Bathing Your Puppy-First Bath for Pip

When we collected Pip from the breeder we were advised to wait for a couple of weeks before we gave her a bath so she would have time to settle in and learn to trust us.

Having read a few conflicting articles on the subject of puppy bathing this is what we decided to do…..

Over the course of 3 days we did the following:

  • Took Pip into the bathroom, showed her the bath from just inside the door, gave treats.
  • Took Pip closer to the bath, gave treats.
  • Put her in the empty dry bath, gave treats.
  • Fed her in the bath (see whistle feeding) on several non-consecutive occasions

At the start of the 3 days our puppy was unsure, not frightened but a little apprehensive-she had not been in the bathroom before. By the time she had her meal in the dry bath on day 3 her tail was wagging so we decided that she was good to try her first wet bath.

We had bought Pip a towelling dry bag, knowing how likely it is that when she is able to go out for proper walks being a labradoodle she will get wet and dirty.  We have been teaching her ‘in the bag’ command over the last few days to get her to want to spontaneously get into the dry bag – see related post.

Tonight is first bath night……..

We are starting with a very shallow bath to minimise anxiety. We lined the bath with a microfibre towel before filling it to puppy ankle depth with body temperature water. We also had Pips favourite treats and dry doggie bag ready.

The microfibre towel allows the puppy to get some traction to help them to feel more comfortable.

We woke Pip up from her nap, took her outside for the necessary and then brought her up to the bathroom. She got a treat and then was placed in the pre-prepared bath and rewarded with 2 more treats. We were anxious to see her first reaction……..

Pip’s first reaction was to take a drink of her bath water. We therefore concluded that she wasn’t overly stressed.

We carefully splashed her legs and bottom with the warm water and as dogs can dislike having water splashed in their faces (don’t we all?) we used the microfibre cloth to wipe her face gently.

Next job was to get Pip out and dry. Although she didn’t seem stressed by her bath she was keen to get out. Thanks to the ‘in the bag’ command we had been practising, getting her into the dry doggie bag and zipping it up was relatively easy- although it cost us a few treats!

Drying was accelerated by a cuddle from Dad and Pip was rewarded with dinner in front of the wood burning stove. No loss of appetite here! She definitely has labrador genes.

After dinner Pip the Pup went outside to make her usual evening deposit. She then proceeded to thank us for the bath by running around like a maniac and trying to rub as much debris on herself as possible.

Stay tuned for a slightly deeper bath next time!

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