How To Train Your Dog To Like Baths (And Why They Don’t Like Them)

Dogs are funny little creatures. They all have their own personalities that make them so loveable. Your dog could be bashful, affectionate, dopey, you name it.

But, if you have a dog that is a little bit mischievous, then you’re probably going to have your hands full. Mischievous dogs love getting into trouble, and more often than not will love doing things that they shouldn’t.

How To Train Your Dog To Like Baths (And Why They Don’t Like Them)

This includes rolling around in mud, digging holes, chasing after other dogs, or pelting into sea during a day at the beach. Now, this sounds like all fun and games until it’s time to bathe your dog, and they don’t like baths! 

A dog that hates baths will make it so difficult for you, writhing and wriggling its way out of your clutches and escaping half covered in mud, and half covered in soap.

So, how do you train your dog to like baths, and why don’t they like them in the first place? Find out here! 

Why Don’t Dogs Like Baths?

Most dogs will not be huge fans of bathtime, no matter what the breed is. It seems that baths and dogs just don’t go together, and you may find that your dog is against the whole thing.

Don’t worry, it’s quite normal for a dog to want to avoid baths and it’s a very common problem that many dog owners face. 

The reasons why dogs don’t like baths are in abundance, and it could be any of these reasons as to why your dog has an aversion to the tub!

For instance, some dogs don’t like the noise of being in the bath, with water running or swooshing over them. Others just don’t feel comfortable inside of the tub in an enclosed space.

For many dogs, the feel of the bath is quite slippery, and your dog may feel like they are about to lose their footing, so they will try to escape to avoid an injury.

Personally, for my dog, she just does not like water at all, and running water terrifies her. This is the same for many dogs as they may avoid the hose, shower heads, or water running from taps. 

For the most part, it’s just that standing in the bath is uncomfortable for them.

It’s not a soft bed like they are used to, and getting sprayed all over with water just is not enjoyable for them, so they try to get out, run away, or avoid getting into the tub altogether. 

How To Train Your Dog To Like Baths

If your dog doesn’t like baths, then the likelihood is that this is because they find them uncomfortable, or they are fearful of them. Like any fear, your dog is going to have to overcome it.

To do this, you’ll simply have to start off slow, and gradually get your dog used to having a bath. 

You’ll also want to be as encouraging as possible, by making it a safe space for your dog with toys and treats to keep them calm and happy. Make it a fun experience rather than a worrying or scary one.

For instance, if your dog seems to be scared of loud noises, then run the bath beforehand, and shut the door so that they cannot hear it. Also, avoid using a hair dryer afterwards and towel dry instead. 

If your dog seems to be worried about slipping in the tub, and cannot find their footing, then it may be a good idea to invest in a non-slip mat, or place a towel at the bottom of the bath for them to stand on. 

It is important to note that you’ll also need to purchase bathing products that are specifically designed with dogs in mind.

These products are hypoallergenic and typically fragrance free so that your dog will not suffer from any allergies or reactions to the ingredients. You cannot use your human shampoo on your dog as this can make the skin irritated and sore. 

How To Bathe Your Dog Successfully

To train your dog to behave in the bath, you’ll have to be prepared. This means making it a fun experience rather than a worrying one so that your dog can relax, and sit calmly while you scrub them clean!

To start, you’ll want to run the bath before you get your dog in the room as the sound of running water can make them nervous. Make sure the door is shut when the water is running, and the temperature is not too hot for your dog.

Whilst the bath runs, gather everything you need before you start, because if you leave your dog in the tub to go and get doggy shampoo, the likelihood is that they’re going to jump out of the bath as soon as you leave the room.

So, grab the towels ready for when your dog gets out, grab all of the cleaning supplies and anything else you need. 

Next, place a towel into the water and press it onto the floor of the bath or stick a non-slip mat into the bath for your dog to stand on. Then, lift your dog into the bath tub and ask them to sit, or wait, or whichever commands you use to do so. 

Most dogs are not fans of running water, so if your dog does not like the shower head, then try using a cup instead to scoop up water and rinse your pooch with the bath water.

However, if your dog is very dirty, you will need to use the shower head sprayer, but hold it onto the skin so it washes away through the fur rather than sprays all over them, as this can make them nervous. 

The best advice we can give is to keep bath time short, and encourage your dog with treats for sitting nicely, or for standing still in the bath.

Give them their favorite toy for comfort, or frequently reward throughout the bathing process for good behavior. Also, try to keep it quick so that your dog can get out sooner. 

Once you’re done, let the water out whilst your dog is still in the bath so that you can rinse off any dirty or muddy water.

Then, let them get out or lift them out, and wrap your  furry friend in a warm towel to dry them. Make sure you’re giving them lots of praise and love and attention for being so good in the bath. 

Our Top Tips To Bathe Your Dog

If you have a really wriggly dog that simply does not want to stay inside of the tub, then you can purchase treat feeding mats.

These can be stuck to the wall of your bathroom next to the head of the bath, and you can place some dog friendly treats such as peanut butter on them.

This will keep your dog fully occupied while you wash them, and most of the time, they won’t even notice what you’re doing as they will be focused on licking up that delicious peanut butter.

These feeding mats can be found here and here just make sure you use a dog friendly treat.

Finally, we recommend that you use a dog friendly shower attachment​. This fits onto your shower head, and can be used as a brush, but also rinses your dog.

It attaches to your hand to make your dog feel safer as if you are petting them instead of rinsing them with scary water hoses!

It’s a great and efficient way to get your dog to relax, and to get the difficult job of bathing them done much quicker! Bath time will never have to be stressful again.

Daniel Johnson