Training In The Shower

I was having a shower myself tonight, and came up with a great idea.  I want your oppinions on it.
Sometimes when Ushi comes in from a working day, she is quite muddy.  (she tends to pick up dirt easily).  My sister would want to have her paws washed if she is really dirty.  Ushi hates this.  She totally stiffens up even before she is in the shower and before the water is even turned on!  I sort of have to really drag her into the bathroom lol.  Once she is in the shower, my sister washes her to make sure all the dirt is off, but i would be there reassuring Ushi.  I also dry her off.
I’ve come up with a suggestion though to see if I can make it more of a positive experience.  I would like your feedback on this though.  If it’s crap, tell me.
I was thinking that maybe I could maybe start once a day maybe just getting her to go into the bathroom, for example.  I was thinking that I could even start by either having her on the lead, and treating her if she walked in nice and relaxed, and gradually getting her further and further in (it’s not a big bathroom).  I was then thinking of then trying to get her into the shower cubicle (we don’t have a bath).  I would then gradually turn the shower on, and then if she was still relaxed, then treat.  I would increase the sessions each day as well as working, and gradually take her off the lead.  If she showed any sign of not liking it or getting bored or whatever, I would stop instantly.
What do you think?  Would it just be cruel to do this?  I’m thinking though so that if she does need a shower it’ll be easier and more pleasant for her.  (I haven’t used shampoo on her yet).
Please give me your thoughts.  If it is pointless, I won’t do it.
Thanks for your suggestions.

13 Comments on “Training In The Shower”

  1. Ro says:

    Sounds like a good plan to me. What's the harm? We were taught to make everything a positive experience, like when using the kennel, to kibble. When I bathe Jay at the groomer, he gets kibble the whole time. Sounds like a win win to me.

  2. Terri says:

    I've washed Uma twice since i've had her! If Uma is dirty then i just use a towel and rub some of it off or use a couple of baby wipes on her feet if they are extremely dirty. I do have a waterless shampoo which lathers up by itself and then you use a towel to clean it off.

  3. Terri says:

    Oh and you shouldnt wash her too often, guide dogs dont actually like you washing the dog as it takes the natural oils out of the coat so their fur becomes less waterproof. It could cause irritation to the skin and the fur also takes longer to dry when they do get wet, like going out for a walk in the rain.

  4. It's true about washing too often. Dogs are only supposed to be washed twice to three times a year. But getting her used to the bathroom and shower is a good idea. Your plan sounds like it would work.If her paws get muddy try using a damp towel at the door or wipes instead. This will be less traumatic for her and decreases the need to get her all wet. Not to mention, way less work for you and your sister.

  5. Katrin says:

    What you are proposing is called systematic desinsitization and the process of breaking down what the dog is afraid/nervous/stressed about into small easily manageable pieces and getting the dog to be relaxed and non-stressed at each small step before slowly and progressively making it "harder" until the dog is capable of being relaxed in the final stage, is a very good and solid way to approach behavior problems with any animal, humans included. Therapists who deal with phobias and anxieties in people often use this technique. So yes you breaking down the getting washed in the shower experience for Ushi so that she is relaxed at each stage and then in the sum stage is an excellent idea. the biggest thing is don't force her at any one stage and keep the steps and progressions small and don't move to the next step until she is 100% completely relaxed at the step you are on. It is a very good idea! 🙂

  6. Ro says:

    Oh yeah it's true though about too many baths. Are you thinking about getting her in there just to wash her feet? Jayden has had one bath since I got him a year ago. He's due for his second one. GDB told us as long as the dogs are groomed regularly, they won't need baths often unless they get really soiled. Do you have a shower spray thing to wash her feet off?

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  8. Jen says:

    Everyone else has said what I was already thinking. Its definitely a good way of getting her used to the shower, but if you can just whipe the paws and its easier then its less work for you.I think O.J has been washed three times in the last year, and one was because I was offered a free groom. I would wash the salt water off him if he has been swimming at the beach as its not good for their coats. He doesn't role in dirt thankfully.I will wash him outside if the weathers good, as I find it more difficult in the shower

  9. Torie says:

    We are only told to wash her once a year unless they roll in something horrible. We don't use shampoo just rince the salt and that off her paws. I haven't actually given her a propper full on wash yet.Should I do it on lead then off lead or what way should i do it? We don't have anything outside to wash her with though.I suppose I could even use a wet face cloth? I won't actually turn the water on for a while though.Thanks for your suggestions. Would on lead be better initially? Then take her off? Or even take her off once in the bathroom? I'm not even sure if it would work. Xxx.

  10. Tia says:

    If she's very food motivated, you might be able to get her in the bathroom simply by holding out a treat and calling, but it depends on the dog. I'm not sure if you know, Tori, but when mud dries, it simply crumbles and brushes out. So that might save you some work too. That being said though, you need to be careful of the salt put down on pavements at this time of year. If not washed off, that can really damage a pet's paws.To those of you speaking about baths, a lab can apparently be bathed safely every six weeks without taking too much oil out of their fur. I used to do mine about every 3-6 months though. I found that she started to smell way too doggy after that, despite lots of grooming.Oh, Tori, check out Tia's blog! There's a surprise for you there. You might have to go to the Admiral's blog to lift the image you need (I don't have a clue how to do it) but still, I hope you like it!

  11. Torie says:

    Sorry am only getting back to you now Tia, but thank you for the award! Oh and I hate that doggy smell too! Yuck! I haven't started anything yet with the shower. I'll just see when i can get the time. Xxx.

  12. We're not sure what, exactly, you have planned. But Ushi would probably tolerate somone wiping her paws with a damp cloth a lot better than she would an entire bath.

  13. Torie says:

    Hello. I think she would, but my sis wants to always make sure that all the salt and stuff is off her coat and that. Thankfully it's nearly spring, so hopefully no more washing the paws. Welcome to the blog by the way! Xxx.

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