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Discussion Starter #1
My 9 month old Boxer gets really nervous every time I give her a bath, she's constantly licking her lips, and she is actually shaking (maybe fear?) when I open the water, and I don't know what to do, I was told it would go away over time, but it didn't, and it's getting harder restraining her since she got bigger, any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Have you tried conditioning her? Take her to the bath tub and reward her, then walk away. Bring her back, reward, repeat... make the time longer and longer that you stand by the tub.

Then when she is comfortable with that do the same with placing her in the tub... No water yet.

Next, try turning the water on a little and have her stand on the other end of the tub so she doesn't get wet. Reward and turn the water off and take her away. Repeat and slowly turn the water on a little harder each time. Place some treats closer and closer to the pool of water that collects near the drain so she gets closer and closer to the water.

Do the same with spraying near her then begin spraying on her.

Take it slow and constantly reward her until she gets used to it and she should start to calm down over time. Don't force her into anything as that will only reinforce the negative association she has with the bathtub (or sink if you're using that).

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She's only afraid of the running water, not the bathroom in general. I tried conditioning her before, but it didn't work, maybe I was going a bit too fast? I'll try again but slower, thanks.

Oh, and she's like double the size of the sink, so yeah, definitely not bathing her there. lol
 

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Yeah, it was the same with my dog. She got in the tub no problem but when you turned on the water, she wanted nothing to do with it. It just takes time and patience.
 

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How often do you bath your dog? I bath mine only when necessary -when she rolls in gunk at the park- otherwise she is just brushed to remove dead hairs. She swims in the sea and lake in summer but in winter she only gets a wipe down as needed with a cloth but no soaking. She too dislikes bathing and shakes when she hears the water running. This didn't happen when she was just a few months old and still very small. Now that she is big, it could be that she feels too confined in the laundry where she is bathed. I don't think it is a fear of water. Being taken to a "special" room for her bath might be the problem also (much like going to the Vet).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I find myself bathing her every 2-3 weeks, otherwise she would get stinky.
Hmm, I don't think it's the room, like I said, she has no problem going in and out of the bathroom, even getting into the bathtub, it's just the water she hates.
 

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Mimi also goes in and out of the laundry at other times without a problem. It is only when the water starts running and she sees me preparing the area for her bath that she starts trembling.
 

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tiggiler took the words out of my mouth!! yes go slow...don't be stingy with the treats either at first...you may have to rapid fire them...look for moments of reduced anxiety or eye contact with you for those jackpot moments.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

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Play with your dog in or close to the bath area. When she feels comfortable, turn on the water slowly. Don't pay attention or make a bog deal of water. Just use it as a background noise and keep on playing or you can give your dog some treats as a positive reinforcement. Make yourself fun so your dog will pay attention at you. Do this 3-4 times a week and 10-15 minutes each time. When she can tolerate slow running water, make the water runs a bit faster. Keep doing this until she doesn't care about the water anymore. Also when you give her a bath, you can start by doing this and slowly rub her with your wet hand. Keep adding more water bit by bit when she start to get use to it then start the real bath. Make it slow and let your dog adjust at her own pace. Don't push and be patient.
 

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have you tried bathing her outside in a kiddy pool. My dog does not like the running bath water in the bath tub. But she loves to play in the pool. I fill it up and then get in there with her. She loves it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's a good idea, I never thought of that, she loves swimming, so it might actually work :D would be a problem in winter though :p
 

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Your welcome. I know it is hard in winter, but maybe he will get used to it by then. I usually don't have to bathe her in the winter. And I live in Texas... so it is hot most of the time.
 

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You can bathe your dog without ever needing to run the water near them. Ahead of time, fill the bathtub with some water. I would suggest not making the water at a high level.. the goal is to clean your dog, not ask them to go for a swim... :) So, just an inch or two is fine. Then, have some containers ready, empty plastic milk cartons work great. You can fill those ahead of time to be used to rinse your dog off. The next step would be to obtain some dog toys that float. There are many, Petco being just 1 of the places that sells them. Then, gently put your Boxer in the tub with the toys. Spend a few minutes showing the toys to your dog and playing. This will help get your dog's mind off of the fact that they are in the tub. Then, you can begin shampooing and then rinsing her off with the pre-filled containers of water. This usually works well.
 
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