Being able to bathe your dog is an essential part of dog grooming, but unfortunately, there will be many dog owners reading this whose first thoughts will be “If Only”. The frustration which is evident in that thought comes from the fact that, unlike many dogs, some dogs hate the thought of getting into a bath.
This fear can be borne out of so many possible experiences and occurrences in the dog’s past that to try and pick them apart would take forever. Instead of going over what has caused a dog to not like baths, it will be more useful to identify ways in which the situation can be reversed.
No matter what a dog does or how it behaves, much of what they do comes from conditioning. In other words, if something happens which is pleasurable for a dog, it will want it to happen again, with an example being giving its owner a paw and getting a treat in return. Conversely, if they have had a bad experience, such as being bitten by a large dog when younger, then than can mean it being fearful anytime it sees a large dog, no matter how friendly that dog is.
These behaviour principles in dogs should give us hope because it means that whatever negative behaviour they display, it can be reversed with positive reinforcement. However, it may require patience and a lot of understanding. Some dogs might change immediately, others may take time, but if you follow the advice that follows, bath time should hopefully become a stress-free event for both you and your dog.