How to Build Your Dog’s Courage to Overcome Water

It is true some dogs are afraid of water (which my moodle Moots definitely was!). There is a theory that some breeds of dogs have that fear of water in their genes, but I don’t exactly agree with that. If a dog shows great resistance and fear of water, it may because they encountered a bad experience with water at a very young age. The other issue that may seem to make a dog show great fear is if they have never been exposed to water before and lack knowledge of what it is.

If a dog lives in a kennel most of the day and only roams in an indoor area and has limited access to the outside weather, it will have no experience with wet grass or water itself. It will not have snow falling on its back and therefore water is something that will be strange in its life. A dog with this kind of lifestyle will show fear if it encounters water. This is because a dog is always worried about something it is unfamiliar with and will always want to keep its distance. In its mind, maintaining a distance will keep it far away from harm of this strange thing.

The reason why wolves show no fear of water or snow is because they have to hunt regardless of whether it is raining or not. They sometimes cover acres of hunting grounds in search of food. They encounter water, snow, and ice in their daily hunting routines. Dogs in our homes, however, have lived indoors for most of their lifetime, and it has been this way for a long time. They are not adopted to weather changes as their cousin’s wolves.

Dogs have strong senses and can detect a change in atmospheric pressure. However most live inside enclosed places where temperature is constant and controlled and almost never get to experience the cold or heat of the outside world. They also are at a disadvantage is seeing how the weather changes during the day.

How do you help your dog overcome their fear of water? You can do so in a gradual way to help your dog accept water. This will take patience, understanding, praise and dog treats as bait (if they are necessary depending on the dog). You would be required to try several times if your dog was ever frightened by water in the past since dog’s have good memories. You should not give up on your dog if he frustrates you on the first try. A little patience goes a long way.

If your dog is scared of water (especially raindrops), take its favorite toy outside when it’s raining and start playing with it. This method can be applied in the snow season too. You should make efforts that the toy can be seen during the snowy weather. If your dog overcomes the fear and goes out and brings the toy, reward it with a treat. If your dog fears grass that has dew and water on it, you will be required to take a walk with your dog in the early morning, and you can motivate him by inviting one of his dog friends for a play session in that early morning. This will interest your dog, and he will start playing and forget about the wet grass altogether.

There’s a chance that your dog fears taking a bath because they fell into the bathtub at a young age and their head may have gone under water for a second which meant they took mouthfuls of water. In that situation, you can try getting them used to water that’s shallow, making use of a kiddie pool which has a piece of the non-skid liner at the base to prevent them from falling. Put some water about several inches high and trick them to get in using a treat. Apply water on his body in a gentle way showing him that it isn’t harmful in any way. If you have a young dog who is pretty small, try using a dishpan which has warm water and it will work.

If your dog has a general fear of water, you should try taking them to a gently sloping bank or a lake with a beach which allows your dog to walk on its own. You should schedule a calm and less windy day of the visit so that there is less wave action that can easily scare your dog away. You can attach a six foot lead on their collar and use rewards and praise to lure them in water. You can go back to the lake or river another time and repeat the same routine.

Image credit: Life Jacket Advisor

Moots is one dog who used to be terrified of water but now enjoys it (most of the time). He doesn’t get scared of taking a bath but is happy when it is done. Rain isn’t his favorite thing but he likes playing in the snow and has to be compelled to go inside the house. I took the time to teach Moots about water at a young age to make the fear go away. I did it in his kiddie pool, but now he goes swimming in the lake or running into the waves when we go to the beach. Another thing that also helped Moots is a dog life jacket.

He wasn’t so sure when I first put it on him but soon realized it helps him float and conserve energy when swimming. Don’t skimp on cheap life jackets which are uncomfortable and could make things worse. Even the best life vest for dogs should run you less than $50 and it’ll be so worth it. No he won’t win any swimming race with a labrador retriever, but he enjoys it nonetheless. Through patience and proper understanding of your dog, anyone can help them learn to accept water and enjoy every little bit of it.

All About the Moodle (and Why They’re Awesome)

Temperament: Calm, placid, affectionate
Maintenance level: Moderate
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Ideal for: Individuals, couples, families with children, people with allergies

The Moodle, also called Maltipoo, is a cross breed created by mixing that results from mixing miniature poodles and Maltese dogs. This toy breed is best known for its fluffy, curly coat that feels like wool. The Moodle makes an ideal pet for people with allergies, as it sheds little to no hair.

Moodles have thick coats that require daily brushing and professional grooming every six weeks or so. Moodles are typically cream, silver, white, or a mix of all three colors. They are small dogs, only growing to 8 inches long and weighing anywhere from 5 to 19 pounds. As with many small dog breeds, the Moodle has a relatively long life span; the average life expectancy is 12 to 15 years.

