You Can Teach Your Dog to Keep Calm During Bath Time

If your dog loves the mud, it can be beyond frustrating when they also hate the bath. The good news is: training your puppy to have a positive association with the tub is much easier when you use these tips. That means you can actually enjoy your dog's excitement over a mud puddle without it filling you with dread!

First off, imagine what a bath must be like from your puppy's perspective:

"Why is my human doing this to me?!" Trust us, they won't make the assumption that it's because their fur is dirty. They may even wonder if your intentions are good. Since we can't explain it to them in English, it's crucial that we show our pups that the bath is perfectly safe, and that they can trust us. Consistency and patience are the key!

Here are our top tips:

Take it slow

Begin by allowing your dog to explore the bathroom or bathing area before their actual bath. You can even feed them in there, or play with them in the room if you'd like.

Let them sniff around and get used to the surroundings. Familiarity with the space itself helps them feel secure later.

Introduce water gradually

The best way to start is by simply wetting your dog's paws. From there, you can gradually work your way up! Use a gentle stream of water—like a handheld shower head, or even pouring water from a cup—while speaking to your dog in a calm voice. They'll be taking cues from you the whole time, so if you are showing stress, they will feel stress.

Make it positive

Approach your dog calmly and confidently, avoiding any sudden movements or loud noises.

Encourage your dog with lots of praise, and give them lots of gentle pats before, during, and after the bath.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: love and praise from you is the best reward in their eyes!

Photo by Elina Volkova
Photo by Kyle Bushnell
Don’t force it! A little bit, done well, is better than a lot of done poorly. It's better for you both if you don't approach bathing with the goal of getting it all done the first time.