How do I get my dog to like baths?

My dog doesn't like taking baths. I thought the noise of the running water bothered him but its not. I would give a treat before and after a bath to convince him it is ok. He cringes at the word BATH. He doesn't get aggressive or any thing, he just tries to jump out of the tub. I have gotten him professionally groomed before and the people who do it say he is a doll. So my question is, how do I get him to like baths when I give him baths because he stinks. BOL

Asked by Member 747865 on May 14th 2009 in Bathing
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Pretend to give him a bath every day. Use small cookies whenever he is a good dog, not just before and after the 'bath'. Time for bath, cookie, in bathroom, cookie, in tub, cookie, rubadubdub, cookie, out of bath, cookie. Add in the towel, a wet tub bottom, a wet washcloth, etc. Something special every time bath is over might be a good idea as well.

Keeping a leash on the dog really helps as the dog has fewer options. If you use a praise word every time you give a cookie the good feelings the dog gets from eating the cookie will transfer to the praise word and you won't need to cookie him for every good thing he does in time.

Agree with Aster, the food may not be agreeing with him. Sassy was always a stinky dog but since she is on home cooked food most of the stink is gone. Doesn't mean the food is awful quality, Sassy was always on premium kibble. One of the proteins or grains just may not agree.

Sassy answered on May 15th.

Other Answers



Brushing is more pleasent for both man and beast. Feed a decent chow and as little else as possible, seldom if ever bathe the dog, and brush it daily with a soft bristled brush.

Aster didn't have a single bath the last 5 years of her life, but still went out in public including some dinner meetings with never a complaint.

Aster answered on 5/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I agree with Sassy, pretend to give him a bath every now and then. Say "bath" and if he doesn't get worried, give him a treat. Take him into the bathroom, if he's fairly comfortable give him treats, but do it slow.
I only give my dog baths once a month, he doesn't need it any more often (unless he gets into something) but you aren't going to hurt his skin or anything unless you bathe multiple times a week.

Bailey answered on 5/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


my small dog is the same, and I tried to get him use to it when he was young. I made it very pleasant and he still hates them.
The noise from the water does make him worse. But, some dogs do not like it. It doesn't matter also about size. I have tried food but, doesn't seem to make that much diff. He may never like baths. It has been 8 yrs. for him and he hates it. He likes light scratching on his back but that's about it. I even use a dryer on him. So sadly, that is the way it is. It is only way they are clean. poor doggies.

Baxter answered on 5/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


My Samoyed hates baths as well. Here's what I've done:

He also tries to jump out of the tub when I'm bathing him. But he's gotten a bit better each time. What I do, is bring treats into the bathroom with me. I get him in the tub, and check the water temperature. (This can be a big tip-- maybe the water is too cold, or too hot for your dog. Their skin is very sensitive) Make sure the water's at a nice lukewarm temp. Fill the tub up far enough so that it will reach their underbelly when they're standing in the tub. Do this BEFORE you even say the word BATH to the dog. (Basically, you have to prepare first.) THEN bring your dog in, put him in the tub. Give him a couple small bite-sized treats. try to put him in a 'sit' while he's in the tub. Once he's calm, then start wetting him down and bathing him. Try to stay calm with him, because he's already anxious and will pick up on it if you are as well.

Good luck!

Jasper answered on 5/15/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer