Grooming a Hot Mess Who Doesn’t Want to be Groomed: Baths!

Many of my readers may have a professional groomer that they really love who helps maintain their dog’s coat and nail care.  I’ve personally always been a “DIY” sort of gal, so I have always done my own grooming at home.  We showed our Corgis for many years, so I bathed, dipped, brushed and even scaled their teeth when it was needed.  One of my girls had an eye condition called “distichia” in which stray eyelashes grow inward toward the eye rather than outward as you would normally expect.  She laid with her head in my lap and let me use tweezers to pluck the naughty eyelashes and didn’t move a muscle.

Boy was I ever spoiled.

I mean, I was really, really spoiled!!

Happi’s first bath. She was ALWAYS this happy!

Grooming my Corgis was a breeze!  Bathing them was delightful!  When I said, “Who wants to get in the tubby?” I usually had two of my dogs run to the bathroom and put their paws up on the side of the tub to be picked up and placed in the tub for their bath.  Even pouring that stinky flea dip on them….which was the preferred flea and tick protection in the 1980’s.  They really were great in the bath!

And then along came Rugby James.  A dog of a different color….and speckles….and spots and coat type!  Oh boy.  Where my Corgis let me do virtually anything and everything that needed to be done to them, Rugby tolerates some things at best!

And he has a short list of what he tolerates!

I really think that a whole lot of the issue stems from the fact that for almost the first full year of his life, I doubt if he ever had any regular grooming of any type.  He honestly is a very good sport about things, but he’s not a dog who will let me do anything I want to him.  Truth be told, Rugby is a dog who would love to remain stinky, long nails, yucky teeth and nekked!  He’s not crazy about wearing a collar, but he has one.  He looks so cute in bandanas that I often put one on him as well, but he’s often not so sure that it’s really a good idea.

Rugby Vol 073

So bath time is always an ordeal at my house.  There’s no announcing that it’s bath time, however.  It’s more like sneak a bath in there with Rugby James!  He really is very good in the bath.  He doesn’t try to escape…he stands still for me…doesn’t shake off and soak me, but he sure doesn’t enjoy a bath by any means.  Tolerate is the word I would use, because once he’s wet, pathetic is the word that quickly takes tolerates’ place!  He just looks pathetic when he’s wet.  Like a drowned little rat….that’s oversized….and speckled and spotted….with a floofy wagger and oversized ears.  But he looks like a drowned rat for sure!

Here’s a great bath tip I’m going to toss out for free!  Does your dog shake off in the tub before you’re ready and you’re tired of being soaked? Here’s how to fix that!  Dogs always start to shake from their heads to their tails.  If you hold their heads, they won’t shake, and you’ll stay dry!  If Rugby starts to shake before I’m ready, I just hold his head on either side of his cheeks and tell him to wait.  When I’m ready for him to shake, I always hold up a big bath towel like a shield in front of me at the end of the bath and let Rugby unleash his biggest shakes.  The towel catches most of the water from going all over the bathroom, and I stay bone dry!  Score!

Hold your dog’s head to stop shaking off soapy water!




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