Moodle History

The Moodle was bred to be a non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog, although it has been reported that this breed does shed some fur on occasion. While not officially considered a “true breed”, the popularity of the Moodle breed has led to the formation of the North American Maltipoo/Maltepoo Club & Registry. Genetically speaking, the Moodle breed does not have a long history, but its lineage can be traced through the Maltese and poodle breeds.

Moodle Temperament

Moodles are known for calm and placid temperament, so if you’re looking for a “lap dog,” this is definitely the breed for you. Don’t let their laid-back nature fool you, though; these dogs are intelligent, highly sociable, and love playing and going for walks with their owners. The laid-back nature of Moodles makes them a great companion to other animals in the home. Moodles also getalong well with children, but care must be taken to ensure children do not play too roughly with this small and fragile breed.

Common Moodle Conditions and Diseases

Epilepsy – This neurological disorder can cause dizziness, fainting spells, and rigidity. While these behaviors can be frightening to witness, treatment for epilepsy is available and the prognosis for affected dogs is frequently good.

Patellar Luxation – If the bones of the patella are not properly aligned, they can slip in and out of place. This is called patellar luxation. Mild cases do not usually require treatment and do not diminish a dog’s quality of life. Severe cases may cause pain and an abnormal gait that require surgical treatment.

Portosystemic Shunt (PSS) – A portosystemic shunt, also called a shunt of the liver, is a birth defect that occurs when an abnormal connection is formed between the portal vein of the liver and one of its offshoots and another Bevin. This causes blood to bypass, or “shunt,” the liver. Surgery is often required to correct PSS.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This eye condition can lead to the deterioration of the retina, causing night blindness and, eventually, full blindness. There is no cure for Progressive retinal atrophy, but many dogs adapt to the loss of eyesight and can continue to lead mostly normal lives – especially if their environment is not changed too drastically.

Interesting Facts About Moodles

  • Moodles are sometimes referred to as “designer dogs.”
  • Moodles are often called the “cutest breed of dog” due to their small size and adorable features.
  • Moodles tend to bond more easily with teenagers and adults than with small children, who often do not know how to handle the delicate nature of this breed.

The Reunion of Choos (the dog)

I wanted to share a story from a friend in the “mixed poodle” group I’m a part of. If this doesn’t brighten your day, nothing will.

It is eight years now since Choos our Golden Retriever became part of our lives. He came via a flight from Mountainview Puppies. His body was all covered with hair, and you could hardly see his eyes, we, therefore, named him Muckback. As he got acclimatized to his new home in Virginia, he developed a habit a chewing anything he could locate mainly socks misplaced on the floor, so we renamed him Choos.

Choos is a central figure in the family; same applies to Marshy our cat, who happens to be Choos’ best friend. In case we are going on vacation, we never leave him behind. Both Choos and Marshy accompany us for our evening walks.

For a few weeks now, I have been at my sister’s place taking care of my elderly mom. As usual, Choos came along with me, and he has been enjoying his time getting acquainted with his new environment. Yesterday I took mom to the hospital and left Choos behind; unfortunately, he managed to escape through the backyard. I came home, and my lovely Choos was nowhere to be found.

I couldn’t believe that Choos had escaped. I took an hour in our neighborhood searching and calling out for him. I inquired from the neighbors and the mailman. Only the mailman remembered seeing him on the street in the morning. At this stage I couldn’t control myself, I shed tears.

I didn’t know how search for my dog, but luckily enough as I began to Google “Find my pet,” I found Lost Pet Finders. Initially, I presumed it was just an online scam; I had no option but to sign up, entered Choos’s particulars and paid a fee for Pet alert. As I continued crisscrossing their website, I realized they were an established firm in the area and had over 161 individuals who had registered for their services within 1 mile radius. I gained hope when I instantly got a welcome email from them.

I made calls to the Humane Society and local vets, but he was nowhere to be found. I designed some excellent fliers and posted them in the neighborhood, it was now dark, and I had to call it a day. Later in the evening, a friend called me and informed me that someone from the Human Society left a message that our Choos had been located!

What a joy, I couldn’t sleep. My first morning assignment was to rush to the Humane Society. After about 10 minutes, I was reunited with our Choos.

When I went back to my sister’s house, I found 8 messages from LostPetFinders. One that caught attention was from a lady named Elizabeth who informed me that she found Choos as she was going home and took him to the nearest Vet.

I’m so thankful for kind strangers. I appreciate the efforts of everyone in the neighborhood who came to my aid. Thanks too to the mailman, he passed by in the morning to see if Choos was back home. I gladly told him yes, Choos is back.