Experiences will no doubt vary, but if I recall correctly, our breeder gave our Skippy a bath the day we picked him up (8 weeks old), and then we gave him his next bath when he was 11 or 12 weeks old.
Originally Posted by Lynne
As for nail cutting, I usually cut his nails every 5-6 weeks, when there is around 0.6-0.7 cm of length between the start of the pink 'quick' and the ends. I probably let his nails grow out longer than most before cutting, and don't cut them too short, because like you I'm afraid to make him bleed...
For us the other sure sign he's in need of a nail trimming is when we can hear him go 'clack clack clack' on our hardwood floors at home.
Edit to add: For both activities we've 'bribed' him with treats since his very first bath and nail trim, in order to have him associate the activities with something positive. Also make sure to introduce any foreign objects (e.g. nail cutter, shower hose) gradually, to give your pup time to recognize they aren't threats. It's worked for us at least, as he's never protested or struggled during either activity.
I waited a couple weeks to give Lady her first bath, like you I took her home at 8 weeks. It's best to not wait too long because like you said it's good to start getting him used to it.
As for nails, I found puppy nails got very pointy and scratchy - similar to cat claws! That was the point when I decided they needed to be trimmed. I used to do them myself when she was super young - I did them when she was sleeping and usually did a few at a time every couple weeks just taking little bits off at a time. Once she got older though she wouldn't let me do them anymore...probably because she can sense my anxiety! Now I bring both girls to the groomers for a nail trim and pad shave every 4-6 weeks.
We got Bentley when he was 10 weeks in the dead of winter so when the snow started to melt he'd get muddy feet when he was put out to potty. We had a "bar sink" in our laundry room, rather shallow, and he was small enough to get all 4 feet in there with me holding him carefully, of course. I only washed his feet. He was a tad nervous and he still balks a little when he hears the word bath but behaves perfectly well once he's in the process.
Well, I got Fletcher in April last year and by mid-May he was swimming in the pool with us almost everyday. I rinsed him off with the hose every day and I ended up using dog shampoo like once a week. Our pool has chlorine and its a needed evil in our summers :) But I think dogs are like people we are all different, Mr. Monster's skin is VERY sensitive while I never have any problems. This winter or since the weather got cold he has had ONE complete bath because that's all he's needed, I do use a spray in conditioner and brush him daily. I'm only hoping the love of water and lack of problems with his skin continues this summer....I'm counting the days until we can open the pool and USE it. It's only 40 today but soon
I have been giving mine a bath once a month with Hartz Extra Gentle Shampoo for Dogs. But not sure if its good or not. Sammy seems to love taking a bath and once climbed into the shower with me once. Glad that I was just finishing up lol