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Professional Bathing?
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    Hello all!

    My Shiba pup Senketsu is just about 5 months old (we got him from our breeder at 4 months). A few weeks ago he got his first bath in our apartment's bathtub and he did amazing! Our apartment recently had its own professional pet wash installed, so I decided to try that out today with him. He did reasonably okay for about the first 10 seconds and then the Shiba Scream began. My left forearm is absolutely covered in scratches from his claws and he panicked so badly that I couldn't even get the shampoo rinsed off of him. I decided to carry him back to the apartment for a rinse (since he reacted to the tub so well the first time) and this was another ordeal, Shiba Scream included. I FINALLY got him fully rinsed and dried, and ended with a thorough brushing so that we could end on a semi-good note (he's quite good about being brushed).

    I called our local Pet Supplies Plus and they said they could do a full bathing, brushing, and nail trim on a 20-pound Shiba for $47. Senketsu only needs about 2-3 baths a year because he is an apartment dog and only goes outside on leash and is a lot less prone to rolling or getting dirty than a dog who is able to run around outside. He gets groomed every day at least a bit with either a wire brush or a Kong Zoom Groom. Does anyone have any experience with professionally bathing your Shiba? I told the woman on the phone he was extremely difficult as a warning and she said not to worry about it, all the dogs they get there are pretty rough to deal with during a bath, but she said she could do it. I'm wondering if I should just go professional since bathing in the apartment is such a big deal to Senketsu and his screams could be a disturbance to the other tenants and their dogs. All advice is appreciated!

    Thanks in advance!

    [mod edit: changed category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2018-07-05 11:56:08
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    I posted an introduction a couple days ago and I am hoping this can get moved into the appropriate category once I've been admitted as a regular member! Thanks!
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1267
    I wanted to have Ozzy professionally groomed just to kind of give him some exposure when he was a puppy, but I also worried he would have a bad time and I wouldn’t be there to ensure that it goes well and is a good experience for him. I think professional grooming is fine, especially if you think it’ll be easier on Senketsu. But if you think it would be harder on him and just more convenient for you or your neighbors, I would choose to try to make bathing a better experience for him in a controlled environment first, like at home in the bath tub.

    Ozzy is not a fan of baths, but he tolerates it and isn’t noisy. I recommend using a lottttt of treats to help him have a better time hahaha. Especially something like cheese, or smearing some peanut butter on the walls of the tub to distract him. And using a lot of praise / positive encouragement. That’s what has worked best for Ozzy. But if you can try out professional grooming and he does better with that, that’s great!
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    Lilikoi said:

    I wanted to have Ozzy professionally groomed just to kind of give him some exposure when he was a puppy, but I also worried he would have a bad time and I wouldn’t be there to ensure that it goes well and is a good experience for him. I think professional grooming is fine, especially if you think it’ll be easier on Senketsu. But if you think it would be harder on him and just more convenient for you or your neighbors, I would choose to try to make bathing a better experience for him in a controlled environment first, like at home in the bath tub.

    Ozzy is not a fan of baths, but he tolerates it and isn’t noisy. I recommend using a lottttt of treats to help him have a better time hahaha. Especially something like cheese, or smearing some peanut butter on the walls of the tub to distract him. And using a lot of praise / positive encouragement. That’s what has worked best for Ozzy. But if you can try out professional grooming and he does better with that, that’s great!



    Thanks so much for the advice! Oddly enough, part of our lease for our apartment says that, because a pet wash is provided, pets are forbidden from being washed in the bathtub, but frankly, I’d do it anyway just to make him more comfortable. Plus, it just seems like a ridiculous rule.

    I want to try the peanut butter with him, but once he gets his mind set on really disliking something, he tends to ignore treats and food altogether. It’s worth a shot!

    I’ve also thought about talking to my vet about their bathing services. It may be a little more expensive but I’m willing to bet the experience the groomer have is more extensive than at your average pet store. I’ll also talk to my vet about getting him more comfortable with baths at home.

    I really appreciate your advice!
  • MeghanBCGMeghanBCG
    Posts: 98
    When Bonsai was really small he would scream about baths too. He still doesn't like them much, but he's gotten better with exposure. We discovered that our prior home's bathtub didn't have any sort of grips at the bottom of it so his paws would slip around all over the place and he'd panic. The tub in our current house has a textured bottom and he seems a lot more comfortable with it, though bathing him is still a two person job, haha.

    If your tub is slippery on the bottom you can try putting a towel on the bottom of the tub under the water for him to stand on. It floats up a little, but it worked for Bonsai sometimes. I've seen people actually leash their dogs to a handle inside the tub too, but we've never tried that.

    We haven't taken Bonsai to a professional groomer ever, so I don't know how helpful this response is, but I thought I'd throw in some of the stuff we do at home. (:
  • AnjyilAnjyil
    Posts: 776
    I would love to train my dog to enjoy baths---he tolerates them and doesn't whine or anything, but he DOES try to run away. Sadly, we started using the rental washroom at the local pet store (awesome--but means I can't train him).

    This is a great video, though--I think the advice is pretty sound.

  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    Thank you to everyone! You all have great advice :)
  • callofspaceycallofspacey
    Posts: 64
    Update: My husband has been working with him in water while I am at work. He had Senketsu sit calmly in the pet wash with no water and had him smell and investigate the sprayer and he got lots of praise for about 3 minutes like that. Then he sat Senketsu in the bathtub in our apartment with enough water to cover his toes and splashed a little up onto his legs, again with lots of praise. He was fine with both! Hopefully we are getting somewhere :)