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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, Rescue Buddy has slight but manageable confidence issues, but he HATES water other then ground/tank water & of course eventually I will have to give him a bath so how do I go about this in a way that it won't traumatized him or ruin our relationship?
 

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Hmm... good question. My dog doesn't like water either, but she's forgiving enough that for most of her life I've just... held her in the tub and talked to her in a calm voice and gotten done as fast as I can. Then she slides around the carpet on the side of her face after she's shaken off and been toweled a bit, and continues to rub her entire body on carpeting or grass until she's mostly dry. Sometimes I brush her out in the meantime. Obviously, that doesn't help you much.

I guess I would try first to get him to stand quietly in the tub, without water. Stand in tub, then be calm in tub, click/marker word/whatever and treat. Then I'd let the water be running gently but not touching him, again, click/treat. Until he's completely cool with that. Then just enough water to cover his toes. Same routine. On up until he'll let you put water on his body and actually wash him. Don't hold him down in the tub, though if he'll let you gently hold him that should be fine I'd think. Speak to him calmly and don't treat it like it's a big scary undertaking.

No clue if that will actually work, as I've never tried it, but that is what I would try if I were going to attempt to teach my dog to be more okay with water. I've taught her to be willing to wade in quiet water by similar means...
 

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I like Trzcina's idea. Conditioning Buddy to the bathtub so it is not an abrupt scary thing. I did this with all my pups over the years. Of course it doesn't mean that all dogs will like the bath ( IMO ) though ... Blu Boy still hates a bath and I have never done anything wrong to him! Lol! :) He will however tolerate it.

Remember Benny? ... He used to absolutely hate a bath but would gladly play in and with the garden hose any given chance. :/
 

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Bob and Sacha don't love bath time, but they do sort of stand there and put this look on their faces like "Uhhh...I don't like this but I'll take it for now." We did do little by little conditioning, so there was no trauma.
 

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We give the dogs baths at the same time as when we take showers. I've given them baths outside of course when they get extra disgusting but they always seem calmer in the shower. I guess something about having you in there with them. If you have a bathtub I would just sit in the tub with him and give treats. Do you have a removable shower nozzle? If so just sit and have the water away from him but running.

Of course I'm usually necked in the shower but I really wouldn't recommend that if he's new to bathing, scratches hurt more with no clothes on lol. Our heeler mix hates bath time and just looks like you are torturing her, but she stands there and is pitiful. She trusts me or my SO enough to know we aren't hurting her.

I hope this made sense!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well our shower isn't big enough (we live in an airstream mobile home) to get a dog in there so it would have to be with the hose on our wash rack (it has hot/cold water) but he like totally hates hoses & I don't want him to be scared of coming in the house (if I do it in the shower which is cold only anyway right now because our hot water heater is busted).

I have a funny feeling that I'm just going to have to leash him & make him 'grin & bare it' so to speak one of these days, luckily ACDs close hard coat doesnt need much in the way of baths.... Josefina does because she has an improper coat.
 

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do they have dog washes anywhere near you? We have them all over up here. Costs around 12.00 to take your dog in and you do it yourself but they supply all the soaps, brushes, dryers , raised sinks etc...great for larger dogs
 

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Don't know, I'll have to look into it, that might be the best route, I just want to do this in a way that won't destroy the relationship we have buil so far :(, the poor guy has been through so much (we think) I don't want him to see me as just someone else he can't trust :(.
 

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I'd start by just having him in the bathroom with you and giving him treats and praise. Good time to practice is every time you pee! Every time you have to pee, bring him in and close the door and give him treats for being in there. When he's fine just being in there then run the water while you pee, him still outside the tub. Then have him in the tub, no water running. Then in the tub, water running. Every single time give him lots of praise and treats.

Many dogs are more comfortable and confident when there is a mat on the tub floor so they aren't sliding or worried about falling. Consider getting one.
 

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What about a kiddy pool and a bucket? Take the scary hose out of the equation all together. I've put the girls in the back of the truck, filled up the kiddie pool and gone to town scrubbing them. That way they can't run off and they stay clean until they dry a bit in the back of the truck!
 

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That's why I pay a groomer to wash Kabota. I took care of all of Muggsy's grooming myself, but Kabota was so scared of the bathroom, I figured I'd let someone else traumatize him and then swoop in and "save" him later. (He's not the sharpest stick in the stack.)

It worked beautifully.

(ETA: That sounded awful, but you have to realize, Kabota smelled so bad when I got him, strangers on the bus would complain about the smell clinging to my clothing. I didn't have time to desensitize/counter condition him. And he does like the groomer now.)
 
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