Don't you just love bath time? Well I bet your dog doesn't. There are the special few who get excited over taking a bath and getting clean, but most owners consider themselves lucky to get a dog who just tolerates it.
Then there are the dogs that will do absolutely everything in their power to prevent getting in the bathtub. Some run away, some magically get twenty pounds heavier as you try to lift them into the tub, some wait to ambush you when they are wet and soapy. For a lot of owners and dogs, bath time is a dreaded event. But it doesn't have to be so. Just by taking a few simple steps, you could be looking forward to having a clean dog once again.
First, eliminate anything that could be making your dog uncomfortable in the bath. For example, make sure the water is the right temperature, a little warmer than room temperature, you can check the temp by running the water over the inside of your wrist, it should be comfortable to touch.
One easy solution to the difficult problem of getting your dog in the bath is to put a rug or towel on the floor of the bath. Think of the bath from your dogs point of view, they can only see the white edge, the white sides, and no apparent bottom. They would be jumping into a seemingly bottomless, slippery object that gets them wet and makes them smell like strong human shampoos. A rug makes the bottom obvious and less scary, and also prevents them from slipping.
If your dog still doesn't want to get into the tub, start to feed him his breakfast and dinner in the bathroom, getting closer and closer to the tub with each meal. Place some treats on the edge of the tub, and after your dog is comfortable around the tub, invite him in with a treat and his dinner. It took a month of feeding our previous dog in the tub before he was fully comfortable with jumping in and staying there. When your dog is at this point, take the rug out, or at least part of the way out, until your dog doesn't need it anymore. Then turn on the water, just a little, and aim it away from your dog. It is natural for your dog to react negatively to this, if he does, turn the water off and wait untill he calms down, then hold out a yummy treat, maybe smear a little peanut butter on the side of the tub, and turn the water on very slowly.
Continue this until you are able to spray your dogs paws without him freaking, then start to spray a bit of his back, then his whole body, and finally give him a bath while he sits there calmly waiting for his dinner.
If at any time your dog seems distressed, back step and take it a bit slower, all the while providing yummy treats and praising your dog.