Learn the tricks involved and you’ll know how to take your dog fishing without stress or trouble.
Once, my parents decided to take their dogs fishing. That alone could be the start of a joke: “Two poodles walk onto a fishing boat…”
The ultimate story did not disappoint. By the end of a simple two hour fishing trip, one poodle had to have a hook removed from his mouth. The other had to have one removed from her ear and later the top of her head.
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The second they were on land, the dogs took off, having held it in the entire trip, and my parents then had to follow them into the woods lest they stumble onto a snake and, of course, to render some much needed first aid.
Of course, the poodles have since learned what to and not to do while in the fishing boat and how to behave, but it was a hard learned lesson. One my parents hadn’t realized they would need to teach.
The thing about taking a dog fishing is that, ultimately, the dog has little to do but sit in the boat and enjoy the day. Dogs cannot help to track or catch the fish (though they might be very helpful when it comes to eating the fish).
Ultimately, the best way to handle a dog on a fishing trip is to train them and take them out regularly, but that first time can always be difficult. Here are some tips to make it as smooth as possible:
Make sure you know exactly where your dog is when you’re backing up your boat. A well-trained fishing dog will know to stay out of the way, but young or untrained dogs are likely to jump right in the way of danger.
If you worry that this is a risk, it may be a good idea to keep your dog in the cab with you.
Fishing equipment can be dangerous. Make sure you have nothing loose or in the way.
Be sure to have water and a bowl set aside for your dog. Fishing equipment isn’t the only danger to your pet. Heat exhaustion is just as real for an animal as it is for a human.
Water may not be enough to keep your dog cool when fishing in the heat of the day. Look into doggie sunscreens, particularly if you own a short-haired breed. Additionally, provide your dog with shade, and take occasional breaks so he or she can cool.
It may seem silly, but even a dog can panic if they suddenly find themselves overboard in the middle of a lake or the ocean. Be sure to put a canine life jacket on your pet to err on the side of caution.
The longer you’re out, the harder it’s going to be for your dog to hold it. If it’s going to be a short trip, make sure your pet goes in advance. If you’re planning an all-day trip, it may be necessary to take a quick trip to land.
Remember, you want to reinforce good behavior in your dog. Every fishing trip is a training opportunity.
Keep a leash
Even if you don’t use it for the majority of the fishing trip, a leash could be incredibly valuable when you’re motoring out and in from the moor.
Featured image via boats.com