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How to Bathe Your Puppy

Learn how to bathe your puppy from dog trainer Robert Haussmann of Dogboy, Inc. in this Howcast video.


So people ask me all the time, what's the best way to bathe my puppy? Sometimes people, they just get the dog and they immediately want to bathe it, just because they are just not used to that dog smell, some dogs just kind of have a dog smell, especially puppies if they're using wee-wee pads, they kind of walking in their mess a little bit.

They do have wipes and things that you can use that are a little less intense for the dog, especially a dog who's never had a bath. I usually start off by making sure that the dog is getting a lot of desensitization to the physical activity of a bath. That might mean some running water, but he's not directly underneath it, maybe a little bit of water in a sink or a bathtub, and you're just letting his paws be in it, let him drink it, let him kind of get acquainted with it before you're submersing his whole body in and scrubbing him down, but also getting him used to the physical act of being scrubbed down, having his paws cleaned, having his ears cleaned, having his tail touched and things like that. When you're in the bath, and you need to get soap off from under here, he has to be pretty comfortable with your touching him there.

Starting this out with puppies is going to make it much easier for you to bathe him when he is an adult dog. You don't want the first time you bathe the dog, or the first time you're exposing your dog to this kind of handling to be when they're an adult, and they're big enough to actually hurt themselves or hurt you in the process of they're really freaked out by that kind of handling. Start off with a puppy when they can get accustomed to positive associations with running water, positive associations with the kind of touching that bathing produces before you're actually dunking him in the bathtub. But once it does come time to bathe him, you go to a grooming shop, ask them about the right kind of soap for that particular coat ... etc, etc, get some good advice from a professional, and then make sure that, say you're keeping the soap out of their eyes, and just going easy with them, they can get a positive experience.

If it is not a positive experience, they're not going to want to be bathed the next time. So that's how you get started, that's how you bathe your puppy.

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