Four-legged companions are the best boat-going crewmates one could ask for. They enjoy the ride, do what they are told, and completely shower you with lots of affection. Your Golden Retriever might not immediately take to the water, but with some patience and a little training most grow to love outings on the boat.
You will want to be sure that your dog is comfortable in the water before you introduce him to the boat. Allow your Golden to become familiar with the boat and give him time to explore it on his own terms.
Once your pet is comfortable, you can begin introducing the sound of the engine. Once your dog is comfortable with the sounds of the engine and the horn, you’re ready to take a short spin around the lake or bay.
On your initial mini-trip, it may be better to harness or leash your Golden. The waves and the motion of the boat could cause your dog to slip on the deck and hurt himself ---- or worse could fall overboard. Even if your particular dog is a good swimmer, an unexpected plunge into the water could cause him to panic.
Don’t be surprised if your dog becomes seasick. Just like people ---- they have to adjust to the motion of the boat on the water. You may have to get a prescription from your veterinarian if seasickness is a continual problem.
If your Golden Retriever is anxious even after several short boat trips, it is probably better to leave him at home. The stress for both of you can make your boating trip miserable and that won't make either of you a happy camper.
Once you are able to extend your outings and see that everything is going smoothly with your Golden, you'll both be enjoying the wind and waves together going forward for years to come.
Make sure you always take some essential safety gear with you on your boat outings:
*Life Jacket/Flotation Device ---- While many Goldens are good swimmers, they can very easily become tired and need to rest. The life jacket also makes it easier to pull your dog back into the boat should he go overboard.
*First Aid Kit ---- Accidents do happen and it's important to be prepared.
*Potty Pads ---- If you won’t be seeing land for awhile, keep some potty pads available on the boat should your dog hear the call of nature.
*Food/Water ---- Provide your dog with clean food and plenty of water ---- especially in warm temperatures.
*Water Toys ---- If your pet loves to swim, take some water toys along for an extra great time.
Now, get out there and have a wonderful and safe boating adventure with your furry best friend. Happy Golden Travels, everyone!
Do you take your Golden Retriever when you and your family go boating? Any fun boating adventure stories or pictures you can share with GRRA? Please send them to us. We'd love to hear from you. Happy Golden Travels, everyone!