How to Bathe a Long Haired Dog

45 - 90 Minutes
1 Month


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.

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.


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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