Bathing Your Dog
Add some lukewarm water to the tub, then place the dog in the tub. Begin by
washing her face with a damp cloth. Lift up the ear flaps and wipe the
undersurface to remove dirt, wax, and dead skin. Using a bath sprayer, wet the
dog thoroughly with warm water. If necessary, bury the nozzle into her hair to
get to the skin.
Then work the shampoo in by hand, one section at a time. Be sure to lather
all of the dog-not only her back and sides, but also her neck, chest, belly,
legs, feet, and tail. If the coat is badly soiled, rinse lightly and then
repeat the sudsing process.
Remove the shampoo by rinsing the coat with the bath sprayer. Don’t forget
between the toes. It is essential to rinse and rinse until all the soap is out
of the coat. Residual soap makes hair dull and tacky. It may also cause contact dermatitis if left on
Commercial coat conditioners are often used to bring out the beauty of the
coat for show purposes. Do not use vinegar, lemon, or bleaches; they are either
too acid or too alkaline and will damage the coat. Some exhibitors add
Alpha-Keri bath oil to the final rinse to give luster to the coat. The
concentration is 1 teaspoonful (5 ml) per quart (1 l) of water.
After the dog has been thoroughly rinsed, squeeze out as much water as you
can by hand. Allow the dog to shake, and then blot her dry with towels. You can
encourage your dog to shake by blowing gently at her ear.
You can complete the drying process with a good air blower. Commercial
dog-drying units are very effective when used as directed. Do not use your own
hair dryer on high heat. This damages the coat and may burn the dog’s skin. Use
handheld dryers only on low heat and slant them to keep the column of air from
blowing directly on the dog’s skin. Some dogs may be frightened by the noise
and blowing air. If this is the case, do not force the dog to submit, as this
can lead to trauma and problems later on.