Boating With Your Dog

Is there any way to keep a ride with your dog totally free of misbehavior?

Pets on the Water

Are you the proud owner of a pet who loves the water? Want to possibly have them featured on, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and in our e-newsletter? E-mail photographs to Please provide your name, contact information and a short caption, if you would like one included, in your note.


Here is our boat boss Cayman!! He was 4 months old in this picture. This picture was taken in Michigan City, IN at the Port Authority.


Some of my favorite photos of Charlie on the boat.


Chloe the poodle with Eoin and Declan.

Kirby and Clutch

Kirby and Clutch love to lay in the sun on their Sundancer 330 after a long day of swimming in the Monongahela River near Millsboro, PA.


This is a picture of Romeo Silbert on his way, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from fun on the water on board Rasputin. Photo taken at Snug Harbor Marina, Cape May, New Jersey.


Sasha is a 4-year-old Old English Sheepdog that loves to go boating and swimming. She has free roam of the boat and we always have to make room for her on the float.


Bella is an 8-year-old yellow lab who loves boating and the water. Her seat is the rear cooler as you can see from the photo.



Here’s a photo of a dog named Asura, named after a guardian dog in Buddhism. She gets aboard an Okinawan sabani sailing boat with the team Ayakaji, almost every time they go to sea.



Lily, our lab golden mix, loves fishing on our 23 ft Grady-White. I think if she could she would net for me. She never bites the fish and always wants to go boating!


Annie (miniature dachshund) sunning on the transom of our Yamaha 230SX.


Bailey always wishes he was out boating! Check him out at

Carver and Dunkin

Carver (left) and Dunkin (right) as puppies on the 444 Carver. Started boating at 8 weeks old!


Our dog Domino on the boat!


Porscha on our Sealine S24.


Bentley catching some rays and wind!


Pippa wants to make sure that you wear your life vest this boating season!


Our dog, Sierra, after a long day of water sports!


Daphne a 7-year-old boxer checking out the marina on a rainy day from our Sea Ray 370 Sundancer “Good to Goe” at Smith Boys Marina in North Tonawanda, New York. Photo was taken by Mike Lonca, our dock neighbor from the “MIffer”.


This is a picture of our Maltipoo, Kingston. He loves to go out on the jet ski, and now that we have a boat, he loves it even more.


Cruising up the Taunton River in my 20′ 1988 Mach 1 cuddy cabin with my German shepherd Tobi doing a little cat fishing.


Mako, one year old labradoodle hanging out on a 22′ Scout in Barnstable Harbor.

Max and Chrissy

Max and Chrissy, two Portuguese Water Dogs who love Gloucester beaches.


Corbin, a pit bull mix, thought it was a good time to go for a swim in Lake George, NY.


Here’s London, a 6-year-old chocolate Lab, getting fuel at the Lake Promenade Marina in Mississauga, Ontario, on Lake Ontario. I always make sure he wears his PFD even though people ask me why. They say he is a Lab, he swims like a duck, but on my boat everyone wears their PFD for safety reasons.

Pets on the Water

Let me drive, dad!


This is “Chi” our tiny 10-year-old pocket pom that we rescued this summer. This little girl was sailing within a few hours of joining our family. She loves the boat and her boat bag. She jumps right in!


Chloe on Fragile, still happy after a rough sail.


Here is George, a 3-year old Border Collie enjoying Keuka Lake, near Pulteney, NY.


English Springer Spaniel on the water in Ventura Harbor, CA, looking for birds.


Here is a shot of Pierce in his best “Gordon’s Fisherman’s” foul weather gear on our Sweetwater Pontoon, “Shangri-La”.

Emmy & Bella

“Permission to come below captain?”


Here is Abby our Jack Russell. She is 3 years old and just has a blast on our catamaran. Technically speaking, she is our navigator.

Jasper and Bella

Jasper (white male) & Bella (black female) are 3-year Old Poochon’s. The picture was taken onboard the “Station Break”, a Rinker 280 Express Cruiser in August 2013


Dory is a 15 1/2-year old lab mix that enjoys jet skiing.


Mandy relaxing on our Moomba after a day of swimming on Lake Havasu, AZ.


