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Old     (wamp98)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-26-2008, 9:44 PM Reply   
I see in Overton's there is a ramp called Paws Aboard. Has anyone tried this out, and is it worth the $200. I have a 90lb black lab, and she's a pain in the butt to load in and out of the boat. Anyone have any other ideas or solutions than spending that kind of money? Thanks
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-26-2008, 10:29 PM Reply   
Here's a trick I learned from a hunter to load a dog into a boat...

Have the lab swim up to the swim platform, when his front paws are on the platform edge, put your hand behind his head. He will instinctive push his head against your hand leveraging the rest of his body up on the platform. Try it, you will be surprised how well it works. I have seen 100lb ladies at dog hunting test do this quite effectively with 70+ lb labs and goldens.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-26-2008, 10:30 PM Reply   
you can practice in a pool
Old     (sse01)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-27-2008, 6:42 AM Reply   
I second what Mikeski wrote, that is how we get ours in.
Old     (wamp98)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-27-2008, 7:43 AM Reply   
WOW thanks! I will have to try that. Anything has got to be better than dragging her in everytime.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       05-27-2008, 8:21 AM Reply   
I've tried the hand to head technique. Maybe i didnt' push hard enough, but Scruffles couldn't get his back feet on the platform. so i ended up just pushing his 75 lb ass onto the boat, with the back of his head. He wasn't thrilled with it and neither was I.

I'll have to give it another try this summer. Doesn't sound like we're missing anything... Maybe some practice will help.
Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       05-27-2008, 9:23 AM Reply   
Works like a charm for me. I read about this trick here on Wakeworld a couple years ago when we got our first dog. Never heard of it before that.

I can't imagine physically dragging a wet dog onto the boat!

Nacho: Maybe you need to put your hand further behind the head to provide a more natural angle? I guess it's possible that some dogs just don't instinctively leverage their bodies or maybe just don't dig having a hand pushed behind their head. Good luck.

EDIT: Back to Adam's original post, I've never seen this thing but it would be nice not to have to assist the dog at all. On any given boating day, I'll have to hop back to the swimstep to administer the "trick" at least 10 - 20 times because my dog has ADD and constantly hops into the lake, but then wants right back in. Dummy.


(Message edited by wakerider42 on May 27, 2008)

(Message edited by wakerider42 on May 27, 2008)
Old     (tsisson)      Join Date: May 2008       05-27-2008, 10:05 AM Reply   
I have 2 dogs...80lb Lab and a 100lb Golden. When they get into swimming mode, they are in and out of the boat every 5 minutes - hauling them in by hand is a pain.

We got the Paws Aboard ladder and I really like it. Dogs come and go as they please - throw the ball and let them retrieve. Supports both dogs on it at the same time, no problems.

We get asked about it all the time at the lake.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       05-27-2008, 10:28 AM Reply   
Awesome trick with the dogs. Gotta try it and my lab thanks you in advance. Just right on the neck behind the nob on their skulls??
Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       05-27-2008, 11:24 AM Reply   
Flux, that should do it.

Just checked out the Paws Aboard on Overton's. Pretty cool, but a little big for me - I'll just keep using "The Trick". Would be perfect for longer trips or when you're out on the lake all day or if you have a really big dog.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       05-27-2008, 1:07 PM Reply   
I will check out that step. Thanks for the tips all, boat dogs own the water!!
Old     (wamp98)      Join Date: Mar 2008       05-27-2008, 3:45 PM Reply   
Thanks everybody for the tips. I stopped by two different marinas today that sells boats and accessories, and asked if they had any type of ramp or ladder for dogs and they looked at me like I had 2 heads. They didn't have anything nor could they order any. I was just trying to put my hands on one prior to ordering to see how bulky it was and how it mounted to the boat. My dog has ADD like Danny said and wants to be in the water every 5 minutes and I need something that she can come and go as she pleases. Thanks everyone!
Old     (tsisson)      Join Date: May 2008       05-27-2008, 3:55 PM Reply   
The Paws Aboard ladder that you are talking about folds in half for storage. I can fit mine in the ski locker, or in the stern storage by the engine. Usually though, I keep it tucked behind the drivers seat until we need to use it.

Weighs about 10 lbs - not really a big deal to carry it on board. We do leave it in the garage when we're heading out without the dogs though.

