Mox has been a mud dog since day one and as much as she loved getting dirty, she hated baths. She was terrified, she would shake, cry and any chance she got to possibly escape, she would go for it.
We tried waterless bath foam and grooming wipes, but they were no match for the dirt this dog can acquire. So two years later and after a little trial and error, Mox loves baths. In fact, she will try to join in if we aren’t careful. We know we aren’t the only ones who’ve ever owned a dog that loves to get dirty and hates to have baths, so below are some things that worked for us.
1) For a couple of months, we tried to make the bath not a scary place. We did this by first putting her favorite toy in there (no water running and empty tub) and having her fetch it several times. Then we started putting treats in her food bowl in the tub (again no water), and finally for about a month, we fed her in there. It wasn’t long before she would just go in just because she could. Then we started feeding her right outside the tub with the water on so she would get used to the noise. I still think this is the biggest factor in why she enjoys baths now.
2) We bathe her inside with warm water using the shower attachment, which we turn off if we aren’t using it. She still hates baths with the hose outside even in the summer.
3) We make sure everything is in place before we even tell her it’s bath time. Shampoo in the tub, Dirty Dog Mitt, Dirty Dog Mat down, Dirty Dog shammy for drying (big Dirty Dog fan, their products have saved our home from so much mud, dirt, and water).
TIP: Throw the Shammy or towels in the dryer before bath time so they are warm and cozy when your pup gets out. Both of our dogs love this! Especially, after outdoor hose baths.
4) Mox is fueled on praise, so anything she does that is good or what we want her to do, we tell her. We really make bath time about bonding time, we spend extra time on the things Mox enjoys, like the lather and the dry off because she loves this part and we want her to enjoy it and feel like a pampered pooch.
5) Getting the right soap is also very important. We had a soap that Mox did just fine with and we used it on our other dog (Maple) and she got a rash, we switched and it made bath and post-bath much more enjoyable.
6) Of course after every bath or grooming session, both our dogs get rewarded with their favorite treat or chewy because routine is very important to both of them and routine of something to look forward to is even better.