Author Topic: how to give her baths.....  (Read 5088 times)

Offline LifeInCircuit

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how to give her baths.....
« on: December 08, 2004, 09:00:42 PM »
my boyfriend's dog FREAKS out if we try to give her a bath. it hasn't worked at all with the hose outside(when it was warmer out), or in the tub....we're both somewhat allergic to dogs, so I really would like to be able to give her baths more often, but I feel like we're stuck paying out of the bum to bring her to be groomed constantly. Are there any tricks to calm her down or get her used to this? We've about given up because we're afraid she'll hurt herself..

Offline knuckles

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2004, 09:30:12 PM »
I bath the dogs in the shower stall.  that way they can't get out.  But they just pout, not freak out.

I would probably work "desensatizing" her. a little bit of water, with lots of treats and build up from there. Or maybe trying some sort of calming agent, like rescue remedy or Ace.  How do the groomers control her??

Offline Carrie Wingo

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2004, 05:32:21 AM »
You didn't mention what size she was...so I'll just go on the assumption she is a medium/large dog.
I always use the tub to bathe the dogs, even the little anklebiters. It's just easiest. Bathing outside is fine, if the dog is bath tolerant. But, in this case I think it provides too much room to squirm about making things even less pleasant.  For now I'd try the tub until she's better at it. First, I'd put down a rubbermaid suction cup bathmat. If you don't have one of these, a big, heavy towel placed on the bottom of the tub works, too. This way, she can't slip and hurt herself, and it provides you with more control while you're bathing her. Another great tool is a hand-held shower nozzle attachment. It's much easier to get all the suds off and the added bonus is most dogs are more tolerant of the spray than being dumped in the water filled tub. Another idea is take a bucket and mix up a solution of soap and water and sponge bathe her, then simply use a shower attachment to hose her down. Lots of praise and treats and a bit of patience should help make it a bit easier. To help with your allergies a bit more in between baths I'd use a curry brush to get off all the loose dead hair and skin grime. You can also try wiping her down with baby wipes to cut down on some of it, too. Hope that helps some.
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Offline LifeInCircuit

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2004, 02:52:09 PM »
well...she is a small doberman mix(meaning, small for a doberman mix..lol). If we put her in the tub, without water, she FREAKS out...I'm not talking a little bit of squirming here. my boyfriend is not a small man, and he can't control her. she climbs up the wall and every-which-way. having her outside is easier because we can kinda chase her around with the hose, and she doesn't hurt herself because she always has somewhere else to run, but I don't feel right stressing her out like that and she tends to get herself re-dirty in the process  ::) A sponge bath is a good suggestion, I don't know why I hadn't thought of it. I know she won't stay still for one, but I don't think she'd freak either...the only problem is trying to rinse her off. We have a hand held shower thing, and we put it on low, but she thinks it's the end of the world. The groomers are actually at the vets, and they give her some sort of shot to calm her(I haven't been there when she's been in, so I haven't been able to ask what it is they give her..but they certainly charge us for it..).



Offline kim

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2004, 04:32:17 PM »
its justl ike the jumping up. you need to work on it slowly and be consistent.

shes afraid of the bath, that much is clear. you need to desensitize her to the bathtub and make it a good experience for her.

if you are afraid of the dark, for instance, is immersing you in the dark and tying you there, going to make you get over it? nope.

reward her for baby steps. first, reward her for going in the bathroom. make her excited to go in - if you have a clicker, this would be the PERFECT use for clicker training. make it so she will enter the bathroom on her own, and accepts cookies, pets, etc.

then, make her touch, or even get in the tub. on her own. touching the tub gets cookies, putting a foot on is better. she is rewarded until she thinks touching the tub is the best thing.

THEN, she goes in the tub (STILL no water). she gets rewarded, she gets to go out of th etub. repeat, over and over again. soon she will get in the tub on her own and think its the best place because she gets COOKIES and LOVE in there.

only once she is comfortable with doing this of her own volition, would i turn on the water. she needs to learn that the bathtub isnt a horrible place, and that she gets rewarded for cooperating, and better yet, for making her OWN choice (the RIGHT choice) for doing something.
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Offline knuckles

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2004, 06:20:22 PM »
kim has broken down the steps really well.  A couple more you can think about adding.....

maybe mix in turn on the water sometimes before she starts the getting into the tub.  maybe try just touching her with a wet wash cloth before turning on the water.  maybe do other grooming of her in the bathroom/bathtub without any water, once she is comfortable going into there.   

you can break the steps down alot and you will know better what works with her.   Just be sure to give lots of encouragement, treats, praise etc, and I would take if very slow. 

 

Offline LifeInCircuit

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2004, 06:54:05 PM »
thanks guys :) I'm new to this whole dog thing...TRYING to do what's best, but it's a lot to learn all at once so I guess I'm making mistakes here and there...she has pretty much stopped jumping up, btw :) the only time she does it to me is when my boyfriend lets down his guard and allows her to do it with him in play and she gets the idea that it's ok again...pain in my butt (the boy, not the dog..lol)

Offline kim

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2004, 07:01:17 PM »
kim has broken down the steps really well. A couple more you can think about adding.....

maybe mix in turn on the water sometimes before she starts the getting into the tub. maybe try just touching her with a wet wash cloth before turning on the water. maybe do other grooming of her in the bathroom/bathtub without any water, once she is comfortable going into there.

you can break the steps down alot and you will know better what works with her. Just be sure to give lots of encouragement, treats, praise etc, and I would take if very slow.

 

you can break ANY behavior down into an infinitely small subset of behaviors - im still only fully exploring this :) im just stuck with a dog that skips the small steps and moves on....which is why i need to take apart his fronts and finishes and disconnect the two :)
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Offline knuckles

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2004, 08:19:43 PM »
clicker training can be such fun and such frustration.   And my timing SUCKS sometimes (often).  good think Soccer and Ayrn are such smart dogs :)

Offline Tamara

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2004, 11:12:10 PM »
Another suggestion that I have heard given for when the dog is actually in the tub is to smear some peanut butter or cheese whiz on the side of the tub to keep them busy while they are being bathed.  Maybe even start doing it after following Kim's steps when you are to the point of getting her in the tub but not actually bathing yet.  The idea like she said is to make the tub a really great place to be.

Offline trubandloki

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2004, 11:08:22 AM »
And.... Once you get her not afraid of the tub anymore.... be sure you are using water that is of a comfortable temperature.  That might have been the problem outside, the water coming out of a hose bibb can be pretty darn cold.



Offline LifeInCircuit

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Re: how to give her baths.....
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2004, 02:47:28 PM »
you'd think it would be...but it's not around here in the summer(at least not from the particular well this was coming from). lol..we actually had to let it run for a minute to let out all the water that was too hot. I swear this area is some byproduct of hell...