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Old 05-21-2017, 09:43 AM   #1
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Dog Darn It

This is a weird occurrence and I would like some input.

We have two dogs aboard (we liveaboard), a Toy Poodle weighing 3 1/2 pounds and a Chihuahua weighing in at 6 pounds. We were at a dock at a marina while cruising north and sitting out on the rear deck enjoying the evening. Our two dogs were out there as well. The door to the saloon (thanks RTF) was open.

Suddenly, and out of nowhere a big dog jumped on our boat from the dock and began chasing our little guys around the deck. The intruder was not vicious, just playful but heck, you never know. Our dogs seeking shelter ran into the saloon with the big dog right on their heels. I ran inside and grabbed the big dog by the collar to get him out of the saloon and off the boat. Th that dog was powerful as he damn near pulled over. I dragged him out of the saloon as he kept trying to pull me back in.

As I tried to get him off the boat, the owner appeared with a leash and got the dog off. Turns out the dog was a 75 pound Pit Bull. The owner apologized profusely saying her dog must have seen mine and jumped off their boat to go play. I said no problem as we love dogs and all is well that ends well.

The next day we left the marina early in the morning. As the sun came up I discovered to my dismay that the Pit Bull scratched our teak parquet floors to crap. His nails dug long and deep. What should we do? (Don't tell me to refinish the floors, I already thought of that). Insurance claim? Would my rates go up? Track down the dog's owners? How would I prove anything?
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:56 AM   #2
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Contact the marina and get dog owner's name and number. Give her a call and tell her of the damage. She should be responsible for it, but non lawyer here. See what her response is. She may accept responsibility for the fix without you needing to go through legal wrangling.
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Old 05-21-2017, 09:56 AM   #3
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Depending upon your deductible I'd file an insurance claim and let them figure it out. Unlike some folks I find my insurance guy to be my most valuable resource of solid information.
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Old 05-21-2017, 10:44 AM   #4
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Try direct first, if they're honorable (you never know!) settling without insurance getting involved is best.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:12 AM   #5
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You're very lucky your dogs weren't injured badly. The owners were lucky you didn't react much stronger at the time. Now, I'd talk to my insurance company but it's a challenge. Other owner can claim their dog didn't do the damage. Insurance can claim ordinary wear and tear. You sure get into the oddest situations. Sorry for your damage but so relieved it was your floor and not your dogs. Pet owners, especially large dog owners and Pit Bull owners, are responsible to keep their animals under control.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:38 AM   #6
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Sorry for your damage but so relieved it was your floor and not your dogs. Pet owners, especially large dog owners and Pit Bull owners, are responsible to keep their animals under control.

+1

It could have been much worse. When our dog was still alive (RIP Jonah) we were always very careful to ensure that he was under control at all times and in all settings. Accidents can happen even with the best tempered dogs, regardless of their size.

First off there is no way that dog should have been off the leash. Dogs need to be on leash at ALL times unless it is on your own property (land or sea) or in an area designated specifically for off-leash such as a dog park. To do otherwise is irresponsible and in many places, criminal.

Now, maybe the Pit Bull was on their boat, saw your dogs, got excited, and jumped ship? Things happen. If this was the first case that the dog disembarked on his own, then some allowances can be made. However, if the dog had EVER done that previously, then the owners are irresponsible for not ensuring adequate training or keeping the dog tethered to the boat.

Just like children, other folks don't think our dogs are nearly as cute as we do and likely don't like them as much. Just as we would never let our toddler wander off to meet a stranger, our dogs shouldn't either. There are many folks that have an reasonable, but very real fear of dogs. There are also folks that are highly allergic to dogs. Dogs just need to stay on the boat at all times unless on a leash or tethered.

BTW, one of those retractable leashes is NOT having a dog under control. Only the ignorant or lazy use those.
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Old 05-21-2017, 01:24 PM   #7
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I would track down the owners after you get an estimate. Send them pictures and ask if they will pay for the damage.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:02 PM   #8
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You're very lucky your dogs weren't injured badly. The owners were lucky you didn't react much stronger at the time. Now, I'd talk to my insurance company but it's a challenge. Other owner can claim their dog didn't do the damage. Insurance can claim ordinary wear and tear. You sure get into the oddest situations. Sorry for your damage but so relieved it was your floor and not your dogs. Pet owners, especially large dog owners and Pit Bull owners, are responsible to keep their animals under control.
All dog owners need to keep their dogs under control.

