According to several specialized publications such as the scientific magazine `Helium': "A domestic dog develops fear of water as a result of a negative past experience" during this or any other activity in contact with water. It doesn't have to be especially flashy if not something that the pet simply remembers as something unpleasant and negative for him. This fear, as mentioned, is not normal, so something can be done about it.
Below you will find a series of tips to put into practice with your dog so that in the short/long term, the moment of bathing and contact with the water is no longer traumatic for them and finally a pleasant activity.
BATHROOM BETTER THAN SHOWER
At first it might seem that a shower is better than a bath because the water does not accumulate and may seem less overwhelming, but quite the opposite. Dogs can swim by nature, but the noise that the pressure water makes when going out through the shower head can frighten them a lot, and that's just enough to scare the hell out of them. Unless they are dogs of considerable size, a good option is to bathe them in a tub or even in the sink. This way it will be a more comfortable place for them and they will not be in a lot of water.
PUT IN A ANTI-SLIP MAT
In the case of having to groom our dog in a bathtub you have to make it a comfortable space. Just like with people, the dog will also slip. For them it will be another reason to be nervous because they won't feel stable, they will try to get out of there and they won't get out so they can get overwhelmed. That's why you can use a simple shower mat to make them feel more stable, secure and, consequently, calm.
YOU HAVE TO GIVE HIM PEACE OF MIND
For a dog, its owner is the most important person and the one with whom they feel most secure. For this very reason, much of your peace of mind will depend on us. The first thing to do is to use a calm tone of voice so that the dog does not feel like a threat or a fight. It is also necessary to make him affectionate from time to time and if he is behaving well to recognize the good deed. This way you will feel that it is a good thing and that if you do it it has its rewards. But if the dog is constantly crying it is not advisable to pamper him to calm him down either, because if not, he will think he is doing something right and will repeat it the next few times.
MAKE BATHING FUN
If bathing is something that scares our pet, another option is to make this a fun time as well. Put your favorite toy in the bathtub to play with while you are bathing, so that it will be fun and you won't pay attention to what you're doing. In this way you will understand that it is a fun time that you will spend together and little by little you will accept it better.
AVOID NOISES AND KNOCKS
It is very important that nothing disturbs or frightens him, so it is better to prevent everything that is within our reach. For example, it is best not to put the shampoo in a jar where it might fall over and make a loud noise. As already mentioned, it is preferable not to use the shower head as water pressure can be a nuisance. Also, the water pressure may not be to their liking.
REWARD HIM WHEN HE FINISHES
One of the best ways for a dog to learn and keep doing things well is to reward it. This is one of the principles when teaching a pet. When you do something right you can reward him with some food, some dog treats, etc. In this way you will interpret that this behavior is the right one and also that after each bath you will get something.
CREATE A ROUTINE
Of course, bathing time has to be a routine thing, like a walk. It could always be the same day of the week and at about the same time. The dog will also internalize it and know that it will happen in a way that it will adapt to it. That way he will also do his part when it comes to doing it, because if you don't want to, you can run away, hide and have to scold him, something that will make us start off badly with the bathroom.
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