I was recently asked a question by a concerned dog dad. He explained that he often showers with his puppy in the bathroom to keep an eye on the little guy. But as his puppy has gotten older, he’s noticed more head tilts when he steps out of the shower. He knows his dog is starting to have questions about his anatomy. And this dog dad is wondering, “At what age should I stop letting my dog see me naked?”
It’s a common question among dog parents, and it’s natural for a pup to be curious. Human children tend to learn the concept of privacy and respect for their own body around age six, but for dogs, we must think in dog years. Between age one and two, you might start to see your dog expecting more privacy, and rejecting taking a bath with you present. They may even refuse to let you dress them and want to pick out their own clothes.
Remember to provide a comfortable environment for your dog to bring up questions. Young dogs will certainly wonder why their parts look different from yours, so now may be a good time to explain the birds and the bees and why neutering is so important. Here are a few ways to help your pup learn about privacy without making them feel uncomfortable.
1. Watch For Cues
Is your pup starting to require more private time? As a puppy, your dog probably had no problem going to the bathroom right in front of you, maybe even in your shoes. But now your dog wants to potty outside, away from the house. This is normal, and it’s a sign that your little pup is growing up and becoming more independent. Respect your dog’s privacy.
2. Talk About Personal Boundaries
Sure it was cute for a while when you were having “bedroom times” with a significant other and someone got a wet nose to the posterior. But at some point, it’s a little intrusive. Set up a personal bed space for your dog away from the action. This will also teach your dog to set their own boundaries, which they may start to do by marking every tree in the neighborhood.
3. Consider Your Own Needs
If you’re uncomfortable allowing your dog to watch you use the bathroom, that’s okay. It’s a good opportunity to teach your dog that you have physical differences that should be learned about and respected. If your pup is having trouble understanding why they are not allowed in the bathroom with you anymore, try finding something fun for them to do while they wait. Maybe try putting on 101 Dalmations in the family room.
4. Comfort Is Key
Try to follow your dog’s lead. If they’re going potty and have a look on their face that says, “Hey, how about some privacy!” it means that your pup is starting to understand the need for personal space. If your dog has no problem doing its business right in front of you, there’s no reason to force the issue. Also, take into account the comfort of all family members. Maybe dog mom doesn’t mind a visit from the pup while showering, but dog dad closes the door. Eventually your pooch will start respecting closed doors instead of nosing in or scratching until they get their way.
Sometimes it’s just best to let things play out naturally and find a comfort level that works for you. Hopefully this will allow your pup to grow and understand the need for privacy, as well as developing a healthy respect for your nudity. To be honest, he probably wonders why you wear clothes at all, but that’s another issue entirely.
When did you stop letting your dog see you naked? Does your pup respect closed doors in your house? Let us know in the comments below!
Wag of the tail to Momtastic.com