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I got a puppy 2 weeks ago and he is now ten weeks old! He's been amazing, very intelligent, healthy, and doesn't chew on stuff around the house very much. But there's one issue, today i tried giving him a bath and he freaked out! I had to actually stand in the tub and hold him there saying sit and trying to sound reassuring. I read online that your supposed to use a blow drier, so i did... That was a stupid idea :doh: Of course he freaked again and started making weird noises and shaking :( so i instantly stopped and just patted him down with a towel, then tried using a comb on him. now he hates his comb and slicker brush. Any suggestions for next time i give him a bath, or try to brush him? :confused: i want him to enjoy it and don't want it to be a pain for us both. any input would be awesome to hear! :) also, does that mean he would be scared of all water, even lakes and ponds?
 

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It's OK! Most dogs hate baths. It's the slippery floor, the weird sounds, the fact that they can't move, the soap, etc. It doesn't mean they'll hate swimming.

For now, break down all the elements independently and get him used to them. For example, just take the slicker brush, and show it to him, and give him a couple of treats. Then, in the next session, touch the back of it to his side, and give him a few more treats. If he seems nervous, give him a "no big deal, good dog" rather than a lot of comforting. The "no big deal" attitude is generally a better idea than comforting a dog, because it's easy for a dog to misinterpret comforting to mean that you're nervous too.

Keep breaking down all the other elements independently (the brushes, a dry bathtub, a blower that's off, etc.) slowly, and condition him to think that those things mean relaxing fun with treats and a "no big deal, good dog" attitude. That'll help him feel better when you need to bring them together again.

If he shakes and cries, you're pushing him too far into a bad experience. Try to avoid that if you can. You want a situation where he's wary of the thing but still willing to relax and play with you, because that's where you can condition him effectively. If he's experiencing full on panic with something, that'll move you backward.
 

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For the first several baths, it should really be all about play and fun. Unless you really have to use it, I would skip the shampoo.
Make sure the bathroom is warm.
We put an old towel on the bottom of the tub for better footing. Start with an inch or two of warm water in the tub, throw in a couple of toys/balls and have fun. Use a plastic cup to pour some water over the pup - avoid the head. As the water cools off, it is time to stop.
Wrap the pup in a towel, rub and repeat with a dryer towel. A human hairdryer is too noisy to use on dogs. I've always let my dogs air dry and never had a problem.

I have never combed out a wet dog. And that includes my Old English Sheepdogs - they get combed out before a bath and after they are dry.

My dogs hated getting combed out as puppies, but now they come running when they hear the sound of the comb and rake hitting together. Since I started out with OES, and I don't show, I groom the Golden like I do the Sheepdogs - they are laying on their sides. As puppies, I would work on small areas everyday. Frequent treats, lots of happy voices. Over a long time, I increased the amount of time spent on grooming until I could comb out an entire side at one sitting. I still take them in for their nails to be trimmed - it's the one thing I just don't feel comfortable doing.

So hang in there, it gets better.
 

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Chances are its just a bunch of new stuff all at once freaking him out. Try brushing him when he is resting or napping to get used to it. That seemed to work better with my dog than any other time.
With the bath maybe try filling it with a couple inches of water when you put him it, he might like just playing it in a little. Use a cup to dump it over him a little at a time.
I found that when Milla was that young a blow drying wasn't really needed. She got almost completly dry from just the towel. It must have been the puppy fur. I did use a blow dryer for a couple minutes, but not directly on her. I let her walk around the bathroom and I pointed it in her direction. Now she tries to attack the air coming out of it.
 

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Great advise to break it down into small pieces. One thing that I would add is to manage your own anxiety about his displeasure. If you are calm and matter of fact, that is communicated to the pup.

My dogs love the water, can't keep them out of the pond, they love to duck hunt but when bath time comes they look like, aaah, do I have to!!

When it comes to the hair dryer, I give them a massage during it. The dogs line up for their turn being massaged - and one even tries to get back in line for a second massage after she is done.
 
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I would break it down extremely slowly. Favorite treat for entering the bathroom if he doesn't like that. Favorite treat for lifting leg toward bathtub. Favorite treat for getting in dry bathtub with towel on bottom. Favorite treats for getting in bathtub with a little water in it, etc. Don't have the sound of running water too soon -- really freaked mine out. He even growled. If he shows any signs of being over threshhold -- won't respond to taking treats, for example, or shakes with fear, stop and back up. It will probably be a longer process, and it's kind of a pain. My dog does swim despite this. Many swimming dogs hate baths. Don't have the water very warm.

In the mean time, use waterless shampoo and wipes.

Also when brushing, use a tangle proof spray, and just brush a little at a time, then reward -- treat, belly rub, whatever, as was suggested. :)
 

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I just bathed Bailey today since she got so motion sick in the car from Canada to Issaquah. I bathed her in the kitchen sink - one side is large. She was kinda of scared and she barely fit in it but she was fine! I shampooed her and rinsed her and everything was a-ok.

I guess it up to the puppy! Oh and she is just one week shy of 4 months.
 
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