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Dogs and trad sterns?


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Our first boat dog Dennis would often be on a lead on our semi trad stern.

 

Looking back it was a bad idea and would be a trip hazard.

 

We did plan to get our later boat dog Simon used to being up on the roof but sold our boat before his second trip on board.

 

This was his first trip (and last) and being coaxed up onto the roof which to be fair he was OK with.

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My lurcher is almost always on my trad stern. I stand well forward of the stern,  inside the hatch area. To date he has not fallen in. I think this is because he hates swimming and avoids the water (although he can competently swim). 

EC9FF42D-98F0-4770-80B3-25CCC6AD34E5.jpeg

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7 hours ago, Goliath said:


Dmr has a similar make of dog if not the same, he’ll hopefully be along to say how his happily sleeps under the tiller.

But doesn’t like getting wet in locks. 

 

Sophie (Greyhound/Deerhound cross) is an old girl now, and as we are spending this year on the Rochdale so she has to contend with the wet locks. She now spends some time on the back cabin floor, but whenever possible likes to be at our feet on the back deck watching the world go by. She is always on a lead and harness (I believe that no dog should be walked on a collar, a harness is much better).

There is always a tiny chance she will fall off and get chewed up by the prop, but as she does not swim well having her fixed on is the best option. She has lived on the boat her entire life and knows how to behave on the back deck.

Dogs are different to people, they live for the now and are a bit Buddist in their outlook. There is always some risk for a dog and us humans have to make the calculation for them. Every time she runs off the lead there is a small chance of a big accident (this is what lurchers do) but keeping a lurcher and not letting it run would be cruel. Likewise having the dog on the back works for us and her, but might not work for another dog that is more likely to leap off whenever it sees a rabbit etc.

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I've related this once before on this forum, can't find it but it is worth another mention if it saves a pet's life.

Many years ago when our late dog was only a pup, we were moored up and I stepped off the back to take her for a walk. Her paws slipped on the gunnel and she went in between the stern and the bank (trad stern so with the shape there was about 9 or 10 inches between boat and bank. I knelt down to pull her out but she did not appear. I put my hand under the uxter plate and she had come up underneath it. Was not a problem to pull her out and she was fine, but if I'd not thought to feel under there for her, we would have missed out 15 years with her.

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We once lost Dennis our JRT crossing the lock walkway at Sutton stop.

 

In the dark we, and he didnt notice the gap between the end of the walkway and the lock side. The Greyhound staff were brilliant ensuring we got a place by the fire to dry him and his lifejacket out.

 

 

Edited by The Happy Nomad
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We have a trad stern boat and our Ship's Dog is a lab. Having started her narrow boating career as a Junior Dog, she's now 10 years old and has progressed to Warrant Officer Dog. No incidents or accidents, just long service and good conduct. :)

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16 hours ago, zenataomm said:

n life, if any outcome can happen, eventually it will

think I'd probably disagree with you here. Makes me think I shouldn't cross any roads from now on. Joking aside, I do appreciate your perspective and would love to be able to eliminate the risk of any misfortune befalling my beloved mutt - but we have to be realistic in that respect I think. 

9 hours ago, The Happy Nomad said:

First thing our current JRT, Simon did when we first turned up at our mooring at Pollington was to leap into the water chasing ducks.

 

Dogs love water. Well lots do.

Fortunately, Reggie tends to avoid the stuff - he'll dip his front toes in to get a drink if he is desperate but otherwise he'll tend to avoid the stuff. 

12 hours ago, The Happy Nomad said:

and would be a trip hazard.

I agree with that - he's on a lead when he;'s anywhere near cars or other people's sandwiches, but otherwise we don't use a lead that much.

12 hours ago, Balloon said:

My lurcher is almost always on my trad stern. I stand well forward of the stern,  inside the hatch area. To date he has not fallen in. I think this is because he hates swimming and avoids the water (although he can competently swim). 

EC9FF42D-98F0-4770-80B3-25CCC6AD34E5.jpeg

what a lovely dog - yes, I'm thinking Reggie would be much the same. 

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11 hours ago, dmr said:

having her fixed on is the best option.

 

that's interesting. how do you do this? I did wonder whether some sort of elasticated lead could be useful for that. 

10 hours ago, Mike Tee said:

I've related this once before on this forum, can't find it but it is worth another mention if it saves a pet's life.

Many years ago when our late dog was only a pup, we were moored up and I stepped off the back to take her for a walk. Her paws slipped on the gunnel and she went in between the stern and the bank (trad stern so with the shape there was about 9 or 10 inches between boat and bank. I knelt down to pull her out but she did not appear. I put my hand under the uxter plate and she had come up underneath it. Was not a problem to pull her out and she was fine, but if I'd not thought to feel under there for her, we would have missed out 15 years with her.

thank goodness for your quick thinking! - sounds like a lucky escape. 

8 hours ago, Sea Dog said:

We have a trad stern boat and our Ship's Dog is a lab. Having started her narrow boating career as a Junior Dog, she's now 10 years old and has progressed to Warrant Officer Dog. No incidents or accidents, just long service and good conduct. :)

Having had several dogs, I tend to think that they are much less likely to have accidents than we are. They seem a lot more tuned in to what's going on around them and instinctively cautious. 

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19 hours ago, frahkn said:

Our goldie has the freedom of the boat as normally both front and rear doors are open.

 

She usually stays on the back deck. Although the deck is small (even for a trad) and both she and I are large, we seem to manage ok. She is never on a lead but is not excitable.

that's good to know - thank you. I don't think I'd consider it at all if our dog was excitable. 

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2 hours ago, missingtheboat said:

 

that's interesting. how do you do this? I did wonder whether some sort of elasticated lead could be useful for that. 

