German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
When we first got Rocky we used to give him a bath weekly. The first few he got were really difficult because he just did not like them. By using positive reinforcements and treats he came to love his baths so much that he would jump into the tub without even needing a bath.

After doing a lot of reading on this site, I learned to give him better food and to not give him as many baths. I have finally found a premium food that he likes and he does very well on. I have also changed his schedule so he gets baths every 3 - 4 months. In between I will wipe him down with baby wipes if he gets really dirty.

Considering his size (he takes up almost the whole bath tub) and as hard as I try I don't think I can give him a bath as well as a groomer. I have taken him to Pet Smart 3 times to get groomed. The last time he was there was in June of 07. I have given him a couple of baths since then, the first one being in Aug of 07.

Anyways, ever since that last time he was at Pet Smart, he has been acting weird. He willing jumps into the bathtub when I grab his towels and he does not have an issue until I try to wash his back (probably about 6 - 9 inches above his tail). Everytime I even put water on that part of his back he start crying (I don't know what else to call it, but the noise he makes is just horrible). I gave him a bath last night and he did it again. It was so bad that DH heard him, through 2 closed doors. I try to do that part of his bath last (right before his head) and I always talk to him and tell him what a good boy he is being. When he starts crying I stop praising because I don't want to reinforce this behavior.

I have no idea why he is doing this or what has caused it. He does not have any problems walking or moving around. The vet has checked him and said he can't find anything wrong. I am just concerned because he really used to love his baths and I don't want him stressed out on the ocassions that I give him a bath. I would love to continue to get him groomed (of course, NOT at Petsmart) but first I am trying to figure out why he does this.

Any suggestions, or input would be greatly appreciated. I just don't know what else to try here.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,967 Posts
It's possible that when being groomed something happened that was a little traumatic and it's sticking with him. Personally I generally prefer not to go to the groomers if I don't have to. I do however hate the hair in my bathtub. If you have a PetCo nearby you can use their tub, towels, and dryer for about $10. I like that because it more closely simulates a groomer's enviroment and can help desensitize them to the environment.

I would just go back to basics with it. Treats and gradually building up to what you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
Hmmm.... Did you try calling Petsmart to see if they had any noticable issue when giving him his bath? Maybe the dropped the hose on hit butt, or the water was too hot one time, causing him to worry that it (whatever happened to scare him) will happen again?


Is it warm enough for you to try a quick rinse outside? Just try using the hose, or a pitcher of water and pour it on him (where he whines) when he's outside in the yard, and see if you get the same response. If nothing happens and he's not bothered by you pouring water on his behind outside it may just be a "in the tub" thing. Then at least you would know whether your dealing with a "fear" during tubtime, or maybe an underlying health problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Originally Posted By: JKlatskyIt's possible that when being groomed something happened that was a little traumatic and it's sticking with him. Personally I generally prefer not to go to the groomers if I don't have to. I do however hate the hair in my bathtub. If you have a PetCo nearby you can use their tub, towels, and dryer for about $10. I like that because it more closely simulates a groomer's enviroment and can help desensitize them to the environment.

I would just go back to basics with it. Treats and gradually building up to what you want.
Interesting idea. I did not know I could Pet Co's facilities. I think I will try the treats thing again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Originally Posted By: tibvixie101Hmmm.... Did you try calling Petsmart to see if they had any noticable issue when giving him his bath? Maybe the dropped the hose on hit butt, or the water was too hot one time, causing him to worry that it (whatever happened to scare him) will happen again?


Is it warm enough for you to try a quick rinse outside? Just try using the hose, or a pitcher of water and pour it on him (where he whines) when he's outside in the yard, and see if you get the same response. If nothing happens and he's not bothered by you pouring water on his behind outside it may just be a "in the tub" thing. Then at least you would know whether your dealing with a "fear" during tubtime, or maybe an underlying health problem.
PetSmart always tells us what a good dog he is. They have never had a problem with him. I know there is another black GSD that they have aggressions issues with. I am just wondering if the thought it was him. We have done the hose thing and he hates getting a bath in the hose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,878 Posts
Mine hate the hose too. Its a war when i have to water the plants outside! They bite and pull at the hose barking the whole time! Its like they're "crack puppies" when they see the hose! LOL

Have you tried just pouring like a cup of water on that spot when your playing outside, and see if he makes any response to it? I would day do it inside, but that would be pretty messy! LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
979 Posts
We have a pet wash at our local car wash. My dog LOVES it. You walk them up the ramp and attach them to a lead and then wash, rinse and dry. (We skip the dry) The water comes out like a shower faucet so it's not a hard spray. It's more like a nice rain. He might feel not so closed in at a place like that since there are low sides and plenty of windows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I dont mind the hair in the tub as much as I mind the layer of wet and hair all over the floor, walls, toilet, vanity, door, etc when he finishes shaking off. Oh yes forgot the mirror and curtains LOL

