Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice

How to bath a Border Collie or Golden Retriever!

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice  how to bath a border collie or golden retriever

Bath time should be fun!!!

Even the big, scary, drying cabinet becomes a friend when a puppy is introduced to it the right way

Matilda gives Golden Retriever Puppy Toby a fun-filled introduciton

A Clean Dog is a Happy Owner

Some people have a view that border collies and golden retrievers should not be bathed too often and this may be so for some other breeds, however a border collie or golden retriever with a healthy coat will always benefit from a bath. We humans keep dogs because we enjoy their company and companionship, we invite them to share our homes (and sometimes our beds!) and we find pleasure in petting and holding them, a clean dog is delight to cuddle.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice  bathing a dog

Clean dogs are nice to cuddle

Before You Bath

A dog's coat will shed continually, although at certain times they will moult, or loose almost all their old coat. Dead hair that is not removed from the coat will tangle and quickly form matts that can cause discomfort, sores and poor skin condition.

If you bathe your dog without gently brushing or combing out all the tangles, knots and burrs in his coat, the tangles and knots will tighten up in the water and cause really nasty matts that will have to be cut out with scissors spoiling the look of the coat.

Your dog's coat should be brushed and combed very regularly to keep it flowing and free of matts and knots, but if you have not kept your dog's coat brushed through and in good order you MUST DO SO VERY THOROUGHLY BEFORE YOU BATH HIM.

Unless your dog has a short coat or you are going to dry him with a blaster or domestic hair drier try to bath him as early as possible in the day because it is important that he is warm and dry before bed time.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice baths

Place a non-slip mat in the bath to protect your
dog from slipping and make him more confident

Prepare the Bathroom

If your dog has not been bathed regularly be very careful to avoid frightening him, do not let him slip or become overexcite on slippery surfaces otherwise he may become anxious, struggle and hurt himself. Never let your dog jump on to a slippery surface. Put a rubber non-slip mat in the bath for him to stand on and a non-slip bath mat or towel outside the bath for him to jump out on to when you have finished. If your bath has hand rails or a suitable strong support, attach a chain with a trigger or very short lead to this, the other end can be attached to you dog's collar to restrain him and prevent him jumping out of the bath until you are ready to release him. Be very careful to make sure that the restraint is sufficiently short so that your dog cannot try to jump out of the bath whilst retrained, if it is too long he could jump or climb and fall over the side of the bath strangling himself or causing himself other serious injury. Make sure you have everything you need ready and within reach before you go and get your dog, that way you will be far less stressed and that means your dog will be happier and more relaxed.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice  dog baths

Put concentrated (dog) shampoo in a bucket

Assemble your tools

Always use a good quality dog shampoo, make sure it is "non-stinging" on the eyes and will suit your dog's coat. Some proprietary dog shampoos will enhance the natural colour, but never try to dye or colour the coat with human colourings. If you don't have a dog shampoo you can use a gentle baby shampoo instead.
For Border Collies and Golden Retrievers a good quality human conditioner is a great help when used on the tail and feathering around the back legs and the croup (the rump) where the undercoat tends to be very thick and prone to tangles. Do not use conditioner on the rest of the coat unless it is very thick and woolly.
A shower or shower attachment is the best way to bathe your dog, bathing just in a tub of water tends to be messy and fill the bath tub with hairs. A power shower is even better but make sure you are very calm and familiarise your dog with the sound of the pump and the force of the water to avoid frightening him.
You will need a bucket in order to help soak your dog's coat and wash his legs and tail in particular, a small bucket is best the sort that holds about a gallon is ideal, and the bucket should be made of plastic (a wine making bucket is perfect).
To put concentrated shampoo onto particularly dirty parts of you dog or to bring up the whites on a parti-coloured dog it will be helpful to have a pump bottle, an empty hand wash bottle is easy to operate with one hand and well suited to this sort of use.
To dry your dog after his bath "plumbers mates" cloths are very useful, these are the large, usually yellow, cloths that can absorb great quantities of liquid, they are available from most hardware or plumbing shops. In addition clean towels, new or old are suitable to dry the coat when the plumbers mate has done most of the work.
To finally dry off your dog a domestic hairdryer or if you one a proprietary blaster is best, again make sure you familiarise your dog with the noise and feel these thoughtfully.
Needless to say all receptacle should be made of plastic not glass or metal as these materials are hazardous in the bathroom.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice use a proper dog shampoo

Place the shower head in the bucket to avoid
creating too much foam

Preparing for the Bath

Get everything ready before you bring in your dog, then you in control and your dog will be more relaxed.
Run the shower and check the temperature. Remember your dog is not used to having a hot shower or bath every day, also he has a thick coat to protect his skin and the undercoat is seldom saturated even in heavy rain, so his skin will be sensitive, DO NOT USE HOT WATER. Water of a similar temperature to that suitable for a baby or small child is ideal, the water should be warm enough to prevent chilling but never hot.
Once you know what temperature is suitable remember the setting on the shower knob or how many turns of each tap are needed. Turn off the tap or shower for the moment.
Take the little bucket and add a good sized measure of shampoo. Fill the pump bottle with as much shampoo as you are likely to need or full it right up if you are going to bath your dog again soon.
Attach the short lead or chain that you are going to use to restrain your dog (if you are using a restraint) to the bath handle or fitting.
Place the non slip bath mat in the bath and press it down to make sure it won't move when your dog stands on it. Place the bathroom mat beside the bath, longways out to give your dog something to grip on when he climbs or jumps into the bath.
Put the plumbers mate clothes and/or towels in easy reach so that you are ready when you have finished bathing
If it will help, get a handful of very tasty treats to reward you dog, because he is going to be very good.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice have shampoo and conditioner close at hand

