Why do Shih Tzu's hate water?

I have a shih tzu myself. Giving a shih tzu a bath is like giving a baby a bath. First of all, you have to fill up the tub, either a laundry or a bathtub with water. But not too much since all small dogs are afraid of water. I fill it up enough to cover his paws, so that they will clean. My little shih tzu doesn’t run away when I put him in the tub. However, he does run away from me when he realizes that I am in the process of giving him a bath.

When he is in the tub, he will stay quietly until I finish his bath. Of course, you have to work on a fast mode, because towards the end of the bath the shih tzu will become uneasy. The longer you leave him in the water the more uncomfortable he will become and he will want to get out. By filling the tub with a little bit of water, you will be able to clean his paws without much effort. As you progress to finish his bath, let the water out of the tub and he will feel more comfortable. Shih tzus, as with any small dogs, don’t like being in a tub full of water. What can you expect from a little guy like that? Of course, he will be afraid of the water.

Yet, when we take him with us to the boat in the summer, he is the first one to go into the lake. He is not afraid of that water. He will dog pedal as if he was born with it. And they actually are. It’s inbred in them of how to dog pedal. The first time I saw him do it, I was amazed. I thought that it was something that dogs learn as you get them familiar with water. But no. As soon as we put him in the water, he started dog pedaling and he didn’t seem afraid at all.

Actually, I don’t think that shih tzus are afraid of the water. Maybe in the beginning of a bath, but not as long as they are used to it. They don’t like getting wet when it’s raining. Whenever it’s raining and he has to go out to do his business, he does it so quickly, that he runs back in the house. However, he loves the snow. He will run in the snow and will not come inside, unless I pretend that I am closing the door. The other day we had a few inches of snow, and he was outside playing. When he came inside, he had snow caked onto his paws and under his belly, that I had to use hot water to melt it down. He didn’t seem to mind.

I don’t think shih tzus are afraid of the water. If you bathe them often, once a week, they will not be afraid of taking a bath either, or going to the groomer.


Anonymous said...

I also have a shih tzu and she, too, doesn't like the water but absolutely loves the snow. We adopted her in Boston so everytime there is snow outside, she was the happiest dog, hopping around like a bunny. I didn't know shih tzus could swim though. That's interesting. I'm afraid to test her out in the lake. I think she'll freak out.

Anonymous said...

I take shower with my shih tzu lol,

not sure if I can say that he loves water... but at least he doesn't struggle or resist

Anonymous said...

my shih tzu wont even step in a puddle... he walks around them