What’s Up with Dogs and Baths?
Our Sally loved to swim. Any chance she got she would splash in a puddle, wade in a stream or jump in a pool. Once she even hopped into the horse trough at Griffith Park. She loved water…except bath water.
She would allow us to lead her into the bathroom, lift her into the tub and bath her, but she was always squirming and looking for a way out.
Tino was the opposite, he had no use for water of any kind and held particular disdain for the bath. The first time we tried to bath him, the day after we rescued him, it turned into a 3 person job and we were all soaked and he was only half washed by the time we were done.
Becca, Maggie & Jack are all pretty compliant in the bath. Once they realize what’s up, they walk to the bath like it’s the Green Mile. But they stand still and allow us to wash them.
I can understand Tino’s disregard for the bath – he didn’t like water to begin with, but I could never figure out why Sally disliked it so much given how much she loved water.
It makes sense that some dog breeds just don’t take to water. Many dogs in the Toy breed aren’t fond of water, and even dogs such as the Greyhound, German Shepherds and other non-sporting dogs are known to dislike water…but I thought RETRIEVERS would all love water and love baths!
What do you do if your dogs hates baths and fights it every step of the way? Here’s a few ideas:
- Remember that swimming freely in a pool or lake is a lot different then being confined and held down in a bathtub or shower. Try to make it more fun for them. Treats are always helpful.
- Slowly acclimate them to the bathroom, then the tub and then introduce the water. Some dogs get freaked out by the sounds of running water. Tino did, so I made sure the tub was full and the water off before I brought him in.
- Typically bathrooms are tile and tile floors can be slippery – especially if their paws are wet. This may be a concern if they can’t get traction in the room. Put down a bathmat for them to stand on.
- They may dislike the smells in the bathroom. No, not those smells, but the perfumey shampoos and body lotions. Use an odorless shampoos or at least something that is not too strong.
How about your dog – bath lover or hater?