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That dawg looks like a Neville. Theo says hello.Pup, now 9 months old, has quickly taught himself to swim from a slipway into the Hamble until he paddled further out without touching the bottom, then further out still (swimming after the tennis ball) so he could experience the effect of the running stream.
That evening he was bombing around on the hard, when he suddenly - stupidly -launched himself at very high speed off a concrete wall. It was low tide and the river was a good five or more meters below. From my position further back I couldn't see anything but - with the old cartoon image in my mind of blurred legs rotating in thin air just before the plummet starts! - I heard the eventual splash.
I couldn't stop laughing! Fortunately he was completely intact, as his high horizontal speed saved him from the broken back which would have been his certain fate had he just fallen straight down. Given that he'd earlier chewed the straps right off his buoyancy aid, this little episode has given me some confidence that he's learnt an important lesson.
I've just ordered a florescent-coloured harness for him to wear instead of buoyancy when aboard, the hoik-out handle being the important thing, and will encourage him to swim as often as possible to build up muscle-strength.
PS - also taught him to use my own mid-river pontoon for his business. This means he'll also use marina pontoons, but there's always plenty of water about to wash it all straight off.
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Lovely to hear your Lab-Mastiff enjoys the cruising. I reckon most dogs would but smaller ones, especially on small boats without sugar-scoop sterns, are definitely easier. Nev is currently about 12kg, should top out around 16kg or thereabouts - and hoikability was one major factor in deciding on a Cocker....now 9yrs old, his first season sailing was last year travelling from Pompey to Dartmouth and back...8 hours is max we will travel between stops so Lyme bay can be a push.
Stopping in a marina is favourite but we wont raft as not fair on other boat owners to have a great mutt tramping accross decks, small dogs can be carried...
I think it depends on the size of the dog - smaller breeds need to eat more often than larger ones.Before anyone cries "cruelty to dogs!"please note that in the wild dogs only eat every 48hrs on average! Also many dog nutritionists recommend a 24hr food fast every month.