Train Your Dog to “Go” on the Boat

Training your dog to live on a boat isn’t that hard, but what do you do about their bathroom needs? What if you are nowhere near the shore for days?

Train Your Dog to "Go" on the Boat

Top 8 Tips for Potty Training a Boat Dog

  • Establish a safe place on board that will be your pet’s “place to go.”
  • Purchase a fake grass mat, or build a dog yard with real grass, and leave it in the designated spot.
  • If needed, place a pee or poo sample on the mat so they will recognize the scent.
  • Put your dogs on a leash and “walk” them to their place as if you were taking them on a walk.
  • To potty train a boat dog, use treats, praise, and rewards, and do this consistently.
  • Keep a spare mat on board to use in a different spot when conditions are unsafe to go to the regular designated spot.
  • Establish a potty routine (this may be different on land, at sea, and at anchorage).
  • Maintain a consistent cleaning routine around the dog potty area.

It takes patience and time to house train your dog for a boat, but once your dog is potty trained, you are no longer have to make multiple dinghy stops a day for potty breaks, or even walking your dog in the marina if it’s storming! Your dog will feel happy and comfortable going to the restroom outside, on their own boat. This is not a substitute for walking your dog though. We always take every opportunity to walk our dogs on the beach, at a marina or anchorage or island that feels safe for our dogs. This is essential for their physical fitness and for their mental health,too.