I will try to cup thing, but should I wait until it is warmer outside? He doesnt have an issue with the hose at all, he will run through it if you let him. It has something to do with being chained so he can stay in one place instead of getting wet rolling in the mud LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Many many groomer facilities have self wash rooms that provide you with soap, nice groomer tubs and tables as well as a high powered blow dryer (most important, because this gets out more hair than any amount of brushing will). The place I use rents it for $20 for the hour, and I can get both my dogs done in that time. I figure if I'm going to drive them there, and then pick them up I might as well be the one doing the grooming. It only costs me an hour of my time and saves me at least $80 and I get to spend more time with my dogs.

Also, my old male Zeus would whine and howl all through a grooming, even if I was doing it. Big baby. Even though he would walk up the ramp into the tub without issue he would still cry once in it and wet. I wouldn't worry about it too much unless after a grooming a dog exhibits major fearful behavior (tucking tail, peeing, etc. when the groomer hose comes out). Then I'm going to have a little discussion with the groomer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
No he doesnt do that. Once we are done he races around the house a full speed.

Are their dryers different than an hair dryer? I can't get within 10 feet of him with my blow dryer. LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Grooming dryers are high velocity, instead of heat they blow room temp air but more forcefully. They will blow the water right off the dog along with shedding hair.
One tip is to use it while the dog is soaked with conditioner, then rinse, then dry. The conditioner makes more hair come out.

I'm a groomer and thinking about the process the possibilities I can think of are:
1. They brushed him while he was wet, it is a great way to get more hair out but it is easier to brush the skin too hard.
2. They turned the dryer on while it was pointed at him, I try to turn it on and then move the hose closer to the dog so they can adjust to the noise and air flow.
3. Like someone else mentioned, they may have turned the water on too hot.
4. If he tried jumping out of the tub maybe they grabbed for him to keep him from jumping out and that spot was the closest spot to their hands.

Its really hard to say without seeing him, a lot of dogs are fine for their owners but freak out at the groomers (sometimes it is the other way around lol) so it could be he was upset and banged into something. I try to always tell owners of their dogs are upset but I've heard of groomers that will say the dog was fine because they want to keep the business.

It is also possible that it is unrelated to the groomer, maybe he bruised the spot playing and it was touched the wrong way during a bath and he associates pain with being bathed now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Brenna Mom that is so true, there are so many different things it could be and I just don't know. I am going to try to positive reinforcements/treats next time to see how he does. Of course it wont be for a few months but that is ok.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
why are you bathing your dog so much? i wouldn't use baby wipes either. if you have to wipe him down use a nice cotton towel and some warm water. when shampooing only use something that is natural. i had to use Pet Smart once because he had an upset stomach and he let loose in his crate. in the summer i use the garden hose. this summer i'm having the plumbing changed so i can have hot water coming through the garden hose. not that i'll use hot water but i will make it warm. even though it's summer warm water has to feel better to bathe in. as far as grooming i groom him from the inside which makes a nice outside. what i mean is good food. we use a high grade food, natural treats, fish oil and his food is laced with either chicken, beef, pork, grains or whatever is good for him. i only brush him a couple of times a week. he doesn't seem to need more. we he gets a bath he's taught to stand there. after i lather him up and rinse him off i say "ok" and then he shakes and runs around and shakes some more.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
take a good look at that area on his back and make sure there's nothing there. maybe the water is running off of his back to another area that is sore. does he react if you rub your hand on that area? talk to the Vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Lot of people give their dogs a few baths a year. The last bath he had before this week was in August. That was 7-8 months ago. How much longer should I wait inbetween times?

He has already been to the vet and I have checked him out. There is nothing there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,649 Posts
I bathe my dogs once a year. Some years I don't bathe them at all. They swim in the summer and if that water is questionable then I hose them off afterwards. They get rained (and snowed) on a fair amount too which gives them a good rinse. But unless they role in something yukky there's really no reason to give them a bath.

I would stop using the baby wipes. They are full of chemicals that couldl strip the oils off their fur and certainly would NOT be good for them to ingest. If you dog needs a wipedown (because of mud or something else) then just use a damp towel or a washcloth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I don't use baby wipes very often. And on the rare ocassions I use them I always buy the sensitive skin ones for him. I don't scrub him with them or anything, just lightly wipe off mud.

I find it very all the different idea, and suggestions here interesting. I actually got the baby wipe idea from this website. HM I guess everyone just does different things to clean their dogs.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top