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Training Your Dog to Like Baths

By Jason Trainer  •  March 22, 2021  •  

Does Your Dog Hate Bath Time?

A lot of dogs are very reluctant to get into the bathtub. To ensure your dog meets its grooming needs it is especially important to teach your dog to tolerate having a bath.

Before the Bath Starts

Burn Some Energy

Tire your dog out! A great way to start is to exercise your dog thoroughly to ensure it is calm and relaxed beforehand. This will help burn off any excess energy or stress your dog may have.

If your dog has any extra built-up energy or stress it will only make having a bath that much more difficult for the both of you.

Take Your Time

Taking your time is the key to success here. Sometimes we may have to force our dogs into the tub but as an absolute last resort. First try some of the tips below.

Tip: To ensure you have control of your dog it would be best to attach a leash and collar to something solid.

Introducing Your Dog to the Bath

If your dog has a negative association with having a bath then its our job as an owner to help create a better and more positive association. We can do this through using peanut butter.

The first step here is to smear peanut butter all over one end of the tub. This will allow your dog to focus more on enjoying the peanut butter rather than the showerhead and water being sprayed on it. After you have smeared the peanut butter on one side of the tub, you want to start running the water and find the right temperature. It is important you do not use freeing cold water or extremely hot water. It is best that the water is luke-warm.

In the Bath

Positive Reinforcement in the Bath

When your dog is in the tub make sure to guide its head to the peanut butter right away. Wait a couple of seconds and then start washing. Associating a high value reward like peanut butter will help your dog stop its negative a association with baths. This won’t happen right away but over-time so be patient.

The ITK9 Way

During our board and train programs we do daily health checks. Keeping dogs safe and clean is particularly important to us. Depending on your dog’s coat and environments it may be exposed to, we will provide as many baths as necessary to ensure he/she goes home clean!

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