When we first brought Riesling home I wanted to give her a bath asap. Lord knows where she has been.
However, I did not want her first experience with us to be negative so I waited a couple of days. The first time I attempted a bath with her, MAJOR failure. As I placed her in the tub all four of her legs/arms went crazy. I was a bit nervous because I did not want to have to pay for her to get professionally groomed every time I want to give her a bath. I like to bath the dogs once a month.
The first thing I tried on my own was a over the counter tranquilizer. It supposed to give a dog a calming effect. Did not work for her. I did give in and got Dempsey and Riesling professionally groomed. They looked so pretty after!
When I first contacted the dog trainer that I use, I mentioned this to him via email. During our session he showed me how to lead her up to a bath. He suggested to sit over the ledge of the bath and stroke her before there is any water. Then to put on the water, and spray her feet first while still stroking her to get her comfortable. For her I would also keep her leash on because to have better control over her. For Dempsey I used to always pull out the bath matt, which the trainer suggested to leave because their nails against the bath won’t hurt their ears so much. Makes sense!
So the first time I bathed her after the trainer instructed me what to do, was not a failure, but also not a success. She was squirmish the entire time and not cooperative. She also peed in her bed after the bath (stress). Of course I did not let that stop me! Since then, I have continued to bath her monthly. Now I do it more slowly by introducing the water gradually and give her lots of treats. She is better, but definitely does not like it, and still tries to get away.
When dogs are stressed they won’t eat. This is a major indicator for Riesling because she always devours treats.
“I’m not allowed to come out of the bath until I have been sitting patiently for at least 20 seconds. A dog’s life is hard (sigh), I’d rather be dirty“
Dog’s remember the last experience they had. So I want her last experience in the bath to be as good as possible. Therefore when the bath is over I have her sit without trying to get away for at least 20 seconds so she knows that this is how baths are supposed to be.
Her baths usually take about 25 minutes. I should probably take even longer and make her comfortable enough that she does take the treat when she is wet… I need to do that on a day that I have a lot of time and patience
Initially I did not have a shower head that you were able to take off, so I was filling a quart container and dumping it on Riesling one at a time. This definitely did not help with our situation so I purchased and installed (well Matt did) the new shower head to our shower. What a difference!
After she left the bathroom every time I tried to give her a treat she would run into her crate because she thought she was getting another bath! Dempsey does not mind the bath nearly as much and also is not hesitate to take treats!
These are ‘Z Bones‘ made by zukes. They are supposed to help freshen breath. Look how funny his facial expression is! It is kinda blurry, but I think he looks like kermit the frog hehe.
Hope your bath times are easier! Check out these other great dog resources below.