How to Bathe a Dog for Championship Show

  • Home >
  • Grooming >
  • How to Bathe a Dog for Championship Show
Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Learning how to groom Lucy for a show is like taking bathing your dog to an all new level of patience and attention to detail. Most judges are far more interested in how well-groomed and trimmed she is than whether you bathed her last night or two weeks ago. They just want her to look clean. But at the same time, you want her to look her best. Of course, you should still keep her properly bathed. Keep in mind, you should not bathe any dog too frequently as this can cause skin issues due to the lack of natural oils. Bathing can be a fun time for both of you if you take your time and let Lucy enjoy the moment. Once you've got all of your tools and materials together for a good bath, be sure you have plenty of treats on hand!

Dog's Perspective

Lucy is like most dogs in that despite the fact she is a show dog, baths are really not her thing. But not only is regular bathing a requirement for showing her, it is also useful to keep her healthy. When it comes to everything that goes with bathing her for a show, it can take a little longer than the average bath. Patience is definitely required and be ready for Lucy to need some time to acclimate to longer baths. 

The Basic Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Dryer
Step
1
The perfect temperature
Using a shower head with medium pressure and tepid water, soak Lucy to the skin from the neck down. Use cotton balls to keep the water out of her ears and be sure to keep water out of her eyes and nose. She will likely balk if it gets in her face, so be careful to go slow.
Step
2
Scrub her down
Using show quality shampoo, scrub Lucy's entire body, paying extra attention to areas that are very dirty or stained. Be sure to get the tops and bottoms of her paws, under her tail, under her ears, and virtually every inch of her body. Rinse the shampoo and dirt out of her coat. Use gentle pressure to help massage her body while you rinse the shampoo out.
Step
3
The second time
Once again, using the same methods, shampoo Lucy's hair thoroughly. This will make sure you get anything you missed the first time. Rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of the shampoo and anything that might still be hiding in her coat. Two shampoos should be enough to get rid of any debris.
Step
4
Hair conditioning
Apply a leave-in conditioner to her coat. Work the conditioner into her coat thoroughly with your fingertips, avoiding getting any into her eyes, ears, or nose. Pay special attention to the fur on the top of her head and along her muzzle.
Step
5
Dry and groom
Using a pet hair dryer, blow dry her coat using a brush to work the hair out and keep it from getting tangled. Once her coat is dry, brush it one more time using a boar bristle brush to make it lay flat and restore its full, shiny splendor.
Recommend grooming method?

The Full Works Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Pin Brush
Dryer
Step
1
Set up the tub
Set up the tub with a rubber safety mat or a towel to keep Lucy from slipping around during her bath. Run the tub with four to five inches of tepid water. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot in order to provide a good temperature.
Step
2
Add one dog
Gently place Lucy in the tub and let her get used to being in the water. You can choose to provide her with treats or a toy to keep her distracted. Using a detachable shower head or a pitcher, soak her coat, avoiding getting any into her eyes or nose.
Step
3
Shampoo
Using a vet-approved shampoo, or a breed-specific shampoo that can be found in a specialty store, scrub her body, belly, rump, neck, chest, and legs. Be sure you get all of her belly and pay close attention to her paws as they tend to get dirty. Wash between her paw pads as well. These crevices tend to collect impacted dirt. This is also the perfect time to express her anal glands.
Step
4
Full rinse
Using the shower head or pitcher, rinse all traces of the shampoo out of her coat. Any residue can cause skin irritations. Add a conditioner to her coat and work it in thoroughly. You should use a leave-in conditioner as this will help add bulk to her coat and give it more shine.
Step
5
Blow out
Blow dry her coat using a pet hair dryer or yours set on cold air only. Human hair dryers get too hot and can burn her coat and skin. Brush her coat out to finish and she is bathed and ready for the rest of her show preparation!
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Never use products such as soaps, shampoos, or conditioners intended for human use. They contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. You will also not want to use any products that are meant for any other animals.
  • The water should never be any warmer than water that you would use to bathe a baby, as it can burn your dog's skin. 
  • Be sure you rinse all traces of the shampoo out of her coat. Any residue that is left behind can cause skin irritation, sores, burns, and other skin problems. Go for multiple rinses, if necessary.
  • If you are going to use your hair dryer, leave it set on cold air only. Even the lowest heat setting can burn your dog's hair or skin. A hair dryer that is specifically made for pets may be preferable.
  • Use a washcloth and shampoo to clean your dog's face and a clean, wet one to rinse the shampoo off. This is an easier way to clean an area like her rear end, as well.
  • Use cotton balls to plug your dog's ears to keep the water out, but make sure that you can easily get them back out again. 

Conclusion

As you can see, the main difference between simply giving your dog a bath and bathing them for a championship show is in how much you pay attention to every little detail. It takes more time and more effort, but if you want your Lucy to be a showstopper, buy the best shampoos and conditioners and be ready to dig in and work!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd