Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: like/dislike water

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    247

    Default like/dislike water

    I discovered pretty early on that Dex does not like water. I ended up with claw marks all up my arms from trying to bath him as he was trying to climb up my arm to get out and he was always pretty miserable in the shower when he was a pup. I have bathed him only a couple of times and he's gotten a little better since. Now the weather's warmer I'm trying to teach him that water isn't all that bad, just to give him something different to play with in summer and to keep him cool. I've got lowish plastic trays kicking around for the ducks to bath in and I've coaxed him into fishing for things in the water. He now happily comes and blows bubbles and tries to grab leaves from the bottom of the water which is kinda cute. He looves feathers, and I have no shortage of them, so I've been putting feathers just out of reach in the water trays to try and coax him to get into the water, but he just gets frustrated and makes noises at them 'cause he can't reach them, lol. I filled another tray with really shallow water today and helped him get into it so he could get the feather and he was ok just standing with his feet wet chewing on the feather.

    Is liking water and not liking water a pretty black and white thing with dogs or can they be taught to like water? I'd like to try and build him up to being ok in deep water, any tips on making it really fun for him?

  2. #2

    Default

    If he doesn't like it, don't make him.
    Getting him used to a bath is fine so he behaves, but if he doesn't like water then i see no point in trying to make him get in it of his own free will or making him go swimming. Just bath him with a hose.

  3. #3

    Default

    You could take him to a dog beach or go swimming with him, start in the shallow water and go further every time. He's obviously got quite a huge hang-up about water, but it is possible to make him adapt and grow to enjoy it. Just remember that the more gradual the process, the better your chances of making him end up normal one day. It sounds to me like he's got some strong negative association with water so be gentle with him and don't force him to do anything he doesn't want to do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    Meika used to be scared of water, would put one foot in and then run away. Last summer, we ended up going to a park (with a lake) with her and a few friend's dogs who loved swimming, and about the 3rd time we went with them she just all of a sudden started swimming out into the water to fetch sticks with all the other dogs and now she loves it. Some dogs probably dislike water and don't have much of a chance changing while others are scared of it and with a little bit of help might learn to love it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    4,292

    Default

    Yes, they can get used to it and go from fear to liking it. Banjo was pretty scared of water when I got her. I remember trying to pour water over her, first with the watering can - that's how I used to cool my previous dog down in summer, eventually with a tiny cup and she just ran away.

    When I took her to the lake, river or pond, she would dip her feet in at most and only if other dogs were going in. I think I once tried to go in with her when the weather warmed up, but she wouldn't follow me either. And I cannot actually clearly remember what got her over, but I'm pretty sure it was other dogs and ducks in the water.

    I think while getting used to little pools in the backyard or the hose or having water poured over them, you just have to gradually convince them and it's a slow process. But with swimming it is usually a pretty sudden change. One moment they look at you like you are nuts for even contemplating that they get into the scary mass of water, the next moment you cannot get them to come out. That's pretty much how it was with Banjo, though she did revert to not wanting to go in to retrieve the stick a few times that first summer. It was usually other dogs who got her over it. Going somewhere where there are other dogs swimming or running around in the water is great. Playing chasies in shallow water must be Banjo's favourite activity.

    I now regularly have to yell for Banjo to come out of the pond because she will chase the ducks round and round. I also discovered she has a preference for moving water. First time I took her to the fast-flowing river near us, she "surfed" the rapids multiple times!

    And I don't know if they actually make a connection between the wading pool in the backyard and swimming. I never managed to convince my old dog to set foot in a wading pool in the 10 years I had her, but she loved her swims in the lake or river in summer. She also always stayed scared of the hose and only very reluctantly allowed me to pour water over her when she was hot.

