Hi, do you have any tips for getting a rescue dog used to me using a hose? When I use it he incessantly barks and won’t come near me until I put it away.
Being a rescue dog it is hard to know the reason behind the barking which can make it a little harder to understand and overcome. He probably either wants you to play with him with it, by maybe spraying/wetting him or he is scared of it.
If it is a game or fun, the best thing to do is try ignoring the baking, reprimand him once or twice but ultimately if he receives attention he might continue doing it. Try some general dog training techniques or participate in dog training classes with him to increase the likelihood of him listening to you.
If you think it is a fear based issue I would start with some desensitisation. Perhaps start introducing the hose to him slowly. Sit down patting him, talking calmly, have the hose sitting near you. In time show him the hose, letting him sniff and investigate it, then when he is ok with that try gently touching him on the paws with the hose to show him it won’t hurt. This process may take some time to get him comfortable, even weeks of gradual introduction. Once he is calm and ok with the hose while it is off I would try turning it on, only on very low, sit (sitting is less threatening then standing) with him next to you and let him investigate, showing him that it is just water and it doesn’t hurt. Don’t try spraying him or wetting him, just let him approach the hose and water at his own pace while you sit calmly and talk to him naturally without paying too much attention to the running hose. Once he is comfortable with this try the same process while you are standing, letting him approach the hose and water. As he becomes comfortable with this try increasing the water pressure of the hose and see how he goes, instil the same principals as before, taking it slow and letting him investigate. This may take time so be patient but persistent.
Fear and anxiety in dogs can be hard to control and often gets worse as a dog gets older. There are a number of calming and anxiety products available that may help in combination with the training and desensitisation to reduce the fear. If he is an anxious dog or fearful in other situations I would suggest trying Adaptil For Dogs which releases a synthetic copy of the natural canine appeasing pheromone which is proven to help support dogs in a range of stressful situations.
Remember that you don’t know what he has had to face in his earlier years. Do not rush the process, it could take a long time, just spending a little time each day and hopefully he will soon learn.
I hope this helps you in combating your dogs hose troubles, keep us updated on how it goes.