I wish we actually had some good advice about having dogs on a boat, but we’re still learning how to deal with them. All three of them! We’ve got two big German Shorthaired Pointers and a MinPin – all with very distinct and different personalities.
On the boat, our MinPin is pretty chill (which is very different from the way he is at home). He is old and ornery, but he always seems super happy to be out with us on the boat. Our male GSP is also pretty chill, however he’s a big Mama’s boy and follows me everywhere I go, which proved to be pretty difficult those first few times in and out of our crazy tight slip, as he always seemed to be underfoot. Our female GSP is the most work and the most stress on the boat (for both her and us) as she has a tendency to get a bit bird obsessed. She’s jumped off the dingy on little jaunts around the lake when we’re anchored to chase ducks — she swims after them barking like mad and we follow in the dingy and drag her back in only to have her jump off again if more ducks should swim by. Naturally, we keep a doggie life preserver on her but are always watching her on the boat to make sure she doesn’t just jump ship while underway.
As far as during docking and anchoring, we have a friend hold their leashes, or we tether their leashes to the couch leg so that they are not underfoot as I move from the stern through the salon to the bow to work lines and assist in maneuvering. Once underway, they are “free to walk about the cabin”. Still though, we close the door on the Portuguese bridge to keep Remy off the bow, because the thought of her jumping off the side is not out of the realm of possibility. So, needless to say, she’s a lot of work on the boat and far more high strung than she is at home. I’m sure she doesn’t entirely enjoy the boat rides as much as the other two dogs seem to enjoy it.
As far as overnights with the dogs, we have taken them on a couple of trips where we knew we’d be at a dock, but we have yet to take them on a trip where we’re at anchor as the thought of late night and early morning potty trips in the dingy with two people and three dogs is a bit daunting. In the meantime, we’ll keep it to day drips and docked locations with them.