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Hello, I have a two part question I hope someone can help me with.
Does anyone have a GH that was scared of water? I mean to the point if we try to bath him he grabs hold of my legs and won't let go? He has never had a bad experience and I can't figure out how to make him not afraid. It is very humid here right now and I would love to hose him off or get him to swim in the lake, but he is terrified.
Second question. How do you make a 100lb dog realize that the vacuum cleaner is not going to suck him up? He was never terrorized or teased with the vacuum but at the first sign of it he runs off and either hides or tries to sit in your lap, which as you know can stop you breathing very quickly. Does anyone have any suggestions?
 

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Is the water thing a dislike, or fear? Not sure I've ever seen a GSD afraid of water, all of mine have loved it. Maybe it's the flow or stream from a hose that is bothering him. If you think it's that, try turning the hose to a trickle and let him investigate and drink from it. Don't force him to it. Maybe play in the water a little yourself - to show him there is nothing to fear. Gradually increase the flow as his fear diminishes. If it's a body of water he is afraid of, like a tub or small pool, take away his water dish and make that the only place he can drink from for a little while....

For the vacuum - try leaving it in the room for awhile and ignore it. Let him get to the point that he will tolerate its presence, then try putting a small treat on it and see if he will go get it. Take your time, over a few days if you need to. Then turn it on, and back off. If he acts out (fear or aggression toward the machine) scold him and try again... maybe back up a step with another treat on it.

My pup just loves to bark and bark at the vacuum and play fight with it. As he matures that will diminish though.
 

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I agree with the above.

Fear of water and fear of bathing/hoses are 2 different things.

My Annie was not real fond of swimming until she turned 3. Up to that point she would swim with me in the lake, but was very cautious about going in by herself. I encouraged her gently by throwing sticks in slightly deeper each time, praising her extravagantly whenever she swam out far enough to get her feet of the ground, and never punishing her if she didn't push it.

We have a number of irrigation creeks around us, and she finally decided that jumping in and cooling off was a fun thing to do. Her walking buddies, who are Springer Spaniels, helped her come to this conclusion. She's not the waterbaby my first shepherd was.

She doesn't like being hosed down, though, and absolutely hates being bathed. Part of the problem with the hose is how cold it is. I give her lots of treats in the shower, keep the temperature cool, and keep the bathing quick.

I have found that I can talk her into stepping into the goose pond (a child's wading pool) and standing there while I gently (hose on low flow) and quickly hose her down. She's also learned to just go and stand in the pond and cool her feetsies down.

Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for responding. It seems to be a fear by the way he acts, he doesn’t get mean but it’s hard to control him. He won’t go near the hose when it’s on and the sprinkler? Forget about that one. I have a spray bottle that I am trying to get him use to, now he thinks it’s his personal drinking fountain. I don’t force him and I like the idea of the running hose. He does go near the pond, but won’t go in. I guess it’s like having a child, baby steps!
I’ll try the vacuum idea, hopefully that will work.
Thanks for the advise!
 

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This is mY issue Also. I washed my 12 wk old GSD And OMG. The neighbors thought I was killing him. He screamed as if he was hit by a car.

But I had no choice but to keep going with the wash. But OMG. I'm fearfull to EVER wash him again
 

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Originally Posted By: Shawn MThis is mY issue Also. I washed my 12 wk old GSD And OMG. The neighbors thought I was killing him. He screamed as if he was hit by a car.

But I had no choice but to keep going with the wash. But OMG. I'm fearfull to EVER wash him again
Did you bathe him outside with a hose and cold water? Try bathing him in the kitchen sink next time with warm water. It's much easier to control them in a small enclosed space like the sink while they're still small enough to fit.
 

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For the vacuum cleaner, he just needs desensitization. Meaning vaccuum more. (just kidding.)


Just get the vaccuum out and park it in the middle of the room and leave it there for several days. Leave treats on it. Put it next to your bed and sleep next to it. Put it next to his bag of food. Once he's comfortable with the vaccuum being all over the house and not upsetting him, then turn it on and just let it run (sitting still) while the family goes about their business--as if having a vaccuum cleaner running in the middle of the floor is the most natural thing in the world. Pay no attention to it--or the dog, especially if he shows signs of fear. You could even park the running vaccuum cleaner in the dining room and everyone eat dinner while it's running. You just need to get to the point where that sound is "background noise" not something rare and frightening.
 

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Do you have a hand held shower in your bath tub?

We have always started our puppies in the bath tub. You might want to try this with your adult dog. There are a couple of things that might prompt his fear - the water pressure on the garden hose and the temperature of the water. The low flow rate with warm water might make a difference. As has been suggested you would certainly have to start out with a slow pace.

I take it from your description that the sight of the vacuum is enough to set him off. Has it always been this way?? Is there any chance that he might have originally been frightened by the sound and now he is frightened when ever he sees it? I'm wondering if he would react to another vacuum in the same way. There might be something in the sound of your machine that causes him to get goofy.

 

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If your pup is really scared try some of the suggestions above, my first puppy baths are alwas done with just a nice wet wash cloth in either the sink or tub with no water in it. Most of the time a pup has a dirty spot and don't need shampoo on the whole body.

My male was never fazed by the Vacuum, the first time I used it around him he followed me around for a while and then decided it was a lot of work and would just pick a spot in a room and watch. My females with more Prey drive want to kill it, so when I decide to vacuum around them I use a lot of "Leave It" commands, but that takes time to train.
 
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