Bathing Your Dog The Easy Way 27/08/09
A 'how to guide' on having a dog happy to be bathed.
I know what you are thinking, a dog happy to have a bath, you have got to be kidding! I kid you not readers, this is possible and I should know after battling with my first dog who was horrified at the mere sight of a shower head it was time to do things differently and now so can you.
Before you start any bathing take a couple to days to build up a positive association with the bath. Simply pop your dog in the bath- give it loads of delicious treats and tell your dog how wonderful they are.
Turning in the bath
Start asking your dog to turn around in the bath by using one of the treats as a lure and giving ‘turn’ as the command. Reinforce the ’stand’ command and give them treats for standing still. Give them a chew in there; feed them in there anything to make it a positive place. Avoid toys you do not want them to be overly excited in the bath. Use a lead as a tether to the tap or somewhere to secure. Reward your dog for this and any calm behaviour. Repeat this for a few days, as many times a day as you can manage. It will only take a few minutes each time.
Stopping Slipping and Sliding
Rubber matting in the base of your bath can be really handy, you can buy this pretty cheaply and it will stop your dog slipping and sliding all over the bath. When picking up a large breed put one arm to the right of your puppy under his neck and the other under his bum (under the tail). This will bring his legs into a central point and stop that manic scramble.
TOP TIP - Even if you have a twelve week old large breed, start picking them up like this straight away so they are comfortable with it when they grow up.
Bathing Your Dog
Once in the bath turn on the water, a shower head is best. Do not soak your dog, just give treats and allow the water to trickle at the base of the bath. Whilst the water is trickling begin to rub your dog in a circular motion as you would with shampoo, stopping every twenty seconds to give a reward (have a tub of treats next to your bath). So now you are actually ready to bathe your calm and relaxed puppy or dog, you can use quick brush prior to bathing is essential to get rid of the excess hair. Using a Zoom Groom that is gentle and removes loose layers is quick and easy. Give your dog a chew to have whilst you brush them down. Use the water all over your dogs back whilst giving the stand command and rewarding every so often. If they begin to scramble use a ‘no’ in a low authoritative voice whilst holding their collar, then resume the bathing.
TOP TIP: Remain calm and take your time. I know its something you want to get out of the way but the more frustrated you get the more your dog will scramble.
Towel dry your dog to get the excess water off whilst they are in the bath – most dogs enjoy this bit and its a great training aid as they will soon learn that the chain of behaviour is remaining calm in the bath gets you lots of attention.
TOP TIP: If you dog begins panicking in the bath, do not reinforce this, simply hold the collar firmly and play the waiting game. When your dog stands still, reward and resume.