Once upon a time there was a chow-mix puppy named Marley and he loved water. So when his Mommy took showers he would stick his head in and drink water and let all the nice hot steam out of Mommy’s shower. One day Mommy invited Marley in. Marley got soaking wet and never bothered Mommy in the shower again.
12 years later a chow-mix puppy named Hudson loved water and being with his Mommy, so he didn’t like it when she took showers and he was left sitting on the other side of the tub (away from mommy and water).
Hudson let Mommy know he was NOT happy. “Bark, bark, bark! Mommy’s in the shower and I HATE it! Bark, bark, bark, yowl, yowl, yowl! I’m gonna stick my head in the shower until she gets out!”
Hudson had been doing this for weeks so Mommy got fed up and said “come on in if you want to hang out with me so much.”
Hudson was elated and thought “Hooray! Mommy finally understands what I want! She is so well trained.” Hudson jumped in and had a grand time. He drank water, pawed at Mommy’s foot, and got soaking wet. Although Hudson had fun he eventually realized he was getting wet so he jumped out.
Mommy laughed as she rinsed the shampoo out of her hair, secure in the knowledge that she wouldn’t have a puppy-in-the-shower problem any more. Mommy was wrong. Hudson jumped back in the shower twice in the next few minutes.
What did I teach my puppy? When Mommy is in the shower, it is okay to come in and say hello.
What do I have to teach my puppy? Shower time, is mommy-time and puppies aren’t invited. Sorry for the mixed messages buddy.
The funny thing is that I know letting Hudson in the shower was the wrong thing to do, but he is so darn cute! In fact, if a friend had called in a similar situation and asked me how to deter her puppy from whining and poking its head in the tub while she took a shower or bath, I would have told her to tell the puppy “no” in a firm voice, distracted it with a tasty chew, crate it, ignore it… basically anything other than “invite the puppy in.” But because of the experience I had with my first dog, I ignored my instinct and based my decision on Hudson’s cuteness.
The moral of the story? You can’t judge a puppy by his brother, so use the training method that works for him not his sibling.