I was finishing up a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® System for a new client in West Palm Beach yesterday. His Weimaraner, Bosco, loved to jump his back fence to go after the squirrels in his neighbor’s yard. After we finished installing the underground fence and trained Bosco, he wanted nothing to do with the squirrels and was happy to stay in his own back yard. My client was very pleased and looked forward to having a dog that “stays at home”. As we were finishing up the paperwork and reviewing our final instructions, he had one more question. He said that he knew that this wasn’t a “dog fence” question, but since we were also professional dog trainers, he thought we could help. It seems that Bosco just goes crazy whenever it is time for a bath. He loves to go in the pool, he just hates taking a bath. Was there anything we could suggest to get Bosco happy with bath time?
Over the years, we have found that some dogs just love taking baths and have no problem in getting in a wading pool or bath tub and having water squirted on them and soap rubbed into their fur. On the other hand, some dogs just might not like that type of interaction or were scared in the past when they were given a bath in that fashion.
When it gets right down to it, a stinky dog is a stinky dog. We need to keep our dogs clean in order to appease our noses and we don’t want to spend a lot of money in taking them to the groomers and paying for it to be their problem.
We have found a really great method that we used on our 95 lb. German Shepherd after our son (unfortunately) made him afraid of taking a bath. He once loved to get into the tub in the guest bathroom and calmly sit as he was showered, scrubbed, and cleaned. That situation changed and we needed to go to our “Plan B”.
Our dog training methods always stress that when things aren’t working, slowly step the process back until you find a place where you can teach. At that point, build your plan to move forward. That is exactly what we did. Here is our great dog washing method:
- Take your dog outside on a leash. Let him wander around for a bit with the leash just dragging behind him.
- Prepare a bucket of clean water. Have the hose running near the buckets at a low level. Have a big sponge (aka car washing sponge) and the doggie shampoo handy. This should be on a well-drained grassy area or a patio. (No need to be in the mud!)
- After a few minutes, walk over to your dog and pick up the leash.
- Walk him over to the area with the buckets and all the washing materials.
- As you hold him in a stand/wait, have another family member dip the sponge in the clean water and calmly move it over him, rubbing him and squeezing the water on his fir. Repeat this for about a minute.
- As soon as you see no reaction from your dog, slowly pick up the hose and let the water from the hose run over his fur. Keep the hose away from his face as you make sure he is completely wet.
- Now, place some of the dog shampoo in your hand and slowly rub that into his fur over his entire body. Complete this until he is completely “soaped”.
- Pick up the hose (remember, low water volume) and begin to move that over his body. Let the water from the hose wash the soap from his fur.
- Continue to run the hose to drain the soap from his fur. Use your hand to gently rub and stroke his fur to make sure all the soap is out. When you see no “soapy scum” from the water draining from his body, he is clean.
- Take a clean terry cloth hand towel, wet it down, and rub the outside and inside of his ears. Clean any “goo” from the inside of his ears to make sure they are clean. If needed, use a touch of soap to get the tough spots, but be sure to wash the soap completely out. Only use the wet terry cloth towel, not the hose.
- Take another terry cloth towel, wet it down, and wash his face by calmly rubbing his nose and then move from the top of his head (near his ears) down, over his eyes, and to his nose. If he has any “smudges” in his eyes, use your wet (no soap) fingertips to clean them.
- Great! Now take him for a little run around the yard as you run with him; holding the leash. Continue this for a few minutes. (Air drying)
- Take him to the porch and finish the drying with some clean terry cloth beach towels.
The secret to the execution of this “bath exercise” is to engage it with slow, non-evasive steps. From the dog’s point of view, the experience was very similar to the respectful grooming that dogs naturally impart on each other. If, at any time, you see that your dog is starting to become adrenalized or improperly focused, you can easily slow down or slightly back off the process before you continue.
As we have mentioned, our fast paced “human world” makes us always want to jump from A to Z. We just assume that B, C, D, etc. will somehow take care of themselves. We must remember that dogs need A, B, C, D, etc. Small steps will always succeed. If you ever have any questions about your out of sight dog fences or home dog training needs. You can get in contact with us at Dog Fence Training Help West Palm Beach South Florida or give us a call at (954) 472-4724. There is a ton of Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® and dog training tips at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers West Palm Beach South Florida. Robin and I are proud to be your neighborhood dog professionals for over eleven years in West Palm Beach and all over South Florida. Does your dog just not listen to you? Besides being dog fence professionals, we are also dog training experts. Learn about our Obedience and Behavioral In Home Dog Training Programs by visiting Home Dog Training West Palm Beach South Florida.