I use a great puppy shampoo called True Blue Puppy Shampoo and I really like it. It’s very gentle and rinses out completely. I never wash the face on the first bath. I just wipe the face with a damp cloth.
For drying, I use a small towel, then switch to a microfiber cloth that really absorbs the water (like the ones for drying your car). Then I use a blow dryer on low to get them used to the air dryers. When they are older I use the best dryer called the Flying Pig. It’s one of the few dryers that has a heat setting. If you have animals where it’s cold in the winter you have to have the heat setting or your small dog will freeze with just air blowing on him/her. But the Flying Pig is very powerful and for small puppies it’s a little too strong. After the pups are a bit larger they can handle it. Start slow and easy. Each dog is different. All of ours are great with the loud, strong Flying Pig air dryer except one of them doesn’t like the air hitting her face; the rest of her body is fine – just not the face.
I’ve always started bathing my dogs fairly early because doing it is the only way to get them used to it. They will be having many baths during their lives, so I start early and
it becomes just another ordinary thing in life.
When bathing, I always talk and/or sing incessantly to the puppy. I do tend to sing to them a lot! Each of our dogs seems to have his/her own song. Plenty of “good puppy”, “now we’re going to soap you up”, “let’s get you all rinsed”, “you’re all right”, “good job”, “you’re fine”, you’re doing so good”, and many more phrases. I talk or sing continuously to reassure the puppy.
I must say I’ve never had any difficulties bathing a Coton de Tulear puppy or adult. They are so accepting and trusting. It is an important bonding ritual. Be kind and gentle as you mold this little soul.