Help! 6months and he still absolutely freaks out at bath time. This week I took him in the shower and dropped and entire cooked steak on the ground while I tried to wash him with the detachable shower head and he freaked out and didn’t even try to eat, just ran in circles crying and barking and scratching at the floor.

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My suggestion is to start slow. Agonizingly slow.

Stage 1: Have him walk into the bathroom, give him a treat and lots of praise when he does. Do this a bunch.

Stage 2: have him walk into the shower, but don't turn on the water. Lots of treats and praise when he does and doesn't freak out. Do this a bunch.

Stage 3: same, but turn on the water A LITTLE. Praise him as you turn on the water. Offer treats if he doesn't react poorly. If he freaks out, back to stage 2.

Stage 4: same, and turn the water up so it sprays him. Praise him as this happens. Offer treats if he doesn't react poorly. If he freaks out, back to stage 2, then 3.

Eventually, he'll not freak out at shower time, or at least mostly tolerate it. What you're doing here is reinforcing that bathroom/ shower/ baths are not a bad thing and not punishment.

This may take weeks or a few months. It's awfully slow (I'm a very impatient person). But IMO positive reinforcement is the most sustainable way to get them to not freak out over things. Try to do a little training every night or so. If he regresses, no worries; don't try to force him into anything or it will get worse.

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Thank you very much! I guess I’m on stage 3. Right now.

I’m trying to find balance between feeding him slowly vs needing endless steak to distract him. Right now I’m up to “shower head is on low and in the corner dribbling water” and he will go up to it and lick it.

Every few days we put peanut butter on the back wall of the shower and helped out dog in so she could lick it. Then next time we added a tiny bit of water to the tub. Then next time more water. Then a dripping faucet. Then a running faucet and so on and now she’s cool with baths as long as she gets her peanut butter.

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Creamy. She’s also pretty brand specific to jif

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Maybe investigate something to calm him, such as CBD drops.

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Feed him his dinner and breakfast in the shower and don’t turn it on. Do this for a couple weeks. After he’s used to the routine start turning it on slowly. Do it in baby steps and don’t rush anything.

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ok, try this create the condition that the shower is a good place
first lure your baby to the shower with food. keep your bathroom door close so you do not have to worry, he will escape.

use hot dogs in slices.
- he stays in the shower (no water) running you say GOOD then give him a slice continue reward him on the shower multiple time with slices as long as he is either sit or standing and give him feedback with the word (Good)

You are going to do daily sessions of 5 to 15 mins two times a day doing this.
note not always give the food right away, sometimes make him wait a couple of extra seconds, and sometimes reduce the time. you are conditioning the shower as a rewarding place.

the idea is to conditioning him to like the place (the Shower).
then once you know per a fact he will stay even with the door open.

then add the fact that the deattachable head of the shower is hanging or in your hand no water running, same principle he stays in or sits your say Good then giving the slice, even touch him with it. and continue reinforcing the behavior when he is doing good.

by this point you can begin to tell him "Shower" right before you give him the reward.

finally add the water running just a bit and continue to tell him good when he is calm.

the rest you guest it, you add the putting water on him and continue to say good when he is calm.

be patient, you do not know if when baby he had a bad experience in a shower or with a hose. all of this is to establish , what you expect him when you tell him shower and second define a experience that is good for him.

if he likes to play with an specific toy more than others
put the toy in the shower with him

let me know how it progress.
remember this is a process it may take sometime to get it comfortable with the experience.

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Aw poor baby. I know it’s not answering your question, but vets usually don’t Advise bath times very frequently for most dogs bc it can I terefere with all the natural oils in their coats. My only suggestion apart from drastically reducing bath time to once every 6 weeks/2 months or even every 3 months, is to seek help from a trainer. Good luck! He’s adorable 😘

I only bathe him once a month or after he rolls in mud! (That’s a quick rinse)

This might sound like overkill but I lined up treats all around the edge of the tub until he eventually had to get in to get to the treats on the far side. Then there was a big scoop of peanut butter smeared on the wall for him to enjoy. Bathtime was over before he even realized he was in there. I did this for about 6 months and now bath time is no problem

Try peanut butter in the tub? He’ll likely be distracted and be okay then

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