View Full Version : Boat dogs!

02-18-2013, 12:34 PM
I've been thinking about this for a long time as its getting to the point id like to have a 4 legged companion to take around with me places such as boating and mountain biking. I've seen a variety of pups out there that seem to be trained so well such as English pointers all the way down to mini yorkies. I'm thinking of getting a lab because I want a bigger dog and want a dog who doesn't mind getting wet. Also, one whos very playful and as active as I am! (Don't judge me I need a beer fetcher :D). My question for you guys is what kind of dog do you think would make a Great Lake dog? Also what accessories would you get? I'm curious to see the variety and success of certain dogs out there!

I've thought about it a little and am toying with the idea of having him trained in a different language though so no one would know his commands such as Russian. Seen this done with a dog On the lake and the command is so distinct over the other chatter he knew it was fo Him and he came a running.

Things a lake dog would need are:

Doggy life jacket is a must!
Some food with a food bowl (duh everyone gets hungry on the lake!)
I've researched some boots for the dog to wear so the interior is not hurt by their paws and nails. Have you guys had luck with this method?

What's your thoughts on good dogs or best practices in dog training and making sure not to damage anything?

02-18-2013, 12:47 PM
As far as water dogs go, we've had labs and golden retrievers, but will only have goldens from this point on. Actually or goldens have been the best dogs of any type I've ever had. You can't seem to hurt their feelings, they are always ready to go, are always smiling and love the water. They are sweet to everyone as well. They just want to be with their family but don't get hurt if you need to leave them.

We have Jasper in the boat a lot and have not noticed any issues with scratches. We don't use boots either. We do take him in to be groomed a couple of times a year and they clip his nails. We walk him quite a bit too so I don't think he nails get long. He loves the water, ANY WATER.


02-18-2013, 12:49 PM
my favorite dog is a black lab, so thats my recommendation, but any "water" dog would be good, stay away from the thin breeds, some cant swim

dont bother with doggy life jacket with that breed-lab


look into nail caps/covers. i forget what there called (something paws?) but they glue on over there nails and stick on for a couple weeks i believe, or just trim and file the nails and you should not have any problems

02-18-2013, 12:56 PM
I think they were called "soft paws".


02-18-2013, 01:03 PM
Shade. Dogs get sun burnt also. Teach your dog not to wander as other groups nearby may not have the fondness that you have for your dog.

02-18-2013, 01:23 PM
My lab lost her boating privelages a few years ago after she jumped straight off the bow at cruising speed. I thought for sure I would have a mangled and bloody dog after I saw her take the leap straight out. Fortunately, she popped up in the wash with a bit of a confused look and we pulled her back in without a scratch on her. She hasn't been back in the boat since...

beat taco
02-18-2013, 01:58 PM


Love my lab. We had to keep him tethered in the boat for a while. It took some training! He practically hung himself once, that was the last time he ever did that. I grew up with German
Shepard's do I'm partial to them too.

Oh and I keep his nails trimmed!

02-18-2013, 02:18 PM
My favorite boat dogs are rca's golden, Jasper and Daze's mutt, Dakota. Personally, both too big for our family, but man those are 2 great dogs!

As well as thin dogs not swimming well, you're probably going to want to avoid an breed that has a big chest/head and thinner body such as a bulldog, pitbull, staffordshire bull terrier, etc.

FWIW - I find our dog to be a bigger PITA than the kids.

02-18-2013, 03:04 PM
Wife has 2 toy poodles that rarely ever leave our sides. Sitting on my lap as I type this actually. The breed and small size makes them perfect for the water and will never damage the boat. Easy to lug around the truck and camp site also

Not sure how much your looking to spend but check out TGoodys post from yesterday, he has some trained pups up for sale in the classifieds.


sent from my ipad2 via a wireless network which usually sucks

02-18-2013, 03:11 PM
We've always had Labs. Love them. And yes sometimes they can be more of a hassle if you have a full boat but also after they get out there and swim 15-20 minutes non stop playing fetch or whatever, they are pretty chill and wore out.

You can train your lab on any commands that you want. They don't necessarily have to be in a different language. Labs learn their masters tone and body language before they learn the actual "word" you are telling them. They are very smart and are constantly watching you. We use commands words like "Mark" and "Dead" for hunting, but around the house we talk to them as if they are people. Like "Go Ahead", "Easy" for be careful, "Look Out" for move, and of course Sit/Stay.

I haven't had any problems with their nails either, but they may be more because they run and play a lot on pavement so their nails are pretty worn down.

02-18-2013, 04:19 PM
I would love to take our Golden out on the water but the HAIR! It's EVERYWHERE in the house and I kinda like having ONE hair free zone...I know he would live it though. I get him bathed and trimmed up every 2 weeks just about and we use the furminator on him and he still has more hair than I have any idea what to do with.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

02-18-2013, 05:39 PM
^^ What he said x10. Love my lab, he loves the water. Not so fond of his hair EVERYWHERE when he comes out.


Now this one on the other hand is easy to take along (virtually anywhere) and I've even taught her to swim although she sorta hates me for it. Plus mama gets tired (and eventually the kids) of me spouting off all the time "Holy Freholis Senor - this Water is Muy Frio" or "Aye Aye - pass the tequila senor". She's a Pomeranian Chihuahua mix.


02-18-2013, 05:44 PM
Picked up our lab mix (Balto) about a month ago. He will likely be getting some paw covers for the boat, although it seems like most people don't bother. He is quite a bit smaller than most labs I've seen.

KG's Supra24
02-18-2013, 05:50 PM
This guy makes it out a few times a year on the boat. Our older one is probably easier to deal with on the boat but he rarely goes with us anymore. I can't imagine having both of them on the boat at once.

