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Puppy Digging at her water bowl

February 19th, 2009, 07:02 AM
All, this is my first puppy so everything is a bit new to me. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced a 5 mos old puppy who digs are her water bowl (empty or full, doesn't matter) and what you've done to stop it? My dog shares the water bowl with the cats (by the cats choice not mine, they have their own water bowl). I've tried freezing the water and ice cubes - which just makes a game of puck chasing on my kitchen floor. I tell her NO or OFF and she'll stop, but then go right back at it. Thanks

February 19th, 2009, 07:13 AM
my beagle did that for all of her 15 yrs...just a little quirk of hers we learned to accept, we kept her water dish on a dog tray to catch the stray water

February 19th, 2009, 07:56 AM
All of my dogs did that as puppies. Bentley is almost 2 now and he still does it. Water dish is set in a boot tray to catch most of the water.


February 19th, 2009, 08:17 AM
My 22 lb. Eskimo will try to swim in his - we also have it on a special tray. Although if I pour his water into a teacup he will drink it very daintily. Go figure.

February 19th, 2009, 08:31 AM
Any behaviour can be taught or stopped with consistency and training. If digging in the water bowl is unacceptable to you (which it is to me!) you can teach your dog not to do it.

My puppy liked to dig in the water bowl when she first came home. When she first did it, I'd distract her with a 'HEY! NO!' - get her attention and redirect her to something else. I don't believe in over using NO! and only use it for things I NEVER want her to do - jumping on people, digging in the bowls, harrassing the cats - things that are never okay to do.

Once I knew she understood I didn't want her doing that, I started correcting her when she did it. I use a spray bottle with water or a loud noise. So I say 'NO!' and squirt her with the water or make the loud noise to startle her. I don't pull her away from it because I want her to stop on her own and learn not to do that.

She's now 4.5 months and I haven't had to give her any 'trouble' for it for a few weeks. I'm sure she'll try it again and I will have to correct again - training is an ongoing thing!!

The most important thing is consistency - consistency - consistency. If you want to stop it, you can never allow your pup to get away with it. If they are able to do it sometimes and you stop it other times - it is way more difficult and confusing for the puppy. Consistency is the key.

Being a certified professional dog trainer makes me cringe when people just accept a behaviour. Like I said, anything can be taught or stopped with consistency and you don't have to accept that you have to live with water on the floor for your dogs life. Dogs actually like rules and boundaries - you just have to teach them what they are!

February 19th, 2009, 08:32 AM
My 22 lb. Eskimo will try to swim in his - we also have it on a special tray. Although if I pour his water into a teacup he will drink it very daintily. Go figure.

LMAO :laughing::laughing::laughing: Pictures please!!!!

Mydogmarlee, this sounds kinda cute. :cloud9: Perhaps put a placemat under the bowl to absorb the water but for a puppy if that is the worse of your problems you are getting off easy! ;)

February 19th, 2009, 08:36 AM
diandpat - I can't post pictures! - Which is kind of academic anyway. If he sees a camera pointed in his direction, he freezes, flattens his fur and pulls in his facial muscles to point you almost wouldn't recognize him. At his weekly socialiation, one of the ladies had her little digital camera going and caught him playing with her 10 lb. Pap - they were adorable - until my Eskie saw the camera and then froze and grimaced and it looked as if he was being beaten up by the Pap. (This instead of all of the dogs having their way with him - his tail is somewhat tantalizing.) But he is cute with the teacup. Ever so dainty for an anything but dainty dog.

February 19th, 2009, 12:44 PM
There are bowls specially designed so that your dog cannot dump them or splash water all over. I have them because I have newfs and newfs tend to dig in their water dish. Apparently it's a throwback to needing to break the ice to get to water.

Here's a link to the kind of bowl I have:

I also found that this bowl made it so hard for the newfs to dig in that now they don't dig in their water no matter what kind of bowl its in.

February 21st, 2009, 02:18 PM
My dog never did this until I tried one of those dishes with the large reserve bottle of water (to keep him hydrated through the summer).
About ten minutes after I set out this new 'game' he'd dug about half the water onto the floor.
Dogs are weird..sorry no advice. I've seen lots of dogs do it, so it's not that unusual.