Do Dogs Blow Bubbles in the Bath? Train Your Dog Month Challenge

Honey the Golden Retriever with foster dog Layla.

Of course I don’t have time to star in a video. Breaking in a new foster dog is hard work.

At the Honey Webster household, Train Your Dog Month ended not with a bark, but a whimper.

And yet it was a big success.

What were we trying to do?

The Challenge

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers issued a challenge: train your dog in January to build your bond.

I loved the idea so I challenged my readers to join me in doing the same.

My goal? To make grooming and bath time more fun for Honey (and, for me).

Honey is an easy dog. I don’t have to chase her around the house to get her near the tub. She doesn’t wiggle or snap when I clip her nails.

But she looks so sad.

How I make grooming a fun game, instead of something she has to endure until I’m done?

The Execution

When Honey sees me grab the clicker and treat bag, she gets excited.

Yes, she loves getting chunks of liverwurst or turkey hotdogs. But using the clicker changes her thinking. Working to figure out what will get her that treat brightens her attitude far more than if I just made her sit and handed it to her.

So I bring the clicker into the bathroom to see what happens.

I clicked and treated Honey for the following behaviors, in order:

  • walking close to the tub
  • looking at the tub
  • putting her head into the tub
  • holding her head in the tub
  • putting her paws up on the edge of the tub
  • jumping into the tub
  • jumping out of the tub
  • turning around in the tub

Yes, Honey learned how to jump into the tub, with water running.

But did we meet the true goal? Did she look happy doing it?

The Evidence

I wish I had a beautiful video ready for you. But life got in the way.

Here’s a short clip from the beginning of our training. You be the judge. Does it look like Honey is having fun?

Hint: watch the tail.



Psssst. Don’t tell my husband I posted such a badly framed, unedited video with crooked towels hanging in the background. You wouldn’t want Honey to end up in a broken home, would you?

If things settle down, I’ll see if I can get a nice video up later.

Honey the Golden Retriever at rest.

It’s tiring having so many responsibilities.

The Overview

I didn’t complete all the training I set out to. I never did get Honey to blow bubbles in the bath.

But we’ve grown our relationship and had some fun. So I count The Train Your Dog Month Challenge a big success.

Tell us about your recent training goals. And if you joined the Train Your Dog (or cat or ferret or bird or husband etc.) Challenge, post your link below so we can read all about it.

One person linking their training story will be chosen at random to receive a $25 donation to their favorite animal charity and a prize pack for themselves. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, February 8.

Do you find training fun? Or is it just hard work? And is it more fun for you or your pet?

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  1. Yes, it looks lie she had fun. :)

  2. She sure looks happy! I say anytime you have fun with your dog, that smells like success to me. I hope to have my post up this weekend.

    Good job Pamela and Honey!!

  3. I’m with Jodi: Good Job Pamela and Honey!! It definitely looks like you girls had a great time, and a successful challenge! Now, if I can just get the code to work on my own blog, I’ll be in good shape! I’ve been working with all 3 dogs this month at something very basic…more to come in my blog post later (maybe, like Jodi, over the weekend).

  4. PS Our bathroom is so small that we have to squeeze past each other when we’re both in there, so no homestyle baths for Callie and Shadow, or Ducky (she’s too wiggly). :-)

  5. When I saw your post title, I immediately thought of dogs farting in their baths. So in that respect, I’m glad that you weren’t able to get Honey to “blow bubbles” in the bath. 😛

  6. Gosh, is it the end of the month already? Eep!

    Honey definitely looks interested in hanging out near the tub. Though you said this was near the start of your training she clearly was getting much more comfortable early on. I love watching dogs learn; you can almost see the gears moving in their brains as they try to figure out what we’re asking. Congratulations on all your success and on being such a good Train Your Dog Month Ambassador! Thanks as well for the motivation to get moving on my own goals!

  7. Hey there, I’m a new follower here! Your blog name is perfect! My Cairn Terrier, Trev, loves to get a bath and is such a squirrel afterwards…Honey has done such a wonderful job and looks like she really loves bath time now. Wonderful job!!!!

  8. I love watching dogs learn and you can see Honey figuring out what you want in this video. I think she looks pretty happy to be learning but yeah, the tail starts out a little low and gets happier through the video.

    I think you did a bang up job and love this Challenge. Good job with all of it.

  9. Oh you’re going to get into So Much Trouble for those towels. Mike is always here, isn’t he? :)

    I’ll have to test this method on Georgia. We’re trying to get her to stand calmly in a tub for her bath. Part of our effort to use water like a Rwandan. She’s not liking it at all so far!

  10. Nice work (and nice towels!) :-)

    We enjoy training here too, particularly the treat part.

  11. Honey was interested and involved and that is half the battle so yes, you were successful and with time you’ll get further…Giz and I worked on two unrelated things and we should be adding our link tomorrow…Thanks for challenging us to try something new

  12. No bubbles in the bath. Hmmmm….I think you did awesome anyway. 😉
    I love training the dogs, and although I work with them regularly on my own, I wish I had unlimited time and resources to take them to more classes.

  13. It looks like Honey got really comfortable with it pretty quickly! I think even if it didn’t turn out quite like you planned, it still went well. Sometimes that’s tough to see when you’re the one working on something.

    I’m glad we took the challenge and actually met it. It’s been a lot of fun for us, and now Morgan has started a little challenge of her own for fun!

  14. She is so cute 😉 When Cali was small enough to bathe in the bathtub, I used to smear peanut butter on the inside of the tub to keep her busy . . .she was only happy until the peanut butter was gone!!

  15. Hah, lookit the tail! Good job, you two! I won’t even mention the towels….I will mention that your bathroom looks so much larger than either of mine ;p

    I somehow forgot about the Train Your Dog Month challenge thinger, and so didn’t this year. We haven’t really trained any new behaviors lately, I’m such a slacker!

  16. Woof! Woof! Honey’s tail was wagging at all times and kept looking in the tub, a good sign of curiosity. We are glad to join your Train Your Dog hop. Lots of Golden woofs, Sugar

  17. Hi Y’all,

    Missed out on training month…maybe my Human would have thought up something different. We train every day for at least 15 minutes. Mostly it is reinforcing what I already know, but in different locations with different temptations.

    As for the bath! Looks like she’s a happy camper!

    I love to be groomed. Here at the shore I have a shower in the garage and get a great shower and massage when it’s shedding time, or after I go swimmning.

    The first time we ever took a rally class, it was a mostly advanced group and my Human found that almost all of the moves we were doing during our regular walks.

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  18. At least Honey looks like she enjoyed her training! Congrats on a job well done! (Just between you and me…the reason all of my photos are all ‘head shots’ is because I NEVER think to check the background! So your secret is totally safe with me.) Thanks for hosting this hop and the training challenge!


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