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Question
Posted by: Nina | 2011/02/07

Bathtime nightmares

I have 3 ''children'' at home, one Sharpei male (5 years old), Doberman pincher female (41/2 years old) and a JRT (7 months old).
Bathtime is a nightmare. All three of them were bathed from a young age to get them used to the water. Especially the JRT. (My previous one cried if not taking a daily bath). The problem is both my male dogs (Sharpei and JRT) is putting up a huge fight when it is that time of the month. We are usually more wet than the dogs. Nothing happened to them that they are so scared of water. I have had all three of them since they were six weeks old. The Sharpei does not even leave the house to do his wee wee thing when it is raining. I started to think that he thinks I am standing on the roof and throwing water down so he can get wet (that is joke that is going around). He would rather keep everything in than going out when it is wet. No one forced them to take a bath when they were younger. Once bathed none of the dogs trust me enough to come near me for a treat.
What can I do for them to just relax and enjoy the bath?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Nina, the picture you paint has me having a good giggle! Ok, start with one dog at a time. dont call the dog to you as that can really mess up your recall cue - rather go to the dog, put on the collar and lead and walk it to the area you want to wash it, away from the other dogs. Have a plastic bath and a lot of treats. You are going to break this down in a way that it will become acceptable to the dog. Firstly, to calm the dog, do long stroken all over the body from head to tails and long strokes along the ear. The ear contains over 200 acupressure points and the tip of the ear can stop a dog (human etc) going into shock and really calms them down. Then start with just having the dog stand next to the bucket and offer it treats, praising all the while. When the dog is happy with that, then put your hand in the water and your hand close to the dog and keep on treating and praising. Next step is to take a smaller container and put a little water on the dog, treating and praising all the time. The odds are you will not achieve this in one session, but will need to build it up over a few days. You keep on working in this manner until you can wet the dog all over. Doing it this way it is very easy to change the dogs perception of the expereience. I would start with the dog that is currently the best behaved, which will build your confidence, then start on the other two. Good luck and let me know how you progress and if you need any help.Thanks Scotty

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Our users say:
Posted by: Scotty | 2011/02/14

Hi Lamees, it really wouldnt help to put their faces in it when you come home. The dog will not relate what happened with the holes with your behaviour and you will hurt your bond with the dogs. If a dog is to be punished in any way, it must be caught ''red handed'' so to speak and then a loud voice of displeasure should suffice.

Neither of your dogs are youngsters anymore and that they have just started doing this, try to think if you have put down compost/fertiliser etc in this area. This could have started them off. Alternatively, if you have had any major changes in your life such as a new neighbour, illness, strained relationship etc, it may be stress related. I would go the route of putting down one of the producs that keep dogs off areas to start with, give them chew toys and make sure they are getting enough stimulation. Thanks and good luck Scotty

Reply to Scotty
Posted by: Scotty | 2011/02/14

Hi Lamees, it really wouldnt help to put their faces in it when you come home. The dog will not relate what happened with the holes with your behaviour and you will hurt your bond with the dogs. If a dog is to be punished in any way, it must be caught ''red handed'' so to speak and then a loud voice of displeasure should suffice.

Neither of your dogs are youngsters anymore and that they have just started doing this, try to think if you have put down compost/fertiliser etc in this area. This could have started them off. Alternatively, if you have had any major changes in your life such as a new neighbour, illness, strained relationship etc, it may be stress related. I would go the route of putting down one of the producs that keep dogs off areas to start with, give them chew toys and make sure they are getting enough stimulation. Thanks and good luck Scotty

Reply to Scotty
Posted by: Lamees | 2011/02/10

HI,
I have two old dogs (had them both for 12 yrs), pit bul and german sheppered. Not sure which one of the two but have now started digging holes in my flowerbeds. Unfortunately I never see them doing it as I work during the day. Please advise if I can put both their noses in the sand when I get home from work and see the holes.
Thanks
Lamees

Reply to Lamees
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/02/07

Hi Nina, the picture you paint has me having a good giggle! Ok, start with one dog at a time. dont call the dog to you as that can really mess up your recall cue - rather go to the dog, put on the collar and lead and walk it to the area you want to wash it, away from the other dogs. Have a plastic bath and a lot of treats. You are going to break this down in a way that it will become acceptable to the dog. Firstly, to calm the dog, do long stroken all over the body from head to tails and long strokes along the ear. The ear contains over 200 acupressure points and the tip of the ear can stop a dog (human etc) going into shock and really calms them down. Then start with just having the dog stand next to the bucket and offer it treats, praising all the while. When the dog is happy with that, then put your hand in the water and your hand close to the dog and keep on treating and praising. Next step is to take a smaller container and put a little water on the dog, treating and praising all the time. The odds are you will not achieve this in one session, but will need to build it up over a few days. You keep on working in this manner until you can wet the dog all over. Doing it this way it is very easy to change the dogs perception of the expereience. I would start with the dog that is currently the best behaved, which will build your confidence, then start on the other two. Good luck and let me know how you progress and if you need any help.Thanks Scotty

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