What is one of Seattle’s most consistent “behaviors”?  Rain, which mixed with dirt and dogs is not always a wonderful combination (at least for the humans).  My dog loves the rain.  It’s like watching a furry pig in mud.  Digging and rolling, if he had more brain space I would argue he just wants to bring as much of the sublime soil to give our desperately lacking carpet a doggy-upgrade.

My dog is certainly not unique but I never mind the doggie-disaster of his snout-to-tail beauty bath.  This is because we have a toweling ritual we have developed that makes the job much easier.  Many dogs naturally love being toweled off so for them not much training is required.  However, other dogs—particularly those who are naturally less inclined for ritualistic massages—have towels tossed on them and their paws grabbed while we have the expectation they should understand: you reap what you sow.  Nobody wants to chase an agile dog covered in mud.

When it comes to wet and muddy dogs, management is essential.  No dog owner should live without fixed baby-gates.  Place one wherever you bring your dog in from outdoors so you have a confined area to dry Fido off.  In a worse case scenario, you can always leave them there to air dry and then brush the dried mud out of their hair for later vacuuming.  This can be a particularly useful tool for apartment owners who don’t have access to a hose and don’t wish to splatter mud up and down their bathroom walls.

Now for the disenfranchised doggie participant of grooming sessions, you have to teach them that grooming is ok and worth the tolerance.  Grab a big bag of tasty treats and not just the good stuff, I mean the really good stuff.  Show them the towel and then give them a treat; then rub their chest with the towel and give another treat.  At this point increase one second for every repetition without Fido trying to escape.  Be sure you work up to the areas they may not be comfortable with: legs, paws, toes, tails, face, ears, etc.

It would also be a good idea to start this training when your pooch is not completely covered in mud.  You can do this training even if the dog is dry.  Our only objective is for your pooch to think that the towel equals awesome treats that fall from the sky.  When they stand still for you, keep dishing out the yummies and in no time at all you will have a towel-draped dog with a waggly-tail and a future of much cleaner carpets and furniture.