My Pup and I love to go on long nature walks in the woods. It gives him the exercise he needs to make him a productive member of our family while keeping both of us fit and strong. While I mostly stick to the trail, Montague loves to explore in the woods and romp in whatever he finds. I don’t really mind taking him home messy, but we have a problem. Montague hates taking baths, so cleaning him up is very difficult! Any suggestions on how to improve him clean up time?
I know exactly how it feels to be stuck in some tub where I don’t want to be! I too am not a fan of the bath, but of course your dog’s penchant for extra dirty romps have left you no choice. Montague could have several reasons for not liking baths: He doesn’t like being wet (which doesn’t seem to be the case this time), he hates the noise, it makes him feel trapped, he thinks there are better things to be doing, or maybe he thinks he smells great and you are ruining the tasty aroma he spent all day working up! In any case there are a few things you can do to help the experience.
Be consistently impenetrable: If prisoner’s knew they had a good chance of escaping a jail, they would be trying to break out all the time! If Montague has a tendency to try and make a run for it, start by eliminating his chances by securing the area and possibly calling in a friend to help. I get bathed with my bath collar on so mom has something to grab if I try and jump. However, once I realized my efforts to escape were in vain, I just stopped trying.
Make it fun!: By making bath time fun time, you can turn that frown upside down! My dad Richard gets right in the tub with me when he and mom gives me a bath, which helps me be calm. You should also praise him and reward him with treats for staying in the tub (even if it’s not his idea!) While I’m not one to be bribed while I’m miserable my friend Romeo, a large Black Lab will do anything for a treat! By using this technique, he has gone from scaredy cat to top dog when it comes to bath time, simply because he now accociated it with his favoerite things, attention and food. Since his positive feelings now override his anxiety, he hops right in the tub!
Give yourself the advantage: If Montague is still being difficult, you may consider bringing him to a self bathing groomer, such as Laudromutt in Cambridge. A place like this offers riased tubs and proper equipment to help take the strain off your back and allow you to focus more on making it a positive experience for both of you!