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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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First Bath, Help Me Out

So, I am going to give Oliver a bath on Friday. He has had them before with his breeder, but I have never given him one, so I wondered if any of you have some words of wisdom, tricks of the trade, to make it a less daunting exercise. Thanks in advance to all.
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 06:42 PM
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my breeder gave me a tear free shampoo, and I used it of Prince's head, and use the burts bee oatmeal shampoo and conditioner of his body.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 07:31 PM
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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.


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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Terrific advice pucks104, I do have the sprayer in the kitchen, so I will bathe him there. I don't have a puppy hairdryer so will use my own on a warm setting it is not to warm so should work fine for him. That is so funny you use argon oil. I use it on my own hair so I guess Ollie and I will share (haha). I like how you do the face first and get the touchy part out of the way, that makes perfect sense to me, I will do that. His body should be much easier to do once I get his face done and that would be the area he would most likely wriggle and nip with. That is the case with the grooming now, although he is getting much, much better. Every time he lets me get a stroke of the comb through I praise him and he is starting to get it. The body isn't to much of a problem, he would let me comb his belly for an eternity, but the face is the hardest. Thanks again for all the great suggestions. Will give it a try, wish me luck.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 06:28 AM
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Pucks104's post is a great tutorial on bathing. She did a great job explaining each step. The only thing I can add to it is to be sure and use a bath mat or something similar at the bottom of the sink to prevent slipping. Slipping and sliding in the sink could be frightening for him. Also, I don't comb or brush through when he is wet but begin the process as his hair is being dried, as my groomer told me never to brush or comb wet hair. The other thing that I do differently than most of the forum members is to use a brush on Tyler first when grooming, followed by the comb which then tells me if there are any mats that I have missed. Whatever works for you and keeps your little guy clean and mat free is what you should do. BTW, Warren London's hydrating butter is a great leave-in conditioner as Puck104 mentioned and smells good too. Good luck on your first bath.


Mary (miss you, Bailey-1996-2011 and Tyler-1997-2015)
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 09:08 AM
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Thanks Mary for mentioning the mat. I tried to think through how I do the whole bath but the mat in the sink was so much a part of things it escaped consciousness.


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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 10:08 AM
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Wonderful advice from Pucks 104. I would add, if you want to use the bathtub, use a small plastic tub that will fit your puppy. It's easier to bathe in than a large bathtub. I purchased an attachment sprayer for my bathtub. Someone on the forum has pictures of the setup. Also the mat is great advice from Mary. I would also purchase some absorbent towels. I got mine from 1800petsupplies.com. They're orange color and super absorbent. I bought two. One for wrapping over Maggie when I finish bathing. Then I switch to another to finish absorbing more water. She stands on a micro towel while I dry her. I too, use a pin brush to dry Maggie. I later use a comb to check for any mats.
Have fun with the bath. Lots of praise and a treat afterwards.
Jeanne and Maggie
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pucks104 View Post
Thanks Mary for mentioning the mat. I tried to think through how I do the whole bath but the mat in the sink was so much a part of things it escaped consciousness.
One other thing that I do to keep the diluted shampoo and conditioner warm in addition to using warm water to mix them is to put the filled squeeze bottles in a pan with very warm, if not hot, water to keep them warm during the procedure. The pan is right beside me on the counter.

Ditto on those cotton balls!!! Don't know how anyone gets those to stay in after one shake of the head.


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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 12:36 PM
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Yes, definitely keep shampoo and conditioner warm. Great catch Mary. I can't use the cotton balls either. But I do use 1/2 cotton ball in each ear during drying. Maggie likes the process much better. Toward the end, she does shake them out though.
I'm going to try some of the Warren London's leave in conditioner. Just finished reading about it. Sounds like a great product.
Best advice is have everything ready ahead of time. Once you start the bathing process, you can't walk away to get something. Let us know how Oliver did on his first bath.
Jeanne & Maggie
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 01:26 PM
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I found the bathing tub in the bathtub picture. It's Rory. A good set up, too. If you use a hand dryer, I would look for one with a cool setting. Best not to use the warm and hot. I think Rory's dad used a pet dryer. Andis?? I can't remember. Anyway, enjoy reading and looking at the pictures.
Jeanne & Maggie


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