The day in Fort Collins is hot and sunny with no rain forecast. You have collected all the items you need for a dog wash. You need to find a willing (or not so willing) victim – erg dog. It’s time to start the summer dog bath part 2.
Get the dog
This sounds obvious but is harder than it sounds for some bath-wise dogs. Some dogs love the water and will come willingly. For those wily ones try these tricks.
Get out the leash and act like you are going for a walk. Put the leash on and go out the front door as if going on the walk. Then simply lead him to the bathing place and secure or have helper hold him. Sneaky but effective. Do praise and reward him for coming with you even if you had to trick him.
Go to the dog (don’t call) and give a special treat. While loving on him and giving treats, slip the leash on. Lead him to the bath spot and give more treats as a reward for coming with you.
With both these methods be sure not to use the b-word(bath). If he doesn’t know what’s coming he is more likely to cooperate.
If your dog is long haired you will want to brush him first before you start. Any mats or tangles tend to become tighter after getting wet. So removing them before the bath makes it easier to get them out.
Getting the dog wet
Start by turning the water on low pressure to begin with so it does not startle your dog. Initiate the bath by first directing the water on his rear feet and then working up his back legs. Beginning at the rear keeps him from becoming frightened of the water, especially if this is his first bath.
Continue to work your way up his body to his head. Turn the water back to low pressure and keep the hose close to his head to prevent overspray while you get his head wet.
Try to keep water out of his nose and ears. Out of his nose because water in a dog’s nose frightens and panics him. Out of his ears because water left in a dog’s ears can cause ear infections. Water in his ears will also cause him to shake and give you a bath as well!
The easiest way to prevent water from getting into his nose and ears is to hold his muzzle and lift his head up. Since his head is up, the water will flow away from his nose. Keep the hose close to his head so you can direct it where you want on the head without getting it too close to the ears.
Remember to praise and talk gently to your dog so this will be a positive experience. However, at the same time be firm so he knows he can’t struggle and get away.
Applying shampoo-to be continued in How to give your dog a summer bath part 3
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