When dogs like to swim but hate baths, the problem is not fear of the water. The problem lies in the conditions associated with the bath. A number of issues tend to combine, leaving pups quivering and fussing in the tub. Once a dog develops a fear of bathing, it takes understanding the problem, a bit of extra work and a lot of patience to help him relax in the tub.
Dog Bath Problems
Understanding the things dogs dislike about bathing gives you a place to start when helping your dog learn to enjoy bathing. First, the noise from running water frightens some dogs, plus dogs don't usually enjoy extreme water temperatures. Also, the smell of the dog shampoo might be offensive to your pooch. Finally, standing still in a slippery tub is a challenge for some dogs.
Helping Your Dog Relax
Get rid of excess noise to increase your dog's comfort level. Run the bath water ahead of time. Fill three or four gallon jugs with lukewarm water if your dog doesn't like standing in pooled water. Let your dog sniff the shampoo bottle in other rooms of the house and outside. Create a slip-free surface by placing a rubber bath mat in the tub and have a dog toy handy for a distraction.
By Laure Justice