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Bath problems.


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Hi everyone, so basically I am having trouble bathing my dog (10 month old kelpie) he just really hates it. He just stands there trembling.


I've tried giving him lots of treats/praise/toys etc but nothing seems to work.


I try to keep bathing to a minimum, only when he rolls in something especially gross, but obviously thats not ideal since he is an inside dog and sleeps on my bed! I really want to be able to bath him every couple of months.


At the moment I use luke warm water and sponge it onto the offending patch of fur avoiding face/ear areas. But this seems to upsett him no less that bathing, as soon as the water gets to the skin he doesn't like it.

He doesn't have any skin conditions or anything so I think it's just that he's scared.


I haven't had this problem before, our older dog (german shepherd) loves water.

Any ideas?

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if he is standing there and only trembling then I'd just get into the bathing and get it over and done with as quick as possible. None of my dogs like getting a bath but they tolerate it. I use my bath and the older two will hop in themselves when asked to but the younger one needs a boost. I also spread peanut butter on the side of the bath for her to lick off. In summer time they get done out side with a couple of buckets and the hose.

I've had GSD's who love water, playing with the hose etc but still didn't like a bath.


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I love that you’re recognising your Kelpie’s fear and want to help him. You’ve been trying to use treats and toys to change how he feels about baths which is fantastic. You’ve got the right idea.


Where you’ve come undone is in application. To succeed you need to break it down into smaller steps, go at your dog’s pace, and time your high value reinforcers well instead of using them more like distractions. Step one might be that a dry sponge appears, high value treat, sponge goes away. A few repetitions and that’s your training for one day. Go slow to go fast. The great thing with your Kelpie is that he doesn’t need baths that often, so you’ve got a lot of time to put in the work.


Here are some links if you’d like to learn more:  






The bucket game can be helpful https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GJSs9eqi2r8


And where to find a trainer if you’d like some help https://www.ppgaustralia.net.au/find-a-professional & https://www.deltainstitute.edu.au/find-a-trainer


Have you tried wet wipes? Human ones are fine. That’s what we do for our old man chihuahua in the cooler months. Environment can also be a factor. My chi did a lot better when I put a non slip mat at the bottom of the bath.

Edited by Papillon Kisses
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