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My GSD Nanook is now coming up for 11 months old and he has never liked water. Hated getting his feet wet as a puppy, took ages to get used to rain, and even now he'll trudge through a puddle but there's no chance of him going swimming in a river or diving into the sea! Because of this he's always HATED getting a bath. He used to cry so much as a pup and over time he got used to it and would stand in the bath looking farely depressed waiting for it to be over.

The last time we had him in the bath his face got wet and for a second he bared his teeth at me. Or maybe just at the shower head? But I was holding it so who knows? He's a very obedient well behaved dog and he knows I am the boss so to see him do this was a bit weird. He was fine after that and as usual - happy as larry to get out the bath!

He has now grown too big to lift into the bath and his coat's so long and thick we need the power shower to penetrate it so now I wash him in our walk-in shower. Second last time we were in the shower a few months ago his face got wet as I was rinsed his front and he bared his teeth and nipped my hand. I was so shocked and a little scared!!! He was his perfectly normal self immediately after though.

Then today I gave him a shower again and I was careful not to spray his face or get the shower head anywhere near his ears or face. However sometimes the water was dripping off his back down his front on his legs and he kept curling up his lips showing his teeth... but not necessarily at me? ?? I kept speaking to him reassuringly and tried to give him his shower as quick as possible (it's hard! he has SO MUCH hair and he's huge!!!!! way bigger than he should be, we have a giant gsd on our hands).

I figure he's not aggressive really... that he's just a bit scared? Maybe he doesn't like being confined in the shower and probably he just HATES getting his face wet? I didn't like getting my face wet in the bath as a child so maybe it's a similar thing? Especially since he doesn't have hands to cover his face with???


Just wondering if anyone else's GSD is like this with water? It's the only time you'll ever see my dog be aggressive. I don't think it's really something to worry about - just maybe something to warn a groomer about if I ever sent him to one - don't wash his face or he'll nip your hand! :S
 

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What helped our guy become more friendly toward water was when we jumped in the tub with him.

I don't doubt he's scared a little. Remember, stay relaxed and calm. When you tense up, he's going to tense up. If you go into the water thinking "oh here we go again", he's going to think the same thing. Be careful with pressure washers. You should be able to wash in a half bath tub of water, it will take a long time though to rinse. Pressure washers can hurt.

...the least you can do in this situation is take some pictures or video and submit his smile to us :)
 

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What helped our guy become more friendly toward water was when we jumped in the tub with him.
LOL we did this too, and took a flea bath together!
 

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Don't worry about it--he's reacting to the feeling of the water on his nose. I groom several dogs that do this, and some of them also like to snap at the stream of water.

When you wash his face, try this: Wet a washcloth well and put a tiny dab of shampoo on it. Then scrub his face with the washcloth. To rinse, simply rinse out the cloth, get it really wet again and rub his face until all traces of shampoo are gone.

Better yet, take him to a professional groomer! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys!! I'll try the facecloth thing - he'll let me do that for sure. He is a very laid back dog and normally will let anyone do whatever they like to him so long as he's getting attention! So me rubbing his face will not be disagreeable to him I bet :) He has a gorgeous smile guys, pearly white teeth, I'll have to show those dazzlers on video hehe.

I can't really take him to a professional groomer because we live on an island and as far as I know there aren't many people who offer that service here! And I'm terrified someone will clip him :S
 
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