My two dogs may just be the exception to the rule. They both like baths. For crying out loud, Clover sleeps in the bath tub just for the heck of it (or if hiding from the big bad thunderstorm). They like the water (warm) and the suds (as long as I keep it out of their eyes), and the rinse down (warm, again).
Both Clover and Cosmo have been known to jump in the shower with me when I’m least expecting it (and scare the hell out of me). Its not unusual to be in the shower, and have one or both of the dogs come check to make sure I haven’t turned into a prune. While Cosmo doesn’t like to swim, he doesn’t mind getting hosed down or lathered up in the tub. Both will jump in the shower, but won’t go out if its raining. Go figure.
I started taking Clover, and then both of them, to a local Dog Day Care to use their self-serve dog wash a while ago. Let’s face it, its tough on the old back and creaky knees to wash the dogs in the bath tub. Not to even mention how freakin messy it can get. Their self-serve dog wash is a real professional set-up. The place I go to has one giant stainless steel tub that has fold out stairs and a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub. There’s also a great sprayer with hot and cold water and the most crucial thing – a short lead that keeps the dog from wiggling around. I bring my own shampoo, but use their set-up including clean towels. One of the best things is the fact that THEY clean up!
Neither of my dogs need any coaxing to get into the tub. One day when I was setting up .. you know, putting my purse up on the table, getting the apron on, getting the towels lined up, I turned around, and both of my mutts are sitting in the tub. They both climbed up the ramp, and were waiting for their bath!
Being that both of my dogs are wash & wear labradors, I tend to hose them off more often then give them a full blown bath which they get about twice a year. But when they do get bathed, its not that big of a deal anymore.