Part of the NautiDogs crew.

Tilly and Massey

Veteran’s Day with Tilly and Massey on the back of our boat “Miss Molly”.


Bella, a 7 year old Maine Coon cat, enjoys the sunset and fall foliage from the stern of Blue Oyster in Watkins Glen, NY.


Here is our German Sheppard Blitz who loves the water and riding on the boat.


Here is our boating dog Rocksie while on a trip over to Catalina Island for a weekend of relaxation, hiking and swimming. She is in charge of all radio communication.


“Skipper”, our Golden Retriever, waiting for a command from the Admiral or Captain. He is 11 years old and has been boating all his life on Michigan’s Great Lake, the Shore of Beautiful Little Bay de Noc.

The Golden

Newton and Mac

Here are Newton and Mac aboard Osa, a Cruisers Yachts Cantius 41.



Our soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Molly, loves boating on our 2011 Chaparral 267SSX!


My boxer Kane loves sunset cruises!


Kaine enjoying the sun.


Hachi enjoying our Island Gypsy 32 trawler on Lake Michigan, July 2013.


Katie, Chief Fun Officer (CFO) of WaterDog Adventure Gear™.



Here’s a pic of our new 3 month old Catahoula Lepoard dog named Monte on our fishing boat. He loves being on the boat and is quickly learning how to swim. He has really taken to salmon fishing on Lake Michigan but he enjoys the occasional perch fishing trip as well.


Here’s a pic of our Old English Sheep dog Talullah cruising the ICW near Lighthouse Point, Fl on Rogue Rider, our Intrepid 300 CC. My wingman and 12 year old son Sebastian is next to her. Talullah tends to sit on the bow, checking out the boats and houses as we cruise the ICW. She is not a fan of running offshore though – gets a bit seasick. Recently we got her a flotation vest – can’t be too careful! Aside from Sebastian and Talullah, my wife Jan, daughter Olivia, and Stella (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) round out the crew.


Bella loves the water, but she also knows boat safety.


This is our Redbone Coonhound “Lou”. He is like a “shepherd watching the flock”. Always keeps an eye on the kids or anyone else in the water.


Brooks (Yorkshire Terrier) loves to go boating, floating around in Homosassa Springs (Homosassa Springs, Florida) and recovering in the A/C after a day on the water.


Robert Farr with his dog Rome on a Chaparral 240 Signature.


This is Riley enjoying her day in the Thousand Islands. Bill Otis

Qena Kariba

Qena Kariba of Nile is a 6-year old Rhodesian Ridgeback that loves to ride in the boat. She’s on lookout watching for geese as we pass Sand Island in the upper Chesapeake Bay with Eric and Ann Baker.


Here is a picture of our American Bulldog, Daisy, who absolutely loves our boat and the water. When the boat is on the trailer out front she is constantly jumping up or trying to climb the swim ladder to get on the boat. When on the boat in the water she is constantly jumping in the water.


Koda is a 90 lb Alaskan Malmute that loves boating in Colorado at Pueblo Reservoir.


Here is a picture of our Golden Retriever, Kayce for consideration in your “Boating Bow Wows” feature. She is a true “water dog”. She loves being on the boat, swimming, diving and “dressing up” for special boating weekends on the Chesapeake Bay. Here she is, always ready to go for a ride.

Buddy and Apollo

Buddy(yellow lab) and Apollo(black lab). Have grown up on lake Lanier in Buford, GA , and also love fishing and playing on the beach.


Here is my English Springer Spaniel, Digby, ready for a sleep after a day at the lake.


Here is our beloved Bella, on our Ebbtide.


Adopted from an animal shelter at 2 years old and took to water, boats and wave runner without hesitation. Been my wave runner rider the last 10 years. Always has to have safety vest and googles.


This is Bogey, our chocolate, female lab. She loves the water be it lake, pool, ocean or large puddles. Here she’s enjoying our MasterCraft ProStar on Center Hill Lake in East Tennessee.


Sam enjoys driving the boat at Lake Allatoona.


Here is a picture of my dog Moto for your Pets on the water. He recently passed and loved the boat and water.


