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  #1  
Old 02-11-2006, 12:15 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Why Don't Dogs Like Baths?

I thought about putting this in GQ, but thought most of the responses were likely to be opinion, rather than fact, and I was likely to get at least a dozen "My dog LOVES baths!" posts.

I just got out of the shower. While I was enjoying the hot water easing my sore muscles, I wondered why my dogs don't enjoy baths more. Surely their muscles are like ours, relaxing in the heat. It has to feel good for them, too, right?

All of my three dogs submit to bathtime, but with ill grace. The youngest one trembles the entire time. The middle one used to scream during a bath as if she'd been set on fire, but now just waits patiently for an opprotunity to jump out of the tub. The oldest one endures it, but only because she knows there's a can of wet food waiting as a reward once its over.

So, why don't they take the same pleasure in hot water that we do? I enjoy the sensation of water running through my hair-- it seems to soothe tension from the scalp. It just feels good.

I always use baby shampoo so their eyes don't sting, and I even turn on the bathroom heater so they don't get cold when they get out. They stand on a rubber mat so they won't slip. During the bath, I tell them what good dogs they are, but all of them stare at me with is-it-over expressions like I'm putting them through an ordeal. All of them race from the bathroom like bats out of hell when I open the door. I'm sure they're thinking, "Oh, thank Dog that's over!"

What gives? Why don't the dogs ever give a pleasure-sigh as they sink into a tub of warm water?
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2006, 12:42 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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quincy isn't a bath fan. he's also very smart. if he hears the water running in the tub, he doesn't go anywhere if you call him...so you've gotta catch him in transit...or, if he MUST have a bath, simply drag his stubborn beagle ass from the bedroom to the bathroom.

nordberg, however, loves her baths. when we go on walks, she gets in EVERY stinking puddle she can find, which causes more bathing when we get home. when she gets out of the tub, she runs. rocketdog runs to the backyard and does about a dozen laps out in the backyard..then runs in the house..runs from bedroom to bedroom (if we haven't closed the doors because of the impending wet dog) and runs all over. when she's finally burnt all that energy, then we get a hold of her and towel her. beagles is weird.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:39 PM
bouv bouv is offline
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What breeds of dogs do you have? I ask because my family always had golde retrievers while growing up (and my parents still have on) and they LOVE baths. But then, goldens are water dogs. Breed to be good at getting dead birds, they are adapted for swimming and seem to love it.

My sister, OTOH, hs a pug. He hates water, and as such, not a fan of baths. This seems to be the norm for most small dogs. Their muscles probably aren't strong enough to keep them swimming for a long time, so they seem to be more naturally geared towards not liking water. Just my observations, though.
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2006, 02:33 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Least Original User Name Ever
beagles is weird.
[hijack]beagles huh? Do your dogs ever just sit and stare at you? Just wondering if my beagle pup is weird or if it's a breed thing[/hijack]

Anyway, maybe they hate baths because it's something that you're doing to them, rather than something that they chose to do? Kind of like how some toddlers hate baths even though the warm water should be soothing to them.
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  #5  
Old 02-11-2006, 02:43 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
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I've got two Portuguese Water Dogs -- note the word "water" -- that absolutely hate baths. Most Portie owners I know tell me their dogs are enthusiastic about bathtime, and that they have to keep the bathroom door closed when they bathe, lest their dog jump in and join them. Not mine. When they hear the water run, but I"m not undressing, they know it's for one of them, and they'll sneak off to the furthest room from the tub. They sit patiently while I bathe them, but with a look on their face like "is it over yet?" As with Least Original User Name Ever's beagle, both of my dogs run insanely fast laps around the house when the bath is over.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2006, 02:52 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega Glory
[hijack]beagles huh? Do your dogs ever just sit and stare at you? Just wondering if my beagle pup is weird or if it's a breed thing[/hijack]

Anyway, maybe they hate baths because it's something that you're doing to them, rather than something that they chose to do? Kind of like how some toddlers hate baths even though the warm water should be soothing to them.

when my beagles are staring at me...they peer through me. they stare to get my attention. upon looking at them, i'll get the tail wag and the paw raise. they want something. morespecifically, they usually want me to follow them upstairs and give them food of some variety. it's been my experience (three of them) that beagles are very good communicators and are efficient at training humans. it's very likely that you're being trained right now. if that's not the case, then yeah...your pup might be a little odd. but that's fine. beagles is weird.
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  #7  
Old 02-11-2006, 02:54 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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the german shepherds i had a while back were much like the beagles..one didn't mind baths, but the purebred giant, mountain of an animal german shepherd gave you the impression that he was just putting up with the bath. they'd both push back against you to the point where you'd get a workout from giving those beasts a bath. and the FUR!..my lord, did they shed..especially if it was a springtime bath.
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  #8  
Old 02-11-2006, 03:03 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is offline
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Yes, it's probably the case that he's training me. He usually wants something when he stares, but I'm not always sure what it is, so we often go through a routine of me offering him different things until I figure out what he wanted. I've never had a dog put so much effort into getting things from people, so it's a little strange for me. But yes, he's all ready strange in a variety of other ways and he's only three months old, so I agree that they're weird. They're great dogs though.
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  #9  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:11 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouv
What breeds of dogs do you have?
The oldest dog, Bean, is a golden retriever/Norweigian Elkhound mix.

