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Old 05-26-2015, 08:41 PM
bergsh bergsh is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Chippewa Falls
Posts: 179
Default Three year old lab in boat

My question is around getting my lab to stay in the boat.

How has anyone else trained their lab to stay in the boat? I can't keep her from fetching anything cast out of the boat. Would love to have myndog with me but worried she is going to hook herself.

So just looking for some place to start. Thanks
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:08 PM
Jerryv Jerryv is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,204

I have had two dogs (one Springer, one Lab) that did that the first time out. I let them circle the boat a few times while they realized that there was no way they could get back in. Don't let them get in distress, but a little tired. Each of my dogs only did it once, but they were both very smart and four or five years old at the time. You may have to do it a few times. Do it far enough from shore that they won't just head for shore. Before you attempt it, get them comfortable with riding in the boat by doing some trolling or just cruising around.

My dogs both loved the water and still did afterwards. I had to say NO a few times when they would get excited, but it went pretty well. My boats have had deep sides so that might have helped. The Springer loved fishing and would always want to grab a fish when we netted it. Luckily, he never got the hooks, but I always worried about that.

Incidentally, it is not easy to lift a 60 lb soaking wet dog back into the boat so make sure you have help if you aren't sure you can do it.

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Old 05-26-2015, 10:16 PM
GBS GBS is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA.
Posts: 1,844

Not all dogs are good boat companions....

But, not knowing anything about yours, I wouldn't yet rush to judgement. First and foremost is to have her solidly obedience trained. She should know the difference between "stay" (don't move from position at all, whether you are in sight or not, for long periods of time) as well as "wait" (not a solid stay, but don't go off on your own anywhere until I tell you "All Done").

I train all my dogs to "stay" for up to 1/2 hour, with me out of sight!
I also train them to "wait" for almost everything - they cannot eat until I tell them, they never go out the door ahead of me, they wait to get in a car, wait to get out of the car, etc.

All of the above include lots of practice with distractions - other people near and far, cats, food being thrown just past their noses, and the worst - a moving tennis ball.

And it all took a lot of time and repetition. Formal classes help, not only do you get trained on how to train, but they add structure to the process. And they learn all sorts of other useful commands too! Don't stop at the beginners level, move on up to the advanced obedience classes also.

From there it is easier to expand the "wait" to cover a command to stay in the boat, or anywhere else. I can leave my front door open all day, and they never leave the house until given permission.

That said, I have one Aussie who is insanely ball crazy, which translates to bobbers, and only a bit less to anything else on the end of a line being cast. He will "wait" in the boat and not launch himself at it - but he's in a state of ball fetching frenzy, and the barking/whining vibrating of his whole body is a sight to behold. And deafening. So, despite the training, I sadly have to leave him at home when fishing. If just going boating all is fine, but I cannot get out a rod, or worse a bobber, or the whole lake hears it.

The other two will keep a solid eye on the bobber, but that's just good fishing, so they get to come along all the time.
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:22 AM
seaotter seaotter is offline
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Warsaw, IN, USA.
Posts: 679

I take my pointer with us on Lake Erie as we are camping and will not leave her in the camper. I have a short leash tied to the battery hatch that lets her move around and when close to shore I tighten it so she cannot jump out chasing ducks, geese, and seagulls. That happened 1 time and she got down between the boat and pier. It all turned out well, but was scary for a bit.
Have a great day.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:51 PM
kliph's Avatar
kliph kliph is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Western NY State
Posts: 2,229

Just takes time.
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Still trying to figure out why we have to register our boats!! Does the money make the waves smaller?
Does it just go into the general fund to be squandered?
Vietnam, 68-69 Army
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