I'm probably with Drew in thinking that having them on the boat is one extra nuisance when I'm trying to relax.

Before he goes we typically make sure his nails have been recently trimmed. Haven't had any issues but also not a lot of time on the boat.


02-18-2013, 07:01 PM
We have two miniature dachshunds and take them on the boat every once in a while. they are fairly easy on the boat and my interior is pretty much trashed already so i dont worry about their claws anymore. They also hate the water so we really dont have to worry about them jumping in.




02-18-2013, 10:54 PM
Wow lots of great reply's! Thanks guys! I'm a sucker for Dachshunds (currently have a full size dapple but to old to bring out) and those are 2 pimpin' pups right there rockin the CWB's with Style!

This will be my first lab mix if we go pick him so I'm sure I will learn a lot about the hair issues. One of my main fears is he deciding he sees a drop of water he wants to catch or another boat he thinks he can catch while we are moving across the lake and decide to take a leap of faith as boatdrink's pup did! He would definitely only come out when we have a small crowd and have room to move around. I'm also at ease a little more about his paws and nails too and keeping them trimmed and filed won't be an issue. Thanks much guys!

02-19-2013, 04:03 AM
Our little BLACK THINGS as I call them come on the boat with us almost everytime we go. They both ebjoy it however they are also very different when it comes to the water! One is ok with it the other not so much! But they are fun to bring along.


Notice one dog at the back and one on the passenger seat. Passenger seat dog likes water but not jumping around boat. One on the back meets you on the platform and licks you dry getting out of water!

02-19-2013, 04:10 AM
Forgot to mention how much I love the web. I got to do upload this stuff from Saudi Arabia while working over here!

Our little BLACK THINGS as I call them come on the boat with us almost everytime we go. They both ebjoy it however they are also very different when it comes to the water! One is ok with it the other not so much! But they are fun to bring along.



Notice one dog at the back and one on the passenger seat. Passenger seat dog likes water but not jumping around boat. One on the back meets you on the platform and licks you dry getting out of water!

02-19-2013, 05:40 AM
We have a Black Lab that we take on the boat almost every trip. Hes 100lbs and takes up a good bit of room, but to me hes like my son so i just cant leave him behind. We bought him just for boating lol.

His first summer he wasnt real sure about the water, the 2nd he really liked the water, 3rd year hes in the water more then me. Hes almost always the first one in and the last one out. He will get so excited he houls and paces till you let him swim. We have to let him swim almost 1once an hour which can get to be a pain sometimes but then again, cant be all about you on the boat.

Hes extreamly well behaived and never has damaged the boat. We trim his claws then sand them down so there smooth.

He has a specific boat toy, long floating tube made out of tennis ball material with a 3 foot rope on it to help really fling it out in the water.

Anyone on here that sees any of my pictures prolly has seen Oso <Bear> as hes always with me and gets in most of my pictures.

He does shed in the baot boat but what i found works best, is brush him with a cat hair brush each time before we go out. This is a realy fine brush with wire like bristles, he loves the feel and it removs a ton of loose hair.

I also almost always make him jump off the dock and swim if its not to crowded, this ensures theres no dirt from his paws in the boat.

The only thing to really take a beating from his claws is the Sea Deck swim platform pad, it took 3 summers of him clawing at it when he trys to get in the boat. To me, small price to pay to have my 1st mate on the boat all the time.

We also have Claudia's dog a cockapoo that we take when we are going out but shes not an everytime boating dog. She tolerates the water but shes most known for her vest, as it has a handle and Claudia carriers her like a purse and people always comment on it.

This past summer #3

2rd Year.

02-19-2013, 01:19 PM
One thing you may also want to discuss with the breaders if you go with a field trial type dog (labs, retrievers, etc.) is if the parents have been tested for EIC (excercise induced collapse). It's become more common in field trial dogs and I found out the hard way my pooch has it. After 10-20 minutes of hard excercise such as upland bird hunting, running or even playing fetch she will collapse and almost appear paralyzed in her hind quarters. It typically starts in the rear limbs and the dog will begin to sway and have a loss of motor control and almost 'appear' drunk. If you don't stop them they will continue to work/play until they are literally dragging their back end and pulling themselves with their front legs. It's horrible to watch.....

From what I've noticed it seems to be brought on quicker in warmer weather and affected dogs possibly not being able to regulate their body temperature as effectively. Strangely, after they rest for 10-20 minutes they are back to normal. I've heard some dogs have died in extreme cases where their body temp overheats so it can be fatal and should be taken seriously. Good breaders should be testing for this with the parents since it is a recessive gene that can be passed on to the pups if both partents are carriers. You can also have your dog tested for about $150 bucks if you want to be certain.

I got my dog, Primer to be a bird dog but after she started going down I gave up on her hunting career and she still makes a great companion. You just need to be more cautious if you plan on doing lots of strenuous excercise with affected dogs.

02-19-2013, 01:25 PM
Here's my boy last summer. Hes up to about 70 pounds now, Goldendoodle. FREAK about the water, he can't get enough.



02-19-2013, 01:42 PM
you need to bring ole' Crash to the TX Jam this year so I can add him to my list of favorite boat dogs!

If they let Ole' Blue sleep in the rooms there, no way can they justify not letting him stay.

02-19-2013, 02:32 PM
I'm with Drew, bring Crash this year.

02-19-2013, 09:24 PM
couple old photo's



02-19-2013, 10:22 PM

three labs here only one makes the boat occasionally, our female, the boys stay home at the lake house.