How to Bathe a Lab in the Bathtub

A Labrador retriever's gentle nature makes bath time much easier.
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As a general rule, Labrador retrievers don't require many baths. The natural oils found in a Labrador's fur usually repel dirt and keep the dog generally clean. However, it's a good idea to give your Labrador retriever a bath about four times a year (such as once per season) to keep the skin and fur healthy. Although they can be washed outside by hosing them down, when it turns colder, it's a good idea to give these dogs a bath inside. Keeping the dog happy with praise and dog treats will go a long way in allowing you to give your Labrador retriever a bath in a bathtub.

Step 1

Brush your Labrador retriever's coat fully using a slicker brush to remove any mats or clumps of fur that might have formed.

Step 2

Lead the dog to an empty bathtub. Close the bathroom door, if possible, to close off any potential means of escape. Give your dog several dog treats as a form of enticement and reward.

Step 3

Turn on the faucets slowly, using warm water. Wet down your Labrador retriever's entire coat using a cup.

Step 4

Place a small dollop of shampoo in one of your hands and rub it onto the dog's back. Work up a good lather, adding more shampoo as necessary. Work in sections, such as the Labrador's torso, chest, back and stomach, then hips, hind legs and tail, and finally the front legs and neck. Use caution when using soap on your dog's head and face. Place the shampoo on a fingertip when working in the lather.

Step 5

Rinse the Labrador retriever's coat fully using clean water from the faucet.

Step 6

Use a cream rinse conditioner on your Labrador retriever's coat if the fur feels dry or coarse. Apply the conditioner in the same manner as the shampoo. Allow the cream rinse to set on the fur for a few minutes before rinsing.

Step 7

Towel dry your Labrador fully before opening the door and turning it loose. Feed it a couple of dog treats as a reward for putting up with the bath.


  • Use cool water rather than warm water if your dog is recovering from a pest infestation, such as fleas or ticks, as its skin may be sensitive to the warm water.

  • Keep a leash on your Labrador retriever, if necessary, if it keeps trying to get out.

  • Get into the bath with the dog as another way to help keep it inside the tub.

Items You Will Need

  • Slicker brush
  • Dog treats
  • Cup
  • Dog shampoo
  • Dog cream rinse conditioner (optional)
  • Towel