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Tips on getting your dog in the bath?

Andy Haskins

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Bea absolutely hates having a bath, but could really do with one more often. Any obvious tricks to try? We've tried peanut butter on the end of the bath, treats etc.
Benny never got used to a bath.. or water. (his previous owner tried to drown him)
I once wrote 'how to bath a reluctant beagle' First block all escape routes and don full body armour....

He really hated it. try to make it a nice as possible not locking her in, making the bottom non slip, sing to her if it helps (it did with Benny) or maybe let her see you in the bath so that it becomes a normal thing instead of a strange wet place where bad things happen..
Jimmy doesn't like baths but will tolerate them. He will try and get out. The anti-slip matt is a must. I think a gentle approach is key. I like @JoanneF's outside suggestion!
Roxy is so used to the bath because she's a small dog I've always rinsed her off after every walk as she gets so mucky!
So I haven't had this problem, but what I would suggest is if you're bathing her every time you put her in the bath maybe try just putting her in for a minute or so without even turning the tap on? Just put her in and treat her, maybe do some simple trick training while she's in there to get her used to it and try to change the way she thinks of it, positive experiences rather than a bath every time she's put in the bath. Then gradually increase the amount of time she's in there and eventually give her a bath and see how it goes. Bathing outside in the summer is good but not very nice for her in the winter :/
Have you tried showering instead? Harri hates being bathed but he will tolerate having his paws washed in the shower and it was a small step then to showering the rest of him! I put him in the bath and use the over bath shower to wet him. If I want a bath by stealth I leave the plug in ;)

start small - i mean VERY small. :) Get the dog to follow U into the bathroom - or at least to the doorway.
That's step one; then enter the room, & exit. Then enter the room, & stay there for a few seconds... & exit. Then enter the room, & stand near the tub briefly ... & exit. Then enter the room, & stand by the tub for a few seconds... & exit.
Etc, etc, etc.
Every step is rewarded; every step is done until the dog is comfy in that situation, for that short period. // To shorten the learning process, i'd use a marker [clicker / sound, penlight / visible, thumbs-up / signal, or whatever unique sensory marker U choose]. U then mark each instance of the dog doing the thing U want [follow me to the door, stand by the door, enter the door, enter & stand in the room, enter & stand by the tub...] as U gradually work up to the point where the DOG gets into the tub, if at all possible, on her or his own - by choice! - & is highly rewarded by a jackpot, even for attempting it & failing, if they are short-legged or too small to hop in unassisted.

The idea is to make them WANT to get in - & always give them a nice safe surface with good traction to stand on, too - don't ask a dog to slither around on curved enamel surfaces, that's not fair. :(

- terry


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