When a dog gets wet you can rest assured that a puppy drying session is soon to follow. Violent shaking followed by sprinting around the house. It does not matter if a dog is covered in mud or water, the dog tornado will follow. Why do dogs run after baths?
It is Something About Being Clean
Dogs love to be stinky. When you force a bath on a dog you are stripping your dog of all the wonderful scents that come with being dirty. Dogs intentionally roll in dirt to smell like dirt. Dogs roll in the carcass of an animal to smell like the animal and mark it as their own.
Being clean strips a dog of all their hard earned smells. These smells are delicious to a dog. What we think smells good does not smell good to a dog. Our perfume and shampoo is an awful punishment for dogs with sensitive noses.
Dogs love natural scents. It is how they make sense of the world. Vision is to hunt or scavenge for a dog. Hearing is an early warning system. Smelling is how a dog knows you. Smell is how dogs remember other dogs.
Stripping a dog of the natural scent is removing his or her identification. For people, it is like being naked. Or the feeling when you lose your id. You need it, just like a dog needs to smell like a dog. This is one answer to why do dogs run after baths.
Why Do Dogs Run after Baths?
Now we know dogs need to smell like dogs. Stripping your dog of that scent is a bad idea. But a bath does not ultimately lead to the reaction we see after a bath. The urge to roll in things is to smell like a dog.
The urge to sprint away also has something to do with being cornered. If you are cornered you will feel anxious and worried. When you give a dog a bath in a human bathtub, you are putting your dog into a small room and blocking the exit.
Your dog has no escape. The feeling of being cornered forces a natural reaction of trying to get out. Your dog does not want to fight you or defy you so will suffer in the tub. But as soon as your dog sees an opening, you will have a runner on your hand. This releases the anxiety and uncertainty of being cornered.
How to Combat the After Bath Run
The annoyance that comes after a bath are multiple. Why do dogs run after baths? To get more doggy smell on them. Just as it is to get out of the corner you trap them in. The final, often ignored facet is the water factor.
Luke warm water is okay for a dog. At least for a while. But a dog will get cold. This sense of urgency to escape a tight situation only gets worse when you make your dog shiver.
The easiest way to combat the running after a bath is to use warm water. It seems silly, but most people let the water get too cold. You can also combat this cold by using a dry bath. Comb the dirt and grime out of your dogs coat and use a dry shampoo bath.
People have dry shampoo products and so do dogs. Sold commonly as a water-less bath product, it works swimmingly. You use the mouse like substance to rub into the coat. Then you brush or comb the residue and dirt out.
The dry shampoo approach can be done in a bigger room or outside. Most will clean, soften fur, and will not strip your dog of identifying oils. Your dog will still feel like a dog after a dry bath.
You Can’t Stop the Wet Shakes
When dogs are wet their natural instinct is to shake. You can’t stop that. You need to be quicker than your dog in order to prevent the shakes from getting everything wet. If you turn your back for a second, your dog will bolt.
I prepare for this by having one large towel on the ground. If the bathroom is large, I place multiple towels. Followed by a stack of at least two towels right next to me. All of my bath supplies must be at my side.
When the bath is over, I scoop my dog up and start to dry. While still in the tub and water is draining. The pre-dry leads to a semi wet dog jumping out the tub, where I grab with towel three. I then go right outside with my dog after grabbing the scruff, and let the shaking begin.
Dogs run around after a bath because they are cold, they lose their scent and it is natural. You cant beat nature, but you can mitigate its damage. This is why do dogs run after baths.