How to Bathe a Long Haired Dog

Hard
45 - 90 Minutes
1 Month

Introduction

Annie is a beautiful Rough Collie, with gorgeous sable colored long hair. Annie also likes to get dirty. Like any other dog, she has little consideration for the efforts her owners go to to keep her long flowing locks clean. She will happily roll in dirt to relieve itches or run through tall, wet grass, picking up bugs, vegetation, sand, and dirt as she goes. 

Pretty soon Annie will need a bath and her long hair can make that a bit of a challenge. There is, after all, a lot of hair to bathe and when it gets wet it has a tendency to wrap around itself and create a tangled mess if her owners are not careful. Also, drying all that wet hair can be time-consuming. There are some steps and products that Annie’s owners can take to make bathing their long-haired dog a little less of a chore.

Dog's Perspective

Long-haired dog breeds are often not water loving breeds by nature. Although many seem to not mind baths, some are not impressed with having their long hair get wet during bathing. Long wet hair is heavy and does not feel good, and if not dried thoroughly can be itchy afterwards. To prevent your long-haired dog from developing a negative association with bathing, try to be organized and keep bathing sessions as short as possible, provide lots of praise and distractions during bathing, and make sure you dry your dog afterward thoroughly, without overheating or burning skin, which your dog will most certainly not appreciate.

The Rinse Off Conditioner Method

Effective
0 Votes
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Prep coat
Brush your long-haired dog thoroughly before bath time, as any tangles will become unmanageable once your dog is wet. Pick out any debris with your fingers.
Step
2
Treat sticky spots
If you find a sticky spot on your dog, like residue from gum or sap on his fur, rub petroleum jelly or coconut oil into the spot, let set and then wipe away.
Step
3
Shampoo
Dilute shampoo so it goes further and can be worked into several layers of long hair. Wet your dog down with a handheld shower and apply shampoo. Avoid the eyes; use a cloth to wet and shampoo around the eye area. Work through all layers with diluted shampoo. Rinse thoroughly to get rid of all residue
Step
4
Condition and rinse
Dilute and apply a conditioner and work through your dog's coat thoroughly. Rinse thoroughly to ensure all conditioner is rinsed through. Work through hair with your fingers as you rinse to untangle hair that becomes tangled during bathing process.
Step
5
Dry
Towel dry and blow dry your long-haired dog, brushing as you blow dry in layers and sections.
Recommend grooming method?

The Leave-In Conditioner Method

Effective
0 Votes
Spray
Slicker Brush
Shampoo
Dematter
Comb
Dryer
Towel
Step
1
Remove knots and tangles
Remove debris with fingers and brush your long haired dog thoroughly working in sections and finishing with a comb. Use a de-matter if necessary. Never bathe a matted dog first, as mats will become unmanageable and moisture will be trapped under the mats, causing skin sores.
Step
2
Protect ears
Put cotton balls in your dog’s ears to protect his ear canals from water.
Step
3
Wet dog
Fill a tub so that it is half way up your dogs legs. Wet your dog by using a container to scoop up water and pour it over your dog, starting at the back of his neck and working backwards. Wet his face with a facecloth.
Step
4
Shampoo
Use special shampoo for long haired dogs. Follow the instructions on product. Work through all layers of your dog's hair and from root to tip. Rinse thoroughly.
Step
5
Apply leave-in conditioner
Apply a leave in conditioner or detangler. Spread evenly throughout long hair layers. Work from the back of neck to the back end. Wipe on the face with a clean cloth if necessary.
Step
6
Dry thoroughly
Towel dry by patting your dog. Avoid rubbing, which can tangle long hair. Blow dry your long-haired dog while brushing or put your dog in a drying cage or in front of a commercial pet dryer.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • Daily brushing will remove excess hair and keep your long-haired dog's coat in good condition and tangle-free, which will make bathing easier.
  • Protect your dog's ears while bathing with cotton balls and protect his eyes by using a facecloth to wet, shampoo and rinse face.
  • Rinse products off well, except for leave-in conditioner, so that your dog doesn't lick off products which could upset the stomach and dry out his skin and hair.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub to protect your dog.
  • Make sure water is not too hot or too cold.
  • Make sure blow dryers are on a low-heat setting so as not to overheat or burn your dog's skin.

Conclusion

You long haired diva dog, may take more effort to bathe, but a bathed, beautiful, long-haired dog will look and smell her best. Brushing beforehand is the key to making bathing go smoothly and keeping long hair from matting during the bathing process. Judicious use of conditioner is recommended, and diluting products so that they can be evenly distributed may be necessary to ensure all part of your dog's long coat get clean and conditioned. Be sure to rinse well, as residue from products can dry skin or make your dog sick. It will take time to thoroughly rinse and dry your long-haired beauty, but the results are well worth it. She will be the Belle of the Ball!

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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