Some dogs happily jump in the tub for bath time and others run at the sound of water. You could bring your dog to the groomers and let them deal with the dust, but why not just change the way your pup views getting clean? Make bath time fun with a few simple games and tricks.
Let's Grab a Drink
When in the bath tub, let the water trickle. This will emotionally stimulate some dogs who will also likely go for a sip. Play a little game of hide-and-seek with the trickling water by turning the faucet on and off. Your pup is sure to wonder where the trickle went. This is especially good for a Portuguese water dog, Irish water spaniel or Labrador retriever, who love the sight, feel and sound of water.
Where Did it Go?
If washing your pooch outside without a basin, challenge him with the bucket game during the final rinse or while you spray on his conditioner. Place a dog treat or a desirable toy under one of three buckets placed next to each other. Allow the dog to see it. Turn the dog away for a few seconds and tell him to find it.
When bath time is over, drape a large towel over his back. Throw another towel over his head and watch as he tries to get it off. When he does, reward him with a treat. Do this a few times. Another option is to use a blow dryer. Some dogs love the blow dryer, as long as you stay away from the face, eyes and ears. The monotonous sound may be relaxing and actually can drown out other sounds that are more appealing ... like children playing in another room.
When the weather is warm, bathe your dog out on the lawn. Tie his leash to a sturdy object. Place a slab of peanut butter across a sturdy, knotted rope or add a treat to his favorite Kong-style toy to encourage him to lie down. While he's concentrating on freeing the peanut butter from the roof of his mouth, you can wash his back, legs and head easily. To get him to stand, place a bunch of small treats on the ground in a circle around him. He'll rotate around to pick up the goods while you wash his belly and inside legs quickly.
By Lisa Finn
About the Author
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.