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Old 10-28-2010   #1
nicho's Avatar
North Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 442
dog claws and rafts

So I have an older Riken bucket boat, its a 1986 and will be 25 years old next year. My dog was swimming for the boat and tried to get in, while doing so she clawed a very small hole in the tube. Has anyone else ever had a problem with dog claws scratching or puncturing their boat? I am curious if anyone has seen this happen on newer boats or if dog claws ever puncture a self bailing floor. The tubes on my Riken are slowly deteriorating after 25 years and I am wondering if claws are an issue on newer rafts and or inflated self bailing floors? Thanks.

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Old 10-28-2010   #2
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
Yes, depending on the size of the dog , I do not take my dogs rafting, but when I have inflated my boats at home the back claws on the dogs do the most damage because they push all their weight with them and the natural reaction is to extend the back claws. The front claws do a lot of scratching but have never put a hole or rip like the back claws. I have no problem with dogs on the river trips , I just like leaving my dogs at home.

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Old 10-28-2010   #3
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
That's one of the reason my dogs wear booties. Also to protect their feet from broken glass and fish hooks that tend to litter the shores around launches/take outs.
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Old 10-28-2010   #4
Idaho, Wyoming
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 147
dog 'n boats

inflatables are so much better now than they were in the 80's. when i bought my first campways raft in 1980, i was worried about my dog's claws and fish hooks as well, but i've never had a punture or problem from either. if your raft is no longer durable enough to handle a swinging dog paw, i would imagine the weight of the loaded boat against any kind of sharp rock or stick might be the end of it.
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Old 10-28-2010   #5
shappattack's Avatar
Up North, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,150
do you regular clip your dogs nails? That would probably help. My dog has been on around 20+ weeklong raft trips over his 12 years and I havn't had one issue with him causing damage, even on old crappy boats. Granted, he is only 45 lbs.
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Old 10-28-2010   #6
Carbondale, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 317
billfish - good looking dogs.
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Old 10-28-2010   #7
Idaho, Wyoming
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 147
dogs and boats

thanks watermonkey. Timber, Rio and i are working on a new scouting technique.
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Old 10-29-2010   #8
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Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 337
I have a newer PVC boat and haven't had any problems with my 2 dogs (60 and 80 pounds). I haven't even noticed any scratches. I bought a pawdicure at Pet Smart, its basically an electric nail file that works great and rounds off the nails, but that is mostly to protect the wood floors in my house.
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Old 10-29-2010   #9
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Our dogs love the raft, and I've never had a problem with their claws. I do keep their nails trimmed, and have since they were puppies which keeps them from growing very large or long (it keeps the quick shorter). Either you've got some witches for dogs with sharp/long nails (Happy Halloween), or your boat is pretty old and fragile.

A dog PFD is useful for dragging them into the boat (it has a handle) so they don't claw up. You might also consider some sort of decking over the side tubes so they don't walk directly on it, and you can also do floors (I use polymax even on the bow/stern floors for day trips, just so they have a better platform and can grip it better). There's always the bow/stern tubes exposed, but that's all I have for you. Maybe a new (to you) used boat sometime soon? Those old Rikey's can be pretty fragile.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 10-29-2010   #10
junkshowriverchick's Avatar
moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 59
i second the advice given for grinding your dogs' nails down. just clipping them leaves the ends sharp (which could be a problem for the riken it sounds like)

when im not boating, i am a dog groomer:

so my edumacated opinion is that using the dremel tool (or pawdicure, although my dogs hate it and i have heard of injuries caused) to file your dogs' nails down is the best way to go: it gets the nails short and smooth. perhaps taking your dog/s to the local groomer and letting her do it would be easiest

we have never had a problem with dog nails and rafts, but the oldest boats ive worked with are late 80's avons, tough as nails. i have 3 dags now, and for awhile i owned a 110 pound rottie rafter who flailed like a fish at the boat when she swam, it was never a problem (she just looked crazy).

just because it's diet don't mean it's good for you!
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