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Dog breed for cruising: Lab or Doberman

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Dog breed for cruising: Lab or Doberman

Old 04-23-2020, 09:36 AM
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Default Dog breed for cruising: Lab or Doberman

I have a 40ft motor boat; I live alone in a good sized condo with balconies. Plan to live on the boat about 50% of the time going forward. Decided it's time to get a companion (one that doesn't talk / nag at me).

Narrowed the choice down to a Labrador or Doberman.

Always loved Dobermans, sleek, shiny, fit, protective of their owner, etc. But the doberman we had when I was a kid hated water. If I went for a doberman though I would be getting her as a puppy, maybe could be trained to enjoy the water?

Lab looks like the best option for boat life with a love of the water. Not a big fan of dogs who are "everyone's" best friend though. Not a huge fan of the heavy set chubby look either.

Does anyone cruise with either of these two breeds and could comment?

Thanks

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04-23-2020, 09:42 AM
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I don’t know where you are from but how do Dobermans do in the heat?

I know I will get some eye rolls but lots of really good dogs in shelters that need homes. Might not be purebred but still the best companions.
Old 04-23-2020, 09:40 AM
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dob's can get very skittish and need lots of leg room. labs understand boats
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:42 AM
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I don’t know where you are from but how do Dobermans do in the heat?

I know I will get some eye rolls but lots of really good dogs in shelters that need homes. Might not be purebred but still the best companions.
Old 04-23-2020, 09:44 AM
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We all know labs are the best water dog if you don't mind the shedding! I have boated with labs all my life. A lab can swim for miles if need be, but a doberman, not so much but they can swim. If you go the doberman route you really need to socialize the heck out of him and have people come on your boat all the time. While the females tend to be more protective of people the males often become protective of property. I had a rottweiler in college, actually lived on campus with me. Nicest dog, but if he didn't know you and you got in my truck without me there you weren't getting out. Dogs like Rotties and Doberman's are often very protective of vehicles, my fear is your boat would be like a truck for them.
Old 04-23-2020, 09:47 AM
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I have two Dobies. One is 6, one is 3. They both love the water whole heartedly. The need life jackets because they have very little body fat to help keep them buoyant. Otherwise they're fish. Socialized properly when puppies, they are open to anything.
I like labs but a Dobermans IQ is infinitely higher, they learn instantly. And that goes for anything you want to teach them, as well as them simply figuring things out for themselves. (Cue the 'I have a lab and he's smart!' crowd.)

We planned for our second dog to be something other than a dobie. But we were worried we'd be disappointed with anything else because of how intuitive and intelligent our first dobie is, anything else would be a let down and frustrating.

Obviously I'm biased though, but find any dobie owner you can. They typically don't get any other breed after a dobie, and when they do, the dog after that's a dobie because they learned their lesson. :-)
Old 04-23-2020, 09:52 AM
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A lab puppy on a boat could be a little (ok, a lot) overwhelming. Starting around the time they turn three, they calm down enough it might work out, but man when young they are bundles of energy on a constant search for things to destroy if they are bored.
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:53 AM
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If you don’t want a chubby lab don’t feed it too much. Not that hard.

I wish it was as easy for humans to stay skinny. Just don’t eat... a lot easier when someone gives you all your food. Haha
Old 04-23-2020, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Texas 17 View Post
A lab puppy on a boat could be a little (ok, a lot) overwhelming. Starting around the time they turn three, they calm down enough it might work out, but man when young they are bundles of energy on a constant search for things to destroy if they are bored.
This was one of my fears. Just had all the cockpit seating reupholstered too :\ I was thinking some different playful toys for it to chew on might mitigate the risk or am I being naive?
Old 04-23-2020, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Sumguy View Post
I have two Dobies. One is 6, one is 3. They both love the water whole heartedly. The need life jackets because they have very little body fat to help keep them buoyant. Otherwise they're fish. Socialized properly when puppies, they are open to anything.
I like labs but a Dobermans IQ is infinitely higher, they learn instantly. And that goes for anything you want to teach them, as well as them simply figuring things out for themselves. (Cue the 'I have a lab and he's smart!' crowd.)

We planned for our second dog to be something other than a dobie. But we were worried we'd be disappointed with anything else because of how intuitive and intelligent our first dobie is, anything else would be a let down and frustrating.