Got mine for about just under $200 from Not sure if Overtons is selling for the same price or not, but ahoy got it to me within the week of ordering.

The pups are happy with it...

(Message edited by tsisson on May 27, 2008)
Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       05-30-2008, 1:14 PM Reply   
Regarding the trick for putting your hand behind the dog's head, we just took our new dog Layla out on the boat recently and she didn't do so well with it!! Our first dog was a total natural and instinctively used his hind legs to lever himself up. Layla didn't quite get it. Towards the end of the outing, she started to sort of do it, but not very well. I think she might just need some practice and she'll get it.

She also didn't quite have dog-paddling down - she was doing this vertical bob while frantically paddling her arms up and down to keep her head out of water!!

Old     (monkey)      Join Date: Oct 2002       05-30-2008, 2:00 PM Reply   
We used to have a 120 pound lab mastif mix. We bought a ramp to get him in and out of the SUV, but he wouldn't use it. He didn't trust the thing.
Old     (tsisson)      Join Date: May 2008       05-30-2008, 3:08 PM Reply   
This isn't as terrible as it sounds...really...

Another "trick"...grab your dog by the scruff of his/her neck and the skin on his/her back, and HOIST!

Works like a charm, dog comes right up and out!
Old     (wamp98)      Join Date: Mar 2008       06-03-2008, 5:32 PM Reply   
Tried out the whole hand behind the head thing this weekend on the river. Surprisingly worked quite well. Sadie (black lab) was pretty good at it the first time, but after a few times, got old putting the beer down every 2 minutes to help her back in.
Old     (ladythump)      Join Date: Jul 2004       06-03-2008, 6:54 PM Reply   
anyone on flickr is welcome to join my group: dogs on boats
Old     (pnichols)      Join Date: Jan 2007       06-04-2008, 7:26 AM Reply   
I found some on ebay for $168. shipped d+ladder+&category0=
Old     (tnlakes)      Join Date: Jan 2008       06-04-2008, 7:44 AM Reply   
How well does the paws aboard ladder work if you don't have a ladder? Can you set it up on the swim platform?
Old     (tsisson)      Join Date: May 2008       06-04-2008, 1:11 PM Reply   
Paws aboard won't work without a ladder...

Try this instead...
Old     (wakerider42)      Join Date: May 2002       06-04-2008, 2:11 PM Reply   
Looks pretty cool, especially to stick on a dock. For a swimstep, it seems like you'd have to stand on the top to keep it firmly in place, though. Maybe not, I dunno. Maybe you can tie it up or something.

I went and watched the video at Specifically check out :21 and 3:13. Pretty funny. It's always funny watching dramatizations of how bad life is without someone's product! It's like an infomercial on TV.

Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-04-2008, 2:24 PM Reply   
I built my dog dock ramp from a plastic table top (costco) and a small carpet (home depot)...

Old     (dppaneig)      Join Date: Feb 2008       06-04-2008, 5:55 PM Reply   
I have a 16' aluminum river boat that sits high above the water and the hand behind the head technique works like a charm. You dont have to do the work, just put your hand there and the dog can arch to get in. On my platform its even easier. I wouldn't pay for a ladder.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-04-2008, 6:14 PM Reply   
I agree. On a boat with a swim platform, the hand behind the head thing works like a charm. No ladder needed. The dock was a different story.
Old     (chaser)      Join Date: Sep 2006       06-04-2008, 6:53 PM Reply   
whats the deal with the life vest on the dog? Is he that bad of a swimmer?
Old     (wamp98)      Join Date: Mar 2008       06-04-2008, 6:54 PM Reply   
$300+ for doggydocks??? It looks like a board with carpet and a throwable cushion snapped to the bottom. I think I'll try to make one first before I spend that kind of money.
Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       06-04-2008, 9:57 PM Reply   
Chasin, he doesn't need the vest but he liked it because he could go faster and farther. We would regularly go for towards 1 mile swims from the dock. It as a way for the two of us to get a workout. I also liked the added visibility so folks in boats would see him. On days where I wanted to really give him a workout I would repeatedly throw a ball and hang on to his vest so he would tow me to the ball. Folks would laugh at that. He could tow me almost as fast as I could swim. He also had about 0% body fat so the extra floatation made him on par with most other dogs.


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