Hi Everyone!! Like I said before I am NO expert on dog training. But we have had our little problem child for over three years now and have miraculously gotten him to listen to us on some things ha. One of those being bath time! When he was a ten pound puppy holding him in the tub wasn’t so hard but when they grow too big for you to lift them easily, and you need them to get in the bath tub (or the car or anywhere really) it helps when they get in there themselves. Pongo was afraid of the bath tub at first but loved attacking the hose at the dog park. So instead of waiting until we got home to bathe him I brought a towel and his shampoo there. I’d squirt the hose on the table to entice him to jump up for the water instead of dragging him onto the table like many others did. Then I started slowly wetting him and praising him while I did it with pats on the head and a few good boys :). And after awhile when I started walking for the exit he jumped on the washing station without prompting. He knew our routine and all the park goers commented on how well behaved he was ( if they only knew the truth) and how easy it was to bathe him.
Then came the ringworm incident… *shudder* which meant medicated baths once a day everyday for two weeks in the evil bath tub. Not only did we have to get him IN the tub but after applying the shampoo we had to KEEP him in the tub for 10 minutes while it soaked into his skin.. I thought who came up with this idea but my husband and I set out to try anyways. Like at the park I thought about what would motivate him to even come into the bathroom. He loves the hose like I said but just turning the faucet on was not enough to draw him in. Pongo is also heavily motivated by treats and food so I held his favorite treat near the bathtub and he actually jumped in! To keep him in my husband fed him treats while I bathed him (so spoiled). But it worked and now all we have to do at bath time is turn the faucet on and call him name then he comes running ( and most importantly stays in the bath tub until we are finished).
So if you are reading this and having trouble bathing your dog think about what he or she loves and will always want. Could be food like Pongo, or maybe their favorite toy. Use that item to slowly introduce them to the bath and hopefully it works out for you. Not all dogs are the same, and I can’t say this enough but patience and going slow are key here you don’t want to force them into a situation where they are scared. Hopefully I’ve given you a different approach to try that you haven’t thought of before and I hope it works out for you and your furry friend!
Let me know what you think in the comments and any other tricks you may use to get your dog into that evil bathtub!
Ashley & Pongo