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 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?

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hollypharo
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PostSubject: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:30 am

Not sure if this belongs in training or grooming, but it's a question about baths...

My puppy is right at 4 months old and easily about 25-30 lbs.

She loves to paw at her water bowl, spilling it numerous times, paw in a wading pool, never passes up a mud or water puddle, has played in sprinklers, etc. She seems to love water.

But when it's time for a bath, she doesn't want any part of it. She doesn't seem overly frightened or angry about bathing, but she actively tries to abandon the bath tub and avoid the water in it altogether. I've tried different temperatures of water, filling the tub and turning the faucet off, leaving the faucet running, running the shower water for her, showing her she can paw and play in it a bit like she does in other sources of water, but nothing short of embracing her completely and holding her to bathe each part of her has worked. If I let her go, she escapes the bath. If I don't hold her a bit, she won't relax enough. It's so difficult to get shampoo off of her once it's on. Once, I literally had to sit with her, fully clothed in the water, to finish the bath once I'd started. She didn't really leave me any other option at that point, she was so soapy and wriggling away.

I've had her for 2 months and I've bathed her 3 or 4 times and all of those times, it was an absolutely necessary bath. I dread bathing her so much that, as it is now, she wont be getting any leisurely baths from me.

I have no idea why she doesn't like the bath - seems silly to me that she'll get wet any other way she can as long as it's not to get clean.

Does anyone have any ideas how to address this issue with her now, as she's getting larger and not enjoying bathing any more than she ever has?
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:46 am

My 3.5 month old puppy loves baths but hates being dried. The reason he loves baths is because i let him play in the tub on a hot day once and now he wants to do that every time I'm in the bathroom. My suggestion is either to have someone help you by feeding her treats while in there or to make a game out of it. Smile
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Keyda81
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PostSubject: Re: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:48 am

My 50lb Mama's boy HATES bathes. I had to give him one yesterday cause he was just covered in mud. Boy did he fight me, and whine the entire time. He doesn't like water at all. Won't play with a sprinkler or water in the kiddie pool. I would try what Jen said. Make it a positive thing with some treats.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:15 am

You could also get some toys for the tub. I threw a tennis ball in. There's a video of his playtime in the tub on my scrapbook. http://www.itsahuskything.com/t9041p80-dizzy-s-scrapbook-updated-june-7. You could also dilute the soap and once she gets all wet after playing just squirt it on, or make the water dilutely soapy and drain it and dump a bucket on clean on her to get the soap off. Each time you can get a little closer to rubbing shampoo in. If you miss and notice she still has some soapy spots after you finish you can just use a wet wash cloth to wipe off the extra. Also, living in the city, I need to bath him about one a week or every other week because he just gets filthy so fast. So maybe increase frequency too so it's not just an every once in a while thing, and it's not as big a deal. Just make sure to use gentle or diluted shampoos and keep an eye on her skin to make sure she's not getting too dried out or developing any hot spots. Also make sure to dry her as much as possible, because letting them stay wet can cause problem spots. Another suggestion is to practice handling her feet and sensitive areas when she's dry, so that she will be more used to that when you bath her.
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hollypharo
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PostSubject: Re: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:40 pm

I watched the video (adorable, by the way) and I'll try her tennis ball next time.

When she's drinking water from a bowl or playing outside in water, she "digs" and paws at the water just like he does in the video. I bought her a small wading pool to play in and she does it there too, but when I tried to show her she could in the tub as well, she wasn't having it. haha I thought maybe she'd like to be bathed in the little pool once, but not so much...

During the bath she had last night, I used a large plastic cup to bring the water to her her and get the soap out of her fur. She didn't like the cup either, really, though I was as slow and gentle as I could be with it. I had to hold her close to me with one arm and rinse her with the other so she didn't back away or hop out. It's a juggling act, but I usually try to get her dirtiest parts first - her legs/paws, her belly, and her face...

She doesn't seem to mind me handling her legs/paws in general and there's really no place on her that she minds me touching that I've noticed...her belly, back legs and such are usually her favorite spots to be petted when we play. She doesn't mind being dried. That's probably what she's waiting for the entire time I'm bathing her...so I always get her dried well.

She's been more than eager to learn simple commands like "sit" or "lay down" or "stay" with small treats, so maybe the bath isn't bad enough for her to pass up a treat to avoid it. I'm sure we'll work something out. The way she enjoys playing in water, i'm convinced that there's got to be some balance for her where she'll feels comfortable with it.

Thank you for the suggestions.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:29 pm

Ha ha. When I bathe him. I have to tie him to the soap dish. Mostly he just cries and doesn't try to escape... He digs in water bowls too. I have to just put about a half inch in and keep filling it up. Rolling Eyes
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hollypharo
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PostSubject: Re: 4 month old puppy loves water, but HATES baths. Help?   Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:38 pm

She's giving herself a "foot bath" in the water bowl right now. I fill it at least 7 or 8 times a day and it's a rather large bowl. I don't mind. I like to watch her dig the water actually, it makes me laugh. However, I don't give her water when she's INSIDE the house anymore unless she's in the bathroom. She makes a huge mess ha

She doesn't really cry or whine or act super scared of baths...she just gives me a "WHY THIS!?!?" look and backs as far away from the water as fast as possible. I guess, if I think about it, she probably doesn't like being soaped up very much.

The bathtub I bathe her in doesn't really have anything I could secure her too to keep her from hopping out, so I hope she gets over it.
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