How do I help my pet overcome her fear of water?

Q:  What’s the best way to train your puppy to enjoy being in the water? She shakes and cries when she is placed in a cool pool of water even with lots of encouragement and treats and begins to too dry heave if she gets too scared. She’s a water dog by breed but hates being wet and cold! Any suggestions would be great!
– Kayla W.

Answer: Remember your pup is still young and still taking in all the sights and sounds of the world.  The key is patience.  Don’t rush you pet into this new experience.  Throw on your bathing suit and get your feet wet!  Lead your puppy in the water just so her toes get wet.  Then lead her out.  Give her lots of firm pats on the side and avoid talking too much. Stay calm and relaxed through the whole process as she will feed off of this.    As she gets more and more comfortable, start going in for longer periods of time.  Remember to respect your puppy, not all dogs are born to love the water – yes, even those that are water dog breeds!  Every dog is different. When she starts to feel less anxious, swing by your local store and you can pick up a doggy life jacket.  This can help with the process and keep her safe.
– Joanna To.

Ask the Expert and other Pet Expert advice found on this website is for informational and educational purposes only. For questions of an emergency or medical nature, please consult your local veterinarian or emergency clinic. The advice given on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Only selected questions will be answered and the time in which the responses will be posted will vary.

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