My dog has overcome his fear of water, but what is he doing?

I’ve been laughing about this behavior for quite some time, so I think it’s about time I share it with you …

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 10.56.04 AMMy dog Oreo, who is just shy of 2 years old, used to be deathly afraid of water. When I adopted him last spring, I purchased him a kiddie pool, and he hated it. I thought all dogs liked water! But to my dismay, Oreo wanted nothing to do with it.

I spent hours trying to get him in the pool, and in the end, I succeeded by luring him in with many, MANY treats. I captured this process on camera and wrote about the ordeal in the blog post “My Dog is Afraid of Water?”

So this summer, when I rolled the dusty and sun-bleached kiddie pool out of the shed, Oreo was actually excited. And now, he plays in it almost every day.

At first, he just waded for a few seconds. Then he started to splash around by digging at the water with his paws. Then — things started to get silly. He now bites at the waves, and when he gets really worked up, he starts barking and growling and spinning and pouncing. It cracks me up, but I have no idea why he does it. Is he just being playful? Is this another case of the “canine crazies”?

Usually, when I want to better understand my dog, I search for forums and articles online. For example, when I wanted to know why Oreo licks my nose, I just looked it up on Google and came up with a bunch of articles by veterinarians.

oreowater062314But in this particular case, I couldn’t find much. I typed into Google queries such as “Why does my dog bite at water?” and “Dog barking at water?” and the only similar case I could find was a YouTube video of a border collie trying to bite a stream of water coming out of a hose. Which leads me to believe that this isn’t terribly common? Either that or no one gets a kick out of it like I do. Hmm..

Anyway, dogs do the darndest things, don’t they? Feel free to share your funny (and perhaps unexplainable) dog behaviors in the comment section below!


Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the Outdoors pages, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. Visit her main blog at