Does your dog like to go fishing with you? It’s surprising how many pooches actually enjoy jumping onto a boat and spending a day on the water. But taking a dog aboard requires some special consideration. Whenever Fido joins you, remember:
1. Water dogs have a tendency to jump overboard. They may get distracted by a duck, another boat, a seagull, whatever – and take a flying leap over the gunwale. Most are sensible enough not to do so at full speed but some aren’t, so make sure your dog doesn’t wander the cockpit, out of your line of sight, as you run.
2. More about the jumping overboard thing – if it happens, you’ll need a way to bring the dog back aboard. No problem, if you have a lap dog. But if it’s a 100-pounder, this can be problematic. Be ready to get the pooch back over the side by putting him or her into a harness, which you can grab at the dog’s fore and aft ends.
3. If you have a water dog, watch out for fish! Some will eat the critters while they’re live and flopping. It’s entertaining at first, but domestic dogs don’t know about dorsal spines, and rough scales. Fish can easily become lodged in a dog’s throat, leading to choking.
4. Many dogs go slip-sliding away on nonskid fiberglass decks. To prevent this problem, bring along a piece of scrap carpet with rubber backing. That’ll give the dog some purchase, and a place he can stand.
5. Be careful of swinging lures and hooks. Many dogs see them as toys, and may try to eat or grab them – ouch!
Now that you have some pointers, go ahead and bring your pointer – or your great dane, chessie, or spaniel – aboard for a day of fishing. Most dogs will thank you. Here’s the labradoodle Parker, enjoying an afternoon aboard a Parker 25.