How to Bathe a Hyper Dog

Medium
10 - 40 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Some dogs have a lot of energy. A dog with an excess of energy can act hyper during bath times, which are, after all, pretty exciting, especially if your dog likes water or is just excited by the attention he is getting. Some breeds are more high energy than others. Working breeds or sporting breeds are often in possession of an inordinate amount of energy--think Beagles or Collies, Australian Shepherds or Jack Russells! 

Staying still for bathing can be trying for these dogs, especially if they are a young. However, hyper behavior during bathing can be annoying for the person trying to bathe the dog, frustrating for your dog, who just wants to burn off some energy, and dangerous for both of you if your hyper dog jumps out of the tub, struggles, or slips during bathing, or while being transported in and out of the tub. You can mitigate hyper behavior with preparation, exercise, and making a game of bathing, if you have the ability to bath your hyper dog outside. Hopefully, as your dog matures, and gets more used to baths he will be less hyper in the future. We can only hope!

Dog's Perspective

Imagine you just can't stay still. You want to run, jump, chase anything that moves. You are so excited you can barely stand it. You certainly can’t stay still for a bath, or anything else for that matter. This is the experience of a hyper dog, he is just so excited he just can’t hide it!  Whether your dog has energy to burn or becomes hyper because bathing is just so much fun, and so is the attention he is getting, you may have a problem. If your hyper dog moves around too much during bathing, you may not be able to get the job done, or he could endanger himself or others struggling in the tub or getting in and out. Giving your dog an outlet for energy with exercise, distraction, or play before bathing can provide a release for your hyper dog's energy.

The Control Energy Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Be prepared
Be prepared with shampoo, conditioner and other bath tools so you can keep bathing sessions as short as possible, and do not have to reach for items giving your hyper dog the chance to bolt.
Step
2
Exercise first
Exercise your hyper dog first to burn off as much energy as possible. Try to determine if there is a time of day your hyper dog is quieter; evening may be better than morning, when your dog is fresh. You can discuss using a mild sedative with your veterinarian for bath time as well.
Step
3
Protect and contain
Use rubber mats in the tub so that if your hyper dog jumps around he will not slip and injure himself. Restraints that can attach to your bath tub are also available, and can be used to keep your dog still in the bath. Close the bathroom door so that if your dog does jump out of the tub he cannot leave the bathroom. Have an assistant help you lift your dog in and out of the tub to minimize struggles that could result in injury.
Step
4
Distract
Distract your hyper dog with a chew toy or have an assistant provide treats. Avoid play during the bath as this will increase energy. Distracting with food may be appropriate if it does not increase your dog's excitement.
Step
5
Air dry
Towel off your dog then let your hyper pooch air dry in a warm place so he does not have to stay still for blow drying.
Recommend grooming method?

The Outside Game with Hose Method

Effective
0 Votes
Shampoo
Towel
Step
1
Bathe outside
If you have a warm water supply from an outside tap, bathe your hyper dog with a hose, or use cold water if it is hot out and your dog is accustomed to cold water. Large outside dogs may be comfortable with cold water from a hose, while small house dogs will not.
Step
2
Chase the spray
Get your hyper dog to chase the spray from the hose. Make a game of chasing the spray.
Step
3
Wet down
Once your dog slows down a bit, spray him with water from the hose to wet him down. Spray your dog from a suitable distance so as not to cause discomfort from the pressure of the hose. If possible, use a nozzle on your hose to switch from a directed spray your dog chases to a gentle shower you can wet your dog with.
Step
4
Shampoo and rinse
Stop once your dog is wet and call him over to you. Apply shampoo and massage into your dog's coat. Once thoroughly shampooed, play 'chase the spray' again, and then hose off your dog to rinse. Repeat the process with conditioner if necessary.
Step
5
Dry in sun
Let your hyper dog air dry off in the warm sun after his fun play session.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Be careful getting you hyper dog in and out of the tub so that he does not jump out of your arms and hurt himself or you.
  • Use rubber mats and restraints to prevent slips and falls in the tub
  • An assistant may be able to help control a hyper dog that jumps about during bathing and while getting in and out of the tub.
  • Avoid getting water or soap in your dog's eyes, which may contribute to his excitement.
  • Be calm and do not get excited or lose your temper with your high-energy dog, as this will escalate your dog's mood and hyper behaviors.

Conclusion

Hyper, high energy dogs can be a challenge to manage during bath time.  You will need to take precautions to ensure that your dog does not jump around and injure himself during bathing by having everything nearby, closing doors, and using assistants, bath mats and restraints when necessary. You can also exercise or play with your hyper dog to wear him out prior to bath time, or incorporate play with outdoor bathing. Air drying a hyper dog is a viable alternative to blow drying to minimize the time your dog needs to control his energy.  By decreasing energy as much as possible, keeping bath time simple, and taking appropriate steps to keep everyone safe, you can manage your dog's hyper behavior and get through bath time much easier.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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