmer after that!

Ours has the opposite problem. Cant keep him out of the water. He loves to swim. Think it must be the poodle in him.

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Just a thought, a vet once suggested we should innoculate our dog for weils disease seeing that we live on the canals. We didn't for some reason, but it would be interesting to hear if anyone else has treated their dog for either having a problem with the disease, or for prevention.

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6 minutes ago, Jennifer McM said:

 

Just a thought, a vet once suggested we should innoculate our dog for weils disease seeing that we live on the canals. We didn't for some reason, but it would be interesting to hear if anyone else has treated their dog for either having a problem with the disease, or for prevention.

Leptospirosis (Weils disease) is included in the standard puppy vaccinations.

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