GO!

My dog has never had a bath.

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.

  
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Olive

Lab/Rottie/Chow/- Shepherd Mix!
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 20, '11 1:36pm PST 
Am I terrible? Haha.

When she was a little puppy, we put her in the bathtub with a very small amount of water once to try to cool her off (it was so hot in the house) and she reacted terribly - squirming to get out, seemingly terrified of the bathtub. I didn't have the heart to try it again, she seemed to hate it and I didn't want to make her afraid of it. The good thing is, she has seemed to forget about that bad experience and seems interested in the bathtub now.

I had a dog in the past who was so afraid of getting baths she refused to go into the bathroom and would cower and hide whenever you said the word "bath". I think her fear of the bath crossed over to all water, and she refused to go in any water.

We live on the water and want our dog to like going for swims, and she does, so we don't want to ruin this by making her afraid of water, but good lord, this dog needs a bath.

I have no idea how to get my dog used to the bathtub, or even like it.

She is 8 months old now and we've never given her a proper bath.

Advice???

Edited by author Tue Dec 20, '11 1:41pm PST

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Scruffy- (RIP)

In Loving Memory
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 20, '11 3:01pm PST 
Scruffy is afraid of water and the tub. I tossed treats into the bathroom to encourage him to go into the bathroom and explore. I got a hand held shower attachment to use whenever I give him a bath, he is afraid of the rushing water from the tap and the hand held shower isn't as loud so he isn't as scared. I also feed him treats and give tons of praise while washing him. He is a lot better than he was in the tub. I also put something for him to stand on so he doesn't slip, he does not like the slick tub floor. I don't think Scruffy ever had a bath before we adopted him at 2 years old. He turned the bath water brown during his first bath. laugh out loud

Edited by author Tue Dec 20, '11 3:14pm PST

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Kato

Birds!
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 20, '11 3:20pm PST 
Kato hates baths, but still swims in creeks and streams.

I can't imagine my 2 never having a bath. They'd be some nasty doggies.

I just did some tough love with them though. Once we got going in the bath, they give and just take it. And then they spaz out and get zoomies after it. They'll protest, but are fine with it.

But, other people use the slower approach. If you have the time, and I think you dolaugh out loud, it goes something along the lines of putting peanut butter on the tub and getting the dog used to going in the bathroom, in the tub, etc. etc. until comfortable. Then, after that, turning the water on real quick and treating for that. There are many ways to go about doing it.
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Tue Dec 20, '11 10:06pm PST 
This topic is close to home because I just bathed Bruno today!

Bruno probably gets bathed once or twice a year. He doesn't smell doggy, and dirt just flakes off his coat and doesn't stick around (plus he's black so he never looks grubby like a white dog would.) I just wash him to cut down on shedding once in a while. So saying you haven't bathed your dog in months isn't gross to me.

Bruno actually did okay- he is famously fearful of restraint and intrusive handling (yep, he bites groomers and vet techs who get in his "no zone") so I had to lift him into the tub and tether him in place, but he was actually wagging his tail by the second rinse. I used a silicone-based leave-in hair treatment and he smells and feels FABULOUS!

I recommend doing what I do with Bruno with Olive, take her to a self-service dog wash place because they have elevated tubs, leash clips to hold the dog in place, and it doesn't matter if you clog the drain or get water all over the floor (which it's guaranteed you will do.) They have shampoo, conditioner, towels, rubber aprons, the works, and it's a lot less mess and stress.

Just be gentle, go slow, and take breaks in the middle if you have to so she can calm down. End on a good note- give her a treat when you're done. Don't let her freak out and "win" by running away or fighting you. You don't want her to know that's how to make it stop.

Good luck! While I don't think it's true that dogs NEED to be bathed frequently (obviously, since I only do it every 6 months) I don't believe the old wive's tale that it's BAD to bathe them either.
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Bunny

Black dogs rock!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 21, '11 3:57am PST 
I just take Bunnny to the groomer and let her deal with all the drama! winkbig grin
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 21, '11 11:05am PST 
I think it's better to get a dog used to handling (bathing, clipping nails, brushing etc) while it's still a puppy. Especially if it's a large breed dog.

If the dog's already full-grown, you've given yourself a much bigger challenge. You can take the dog to a groomer if you don't want to deal with it yourself. If you're only going to bathe a dog a couple times a year honestly that's not expensive for a wash-n-dry breed that needs no clipping. Groomers have the experience and the right tools and tethers to deal with inexperienced dogs.

If you want to do it yourself at home, hopefully you have a partner to help you. One holds so the other can soap and rinse. That works best for a dog that's not been trained for handling. Prolonging it doesn't seem to help much, the dog knows it's getting a bath if it's got two brain cells. I've found that what seems to really throw dogs off is the slippery surface so I put a mat down in the bottom of the tub. I use a hose/shower head attachment.

If you want to use a DIY bathing place, go check it out without the dog beforehand. I wasn't too impressed with the cleanliness of the only facility near me so I just do it at home.

I've seen many dogs that hate baths, yet still love ponds, pools and streams. I wouldn't worry too much about that fear carrying over. It's more about the restraint...and all that soaping and rinsing IMHO.
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Rayne

~Joji's Girl~
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 21, '11 1:24pm PST 
I bathe Rayne when I take showers. Being in the shower with her keeps her pretty calm, and now she knows that when I say bath, she gets to spend time with mom. She now will just jump in and wait for me to turn the water on. Maybe give it a shot?
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Kloppers

Are you talking- to me?
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 21, '11 5:55pm PST 
I bathe my dogs frequently..probably every 3 months before I apply their frontline..but with a mud pit and sandbox that they love to play in, I have too. I am just lucky I get away with only doing it every couple monthslaugh out loud I can't say any of them are particularly fond of the bathtub..I just pick them up tie them to the bar and quickly bath them..and less than 5 min later they are free to act crazy in the house!

I have never even considered that they would not like a bath..I mean I know they do not love it, they tolerate it...during the warmer months I bath them outside and keep them leashed until everyone is done and then we walk until we are dry!
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Sakari

Divas can get- dirty too !
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 22, '11 6:05am PST 
My dogs get frequent baths I have a house full of kids and need it to be clean for everyone's health.
Living on a farm the dogs have a lot of opportunities to roll in stinkies as well as get skunked (Sakari has been skunked 4 times this year). They also like to swim in the pond which can also leave them smelly. Sakaris coat turns a nasty yellow-green color after about 2 weeks which makes it bath time. Hope gets bathed at the same time.
She She who is the STINKY one only gets bathed once a month because she HATES it and it is so hard to do. She has always been that way. We've tried everything to make it easier and nothing has worked. However she still doesn't mind swimming and just being a dog, she also likes to play in the water sprinklers.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 22, '11 11:47am PST 
My dogs only get bathed as needed however they are all good with it. Teaching a bigger dog to get in and out on their own lessens the stress on them and your back. Leave the water for later climb in and out of the tub yourself. Offer treats and toys. Make sure there is a good rubber mat down so they don't slip. I have even given dogs their dinner in the tub. Once the dog is comfortable getting in and out and hanging out in there add water. Use a hand held shower as most dogs react to the standing in water part. If the dog still seems spooked just let them play with the water until they relax. I let Bud take his floaty kong with him and keep treats on hand to distract if needed.
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