For example, when we first got here, we worked to teach the dog to climb the boarding ladder into the small Boston Whaler. He was accustomed to circling the boat until one of us scooped him up. But once he learned to climb the ladder, he was okay with it. In fact, I swear the little booger took every opportunity to jump overboard just because he knew he could get back out. When we had the ladder down he could, that is. One problem of course was that he didn't ever bother to check and see if the ladder was down before bailing out.
Looking back through my photos and files, I found that I had actually taken a mini-movie on one of his first successful ladder climbs. And now I can easily post it:
So after this, instead of jumping overboard and then yelping at us to fish him out, he would jump overboard and yelp at us to lower the damned ladder. It had its plus side, we no longer had to lift a wet dog out of the ocean. The down side is that every time we got near enough to land that he thought he could make it, he would hop overboard and swim ashore. He likes a lot of shore calls. And he can swim a LONG way. And he seems to be fearless ( except for thunder and television weathermen who even mention thunder. Even if it was in Houston the day before).
As mentioned before, he swims really well. I took some footage of him swimming around from underwater just off a little snorkeling spot where it was protected and sandy:
This next short video was taken the first time we took the dog fishing, in his brand new lifejacket. One of us had caught a small fish, and while it wasn't big enough to eat ( or so we thought in those days) I put it in the splash well in case we wanted it for bait.
The dog went nuts over it. He had never seen a fish before. He couldn't decide what to do about it. Whether he should bite it or not, when he really did not even know what it was. So he barked at it. THAT should show a fish who's the boss dog on THIS boat. And the more the fish flopped, the more excited the dog got.
I grabbed the camera and caught a few seconds of it. Notice that since he was afraid to bite this unknown animal in his boat, he took out some of his frustration on the outboard's gas lines.
Of course, it wasn't long before we were catching more fish, bigger fish, and toothier fish. The dog learned that he COULD bite them, and bite them he does. He thinks any fish on board that's still moving needs to be bitten. It's actually become a little bit of a problem sometimes. And of course, its just a matter of time before one of the fish gets to bite him. He's been real close a few times, already. I don't know if that is going to make him more cautious, or more ferocious.