How to Bathe an Anxious Dog Outside

Keep bath time positive with the right bathing technique.
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An anxious dog may fret and whimper when bath time approaches, but a prepared owner can handle even a stressed dog with a few tricks. When you know how to make a bath a positive experience, you can bathe an anxious dog outside without stress. Keep the process low-key and your dog should cooperate with your efforts.

Step 1

Gather a generous supply of dog treats to reward your dog for good behavior throughout the bath.

Step 2

Set up the wading pool in a location within easy access of the hose. Line the inside of the pool with old towels to prevent your dog from slipping. Fill the pool with enough water to make it knee-level on your dog.

Step 3

Attach the leash to your dog's collar, if possible, to ensure your dog does not escape during the bath. Hold the end of the leash during the bath to keep your dog in place.

Step 4

Brush your dog well before bathing it to remove tangles and knots in the dog's fur. If you do not de-tangle, any snarls in the dog's fur may become tightly matted.

Step 5

Give your dog one or two treats to coax it into the wading pool. Get your dog wet by spraying it gently with water from the hose.

Step 6

Apply the dog shampoo to the dog's fur and gently work the shampoo into a lather. Keep talking to your dog soothingly and telling your dog how good he is doing. Give your dog a treat every few minutes while you lather its body with soap.

Step 7

Remove your dog from the pool before you rinse. Rinsing your dog out of the pool ensures that you remove all the shampoo from your dog's underside.

Step 8

Rinse your dog well with the hose to remove the soap. Give more treats to keep your dog cooperative and keep talking in a soothing voice.

Step 9

Dry the dog off thoroughly with the old towels.

Step 10

Give your dog a few more treats after you finish the bath and tell your dog how well it did.


  • Bathe your dog outside only when the weather is warm or you may stress your dog from cold temperatures.

  • Create a bathing routine that your dog will recognize to reduce anxiety.

  • Bathe your dog as quickly as possible without causing stress. Most dogs do not enjoy baths.

Items You Will Need

  • Dog treats
  • Child's wading pool
  • Old towels
  • Hose (with spray attachment)
  • Leash
  • Dog brush
  • Dog shampoo