How to get a Dog in the Shower (and Stay There!)

Some dogs just hate getting in the shower. Sounds familiar? Here are our best tips on how you get an unwilling dog to go into the shower and stay there.

How Do You Get Dogs Into The Shower?

Be firm and let the dog know that you are being serious about bath time. Introduce the shower area a few days in advance with a handful of treats to let the dog associate the room with good memories. Use a collar and leash if you must.

Here are seven great tips you can steal!

Quick Tip
A great way to reduce the amount of shedding indoor is to use a great anti-itch shampoo. Check the products we recommend here. That makes sure the dog won’t scratch itself too much. Check also our recommendations on our list of 24 must-haves for dog owners. It’s a helpful list with many helpful things for dog owners!

7 Tips To Get Your Unwilling Dog Into The Shower

Get unwilling dog into the shower

Some dogs would always try to run away whenever it’s bath time. This can be very frustrating for the dog owner because you do need to give the dog a proper shower once in a while.

Here are some great tips for you to try.

1) Visit The Shower Area Between Bath Times

It’s important to introduce the shower area before you turn on the water. Make sure you visit the tub or the shower area once in a while in order to get a little treat or just hang out and have fun.

After a while, Fido will get used to the area, and slowly you can start turning on the water once in a while

Most dogs when you get it after a few weeks and very few dogs like it from the beginning of the first couple of times.

2) Use the Collar and Leash

You need to show the dog who is the master.

It’s important to be very firm and direct when you are introducing bath time for your dog. There should be absolutely no shaking in your voice and you should go in there within a minute or two.

The longer you let the dog resist you and procrastinate the longer it will take to teach him how to get in the shower.

You may have to physically lift him the first couple of times and if that’s not possible you can maybe get a friend to help you. If we are talking about a big dog it’s even more important that you establish yourself as the leader and the master of it.

Be where not to shout and raise your voice unnecessarily. Just choose a direct and calm voice and let the dog sense that you are being serious about this.

After a while, it wouldn’t start respecting you more if it knows that you cannot be bend.

3) Do It When You (Yourself) Are Energized

It’s really important that you do it at a time where you have the energy to pull through to the end.

Don’t introduce bath time when you are exhausted after a long walk if your dog hates getting in the shower.

Make sure you have something interesting and fun at the other end of the show to encourage yourself to show good behavior and patience during shower time. Dogs are in many ways like small kids. They can sense your mood long before you think and they will be easier to handle if your own spirit is high.

4) Replace The Brush With Rubber Gloves

Many dogs hate getting in the shower because they don’t like the de-shedding tools such as the brush.

Here’s a great tip of that might end up changing everything about the bath time for your dog.

These rubber gloves are great because they have to several advantages:

  • They feel pleasant for the dog
  • They work as a brush you cannot lose
  • They protect your hands
  • They work great for de-shedding the dog

You can find a link to these gloves and other brushes we recommend here.

As you can see in the picture above the gloves have rubber spikes that go into this fur and removes the excess hair. Much like a brush but much more gently.

It lets you have more control over the dog as you are using your hands instead of an instrument.

You can also use these rubber gloves in the garden when you are shedding the dog during the shedding season. They will often create a good experience that bonds you and your dog together.

Combined these rubber gloves with de-shedding shampoo and you will have a much cleaner home.

You can find the shampoo we recommend here. It’s also listed as #8 on our list of must-haves for dog owners.

5) Let Them Visit When You Shower

You’re shouldn’t shower together with your dog but you can take them into the bathroom once in a while when you are preparing your own shower.

This will make them associate the splashing sound of the water with many other things than bath time. You can even give them a few treats while you are in the shower in order to let them get a new sense of the room and the happening.

This will let them know that this is not a dangerous place and they will also see that you handle it really well.

6) Use Non-Slip Matts

It’s important for the dog to feel in control during the session.

It’s never pleasant to scoot around in a tap and lose your ground. It might also end up scratching your tiles or the bottom of the tub.

So make sure to place some good and safe rubber mats on the floor so the dog can feel more in control.

7) Always Use Lukewarm Water

Some dogs can be very sensitive toward cold and warm water. It’s important to always introduce the water at a lukewarm temperature in order for the dog not to panic.

Don’t spray directly on the dog from the beginning.

Start out by adding a bit of water to the bottom of the tub in order to get the dog on the right track of what’s going to happen.

How To Make Bath Time Fun For Dogs

It’s important to not get too serious about bath time. Especially when we are talking about puppies or dogs that aren’t used to getting into the shower of the tub.

There are several things you can do to lighten up the spirit of the dog in order to make it a more fun experience.

1) Bring The Favourite Toys

It’s a good idea to bring some of the dogs’ favorite toys into the shower area.

Let him have fun and play a little while before you turn on the water to make sure the dogs in a good mood. After a while, you can turn on the (warm) water and introduce the brushes and soap slowly.

2) Use Treats

Bring some treats into the shower to let the dog know whenever he did something well.

Using together with encouraging words such as “Good boy” or “Good girl”.

Make sure to have plenty of your dog’s favorite treats well within reach and you can even let him see that they are on the table. If you have special treats you use for learning tricks are having fun together make sure to bring these into the room.

It’s always great to be able to reward your dog whenever he stands still for a little while.

3) Start With A Good Walk

Before you introduce shower time it can be a good idea to take a good long walk together.

This way you can ensure a good bond and connection between the two of you and it doesn’t hurt if the dog is a little tired from a good long walk.

If you finish off with a quick run it will probably be more prone to enjoy the lukewarm or cold water.

In Closing

Other than that, it’s important to remember that you and your dog in this for the long haul.

It doesn’t matter if you get this right the first couple of times as long as you are making slow progress. You will have many years to learn this and your dog might eventually love to get in the shower. Just be patient and try all the tricks from above.

You will get this after a while.

Good luck.

Related Questions

Can I Shower With My Dog?
You shouldn’t shower together with your dog. It can quickly become a mess and you might end up slipping on the floor and the dog needs other types of soap and shampoo than you. Make sure to bathe the dog alone with you as a supporting helper.

How Do You Lift A Dog Into The Bath?
With small and medium-sized dogs you can lift them directly into the bath. But with bigger dogs, you should use a collar and leash. It’s safer and you are more in control. Most dogs don’t like to be carried into the shower because they feel out of control of the situation.


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