That includes people who own small dogs. I have a lab/pit bull mix. She is a very sweet and well behaved dog, the best dog we have ever owned by far. But we are aware that she is big and can sometimes be scary to other people, so when we are in a public place we keep her on a short leash.

Unfortunately though for some reason, small dogs often go nuts when they see her; barking like crazy, charging at her, snatching at their leashes (if they are on one), growling etc. When confronted she bristles up and will bark back. Our policy is to make her sit, calm her, and then go the other direction.

But many, many times I have gotten negative comments from the small dog owners about how my dog isn't safe, even though their dog started the whole mess and our dog was the well behaved one.

Fact is, a lot of little dogs are not well behaved or trained at all. Their owners are under the mistaken belief that because they are small the rules don't apply to them.

All dogs need to be kept under control.

And yes, the owner of the dog that jumped into your cockpit is responsible for the damage the dog caused.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:18 PM   #9
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I have a Maltese, about 12lbs. He is very protective of my wife if he never met you before. The difference between my dog and a pit bull is if he bites you, you will have a superficial wound, if a pit bull bites you well you know the answer.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:39 PM   #10
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Either way, if a dog bites me, the dog may be sorry, but the owner will be much more sorry...I don't care if it is only 12 pounds.


I spent my whole life struggling with keeping dogs on a short leash and quiet to the best of my ability. They weren't always quiet, but the only bites occurred to family in my house.


And for some dogs, I would rather they bite me instead of barking or yapping.


most of the time, boat owners seem reasonable and do a good job with their dogs and control and cleaning up....


But certainly not all......


Howard...just grind through the process of trying to be made whole...whatever route you take....just try and keep it stress free as possible because these thing can be irritating no matter how quickly resolved.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:59 PM   #11
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Fact is, a lot of little dogs are not well behaved or trained at all. Their owners are under the mistaken belief that because they are small the rules don't apply to them.

All dogs need to be kept under control.

No-one is as adamant as a reformed drunk, former smoker, or owner of a well trained dog.

I agree with you completely Doug. My dogs have been large. Maybe because of this I felt a greater burden of responsibility. Also, my dogs were lovable, but not cute and cuddly. They could scare and intimidate strangely easily so I went out of my way to ensure the dogs were always well trained, well behaved, and very non-threatening. I wouldn't want to generalize, but there may be a few owners of small dogs that don't recognize the perceived threat a small dog can have.
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:02 PM   #12
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most of the time, boat owners seem reasonable and do a good job with their dogs and control and cleaning up....
.

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Old 05-24-2017, 06:12 PM   #13
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We are dog owners that have trained our Border Collies to not chase other animals and dogs....Without a doubt if somebody else's dog randomly jumped on our boat and tried to chase our animals (not that they would tolerate that)....THAT dog would be considered a pirate and would be overboard in hot second and I would give nary a care.

There is a lady here locally that has been attacked by Moose..not once but twice because she hasn't trained or refuses to control her dogs...

If you choose to have an animal family, you choose to teach it standards just like a child...no way around it..it's just respectful..

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Old 05-24-2017, 06:27 PM   #14
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The problem you face getting your floor repaired is owners of Pit Bull s have little concern for anyone or anything
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:32 PM   #15
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One persons beloved pet is another persons filthy mongrel.
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Old 05-24-2017, 07:18 PM   #16
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How would you fix a floor like that? Is this just refinishing or are you sanding it down to remove the scratches?

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Old 05-24-2017, 07:27 PM   #17
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In my experience, small dogs more often than mid-size and large docks are more aggressive. But small dogs too can be very friendly. Depends on the dog's individual personality, breed, and training.
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Old 05-24-2017, 09:59 PM   #18
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The problem you face getting your floor repaired is owners of Pit Bull s have little concern for anyone or anything

Training is more germane to this discussion than breed.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:26 PM   #19
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The problem you face getting your floor repaired is owners of Pit Bull s have little concern for anyone or anything
Really, Gaston.
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:40 PM   #20
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Really, Gaston.
Well, I won't generalize but I will agree with Gaston on any pit bull owner allowing their dog to roam free.
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