For convenience decant some (dog) shampoo
concentrate into a clean disused pump pot

Bathing Your Dog

Put a collar on your dog and encourage or place him into the bath tub, if you have a lead or chain to restrain him use it do so. Turn on the shower to the setting you tested before so that the temperature is just right. Place the shower head in the bottom of the bucket containing the shampoo so that the bucket fills up without foaming over and your dog gets used to the noise of the shower.
Wet your dog's coat all over, gently squeeze the water through the thicker parts of the coat, don't worry about the tail and feathers yet and don't wet the neck, head or ears or he will shake.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice bathing the dog

Keep your dog's head and neck dry until last or
he will shake

Turn off the shower and put the bucket under one of your dogs front feet, lift his foot and place it in the bucket, if he won't put his foot down, lift his opposite front foot so that he has to put the foot in the bucket down in order to stand up, don't try to force his foot down or he will resist and you may hurt him. Wash his foot and leg thoroughly then repeat for the other front foot and leg and both back feet and legs. Next, take the bucket and place it under your dog's tail, lift the bucket so that whole tail is submerged and gently squeeze water through the tail until it is soaked. Place the bucket under your dogs belly so that you can wash his underside from his chest to under his tail. Now pour the rest of the water over your dog's shoulders, back, croup (rump) and chest but keep his neck fairly dry and his head and ears dry.
Bathing a dog is a bit like washing a car, this first wash with dilute shampoo will remove grit and dirt and leave the coat ready for a thorough shampoo.
Rinse your dog's coat with the shower then take the pump bottle and put neat shampoo on his shoulders, chest, back, croup, tail, legs under belly and the feathering around his back legs, rub it gently to a lather so that he is well shampooed all over. Rinse off very thoroughly until the water runs clear.
Take a handful of conditioner and rub it into the coat over your dogs croup and into the tail and the feathering around his back legs, leave for a few minutes.
Whilst the conditioner is working use the shower to soak your dog's neck, head and the feathering around his ears, hold his collar to make sure he does not shake. When washing his face make sure that his head is pointing upwards and that you do not let any water run into his nose or mouth, try to avoid getting water into his ears. Shampoo his head, neck and the feathering around his ears, even with a "gentle" shampoo avoid his eyes and make sure you do not panic him. Rinse his head, around his ears and neck very thoroughly so that no shampoo remains.
Lastly rinse off the conditioner from your dog's back end, keep hold of his collar with one hand since once his ears are wet he will be desperate for shake. Give him a last rinse all over and hold up a towel or put the shower curtain across and let him have a really good shake.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice giving your dog a shower

Use a shower to throughly wet your dog's coat

Drying Off

When your dog has had a good shake get to work with the plumbers mate cloths, give him a good rub over his back and croup, around his neck and his underside being careful to be gentle but firm. Be systematic and thorough, when all the excess water has been removed and he has enjoyed a few shakes release him from the bath , make sure that a non-slip bathroom mat is laid longwise beside the bath to protect against him slipping and allow him to jump out. Give your dog a thorough drying with an ordinary clean towel, it is easiest to do this sitting on the floor with him until he is fairly dry. Remember that your dog's coat is very thick even if he is smooth coated so whilst he may feel dry to the touch he will still be very damp underneath and susceptible to chilling . Finally finish off with a domestic hair dryer or blaster, again be systematic and make sure that your dog is not frightened by the noise or the rush of air. Also remember to be very careful not to burn your dog or cause him discomfort by having a hairdryer too close or too hot, drying a long coated dog takes time but it should be done properly.
Wet dogs get very excited and quite wild so don't be surprised if your usually placid pet becomes very manic and playful after his bath.
Be very careful to make sure that your dog is thoroughly dry through both undercoat and topcoat before allowing him outside on anything but a warm day and always make sure he is thoroughly dry before bed time.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice dog hair dryers

Use a domestic hair dryer or blaster to dry the coat

Routine Baths

Regular bathing does a healthy dog with a healthy coat nothing but good, some breeds are traditionally not bathed at all or bathed very seldom, this site is devoted to Border Collies and Golden Retrievers both of whom benefit from being kept clean.
At Mastamariner all our dogs live in the house so we expect them to be clean, sweet smelling and cuddleable, each of our dogs are bathed about once every 2-3 weeks, they enjoy their baths and some are bathed more often, some every week. All our dogs have healthy coats and good skin and have the added benefit of being very socially acceptable, clean to touch and fuss and welcome in our and our friend's homes.

Border Collie and Golden Retriever Advice keeping dogs coats in good condition

A clean, healthy coat on a beautiful dog.

Crates & Cages
Car Safety
Advice Sheets Home Page
Grooming Tools
Breeding from your dog or bitch
Two Puppies together
Games and Toys

If you can't see a navigation bar on the left hand side click here
Click here to add this site to your favourites
e-mail us from here
material on this site is copyright mastamariner© do not take or copy without permission