How to Keep a Dog From Shaking While Giving Him a Bath

From sopping wet to 70 percent dry in four seconds flat.
i Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

The laws of Murphy dictate that if you give a dog a bath, you're going to get one yourself. The inevitable water shake is your pooch's version of wrapping himself in a thirsty towel. You know it's coming, but you're still surprised when it does. A simple trick stalls the post-bath shakes.

Step 1

Observe your dog for the dreaded moment when you know he is going to shake off the bath water. It could happen mid-bath, so be on guard. Often, the dog's shaking efforts will start out very slowly, flip-flapping one ear, then the other. But don't let the initial gentle spatter of a few drops fool you; this baby's coming like a tidal wave that will mess up your walls, clothes, makeup and hair if you let it.

Step 2

Grab your dog's muzzle gently with one hand at the moment he gets the urge to purge the water from his body. The nose is where all the magic starts. According to Georgia Tech researcher David Hu, the shake starts at the snout, then the dog's loose skin whips and swings a whopping 90 degrees with the resulting tsunami cresting in approximately four seconds.

Step 3

Grab a towel with the other hand and cover your dog while continuing to keep one hand on his muzzle. Towel him dry. When you let go of the muzzle, the dog will shake the water off, but this method buys you enough time to form that terry cloth shield of protection. You can also escort him outside to finish his Elvis-style gyrations.

the nest