    I have washed Banjo (I normally only wash my dogs if they've rolled into something putrid) by tying her up and pouring containers of water over her. She didn't like it at all, but remained very calm and still once she realised she couldn't get away.
    Last edited by Beloz; 09-14-2012 at 03:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    melbourne australia
    Posts
    3,082

    Default

    Ive had a dog that was pathologically afraid of water. And he got used to it. With lots of calming, and a flea allergy that the vet had me bathing him in a solution every day. We had no choice, he had to tolerate the wash.

    because i owned a dog like this. I made sure my subsequent dogs were desensitised to water play early. And took them to swimming lessons. ie. a 'loves swimming dog', modelling the desired behaviour, catching a extreemly attractive yellow ball or stick etc
    My son is sharing his pup with me right now. We've had him for 5 weeks. he can swim. Because if he doesnt, he'll never catch that yellow ball that is his fave! Worked a treat this time too.

    We have a paddling pool for Bernie our GSD x dolphin. he swims on the water, and under the water to get rocks off the bottom for you. . We have to put his bucket of water up high, on a hook, or he'll climb in. If there is a puddle, that'll do! Water, full stop, is very alluring to GSD's. We are on our 2nd that can swim and scream with delight at the same time
    That scream, (a happy GSD screetch) means bernie is in a happy frenzy. Its very attractive to Sherlock pup. Who's now yellow ball in water obsessed too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    945

    Default

    Nero was a little unsure of water to start with too. I tried to coax him in but no luck. One day OH pushed him into a shallow creek (he insisted it was an 'accident') and that was pretty much it. Nero didn't want to come out anymore and now every day without a swim is a lost day.

    He still hates being bathed or even showered though. Very confusing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Toowoomba, QLD
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by margoo View Post

    He still hates being bathed or even showered though. Very confusing.
    Mine are the same, and so is my parent's dog, LOVE creeks, dams, lakes, pools and the beach but HATE baths!

  9. #9

    Default

    Leon (5 months) hated water!!!!
    But his around other dogs who love it, so he started following them into deep puddles, not enough so he would have to swim though and now he loves running through the water!

    I walked in the water at the beach today and he was following me so I kept going in deeper until he was swimming! He seemed to really love it
    He was funny though, everytime a wave came he would run back to the beach and cry because I stayed in the water.
    I'm planning on getting him a lifejacked, my other dog has one, that way they worry less about sinking and enjoy themselves more. I do only use it when Im actually swimming with them, that way if a big wave comes I know they will remain afloat. People do look at you funny though.

    Both my dogs hated water when they where little, maybe there muscles are not develepted enough to keep them afloat. But with a little encouragement they both seem to enjoy water.
    I have seen a few people throw puppies into water so they have to swim, but I feel if you do that they are more likely to fear the water than learn to enjoy it

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
    Posts
    247

    Default

    I don't think Dex has had any traumatic experiences with water. When I first got him, he was extremely clingy and would crawl into the shower just to be touching me, even though he was wet and miserable and shivering he put up with it to be as close to me as possible. I would always give him treats for being wet, even though it felt a bit odd taking bacon bits into the shower with me, lol. If I bathe him, it's usually in the laundry sink and I always make sure the water's luke warm, not cold and I'm very gentle with him. Because of his dislike for water in these situations I assumed he didn't like water, but recently I was cleaning and refilling the duck's bath tub and I had the hose aimed at a tree while I cleared out some feathers and leaves from the plug hole and I noticed he was trying to bite the water stream, and when I moved it he was chasing it a bit, even though he was getting a little bit wet he still seemed to be having fun.

    When I took him to puppy school, they got us to put meaty treats in the water dish and encourage them to fish them out, but I think Dex was just about the only pup that didn't get it, although he seems to be doing alright at it now.

    Maybe he's just unsure of water, particularly pools of water, it doesn't seem to bother him too much if he's a little bit wet, but I don't think he likes being immersed in water. I'll just keep encouraging and rewarding him when he does watery things. I'm not going to dunk him in a large body of water and expect him to have fun though. I guess the only real reason for wanting him to be ok with deeper water is just to make bathing easier, I'm not really planning on taking him swimming, though I'd like him to be able to have fun if we took him to a beach every so often.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •