Your first shot is a prime example of when HDR will work wonders. And you wouldn't have to over cook it at all.
When I'm looking at a shot like this, I want to see what's inside as well as what's outside. And to add to that, I'd want to see a little bit more. By having some of the interior, I can get a feel of where this beach is at. As of right now, it can be anywhere. When I look at a landscape shot, I like to imagine I'm being taken to that location.
So imagine this shot now, with tropical decor well lit and visible around the door. Now I feel like I'm on a beach in the Florida Keys. Switch the decor to say a nautical theme. Lots of blues and whites. Now, I'm maybe somewhere in the northeast. Make sense? I need some direction.
The second shot has some potential to be a great shot. I agree with getting rid a lot of the sand in the foreground. Crop that sucker! Its very clear to me what the flow in this picture is. I look at the man. I can see exactly the direction he's looking and I can follow his gaze to the little boy. You've got two ways to go with your DOF here too. You can go very small aperature and get everything in focus or you can go wide open so just the man and boy are in focus. I think either would work. One thing that doesn't work for me is the clothing the man is wearing. They're blue and he is standing against the blue water and blue sky. Now, you may not be able to help that. But if you're setting a shot up like this, keep that in mind.
The third shot is compelling. But, the hand or paw in teh foreground, can't quite tell what it is, is distracting. Either get rid of it, by cropping, composing or asking her to move it. Or, get it in focus. which is what I might actually do. By having the hand and paw clearly visible, the conveying of the emotion in this picture would be much stronger.