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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19829
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My boyfriend lives on a sailboat (a small restricted space,

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My boyfriend lives on a sailboat (a small restricted space, obviously) He would like me to come by tonight and bring my dog but I don't know if that's a good idea? Might be too stressful? What do you think? My boyfriend is leaving town for a couple of weeks in a few days and I'm wondering if it's a good idea to just minimize their contact until he leaves and then just do some good structured training with me alone until he gets back. What do you think? Or is it better to jump back in and let him have contact with him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
This is a great question. What you might want to do is go ahead and take him with you but bring a leash or crate in case you need to contain him. Since the sailboat isn't his territory, he may be less aggressive especially since your boyfriends smell will be everywhere and he will recongnize it as the boyfriends place. This may help him adjust to your boyfriend a little before he leaves.
It will also help if you can get a towel your boyfriend has used or an old smelly t-shirt that he can stand to loose and have your dog sleep with it when your boyfriend leaves. It will help him get used to your boyfriends scent.
Just be sure to keep him leashed and watch him for signs that he may be uncomfortable. These pages on body language may help.
http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/body-language/
http://www.pawsacrossamerica.com/interpret.html
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/canine-body-language
If he becomes uncomfortable or starts displaying dominant or signs of fear, then you might want to crate him. Some dogs also are not comfortable on boats, so keep that in mind as well. Like humans they can get seasick from the rocking of a boat.
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