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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any experience with a puppy (or older Golden, for that matter) being TERRIFIED of a bath? How did you get them used to it -- and how long did it take? He's 13 weeks old, and we are no aware of any negative experiences he has had with water. We got him from the breeder at 8 weeks old, and she reports that the entire litter loved the baby pool she got them. I have pinpointed it to ... it's the water actually being poured/sprayed/sprinkled (doesn't matter) on him that he doesn't like. He's not afraid of the empty bathtub. The sound of the water coming out of the faucet sprayer doesn't bother him. It seems to be simply the water actually touching him. I know many puppies don't LIKE it -- but he is over the top afraid. Funny thing is, he's not afraid of anything else that we can find -- not thunderstorms, loud motorcycles, fireworks, not even the garage door going up and down. (Our last Golden was a major allergy boy, and I had to bathe him almost every week of his life. Obviously, I am hoping that that isn't the case with this puppy -- for several reasons -- but this is definitely a concern.)

Thanks for any help.
 

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A trainer told me to start slow. Put peanut butter on the rim. No water until they get real comfortable. Maybe make some sort of fun ritual?
 

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I used to work in a grooming salon. When I had young dogs for the first time I used to just run the shower on their feet to get them used to the feel of it and the noise. I then used a jug to pour the water gently over the body while the shower was on their feet. On the head only the jug pouring from the back and holding my hand to stop the water pouring down into their eyes. After a few times like this, talking all the time to them for reassurance I was able to use the shower all over but always starting on the feet. Good luck.
 

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He should be small enough still that you can give him a bath in the kitchen sink? What if you fill up the sink with lukewarm water with shampoo in it. Make it all sudsy, and just put him in, holding him, so that you don't need to pour water over him. Hold him, talk very gently and soothingly to him (but don't baby him and make him feel like something is wrong). Have confidence in your voice so that he feels confident. Get him clean, then lift him out and run clear water in and put him in to rinse. I wouldn't pour water near his ears or face yet if he is nervous; just use a cloth to clean his face. Hope this helps. And hopefully it will help him get more comfortable. Can you get a baby pool and see how he does with funtime water?
 
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I agree with Sweet Girl about putting him into the bath water. Then instead of pouring water on him, use a wash cloth. Or a wash mitt so he can feel your hand. That might be more soothing.
 

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i"m not sure but my girl never liked the bath much either. First thing, I would never pour water over the dogs head (especially the ears). Use a washcloth on the face and head. Just rinse/wash from the neck down. Make sure the water is a nice temperature. Give lots of treats throughout the bath time.

Here's what I do for my non-bath loving girl, first, I fill the tub just about an inch and give her a quick rinse to wet her down then turn off the water. I then put soap in a squirt bottle, mixed with water and apply the soap that way. Again, I do not wash the face with soap or spray water on her face and I especially avoid spraying or rinsing the ears. Once I'm done soaping her, I make sure to rinse her really well. This limits the amount of spraying and avoids the head area that she really seems to hate about bath time.

I really didn't make much progress until I found an extremely high value treat that she only gets when she takes a bath... that's a soup bone that she gets afterward. But before that I had to give her lots of baths, giving her tons of treats throughout, before she would be still in the tub.

Maybe try throwing some tennis balls in the water to see if something to play with will make it easier.
 

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I would "practice" daily baths, no soap. A towel in the bottom of the tub or sink, a little warm/tepid and let it be playtime. A toy or ball in the water. Gradually add the cup of water, starting on the legs and moving up higher on the body. I would add the sprayer by just starting it in the water, then working up the feet/legs and body. Towel dry and add a hair dryer on cool.
Even playing with the hose outside will help the puppy learn to love water.

Our grown dogs all went through the phase, but now run to be the first for a bath. lol They will knock you down to be first in the tub.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
All of you have some great ideas. I will certainly try some of these. (He was so terrified this past weekend that he even wanted nothing to do with the high value treats.) Encouraged to hear we still may be able to ease his anxiety. ) Thanks so much for the help.
 

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Do you have a kiddie pool? Maybe try getting one and sitting in it with him OR fill it a little bit and put ice cubes in it, Roxxi blew bubbles trying to get the ice cubes. You could even do this in the bath tub.
 
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