Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: North Carolina
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Gather all your supplies before you start. I bath Leo in the kitchen sink that has a sprayer attachment as part of the faucet. This is easier than bathing him in the bathtub. If you have a laundry sink that can work as well. A spray hose makes it easier to get the pup thoroughly rinsed. Additionally I purchased 3 clear plastic bottles from Sally's Beauty Supply. They are squeeze bottles with tops. I dilute the shampoo in 2 of these bottles about 1:10 parts shampoo/water and dilute conditioner in the 3rd bottle. I use warm water to dilute the shampoo and conditioner so that It's not so cold and uncomfortable when I squirt it on Leo. Most will suggest that you put part of a cotton ball in each ear to prevent water from getting in. I have yet to figure out out how to get the cotton to stay in Leo's ear. He shakes his head and out it comes but the theory is sound. Have 2-3 towels ready for drying, I shampoo the combs I use on Leo prior to bathing him so the combs are clean. Comb him out prior to the bath. Probably not really necessary now but a good habit to get into because as his coat gets longer if you bath him with tangles you'll get mats. I do start the bath by washing Leo's face. I have the water lukewarm, a bit cooler than when I wash his body, I very carefully wet his beard add a bit of shampoo, lather gently and then rinse. I do the same wit the top of his head and the outer ear flaps. Since this is your pup's first bath you may just want to wipe his face and head with a warm wet wrung out bath cloth. For the body, legs, feet and tail, I use the sprayer to wet Leo all over, add some shampoo, lather, rinse repeat and then rinse until I feel no more shampoo and then rinse a bit longer. You don't want to leave shampoo in his coat because it will likely make him itch. The I apply the dilute conditioner, work it through his coat and rinse. If the weather is warm at this point I put on Leo's leash and run him out as the bath always makes him need to pee. Also he'll want to shake and that's better done outdoors. If it's cold I feel like I have to get him at least partially dry before I take him out to pee. Prior to beginning the bath, set up Leo's dryer, make sure I have his nail grinder ready, any leave in conditioner I will use (Argan Morroccan Oil or Warren London are my favorites at this time), his wooden pin brush. I put a towel on the grooming table as it provides a more secure surface. I turn on the Kool pup dryer right before I start his bath, and let it run while I am bathing him with the door to that room closed. The motor running helps warm the air coming from the dryer and the air temperature in the room. This way Leo isn't as cold while I am drying him. I will put the freshly washed and wet Leo on the grooming table with the towel draped over him which I secure around his neck with the grooming slip to hold the tiwel on so Leo doesn't get so cold. I take one paw out from under the towel at a time, smooth the hair back from his nails and use the grinder to shorten and round the nails. If you do this weekly your pup will tolerate it better as you only have to take off a bit each time. To begin with only gring or clip one nail, praise and treat. Handle the rest of his feet in turn and come back to this at a later time. After I do his bails I put a small amount of the leave in conditioner in my hand, rub my hands together and gently work the conditioner through Leo's coat. I then comb him through with the Buttercomb and began blowing him dry. If you use a people hair dryer be VERY careful not to burn him by keeping the dryer aimed at one spot very long. Using a grooming slip will free up your hands so you can dry and brush. If you don't have one now you may want to consider it as it really helps with the grooming. After Leo is dry, I scissor what's needed whether it's just tidying his feet or an all over haircut. After that I dry his ear out and if they are very wet I put in a bit of drying powder. The whole process with Leo in a puppy cut takes about 30 minutes. With a little pup it will go faster. The main thing right now is to get him use to a bath without frightening him or being too harsh so he decides he hates getting bathed. Just like for combing you'll want to be gentle and firm so that biting and wiggling doesn't stop the bath. If he is really frightened then just work on getting him a bit wet and toweling him off and try again tomorrow and so on.