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Dogs on board

What breeds of dogs are most suitable for life on a boat.

Asked by: Mr Vernon Whitehair  | 1.52pm, Friday 9 August

WW says:

It really comes down to personal choice and how large your boat is.
Border terriers are a handy size and seem to be very popular on boats these days. They can be picked up and carried easily but still have plenty of doggy character. Their only problem is that, being terriers, they can be rather strong willed. A friend of mine is afraid to let his two year old bitch off the lead in case she gets the scent of something and takes off.
Any breed, like a poodle or schnauzer, that doesn't shed its coat too much is good because it cuts down on the hoovering.
Most gun dogs like swimming which can be a nuisance if they decide to go for a dip late in the day. Having said that, one of our two Labrador bitches hates water and the other one can take it or leave it. They are very intelligent, biddable and love boating. I wouldn't have anything else.
What ever you choose, try to introduce him or her to boating as young as possible so that it all becomes second nature.

Graham Booth  | 7.35PM, Friday 9 August

I have just met another friend who has a Schnauzer and she says they do not shed their coat at all - although they do need clipping occasionally. Hers is also obedient and does not run off so she reckons it would be an ideal boat dog.

Graham Booth  | 10.44AM, Saturday 10 August

Readers say:

I would recommend a Labrador ive got one and he just loves the canal boat

janet alderson  | 2.44PM, Monday 19 August

Thanks Janet and Graham for your answers. Labradors are one of my favorite breeds.

Mr Vernon Whitehair  | 10.31AM, Tuesday 20 August

To the uncaring dog owner.
Do not let your dog run up to fisherman. And clear it up. You know what. People live local to where your dog passes once in a blue moon.

Gary  | 7.51PM, Saturday 14 September

My wife and I discussed this a few years ago after owning a variety of dogs which loved to get wet, muddy and smelly, so much so that we fitted a tap in the for'd well to hose the dogs down. We thought the best dogs would have long legs, short coat and not be keen on swimming or paddling. The answer we came up with was Greyhounds. After much investigation with other owners, including 1 narrowboat which had 5 on board, we now have 2 greyhounds which have settled in well to life aboard during our extended cruises of up to 8 weeks. They do need some initial familiarisation as they are ex-racers and had never met large areas of water before. Some amusing incidents occurred. They do make excellent pets and don't require huge amounts of exercise. More information can be obtained from the Retired Greyhound Trust (http://www.retiredgreyhounds.co.uk/) which has branches throughout UK or other greyhound rescue societies.
Peter & Jacky McLaren

Peter McLaren  | 11.52AM, Sunday 22 December

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