Polaris, our middle child, is a mutt of indeterminate ancestry. As she gets older, I'm starting to think there may be some Irish Setter in there, but only Dog knows. She has green eyes! Maybe there's some cat in there.

Sirius is a Jack Russel Terrier. He has an extremely placid, submissive nature. (He may have been abused by previous owners. He literally pisses himself if you yell at him.)

Here are some pics.

None of them really like water outside, either. Bean flat-out refuses to swim as it is beneath her dignity. (She was Queen Victoria in her former life.) Polaris will wade in, but only knee-deep. Sirius won't go near it.
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:26 PM
OtakuLoki OtakuLoki is offline
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Well, one reason I have seen that some dogs hate baths is that they're given baths with cold water alone. (Why waste heated water, after all.)

My old dog didn't mind the bath part, though he endured it...

What he really hated was being left on the chain outside to finish drying. He'd shiver there, as though waiting for us to go get the bullwhip.

I think that another part of it is simply the choice thing. Dogs like scents that most humans find a bit... strong. And don't care for the scent of most shampoos, I imagine.
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:27 PM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is offline
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Your link asks for a password to see the other pictures. Or did you only want to share the one picture on the first page? Anyways, the two dogs on the front page are cute.

My dog refuses to go out in the rain, but loves the snow. I'll have to wait until it warms up to see if he'll swim or not.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:35 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bouv
What breeds of dogs do you have? I ask because my family always had golde retrievers while growing up (and my parents still have on) and they LOVE baths. But then, goldens are water dogs. Breed to be good at getting dead birds, they are adapted for swimming and seem to love it.
Our golden guide dog puppie loved baths and showers - in fact whenever I took a shower, she would sit outside, looking longingly at it, hoping to get in. She'd jump into the bathtub at the slightest chance.

Our border collie/cocker spaniel mix hates them though. I do think it is breeding.
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:45 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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We had a Boston Terrier with dry itchy skin so he LOVED baths. He stank, so we gave him one maybe once a month, and we'd really get in there with our fingernails and give him an all over scratching. Also, he would always get a q-tip treatment in his ears afterwards. He loved to have his ears cleaned and would fall over on the spot if you showed him a q-tip.
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2006, 05:50 PM
Lissa Lissa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega Glory
Your link asks for a password to see the other pictures. Or did you only want to share the one picture on the first page?
Since I can't figure out what the problem is, I'll just post the links to other pics.

Sirius

Here's a different album.
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  #15  
Old 02-11-2006, 06:07 PM
katie1341 katie1341 is offline
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Auggie, The Cutest Dog on the Planet (TM), hates baths. I'm positive that it's because he has to stand still for it. He hates anything that requires him to stand or sit still against his will. he even hates his mothly Advantage flea stuff, just becasue he actually has to STAY STILL for a few seconds. Little lunatic.
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  #16  
Old 02-11-2006, 07:39 PM
MLS MLS is offline
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We used to have a Weimaraner, which is a pointer-retriever type that in a useful life would be hunting waterfowl. We figured ours (which we obtained when he was fully grown) must have had some sort of trauma connected with water when he was a puppy. He would do anything to avoid being touched by water. The mere sight of a garden hose would send him into a panic. We rarely had to bathe him, but the few times we did, the only way was for my husband to take him into a fully-enclosed shower with a latchable door and resign himself to getting fully soaked as well. The even funnier thing was that the dog's name was Neptune. God of the Sea. Yeah, right. Chicken of the Sea more likely.
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  #17  
Old 02-11-2006, 10:13 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega Glory
Yes, it's probably the case that he's training me. He usually wants something when he stares, but I'm not always sure what it is, so we often go through a routine of me offering him different things until I figure out what he wanted. I've never had a dog put so much effort into getting things from people, so it's a little strange for me. But yes, he's all ready strange in a variety of other ways and he's only three months old, so I agree that they're weird. They're great dogs though.
i've got many a beagle story for ya if you've got the time...

beagles are also great bedwarmers. learn to listen to your beagle for best.quickest training. their noses are absolutely amazing instruments, too. going on walks, they'll smell a squirrel two blocks away..or a mole underground..or a chicken bone that managed to get out of the trash the morning after and then needs to be crunched on for the next 5 blocks.

they also will wonder why you can't smell what they can. tell your tricolored overlord that it's because you're just a pathetic no-nose.
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2006, 10:16 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Originally Posted by katie1341
Auggie, The Cutest Dog on the Planet (TM), hates baths. I'm positive that it's because he has to stand still for it. He hates anything that requires him to stand or sit still against his will. he even hates his mothly Advantage flea stuff, just becasue he actually has to STAY STILL for a few seconds. Little lunatic.

i may have to call you on that trademark. people stop and stare at quincy, my beagle because he's "so handsome".

and nordberg is also sickeningly sweet and cute...we may have to determine this the old fashioned way...
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:30 PM
Ludy Ludy is offline
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What I found odd with my Golden Retriever was that she absolutly LOVED to swim. Any body of water that she passed she just had to explore, except the bath. She hated baths.