Jetty is a black lab mix that was rescued from a local shelter. She simply loves the water and to fish! Here’s Jetty fishing aboard the Sea Dog. Capt. Jimbuoy


Pure white lab named London enjoying a nice day out on the boat in Marina Del Ray, CA.


Going home after a beautiful day on boat. Isabel Bright decided to nap and Summer used her a a human pillow. Pine Beach, NJ Andrea Hirschhorn


This is my miniature schnauzer Maggie. As you can see from the pic, she loves being out on the water!

Captain QuikPigz

Captain QuikPigz on his Chris-Craft.


Our favorite girl Lexi enjoying the breeze.


This is Rufus, a dog that we selected from our local animal shelter. His previous owner had to give him up because that owner had to report to the service for active duty. We took Rufus home and found him to be the most loving, loyal and smartest dog that we’ve ever owned. Rufus grinned from ear to ear all day on the boat! Amy Richards

Labs on Paw Paw

Lab test! Jim and Karen Shramek

Matise and Ava

Our dog Matise and daughter Ava. In our 32ft 2012 Premier Grand Isle pontoon, Lake of the Ozark’s! Douglas Schlueter


Here is my daughter Jennifer Gorini’s pup Acadia enjoying a cruise on the Toms River, in New Jersey. She loves a boat ride, just like everyone else in the family! Mike Lennon


Maddy on a pontoon boat on Oconomowoc Lake, WI. Tom and Lisa Read

Maddy and Molly

Tom and Lisa Read

Coco and Bella

Coco and Bella checking out the Yachts on the Miami River.

Jett and Major

Here are our boys, Jett and Major, tubing with their chocolate lab puppies, Boone and Trigger. Jeff and Angie Haas

Baby Bear

Baby Bear enjoying a snack on the boat.


Here is Budrox my Schipperkee while traveling south on the ICW aboard the “Sue Sea”. Myron Babler

Daily and Scotch

The pups practicing boat safety! Erin Holmes


Rick Gilsdorf


Rick Gilsdorf


Maryanne (her sister’s name is Ginger) loves blasting around St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in our new hybrid inflatable. She loves how the catamaran hulls float over the chop on a cushion of air trapped between them. She’s a large Standard Poodle which are said to be from the Portuguese Water Dog and were bred as water fowl retrievers in Germany. She, like most Standards is very smart…now, she even brings me the dockline when we get home. Lucky dog!


Rusty is playing on a tube at Lake Raystown, PA.


Sage spent her 3rd birthday floating on the Potomac aboard Current Obsession.


Murphy enjoyed the wind in his fur on Lake Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. He never missed a boat ride!


Bucca is a 3 1/2 year old English lab, who spends his days being the 1st mate aboard grand pop’s 22 ft. Tahoe pontoon boat. All summer long you can spot him cruising & swimming (of course) the Rehoboth & Indian River Bays in Delaware. Michelle Grillo

Captain Jack

Jack ensures we’re on course.


Amber, our 5 year old yellow lab, waiting to board. She loves boating, swimming and earning her title of “official marina greeter”.

Maggie Sue

Percy Priest lake, Nashville, Tennessee, June 2009.


My 6 yr. old Boston Terrier can’t wait to play her favorite game river ball. She will go to the lockers on the transom and “beg” for her life jacket.


This is our German Sheperd dog Bethany aboard a Sea-Doo Sportster 1800. She is our noble pup as she was only 9 months old in this photo. This was taken in the bay at Bethany Beach DE, which she was named after.


This is a picture of my dog Buzz. He loves to go boating and truly believes he is the first mate of the boat. He turns a lot of heads in Ft. Lauderdale where we motor through the “New River and the Intracoastal Waterway” to get into the Atlantic Ocean for another great day of fishing. You can tell he loves it.


Our German Shorthaired Pointer, Apollo, always likes to keep tabs on his people. When one of us would walk around to the bow, he’d run into the cabin and pop his head up through the hatch to see what we were up to!


Our pitbull(now deceased) Casey loved to swim for hours. We were worried he would be run over…thus he became the shark dog!


Toby out for a ride.


German shepherd “Bela” aboard our Four Winns Freedom – Gun Lake, MI. Hangs her head low until we get back to shore, then dives off the boat to dry land.


