My dog HATES water
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Thread: My dog HATES water

  1. #1
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    My dog HATES water

    I have a full-grown (neutered) male golden retriever mix. He HATES water... Bath's a are a CHORE.... any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Alpha's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I think I posted this already but I'll post it again

    I'm just going to stick to the bath topic though, seeing as that's something that must be done sometimes.

    Now first, *brushes dirt of shoulder*, my guys don't like baths, but they are great taking them.

    I've got an 80lb rott/dobe and a 60lb apbt.

    How do I do it you ask?

    Well bath time is fun time.

    I spent a lot of time, working on getting them used to getting into the tub WITHOUT water in it.

    That's where you must start. Almost like training for the big day! LOL

    1. Get a super yummy treat. Hot dogs are great, broken up into small pieces.

    2. Lure your dog to the bathroom, while saying, "Yay chance! Bathtime! WaaaHoooO!"

    3. CLOSE THE BATHROOM DOOR! The worst thing is an escapee!

    4. Lure them into the empty tub. DO NOT pick them up and force them. If they don't go in the first time it's OK. Just leave a trail of hot dogs towards the tub. Maybe the first few times, he won't get in, but will put a paw on the tub, or take a piece of hot dog.

    5. After they are used to the routine, of going to the bathroom, and not enduring the scary experience, of getting picked up and thrown into the tub than doused with horrible smelling liquids. Throw some pieces of hot dog into the tub. DO NOT force them in physically. Or even be near the tub. Stand at one end of the bathroom, and throw the pieces in. I'm sure, and it's not your fault, that you've dragged poor Lassie into the tub a few times. By not invading that space, they are more likely to get into the tub than as opposed to you standing right there over their shoulder.

    6. Once they get into the tub voluntarily, you can start approaching them. Have a whole whack of treats. And the whole time they are in the tub you feed them treats. If they get upset, or try to get out, "Lassie, your fine. Stay", in a firm, authoritative tone. NEVER let them escape on their own accord!

    Now does your dog know the stay command? Solid?

    When my guys have baths, I'm often forgetting the shampoo, or it's in the cupboard, or I have to get a towle etc. I tell them to stay. If I leave the room they stay in the tub. They do NOT leave the tub, until I give the command.

    Once your dog is getting into the tub consistently, start practicing "stay". Remember, all of this is with NO water yet!

    But be patient. You have to lay a solid foundation, especially with a dog that's had a horrible experience with baths.

    Now you can start using water. ONCE your dog has consisitently been getting into the tub, and staying.

    Put them in the tub first. And then fill the tub up. If they move, or try to jump out. "WRONG!", "Your fine. Relax". No baby talk! Be very calm and confident. No yelling, no screaming, no whiney, "Please calm down lassie, it's ok baby.."

    If you can, have two people there for teh first bath. One to keep feeding your dog treats and the other to bath. It's fun too remember! Make it fun for your dog! No corrections!

    If you decide to try it let me know how it goes.

    I'd do the whole empty tub routine, 2 or 3 times a day too. It takes some time and patience, but if you follow it to a T you'll be more than happy with the results I guarentee it.

    Bathtime a my house, is a no fuss, no muss routine. They get in the tub. I bath them. They don't leave til I tell them.

  4. #3
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    Thanks! I will try the treat game a few times. I'll let you know how it goes!

    Check out my dog page at the bottom of my web site, Putnam County News. Welcome To PutnamLIVE.com

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    Can't wait to hear how it goes!

  6. #5
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    The reason dogs hate baths is because thier owners throw them into the tub and start spraying them with water. I think the above post is a great example of a way to teach your dog bath time is fun, not a chore.
    Roady:GSD
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    So far, "Buddy" is ignoring the treats. I tried with me in the tub. I've tried leaving the treats. I've tried one of his favorites, (a slice of cheese.) I've left them overnight to see if he will go in while he knows we are sleeping.

    Not a chance.

    But I haven't given up.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Alpha's Avatar
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    What are you using as treats?

    You need a high value reward, what's worked well for me: hot dogs, pieces of steak, freeze dried liver, Whiskas Temptations cat treats, Zukes and that should be enough, lol.

    Remember, YOU CAN'T BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE TUB!

    Most of Buddy's fears, unfortunately are "you" related. And it's not your fault. We've all dragged a dog into the tub before. But this is why I must stress, and why you being in the tub did not work.

    The combination of you + tub= Buddy is afraid.

    That's why I want to take you out of the equation, and let buddy and the tub meet alone.

    This isn't an "exercise" that should be going on constantly. You take buddy into the bathroom and close the door. Work in the bathroom, for about 10-15 minutes and then it's over. Back to normal life.

    Remember I said, don't expect him to jump into the tub the first few times. If he even nears the tub, to get a treat that's great.

    Leave a trail of treats towards the tub. Maybe 10 pieces of hot dog steak whatever. And GO AWAY! Go stand in the corner and do NOT make eye contact with buddy. As soon as you do, he will assume that your going to throw him in. Pretend he isn't even there. Ignore him, look at your nails, fuss with your shirt, find something to focus on far away from Buddy.

    This is what usually happens:

    The dog will watch you, make sure that you aren't going to throw him in. Maybe be stressed and nervous, go to the bathroom door and cry to be let out. (You still haven't spoken to him or made eye contact) After a few minutes, and a dozen times of making sure that you aren't going to throw him in, they will sniff the food. Look back, make sure that you aren't approaching, and eat a treat. After the first few, if it's a good high value reward, they should start snarfing down the treats that aren't too close to the tub. The ones that are on the bathtub's edge, or the two that are within a foot or two, they'll look back at you again. STILL do NOT make eye contact! And hopefully, usually, then the dog will snatch them up and back away!

    For the first time that is great! It's exactly what we want!

    I must stress though and not to be mean: The more you talk to him, look at him and are near him, the less chance there is of this working.

    Buddy is afraid that YOU are going to throw him in the tub. So the closer you are to him and the tub the more his fear will grow.

    YOU have to:
    -not make eye contact
    -be as far away from Buddy and the tub as you can be
    -seem uninterested in what Buddy and the tub are doing

    So here's my new advice, well a mix of old and new: lol

    -get a more high value treat
    -make the session short and sweet, 10 minutes two or three times a day
    -make it a session, so it does begin and end, your not constantly waiting for him to go near the tub (leaving treats overnight)


    AND LEAVE BUDDY AND THE TUB ALONE LOL

    Pretend that they aren't even there.

    I'm glad you haven't given up. From Buddy's end, you have to understand his fear.

    I'm sure bathtime was a frightening experience, and depending on how often it happened, it may take a few weeks to get him comfortable.

    But, I do know, that if you follow those instructions to the T, within a month or two, you should have a dog, that may not enjoy the tub, but will comply, as long as you are calm and confident when it comes to bathtime.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Alpha; 08-28-2006 at 12:59 PM.

  9. #8
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    We will try it more... The trouble is, I don't have time for several "sessions" a day. I work full-time and have a business. But I will try more.... Now it's off to PetSmart for some treats.... Buddy DID get to the bag of treats that my wife left on the kitchen counter.

    (Heavy sigh)

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  10. #9
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    I know it can be hard sometimes to find time. I just started my own business as well, and should be there more, but I've been slacking! LOL

    It doesn't take long after you get him used to it.

    Perhaps when your shaving or something in the morning, bring him into the bathroom with and close the door. Shave, (so your not paying any attention to him) and just leave the path of treats before you start shaving.

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