When she was a pup we used to bath her in a wheelbarrel. She soon developed a fear of wheelbarrels. She would hide whenever Dad was doing yardwork.

Then we had to use the garden hose. She refused to get inside anything that could hold water. It didnt take long for another fear to send her cowering into her doghouse.

The only way we could bath her was to get into the shower with her. Baths were out of the question but she could tollerate a shower, but only if you were wet too.

Or of course we could have just taken her to a freezing cold lake and she would be happy to be bathed there.

Dogs, go figure


My current pup not very happy with me.
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  #20  
Old 02-12-2006, 09:02 AM
Omega Glory Omega Glory is offline
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Originally Posted by Least Original User Name Ever
i've got many a beagle story for ya if you've got the time...
I'd like to hear them, although we should probably stop hijacking this thread...


Quote:
beagles are also great bedwarmers. learn to listen to your beagle for best.quickest training. their noses are absolutely amazing instruments, too. going on walks, they'll smell a squirrel two blocks away..or a mole underground..or a chicken bone that managed to get out of the trash the morning after and then needs to be crunched on for the next 5 blocks.
they also will wonder why you can't smell what they can. tell your tricolored overlord that it's because you're just a pathetic no-nose.
Yes, he's definitely got a good nose. Every time we go out, he just has to try to sniff and dig at a certain spot on the grass. I have no idea what used to be there, but it must smell great. When he's not sniffing, he's pointing at other animals, cars and who knows what else.
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  #21  
Old 02-12-2006, 09:19 AM
Dryfreeze Dryfreeze is offline
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Well I have two dogs right now that are very different in their bath habits.

Our Boston Terrier, Rollie, doesn't necessarily hate the bath. I think he just doesn't like. He's a wonderful dog and doesn't really do anything. He's very docile and just wants some kisses. He will set in the bath tub and let you have your way, but the whole time he will look at you with that "Why the hell are you doing this to me, am I in trouble?" look. I absolutely love this dog

Now our Puppy, Dakota, a beagle, basset, poodle, dachsund is more fond of the shower than anything. If my wife goes to take a shower, the puppy will sprint into the bathroom and take a flying leap into the shower. She loves baths as much. You have to be careful not to run a bath and leave the door open or you will find a little puppy in there. She's wonderful, but a nut. When people ask us what she is we tell them she is an "American gopher hound" because we get tired of explaining the beagle, basset, poodle, dachsund story. I will post pictures when I find a suitable webserver. Any suggestions. For now, here are some of my myspace pics of them.
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  #22  
Old 02-12-2006, 09:24 AM
calm kiwi calm kiwi is offline
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Dogs love a good stink. Baths remove stink. It's that easy.

Would you greet your friends by sniffing their arse? No?
See you just don't value a good pong.

Your dog feels it has just built up the appropriate level of pong to meet friends and you want to wash it off.

It's like poking out your eyes or chopping off your tongue and then sending you out to find a new friend, you just can't communicate.

Poor, poor stinkless dog
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2006, 10:15 AM
MaddyStrut MaddyStrut is offline
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My two shelties hate baths. They'll put up with them because they're pretty obedient, but they make it clear baths are not appreciated.

I think it's because baths are the only time water touches their skin. Oh, they'll go out in pouring rain, plow through snow drifts, and lie down in puddles. The difference is they have so much thick, dense, oily fur that the water never gets through to their skin.

It's hard to give them baths. Not because they're bad about it but because it's really difficult to get the entire coat soaked and make sure I've gotten all the soap out. They have that much fur. Then it can take them up to 3 days to completely dry.

They don't get really stinky or dirty (that oily fur is a good repellent), so I mostly take them to the groomers for baths these days. They can get them bathed so much quicker and get them dried in a matter of hours. Plus they like the groomer lady because she shamelessly bribes them with cookies.
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  #24  
Old 02-12-2006, 04:46 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Originally Posted by Omega Glory
I'd like to hear them, although we should probably stop hijacking this thread...




Yes, he's definitely got a good nose. Every time we go out, he just has to try to sniff and dig at a certain spot on the grass. I have no idea what used to be there, but it must smell great. When he's not sniffing, he's pointing at other animals, cars and who knows what else.

yeah, we probably should stop hijacking this thread...

and yeah, beagles will eventually subjugate you. if you don't have children, you've got a furry, four legged one now.
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