Bathing a large dog in a bathtub is a test of human endurance equal to the most trying of Olympic events. If you have a large dog it is, however, well worth the effort. You will be rewarded in knowing you are helping to keep your pet healthy. Additionally, you will know your home won't smell like the primate building at the zoo.
Dog in tub
To begin, prepare the bathing area. Gather several large bath towels; usually six are adequate. Put two of these on the floor near the tub. Place the additional towels on the closed commode.
Next, choose your shampoo. You should use a shampoo that is especially made for the event. The Hartz Company makes an herbal scented brand that is pleasant to use. Have the shampoo within easy reach. You may want to place it on top of the closed commode.
Have something at hand by which you can pour water on your dog; I suggest you use a rubber hose with a soft plastic nozzle resembling a miniature shower head. These hoses are inexpensive and attach to most bathtub water spouts.
It is very important to have all of the necessary bathing supplies in the bathroom before you bring the dog in. The pooch will not remain inside the bathroom while you go to get anything, especially when most dogs feel the inside of any bathroom is akin to a crematorium.
You are now well prepared, so proceed. Get your dog's leash and place it on the choker collar. Your dog is cooperative because his destination is uncertain. If he becomes leery, as he becomes aware of his proximity to the bathroom, reassure him with some comforting words. Use an expression or promise you know works to motivate your special pet. I usually promise mine that I'll drive him to the take-out window at Burger King for a Double Whopper with cheese if he displays some cooperation.
Once your dog is inside the bathroom, immediately close the door. Bring him to the edge of the tub and tell him firmly, "Get in." This sometimes works. Do not become discouraged if it does not. Simply understand his reluctance and intervene by picking up one of his front paws. Gently direct it up, over, and into the tub, thereby reminding him how to walk. (Be assured this loss of coordination is temporary and full use of his limb returns as he flees the scene unassisted once the bath is completed.) While you are engaging in this bold maneuver, anticipate a variety of responses from your pet. You can expect whimpering, howling, growling, and slightly bared fangs. One, all, or a combination of the above symptoms may appear. Ignore them all.
Once the dog is in the tub, remove the leash and choker collar and wet him thoroughly. You will now apply the shampoo. There are two important things to remember about applying the shampoo. First, always use a minimal amount, as most of these products are concentrated. Second, always work from the head to the tail in order to rid your pet of fleas properly. Don't forget to shampoo the legs and soft pads of the paws. Give special attention to the belly area.
If your dog is frequently outside, the belly area may well be the dirtiest part of the dog. Create a lather and work the suds in with a gently kneading motion. Follow the shampoo with a rinse from head to tail. Now pat your dog dry with a towel. Dry the paws individually. Your dog will help you with the drying process as he shakes excess water into your unsuspecting face. After a few of these seizure-like episodes, assuredly, he will exit the tub without assistance.
After you remove the soggy towels and trapped fur accumulations and scour the tub, congratulate yourself on a job well done. You have discovered that with a little planning and just a few steps, you, too, can have a pet and a house that smell clean and fresh.