Many dogs are wonderful companions or even necessary in a service capacity. If you are an avid fisherman or woman, you may also want to bring your dog with you on fishing trips. Bringing your dog on the boat can definitely enrich your experience if you know how to prepare your dog for the time spent on board. Here are some tips for successfully fishing with your dog. 

1. Pack some extra water.

You know how quickly you get thirsty out on the water when the sun is high and there's no shade or wind. Your dog will also heat up, and you don't want them to suffer in silence. Pack enough water to keep both of you well-hydrated the whole time, especially if you're planning on ocean fishing; your dog might be happy with some fishy lake water, but they an't drink salt water. 

2. Start off-leash training in shallow water.

Your dog will be happiest on the boat if they are not tied up the whole day watching you fish. They might like to interact and to investigate the boat. You should be able to take your dog off the leash when you are on the boat, but you need to make sure your dog won't abandon ship.

Start boat leash training in shallow water first. Practice the same commands you use for off-leash behavior on land, including simple "come", "sit", and "stay" instructions. A dog who has not had obedience training or who is unreliable when responding is not yet ready for boating. 

As part of leash training, you should practice embarking and disembarking. It's safest if you can always carry your dog on board; don't allow jumping into the boat. If your dog is too large to carry in, lay down a plank and have your dog walk safely on board. 

3. Make a place for your dog to sit and stand on the boat deck.

If your boat has a place below deck for resting during long trips, your dog should have a place set aside. If it will fit, your dog's crate is ideal. If there's not enough room, purchase a compact dog bed so your pet can go and lie down when they get tired of being out in the sun, and so they have refuge if starts to rain. 

On deck, your dog should also have a "home base." You might tack down a patch of indoor-outdoor carpet to help your dog have a better grip on the deck floor. You can also place puppy pads in one corner to serve as your dog's on-boat bathroom solution. 

4. Secure bait and have lids for pails. 

You don't want your dog getting into worms, small fish, or other meat-based baits. Make sure these are lidded and stored away from your dog. Bring some fun treats for your pet to enjoy instead. If you plan on keeping the fish you catch, don't leave them in an open cooler. Instead, you should have secure places to store and pack your catches. Try not to allow your dog to eat any fish when on board to help establish the boundary of which foods are allowed. 

5. Give your dog a life preserver. 

Finally, you might want to consider bringing a canine life vest. Most dogs can swim and swim well, but in the event of a storm, your dog might need assistance to stay above water when the surf is choppy. Also, wearing a vest can help your dog stay warm on deck when the wind is chilly. You like extra layers, and sometimes a fur coat is not quite enough to keep the shivers at bay.

For help with planning a fishing vacation, contact a company like Panama Nautical Club.