My Dog Hates Water but Needs a Bath

When you hate something, you wouldn’t want to associate with it. A protest will meet any situation that draws you to the adversary. Your dog does precisely the same thing whenever he comes near water. We all know that water is unavoidable in one’s lifetime for various reasons.

With your dog’s hatred for water, he may not enjoy luxury like swimming. How about taking a bath? It will equally be a challenging task to accomplish. One sure thing is that you can’t let this hatred go on as it affects other vital requirements. It means that you need to change this.

How can you go about this? How can you turn a foe into a friend? As overwhelming as it may seem, there’s a way out. Even so, it is expedient that you get to the root of the problem. Why does he hate water? Once you determine the cause, you can effectively solve other rising issues like bathing him. Turning to the pressing issue, why do dogs hate water?

Lack of Exposure

One of the most common reasons has to do with exposure. Many dogs do not get frequent exposure to water. For this reason, they develop fear for the unknown, hence this hatred. Although dogs are from the wolf family, they do not have to survive through harsh conditions. They don’t have to swim through cold rivers in search of food.

Some dogs have also grown in kennels or shelters where water was not a common theme. They may, therefore, not understand what water is. It thus translates to their fear and overall hatred of water.

Your dog might also hate water because he doesn’t know how to swim. Looking at the mass of water, he can see the danger it poses. Since he lacks the skills to maneuver through it, he opts out. He’d rather be safe than sorry.

Negative Associations

Have you ever had an awful experience that gives you chills whenever you think of it, leave alone coming close to its repeat? If you have, then you know the feeling. Your dog might have had an unpleasant encounter when bathing. It could be the water was too hot for him. He will thus associate every meeting with water to that unfortunate event.

On the other hand, it could be that they only get close to the water when bathing. The dog might not like the experience as he finds it uncomfortable and maybe too slippery for his liking. The encounter may translate to his overall perception of water.

Learning from the Master

If you think that your dog does not observe your moves, then you are entirely wrong. Has your dog ever seen you getting into the rain or plunging into the mud? Why would you do this? If you don’t do such, how do you expect him to fall for the experience? Dogs are brilliant, and they will most probably pick their likes and dislikes from you.

Turning the Foe Into a Friend

Regardless of your dog’s reason for hating water, you need to help him overcome it, as getting wet is inevitable. How do you go about it? Get your canine to swim. It doesn’t mean throwing him into the water and walking away, no. It has to be progressive.

You can start by visiting the lake with him. At first, you can allow him to enjoy the view. With time, you can get him closer to the water until he can comfortably enjoy it. It will not be a one-time event. It will require time and patience, but you will get there. To reinforce his progress, you can give him some treats.

Since you cannot avoid bathing him, you can slowly turn these moments into a fun time. You can start by preparing his bathwater in advance. Talking to him through the period will also help ensure that he is comfortable and relaxed. What about getting soap into his eyes? You can work around that by using mild soaps and shampoos.

You can spur the fun by getting him some toys so he can use them while bathing. Every exemplary behavior deserves a reward. For this reason, you can give him treats throughout and after the bath. He will, therefore, learn to associate bathing with something positive.

For hygienic purposes, your dog pees outside. What about rainy days? Will you let him soil the house? You wouldn’t allow that. You should thus help him overcome the fear of rain too. You may decide to play with him outside while it is raining to help him overcome the fear. At the same time, you can buy him canine raincoats.

Wrapping Up

Dogs might indeed hate water. It may be because of some awful experience or lack of exposure. However, this does not make water a no-go-zone for him. Remember, he has to bathe; plus, you never know the danger that may get him. Survival skills like swimming are thus necessary. You can progressively help him overcome this and look forward to bathing times as the most memorable occasion.

1 thought on “My Dog Hates Water but Needs a Bath

  1. Kristina Greenwell

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