Updated at: 08-01-2022 - By: petstutorial

There may be many reasons why your dog is afraid of water. Early experiences are important for how a dog learns to respond to different aspects of his environment.
Lack of, or an unpleasant, experience can result in extreme fear. Dogs who are fearful of water should never be forced into it. The sea can cause fear due to the expanse, the noise, and the constant movement.

While out, you can offer praise and rewards when your dog shows any interest or even steps towards water. Try to get his attention before he becomes fearful. This could be with his favourite squeaky toy so that he is having too much fun to remember to be frightened. Over time he should start to feel more comfortable in those areas but be prepared to practise and take your time.


At home you can teach your dog to relax in his bath by taking lots of time to firstly make sure that he is comfortable in there without water. Place him there, and offer fantastic treats. Repeat this regularly so that he begins to relax. He may be more comfortable building up with small amounts of warm water poured from a cup. If you intend to use a shower head to wash him then you should get him used to this moving and coming near to him without the water too. Make sure that water is warm and avoid his ears and face.
Continue to offer him rewards for tolerating the water and stay calm and friendly throughout. Keep sessions very short and build up as his tolerance increases. Thankfully, most adult dogs don’t require many full baths a year, so you can work up gradually.

Get Yourself Wet

To start, sit next to the pool or tub with your pooch. Keep a handful of treats nearby. Praise her, pet her and let her sniff those smelly goodies. Dip your hand in the water, pull it out and let her sniff it while petting her with your dry hand. If she seems frightened, go ahead and give her a treat so she starts associating the experience with something happy. When she’s calm, get your hand wet again and pet her with your wet hand. It might take several short sessions over several weeks, but your goal is to get her to go near the water source.

Give Her a Sponge Bath

After you get your fur ball used to going near the water, start giving her sponge baths. Put her next to the bathtub or place a basin of lukewarm water near her, and let her sniff it. Dip the sponge into the water, being careful not to make a splash or too much noise. Show your four-legged chum the wet sponge by putting it down in front of her. You can wash your arms and hands with the wet sponge to show her it isn’t scary. The plan is to eventually wash her down with the wet sponge, although you’ll need to work gradually. It may take a few sessions to work up to her allowing you to touch her with the sponge. Of course you can always bribe her with treats along the way as well.

All Paws In

Add just a few inches of water to your tub, or take your pup out to the steps of your pool. Put your feet in, splash lightly and speak to her in upbeat tones. Toss a treat or two in the water or even a ball, if she likes toys. When she starts showing interest in the water, hold a treat out in front of her so she has to put a paw in the water to get it. If she’s smaller, you might want to gently place her into the shallow water to prevent falling. Continue praising her and offering rewards. You want her to know that her progress is making you happy.


a miniature pinscher swimming in a public pool

Making the Plunge

If the bath is your challenge, after you’ve already spent time introducing her to water, fill up the tub a little, sit on the edge and bring her in. Fill up a cup with the bath water and carefully pour it over her legs. If she’s frightened, that might be as far as you’ll get for the day. The next time, try pouring water a little higher, like over her chest. Work your way up to bathing her entire body. Then, by the time you get her outdoors to swim, if that’s your plan, she shouldn’t be too scared of the water. Get in with her toy, show her how exciting the water is and encourage her to dip her paws in. Before long, she’ll be swimming alongside you.

Why does my Dog tip over the water bowl?

You may have seen your dog tipping into the water bowl when you give them water to drink. This is because the dog is too hot and wants to cool itself down. Dogs often wet their paws, play in the water, and even lay down in the dog. It is nothing to be afraid of as it gives a relaxed feeling to the dog. Providing a cool environment to your dog can help. Also, keep the dog in a comfortable position when inside.

Why Are Dogs Afraid of Water Bowls?

Dogs are funny and unpredictable creatures. Some of their behaviors are difficult to understand for the owners, especially new dog owners.

One of the commonly asked questions by dog owners is, why is my dog scared of the water bowl? Of course, there’s nothing to be scared of the water or its bowl, and many owners find it rather peculiar. Water is essential for our lives, and dogs frequently drink water to quench their thirst.


However, if your dog is scared to drink water in the water bowl, there can be many reasons for this odd behavior. Let’s discuss them in detail.


Dogs being afraid of the water bowl is common. It is not something to be scared of and can be sorted out with simple techniques. Although dogs tipping over the water is not a big problem, it feels frustrating when you have specifically given it water to drink. Keeping the dog hydrated and cool is essential.

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