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 Post subject: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:02 pm 
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Location: La Vernia, TX.
How do you deal with a pup who is scared out of his pants over water? Some of the dogs rolled in something dead and gross and were in desperate need of a bath. It was nice out so I figured I'd just bathe all of them. I'm used to them being a little squirmy and upset over the water hose, but when I got to Diesel, he began throwing a holy fit and acting like I was ripping his toes off. After a nice wrestle in the mud, I decided to give it up and just rinse him off in a bucket... I don't think he's had any kind of traumatic experience with the hose or anything, he just decided that he really did not want to be wet.

So, anyone else have this problem? And how do you break them of it? I don't bathe the dogs often but I hate dealing with a stupid puppy who is afraid of water when I do...

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 Post subject: Re: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:41 am 
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patience and repetition.

Blue is not fond of water but I have bathed him enough now that he is tolerant and will come and stand for his bath. In the beginning I had to have a kid help hold him, then I could hold him and wash alone, and he just gradually accepted it was going to happen and it was not going to kill him and now he comes and stands until it it over.

Just try to get it done with the least amount of drama possible and keep it a positive experience and it will work its self out.


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 Post subject: Re: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Ruby loves swimming in the water, especially if there is a chance in her mind that she could catch a duck or goose, but she hates the hose. She now tolerates it when I bath her outside, however it was a long process of slowly introdoucing her to it, then turning it on just a little bit, then a bit more, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:52 pm 
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You could try using food to distract him (keep him nibbling stuff from your fingers as you introduce the water), or, ideally, clicker train him to calm down. Repeatedly click/treat when he is calm, before you start the bath, and when he is doing that consistently, introduce the water while you continue to click/treat.

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 Post subject: Re: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestions, yall! :)

Yeah, they all love water when they know I'm not bathing them. But when I break out the shampoo, they get upset.

Usually I can talk my dogs down to a clam level, but he was just super unhappy about the bath... Is clicker-training a better form of reinforcement than just talking to them? I have only used a clicker once and it was always just easier for me to praise/excite/"sick up" my dogs with different voice commands and tones... I think I will bathe him more often until he figures out that I'm not going to drown him.

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 Post subject: Re: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:48 pm 
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Using the clicker makes it more of a conditioned response. It becomes 'subconcious' for the dog to respond, and that makes it more consistent. There are scientific reasons for that, and they are in the article I wrote for the blog, so I won't go into them here. If you use it a lot, you will see that the click becomes a really big deal to the dog, as it both lets him/her know the exact instant being rewarded (easier for them to figure out what they did that was good) and it promises a reward. Just knowing you have a clicker in your hand gets the dog really focused and ready to respond.

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 Post subject: Re: Bath / Water Terror
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:24 pm 
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Location: Bel Aire, KS
I usually start giving my pups bathes at 8 weeks of age so they can fight less and get used faster to it. With that being said, I have a mutt dog that HATES water and will not stand in the tub unless someone is holding her collar and giving her a bath with the shower head. Otherwise,she tries to fake bite and I hate that but she has learned to put up with it. Ever try bathing a growling dog? FUN!


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