Some dogs are fearful, or just plain hate being bathed, and can become aggressive during bath time. They may have developed a negative association with the bath or have experienced discomfort being bathed previously. Perhaps the water was not the right temperature, or they slipped from insecure footing. Other dogs are not used to being handled or put in an enclosed space and do not adjust to the new experience well. Rescue, shelter, farm, working, or guard dogs often fall into this category. If your dog reacts aggressively the minute she realizes you are going to take her into the bath, you are going to have to adjust your technique. The task may require some assistance or additional tools and you are going to need to take precautions to ensure you and your dog are not injured during the bathing process.
Dudley has recently had a lot of issues with recurrent ear infections and has been back and forth to the vet over the past 6months. He has always been fine in the shower up to now, Although never particularly enjoyed being showered. But the last time I showered him be became aggressive and I had to cut it short and today I tried to get him into the shower and he snapped, so we just left it. He is supposed to be washed twice a week with allergy shampoo but at the moment this isn’t possible with his temperament. He was always such a happy placid dog until this happened, so it is quite out of character for him to act this way. We always bring treats for him to the bathroom while he’s being showered so I don’t know what else to try. What can you suggest?
Hi Laura! Im sorry to hear about Dudley's ear infections and allergies. My advise is that you rule out anything during bath time that could be causing pain. You may need to check with your vet to verify. Something as simple as placing a towel in the bottom of the tub can help with steadying painful joints. Another option is to move the bath outside so that he he has more room to move around and take breaks as needed. If the biting continues a muzzle may be necessary to keep everyone safe. Good luck and thanks for your question! Paige
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I rescued Griffin a couple of months ago and have not been able to give him a successful bath. He did OK with the groomer his first time, but I tried to give him a bath a couple of times since and he refuses to walk into the tub even if it is dry. If I try to pick him up and place him in he will bite. If I pull him in with his harness he can be dragged in but starts slipping around and will try to get out. I have even put full hot dogs in the dry bath tub and peanut butter on the walls and he refuses to go in. I took him back to the groomer and he bit! Should I go the muzzle and restraint rout, or do you have any other recommendations on how to get him to tolerate a bath?
Hi Michael, little Griffin may have had a bad experience with the bathtub before you rescued him and that is why he is acting aggressively. For some unknown reason, he has a fear of the tub. I would suggest bathing him outside with just a container of water and a washcloth. He may take to that method better. Another alternative is a dry shampoo recommended by your veterinarian. If you clean Griffin by rubbing him down with a towel each time he comes in from his walk, he shouldn't get very dirty and won't require baths often at all. As for returning to the groomer, start with short easy visits, gradually increasing the grooming session as Griffin learns that the groomer isn't all bad.
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