 

 

I think that elasticated leads are best avoided. We have a longish lead (a cut off section of the long training leads that we purchased over 12 years ago 😀) that is tied to the leg of the Epping in the back cabin. Its just long enough that the dog can lie comfotably on the back deck. If we get into an urgent situation (a lock turns out to be very leaky as we go down) then the dog can quickly be sent into the back cabin. Its also gives her the option of going inside without our help if a single drop lands on her head. Sometimes when mooring up the dog would run through the boat and jump off the front onto the towpath so keeping her tied on prevents this. 

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2 minutes ago, dmr said:

 

I think that elasticated leads are best avoided. We have a longish lead (a cut off section of the long training leads that we purchased over 12 years ago 😀) that is tied to the leg of the Epping in the back cabin. Its just long enough that the dog can lie comfotably on the back deck. If we get into an urgent situation (a lock turns out to be very leaky as we go down) then the dog can quickly be sent into the back cabin. Its also gives her the option of going inside without our help if a single drop lands on her head. Sometimes when mooring up the dog would run through the boat and jump off the front onto the towpath so keeping her tied on prevents this. 

that makes a lot of sense, great solution. Thank you. 

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2 hours ago, missingtheboat said:

that's interesting. how do you do this? I did wonder whether some sort of elasticated lead could be useful for that. 

Some years ago we were tied up on the Monty / Llangollen junction waiting for the lock to go down onto the Monty when a NB came 'whizzing' by on the Llangollen - I say 'whizzing' because there was a huge 'stern wave / disturbed water' about 6 feet behind the boat, I then noticed a dogs head surfacing, disappearing, surfacing, dis ...........

 

I jumped off our boat and ran down the  towpath, eventually managed to get the steerers attention and go him to stop.

They pulled the dog aboard, all limp and more dead than alive. It did start to come around but I don't know what eventually happened.

 

I left after them saying they noticed the dog was no longer on the stern and they assumed it had gone inside - they think they must have travelled well over a mile dragging it behind them.

 

If you have a dog you have a responsibility to look after it.

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One of the main reasons we chose to have a cruiser stern was because of our Labrador dog. Not for the dogs sake but more because we didn't want to be tripping over her or having to watch our step in order to avoid her.  We used to place a rug on the starboard side and she would happily lie on it out of our way, occasionally standing up and moving to one side or other if she saw anything interesting. We were lucky in that she didn't have to be tethered, and would only get off the boat with our permission.

 

Now, 18 months after her passing, it still seems strange when cruising along seeing that empty space where she used to be.

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On 24/04/2022 at 10:16, missingtheboat said:

Wondering whether there are people on the forum that have experience of having a dog aboard a boat with a traditional stern? I know there is not a lot of space out back but is there enough room for a dog to mooch around? 

 You need a butty - that's got a traditional stern :)

 

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Edited by koukouvagia
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I kicked Mac in once from the trad rear deck by accident.  He swam to the towpath, got out, shook himself and trotted up to the next bridge hole as if it was a daily occurrence. 

Good old Mac.  A big Border terrier totally at ease under a pub table and completely ignored other dogs. 

My point is he was taught to obey voice and hand commands.

Edited by jake_crew
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2 hours ago, Grassman said:

One of the main reasons we chose to have a cruiser stern was because of our Labrador dog. Not for the dogs sake but more because we didn't want to be tripping over her or having to watch our step in order to avoid her.  We used to place a rug on the starboard side and she would happily lie on it out of our way, occasionally standing up and moving to one side or other if she saw anything interesting. We were lucky in that she didn't have to be tethered, and would only get off the boat with our permission.

 

Now, 18 months after her passing, it still seems strange when cruising along seeing that empty space where she used to be.

 

If you steer a trad correctly from within the hatches, the dog will be on the counter behind you, so no chance of accidentally tripping over it whilst steering the boat.

 

You have a good point about the dog not getting off until told. I'm currently training my 8 month old lab to stay on the boat until told to get off.

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6 minutes ago, cuthound said:

If you steer a trad correctly from within the hatches, the dog will be on the counter behind you, so no chance of accidentally tripping over it whilst steering the boat.

Until you yourself want to go onto the counter in order to step ashore or walk down the gunwale (especially if no walk through engine room) etc.

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54 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Until you yourself want to go onto the counter in order to step ashore or walk down the gunwale (especially if no walk through engine room) etc.

 

True, but a well trained dog will move on command.

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On 24/04/2022 at 10:16, missingtheboat said:

Wondering whether there are people on the forum that have experience of having a dog aboard a boat with a traditional stern? I know there is not a lot of space out back but is there enough room for a dog to mooch around? 

 

Unlike many forum members I don't think dogs have particularly strong views one way or the other on narrowboat stern designs. 🐕

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3 hours ago, David Mack said:

Until you yourself want to go onto the counter in order to step ashore or walk down the gunwale (especially if no walk through engine room) etc.

 

I always thought "counter" was another name for the uxter plate?

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3 hours ago, blackrose said:

 

I always thought "counter" was another name for the uxter plate?

Counter the top, including the whole "round" bit.

Uxter plate the underneath bit at the back of a narrow boat (include widebeams of similar design here)

 

"Uxter Plate = The steel bottom plate of a narrowboat's stern counter deck, where it projects over the propeller and rudder."

 

Narrow Boat Terms Explained by Venetian Marina in Cheshire

 

Excludes buttys of course as they have neither.

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Edited by Ray T
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When we had Tadworth we had a rare old dog called Scruff. He liked to sit on the back cabin and used to walk along the top planks to the bows, turn round and come back. He also would jump off at a bridge hole and run to the next on to get back on. When he got older he often missed and finished in the cut. Problem in many places was the steel piling which meant he couldn’t get out so much backing up.

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Edited by Dav and Pen
Don’t know what’s happened here will try again.
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