We’re not experts on much, specifically about larger dogs on boats, but having lived on a sailboat (both on the dock and now out cruising) with a giant breed dog (Great Dane) for over two years now…we’re qualified to comment at least. Our Great Dane (Quincy) seemed to take to living on a sailboat well. I freely admit that when we actually owned a house…it was a large property that was a bit isolated in a small town and she didn’t get that much socialization with other dogs and people. This changed when we moved onto the boat full time. On Quincy’s first full week on the boat as we were moving onboard full time, she was bit by another dog while she was restrained on a leash. I think this has contributed to her leash anxiety…but plain and simply we know she has leash anxiety and she’s more protective when she’s on a leash. The boat is her home….so she guards it until she knows we’re accepting of whoever comes up to the boat. Having a large breed dog on a boat has taken some thought and some pre-planning but has been totally doable.
-We put up plastic netting (lifelines) to create a physical barrier for Quincy and the kids.
-We are very aware that Quincy is a large breed giant…so when she’s off the boat anywhere there’s people, she’s on a leash.
-Most Marina’s have leash policies and a Great Dane is hard to hide…so we respect the leash policies even where others may not.
-On the flipside..she’s very much more relaxed and playful off the leash…so when we can find safe places for her to off the leash we take those opportunities for her.
-We pick up Quincy’s poop…it’s hard to hide and rude not too.
-We’ve trained Quincy to go to the bathroom on a mat on the boat and she seems to be ok with it.
-Free-range (or open) kennels are more expensive so we look at them as an investment in Quincy’s well-being. We have found a great ones in San Diego (see our best business section), La Paz and La Cruz (I’ll update the business section later today with the kennels in La Paz and La Cruz). Getting her to these places without a car has been an interesting challenge in itself, but we’ve managed.
-Quincy likes to be around family. So when we’re on the dock (in a slip) one of us simply needs to be on the boat or she seems to find a way to follow us…much to some folks chagrin.
-Quincy seems to like to be on the hook (anchor) and this allows us all to go to shore while leaving her on board to guard the boat.
-We’ve tried to find foods that will be gentle on her tummy and easily available in many places as we go. So far, there’s quality food available at Costco and rice is always available in most places around the world. And…she likes rice (and so do I).
Ok…enough of my thoughts on the subject….if you have questions about dogs onboard, shoot us a note here on the site.
Here’s Quincy at her kennel here near La Cruz…with a lovely cat. I NEVER thought I would see this in my entire life, but here she is without a leash and without supervision hanging out with a cat. Sooo cool.
Yep, we’re LF2SF and we live on a cruising sailboat with two kids, a Great Dane and a Big Green Egg. Wanna know more- Follow Us. Wanna buy us some charcoal, dog food or beer- Please support us via Patreon.