Obviously I'm biased though, but find any dobie owner you can. They typically don't get any other breed after a dobie, and when they do, the dog after that's a dobie because they learned their lesson. :-)
Would your dogs jump off the swim platform into the sea to swim? Or do they just like splashing in shallow water?
Old 04-23-2020, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MitchelP View Post
This was one of my fears. Just had all the cockpit seating reupholstered too :\ I was thinking some different playful toys for it to chew on might mitigate the risk or am I being naive?
You can mitigate the destruction. I do not think you can eliminate the destruction.
Old 04-23-2020, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MitchelP View Post
This was one of my fears. Just had all the cockpit seating reupholstered too :\ I was thinking some different playful toys for it to chew on might mitigate the risk or am I being naive?
This is another pro for the dobie. They don't chew much. One of mine chews bones and the other doesn't chew anything. Ever. Neither of them has ever chewed anything in the lives, no shoes, furniture, tv remotes, nothing!
Old 04-23-2020, 10:21 AM
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What are you looking for in a dog? The two breeds you mention have very different dispositions. I think either could work on a boat just fine, but you also have to realize that just like people they all have different personalities. Regardless of the breed you might end up with one that just doesn't like being on a boat. I have had goldens for 35+ years (still a retriever, and just about like a lab.), they are wonderful companions and as threatening as a ball of cotton candy, they have all absolutely loved the water and would spend hours in it at Thanksgiving, but our current one is just a nervous bundle of nerves on the boat and you can tell she just doesn't like it. Others just couldn't get enough time on the boat.
But what are you looking for in a dog?
Old 04-23-2020, 10:24 AM
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They are both incredibly smart breeds. They are also very different. It sounds like a doberman may be best for you based on the criteria you laid out. For me it's labs all the way. Labs shed and quite a bit during the transition seasons. Labs are very mouth oriented and as pups will chew stuff up if left alone. They tend to be everyone's best friends. Labs are the consummate companion breed. Their job is to deliver things to and to please their human. Smart breeds tend to need an outlet for their intellect and energy. Labs seem to have a very high demand for it. They need a job.

Of course their are no absolutes only general characteristics.
Old 04-23-2020, 10:26 AM
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3rd gen goldendoodle. No shedding, hypoalergenic. Still part retriever.
Old 04-23-2020, 10:27 AM
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You simply cannot beat a good lab IMO. Hint: because of their popularity, they're not all good. Pedigrees matter. Well bred dogs are typically more intelligent, easier to train, more willing to please, etc.

Mine rides a lot of miles like this every summer. These were taken going to and coming from a 230 mile ride to Eleuthera.






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Old 04-23-2020, 10:35 AM
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Either would make a great companion! Things to think about:
1.) Dobies are great pets. Depending on upbringing can be very aggressive or docile, pick parents very carefully. Many vets will no longer do ears and tails. I had a big male that I got as a 10 week old pup, most destructive dog I ever owned. Three couches, 2 easy chairs, about 150 albums one day, shoes, boots etc. Stopped at 1 year old. Absolutely beautiful animals.

2.) Labs great pet, normally great dispositions. Shed unbelievably. Are a real handful when young. LOVE water. Chocolate, silver, variations are prone to skin problems. Rear hips can be a real problem with Labs in general, make sure parents have been certified free of dysplasia.

3.) GOOD LUCK!!!
Old 04-23-2020, 10:41 AM
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We had friends with a Doberman it was incredibly hyper and destroyed things. We also have family that just got a lab puppy and it was very hyper too. I think any puppy will behave like that when they are young.

The biggest issue we learned about the Dobermans were the insurance issues. It can be very hard to get insurance with them, not to mention a lot of parks, condo building etc. have restrictions. I never realized how restrictive things could be for certain breeds.
Old 04-23-2020, 10:43 AM
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We have a condo and CC. We got a 1st generation labradoodle, 1/2 lab and standard poodle. Could not be happier with him. Very little chance of breeding issues. Very smart, loves the boat and water. Would not bite anyone but is quick to bark at anything amiss. Our last 2 were rescue dogs and had to be put down. I would not have a potentially aggressive dog in a condo. He does shed.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:51 AM
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I have 2 female labs and we are thick as thieves. Over the years, Ive lost one laptop cord and a few baseball caps. Not bad considering they have toys all over the house. The emotions they come up with on their faces is amazing. 99% smiles unless I wont let them come with me to the store. The older one slowed down but the younger one never outgrew the puppy stage.....and I like that. Both are withing 5 feet of me always. New boat should be here in a few weeks so they get to be boat dogs for the first time.
Old 04-23-2020, 10:52 AM
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Labradoodle. They don’t shed, aren’t over eaters, are super smart (a poodle is a French retriever) and love swimming!



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