Bathe In Water? Don’t Even Bother! What Am I – An Otter?
Some dogs absolutely love water, while others don’t share that particular joy. Of course I’m not talking about water per say – they like water, if it’s in a bowl, ready for drinking. But that’s about it.
A lot of dogs are afraid of water and the reason for that is really quite simple: they’re not used to it. When dogs became domesticated, their life habits and habitat slowly changed. Today, dogs are used to walk on carpets and wood floors in houses and on pavement or asphalt when on a walk. They’re not used to the ground being wet and because they’re not familiar with it, they think of it as something unpleasant. Same goes with getting their fur wet by rain – if they’re not used to it, they’ll find it different and it won’t feel right to them.
Don’t forget to be patient and reward any sign of desirable behaviour.
What you as an owner can do is:
1. Try to get your dog familiar with water from a young age on. Give him regular baths, take him/her outside of a walk, even if it’s raining and don’t forget to give him a treat for every positive reaction.
2. If your dog is already “grown up” and afraid of water, start getting him involved in activities that take place outside when it’s raining – let him stay in the backyard when it’s raining (if it’s not too cold) or simply play with him in the rain. Don’t forget to treat him if he displays desirable behaviour. Bathe the dog regularly by including his toys in the bath and even spicing up bath-time with treats. You can even expose him/her to water from a garden hose (not too cold) and try to get him/her to play with it.
Try to get your dog to associate running water with pleasant things and soon his/her fear will disappear. Don’t forget to be patient and reward any sign of desirable behaviour.