Bathing Your Dog
Dogs react differently to water in different situations. Bathing your dog may not be one of the most pleasant experiences, but it doesn't have to be that bad if you employ patience, perseverance, and firm kindness. Though giving your dog a bath outside might work on a warm, sunny day, most of the time you'll want to bathe him inside in the tub or the sink, depending on how big he is. Once he gets used to this, it's best to stick with the routine. Follow these steps and both of you should come out of the experience maybe not loving it, but not hating it.
First, brush your dog before you wash him. Any matted hair will become impenetrable once it's wet.
Prepare the place where you plan to bathe him: have enough towels on hand, be sure there's a pitcher to fill with water for soaking and rinsing, make sure you have the shampoo and conditioner ready, and run the water until it's warm so you don't have to wait once your dog is in the sink or tub.
Use a cotton or nylon collar so it won't be damaged if it gets wet. Take it off once your dog is in the tub or sink.
If you're going to bathe your dog in the tub, bring him into the bathroom and close the door before you get started so he can't escape far and can't do too much damage should he get out of the tub.
Put your dog in the tub or sink. Speaking soothingly but convincingly to him, begin to run the warm water. Use a temperature that's on the cool side but still warm and not cold.
Wet his body with a shower attachment or by filling and pouring water from a pitcher on him. Be sure not to spray or pour water on his face. Work from the neck down, wetting all parts of his body.
Pour some shampoo onto your hands or onto his back and begin to lather him up all over — again, avoiding his face.
When he's soapy all over, begin to rinse. Don't skimp on rinsing, as residual shampoo can irritate the skin and dull the coat. Remember to rinse his belly, between his legs, under his tail, and all the way down to his feet.
When he's rinsed, take a washcloth, wet and squeeze it out, and use it to rub his face clean.
Turn off the water, let the tub or sink drain, and run your hands over your dog like a squeegee to remove excess water.
Grab a thick towel and begin to rub your dog all over. Then put him somewhere he can shake himself off — in the bathroom when he jumps out of the tub or on the kitchen floor if you've washed him in the sink. Let him shake and tell him what a good doggy he is. Continue to rub him with towels until he's fairly dry. Then let him loose and let him enjoy scampering about, rolling on the carpet, and helping himself air-dry.
If you have a longer-coated breed, you may want to use the blow dryer on him to dry him completely. Use a low setting so you don't accidentally burn his skin, and fluff and dry him as best you can, using a brush to help. For a more professional look, put your dog on the grooming table and carefully blow out his coat so he looks “mahvelus, dahling.” You can even put a bow or a bandana in his hair to complete the picture.