Lea and Orion on board Go Aweigh To. Our baby first mate.


Our female boxer, Bailey, loves boating with the family; she loves the water and spends all day with us.


Toby is a Cavalier King Charles enjoying a sunset cruise on Lake Columbia located in the Irish Hills of SE Michigan and near Michigan International Speedway and Brooklyn, MI. The Irish Hills features approximately 60 lakes and is only an hour from Detroit and Toledo. The boat is a 2010 Crest Custom pontoon.


Fredo is the official “dock dog” of Barefoot Yacht Club in North Myrtle Beach, SC. He loves people, and loves boating even more.


Here is Jordan, a proud eight-year-old female yellow lab hanging out on a 2007 Bayliner 245 named Serenity, on Lake Washington, in Seattle.


This is Ralphy, from Guilford, CT on his 2007 Rinker 250.

Sage Marie

Sage Marie is an Airedale terrier that enjoys boating in Casco Bay, Portland, Maine aboard a Downeast 28.


Logan, an English cocker spaniel, boats in Cape Coral, Florida aboard a 27 Excalibur.


Nick is a beagle that cruises Lake Lavon, Texas at the helm of a Chaparral 216 SSi.


Ralphie, a miniature dachshund, pilots a Sea Ray 270 around Marblehead, Ohio.


Brinkley is a golden retriever, and here he is aboard a 19-foot Jason bass boat. He boats and swims on the Illinois River in Seneca, Illinois.


Lucky is a chocolate lab, and he’s onboard a 21-foot Hurricane deck boat. Lucky gets his tan and subsequent z’s by sunbathing on the St. Martin River in Ocean City, Maryland.


Robin Sunshine is a brittany spaniel, and here she is on a 32-foot Carver Mariner. Before konking out, her mind races with the birds flying over Lake Shelbyville in Illinois.


Ruger is a 90-pound black lab, and he’s napping on a Monterey deck boat. The deep green reservoirs out west put Ruger into a deep state of REM sleep. If you could only see his legs jerking.


Abbey is a St. Bernard(among seven other flavors), and here she is onboard a Bayliner Classic 215 boating on Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. We’re told she won’t get into the boat without the life jacket.


Here is Coco, a Chihuahua, boating on Table Rock Lake, Arkansas aboard a 28-foot Rinker.


Cody is a terri-poo/poodi-terr/you make the call boating on a Grady-White 228, and is ready to jump into the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers, Florida.


Minnie is a miniature Australian shepherd riding on a Celebrity 310 Cruiser out on Salamonie Lake in Andrews, Indiana.





Meggie is a pure-bred Beagle boating on Lake Mahopac, New York.


Here’s Max, a standard poodle, on Beaver Lake, Arkansas.


This is Rory on Lake Powell, Arizona.


Leapold is a Shih Tzu and here he is on the Erie Canal near Albion, New York.


Moose is a Rednose Pitbull that enjoys Lake Norman, North Carolina aboard a Sea Ray 185 Sport.


This is Dakota, a German Shepherd, out on Lake Erie.


Hummer is a Black Lab, and he’s cruising Lake Winnipesaukee on board a Four Winns 245 Sundowner.


Max, a pure-bred Lowchen, is enjoying Lake George, New York on a Formula 260 SS.


Commodore, a poodle, cruising the California Delta on a Gibson 37.


This is Maya, a black lab and pit bull mix, on a Sugar Sand jet boat out on Lake Howell (Fla.).


Murphy cruising Lake Erie on a 22-foot Larsen.


Naysa is a cavapoo cruising on a Sea Ray 320 Sundancer in Panama City (Fla.).






Sophie is an English boxer boating on Lake Merwin, Washington in a Glastron GS225.


Coco is a teacup Yorkie on a Sunseeker Superhawk 48 cruising Lake St. Clair, Michigan.

Lilly, Elle & Lulu

Lilly, Elle & Lulu are a gang of breeds boating in Orange Beach, Alabama in a 26-foot Regulator.


Oscar, a black Lab mix, aboard a Sunbird Neptune 201 DC on the Connecticut River.

