Bath Time Bedlam
When it comes to bathing your beloved pooch is it an organised, relaxed encounter? Or does it resemble a scene of complete chaos? Most dog owners will, if their honest, raise their reluctant hands to the second option! During my years as a dog owner I have dealt with the ‘dog jumping out of the bath covered in shampoo’ scenario which is always interesting and especially so when the said dog decides to take a tour of the whole house happily shaking shampoo everywhere as it goes. I have also bathed an absolutely terrified rescue dog and spent a good hour trying to convince her that the shower was a friend and not an enemy!
Dogs are strange little critters when it comes to water as many will gladly splash to their heart’s content in muddy puddles and swim in rivers or the sea but show them the bath and they are off at 200mph in the opposite direction.
The initial step is to show your dog that bathing can be a fun and enjoyable experience and does not have to develop into a full scale battle of wits!
Like most doggy related issues bath time introductions are best done during puppyhood however that said an adult dog can still learn that baths are fun but they may require a little more work on the ‘convincing’ stage. The key with both puppies and adult dogs is to show them that there is nothing to fear; persuade them rather than force them; again puppies are easier as you can simply lift them up and pop them in the sink/bath.
If you have a determined pooch which has literally dug in its paws and said enough is enough and will not, under any tempting, move in the general direction of the bath then you may have to step up the pace from gentle persuasion to slightly soft persuasion. What you do not want is a 100% reluctant dog being dragged on the rug it is sitting on into the bathroom absolutely scared out of its wits!
Your dog’s state of mind will be helped enormously by yours, if you remain calm so will your dog. Talk in a soft voice and reassure them, even take a handful of their favourite doggy treats with you to reward them as they make progress.
Ensure to be careful around your dog’s face with any shampoo using a flannel/sponge to dab the face rather than pouring water over it, if you can keep the initial bath time session relatively happy and calm your dog will have no reason to be worried next time which will obviously make it a more pleasurable experience for both of you.
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