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Dog afraid of water.

  1. #1

    Dog afraid of water.

    My female GSD are afraid of water. This makes bath time a nightmare.



    She never had any bad experiences with water that I can recall.

    Do you have any advise to help make bath time less traumatic?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    South Wales, UK
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    No real advise I'm afraid, but lots of treats and gentle soothing tones. I always let the dog sniff everything before I use it (i.e. sniff the shower head before I turn it on, the shampoo bottle before I use it). If she's really stressed, maybe your vet can recommend some calming tablets or something? I know of some people who use calmex (a herbal calming remedy) before vet trips for dogs who are really anxious.

    Good luck, sorry I'm not much help but I'm sure someone will be along soon who can help more than me!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Philippines
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    I agree with Goldfinch. Have her sniff the shower head and make her sniff it while water is running (but don't wet her). I did the same thing with Buchi and the clippers. Associate the bath with good things such as her favorite toy or a nice treat.

    By the way, try to recall if she's ever had soap or shampoo in her eyes because that could be very painful and some dogs tend to remember that.

    Anyway, just a crazy thought, whenever I groom my dogs (bathing them, clipping their nails and clipping their hair), I tend to sing (at least there are still beings who appreciate my not-so-angelic singing voice). It seems to calm them down and prolong their patience in going through with the ordeal.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    I bathe my dog in my bathtub. I've found that just letting the dog walk around and explore/drink the water before beginning, helps to calm. Good thoughts and advice from Goldfinch and Haopee.

  5. #5
    Thank you for all the advise and ideas, I am going to try them all. She really needs a bath, as they are shedding for winter now, and a brush just does not do the trick. My husband usually help me bath her, it might be that she is scared of him as well. Next time i will go at it alone, with a box of snacks and my very scary voice.

  6. #6
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    Tip for getting her into a tub of water, encourage with a gentle push from behind, as opposed to trying to pull her in my the collar.

  7. #7
    My german shepherd doesn't like baths either, but once he's in the tub the worst is over. If you are relaxed, the dog will be too.

  8. #8

    Getting Your Dog Used To Getting Wet.

    First, remember never to rush anything. Get whatever you use to bathe her with and let her sniff everything, including the tub and soap. Put lukewarm water in the tub, and do not just set her down into the tub, but slowly ease her into it. While she is watching you, put your hand in the tub. Then, pet her lightly and gently with your wet hand to show her that getting wet does not hurt her. Pick her up and hold her for a second to calm her down, and then speak comfortingly to her as you slowly ease her into the water. You could also try putting her feet only into the water, then take her out. Then go up to her knees, then to the very top of her legs, so on and so forth. Continue to talk to her soothingly throughout the whole bath, and don't use the shower head or hose, but a cup. Fill the cup with some lukewarm water from the tub, and slowly pour it onto her back. Gently rub the soap over her body and rinse her off using the cup again. Make a routine of bathing her about every two weeks so that she can get use to being bathed regularly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    I use an old aluminum light-weight saucepan to pour the water over the dog, using a cup wouldn't work for medium to larger dogs. I disagree about bathing every two weeks to get the dog used to it, as frequent bathing is not good for the dogs skin or hair, depletes the natural oils.

  10. #10
    We had a bath session this weekend, just to get rid of the molting hairs. This time if went a lot better. I put Silver in the bath with her (it was quite messy but lots of fun). This helped a lot and she was calmer with him being there. The kids also helped this time, and she seemed to enjoy them playing with her.

    I only bath them when I feel they really need it, and then mostly as a tick and flea treatment. I have never seen a wolf take a bath, and I go onto this, as dogs were originally bred from wolves.

    Speaking about wolves here is a picture I took at a wolf sanctuary of a Timber Wolf. They do look a lot like the GSD's

    wolf.jpg

  11. #11
    Dallas used to HATE water, period. She wanted nothing to do with it when it was bath time. Cobain LOVES water. We had a little kiddie pool out there for him (before he ate it!!), and she sat there and watched him splash around in there and eventually she got in there and started playing with him. We were shocked...I had never seen her do that. Now she loves water and giving her a bath is extremely easy.

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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