Samson (right) and Shelby

Samson (right) and Shelby, golden retriever/standard poodle mixes, on Norris Lake, Tennessee aboard a Sea Ray 190 Signature.Golden retriever/standard poodle mixes.


Pokey, lhasa apso, boating on Center Hill Lake, Tennessee aboard a Chaparral 216 SSi.


Gracie, bichonpomapoo,on Lake Chelan, Washington aboard a Bayliner Classic 19.

Demi & Bella

Demi & Bella, teacup poodles
Home Waters: Point Pleasant, New Jersey
Favorite Boat: Silverton Motor Yacht
Matching haircuts, matching life jackets.

Kash & Layla

Kash & Layla, yellow labs
Home Waters: Nashville, Tennessee
Favorite Boat: Sea Ray 240 Sundancer
These two appear to be pondering a visit to the swim platform!

Kirby & Gus

Kirby & Gus, English springer spaniels
Home Waters: Lake Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania
Favorite Boat: Crownline 250
Kirby likes red leashes. Gus prefers the blue variety.

Sully & Chewie

Sully & Chewie, Yorkies
Home Waters: Prior Lake, Minnesota
Favorite Boat: Correct Craft
Sully and Chewie, chillin’ on the sun pad!

You like taking Max on the boat. Max likes being on the boat. But you both feel washed with regret the moment he breaks one of your golden boating rules. Is there any way to keep a ride totally free of misbehavior?

World-renowned dog trainer and behavior expert Cesar Millan, star of the National Geographic Channel’s hit series Dog Whisperer, talked to us about some of the most-common issues boaters experience with dogs on board and surefire ways to keep a warm boating friendship.

When I take my dog on the boat, he has a tendency to lean over the side, too close to the water. What can I do to keep him safely on deck?


Cesar Millan: You might want to condition your dog to understand commands such as “off,” or “go to your place.” Use a kennel or bed to train your dog for this exercise, and take that object with you on the boat. When he starts getting close to the edge, tell him “go to your place.” But definitely start the training in safe, land-based environments, like your home or car, where there are fewer distractions (and dangers) for your dog.

As we’re pulling up to the dock, my dog is always trying to jump ship before we’re safely moored. What should we do?

CM: The simplest solution is to use a leash. When you’re nearing the dock, put your dog on the leash and give corrections when he tries to get off before it’s time. Be sure to pull the leash to the side — and not back. Remember, the goal is to make him off-balance to snap his mind out of the unwanted behavior. And you don’t need to pull hard — a slight tug should do the trick. If you pull back and too hard, you actually encourage your dog to fight against you. When giving a correction of any kind, always keep your dog’s safety in mind and keep your feelings in check. Never correct a dog when you’re angry or frustrated.


I love to fish, but my dog’s constantly chasing the bait when I cast. How can I keep him from running circles around my fishing pole?

CM: Dogs are predators, so it’s natural for them to see a movement, such as bait whizzing by, and want to chase after it. But dogs can be conditioned out of this behavior. Begin in a park or another safe environment away from the water, and use your pole without the hook. Begin the activity by exercising your dog until he’s very tired. Then, move the pole a little. If your dog doesn’t move, reward him with a treat or affection. Then, move the pole a little more. Again, reward your dog for remaining calm and submissive. Continue the exercise until you can cast the line without a reaction from your dog.

When we go swimming off the boat, my dog wants to jump in after us and give chase. How can I let him know that’s a no-no?


CM: If your dog enjoys chasing toys in the water, you can throw one to him when he gets within 5 feet of you. He’ll have to move away from you to retrieve the toy. Eventually you can make the throwing movement without the ball, and your dog will understand that you want him to go that way. You can also choose to take advantage of this instinct by getting a canine life jacket and training your dog in search and rescue techniques.

What about when we’re on the boat and he needs to…you know?

CM: I recommend creating a bathroom for your dog in an area that’s out of the way — like the swim platform, when you’re at anchor. You can get artificial turf, newspaper or pee pads. If you have a male dog, you can create a 3-foot-by-3-foot box with a pole in the middle. Bringing the scent of another dog’s urine into that area is the easiest way to get your dog to understand that it’s his bathroom. That automatically invites him there.