Two weeks ago, we adopted our rescue collie. She is very timid and fearful of new things, anything in your hand, chains (making noise or quiet), going out of doors, etc. After the first week, she figured out that going upstairs is a good thing...she's explored most of the 2nd floor with the exception of the bathroom. She sleeps on my bed (yes, spoiled rotten), but will not go into my bathroom, into the kitchen or down the semi dark hall to the office and laundry room.
She needs a bath. She really, really, really needs a bath. She likes to be groomed, doesn't mind having her nails clipped, etc.
Any suggestions on how to approach bathing slowly with out scaring the bejesus out of her? My bathroom has a horrible spa tub (won't work) and a teeny tiny shower (won't work). The upstairs bath has a tub...but....
I could take her to a groomer, but she would be terrified. And there is a self wash place in town, but she will still be terrified.
I'm thinking outside somehow. I bathe the other dogs in the barn wash stall, but the horses are in during the day and scare her with their banging. And, we'd have to get through the gates first, which are chained. Not going to happen any time soon.
In the backyard, warm rinse water in a bucket, dilute the shampoo to at least 2:1 for quick and easy rinsing, and use a measuring cup because it has a spout. That way you control the flow of water over her. Use treats, really good ones.
1. put the dog on lead, step on the lead while working with her.
2. pour the warm water over hindquarters first and only do one leg/side at a time.
3. rub a few drops of diluted shampoo on your hands and stroke it onto her coat. Pour the clear, warm rinse water into your hand and allow it to dribble down onto the soaped area. Repeat as necessary to get that portion of the dog rinsed.
Stop now and evaluate if you need to stop here (is she too frightened to continue?) or do another 1/3-1/4 of the body?
When you do a little at a time, getting the whole dog clean will take longer but it's not so overwhelming for you or the dog and you can quit when you should, not continue because you have to.
My sheltie was pretty shy about being bathed - just go super slow. The dry shampoos and wipes do get the worst of the smell out, maybe you could do that first until she's a little more comfortable around the house ?
In my experience, any sort of tub - indoor bathtub, outdoor wash tub - creates havoc. What works best for me is to take dog onto grassy or paved area, use a bucket of warm water to wet them down, apply shampoo, use hose to rinse. Keeping foot firmly on end of leash, letting them move around some, just not get away. And do back-to-front, with the head either dead last or left out altogether. The best tip I ever heard about dog bathing is that they hate getting their heads wet, so do the head last. If you're working on decreasing her timidity, maybe you could skip the head altogether at first.
When you groom her and do her nails, do you hold her on your lap? If she's ok with that, then you could get into a baby pool with her and both of you have a nice bath together. It worked for my super-spooky Brittany, who finds the world a fairly scary place with the exception of my lap.
Is she a border collie or a rough or smooth collie?
I never rode a broke horse but then maybe I'm a sorry hand. - Ray Hunt
Hand held sprayer in the tub. If she trusts you (which it sounds like she does, since she lets you groom her), you can bring her on a leash into the bathroom, give treats. Then adjust water temp and shut off. Pick up dog and put in tub with leash on. Use handheld sprayer to soak. Shut off water. Shampoo. Rinse.
It'll help if you have a nonslip mat on the floor of the tub. It makes them feel more secure. And I agree with the poster that said to start at the back. Except, skip the tail at first. For some reason, tails are delicate, and starting with them can freak out some dogs.
She's a rough coat collie. She was a surrender to animal control (in lieu of a seizure). She was 20 lbs underweight when turned in, had obviously been beaten. She's coming along, but it's going to take a looong time. I'd rather have her smell than take steps backwards. So, I'll try the baby pool. And a hose (lab loves the hose). He seems to share his courage with her!