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Removing Water From His Bowl

Brooke Fenge

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Hi all

My 11 week old Shih Poo, Sunny, has suddenly started trying to remove all the water from is water bowl before he drinks it. He is using his paw to splash all the water out of the bowl (and flood my kitchen). He then drinks what's left in the bowl. After watching a few times, I have noted the following:
- he is not exhibiting body language that would indicate he was scared, stressed or upset
- he is not exhibiting body language that would indicate he was playing a fun new game
- he does not seem to be trying to interact with a reflection in any way
- he genuinely seems to be deliberately trying to remove the water from the bowl, before drinking what's left in the bowl.

I have tried using different bowls (both reflective and non-reflective) and having them in different places. I have tried only putting a small amount of water in the bowl in the first place so that he doesn't have to splash it out himself. But he still does it!

I've tried ensuring the water is always clean, just to ensure it isn't because he's trying to remove bits of stuff from the water.

He's got quite floppy ears so I wondered if he just didn't want to get his ears wet. But he seems to not quite grasp the fact that the water is now shallow enough without needing to make a mess . Perhaps he just needs to get accustomed to a new depth for him and spend some time figuring it out. If he keeps doing it I might buy him a non-spill bowl.

Anyway I thought I would post this just in case someone else has experienced the same thing or its actually common and I'm completely getting the wrong end of the stick and should try something else.

That's an interesting one! I've no idea why he's doing this - maybe you're right about the ears - but I was thinking, if you put his water bowl in something like a shallow litter tray, would he be able to do this without making a mess of your kitchen?

Or, if you only put a tiny bit of water in the bowl, would he still do it? If not, you might be able to put a few down so he doesn't run out and go thirsty, and if this gets him out of the habit, you could gradually increase the amount of water to a level that he's still happy with (maybe always having to leave more than one bowl).
How about using one of the slow feeders for his watero_O
He probably wouldn’t be able to do it with a Road Refresher. That doesn’t actually solve the root cause, but it may prevent him from doing it, and if he gets out of the habit he may forget he was doing it.

They are available from other suppliers too.

Unfortunately, as far as I know, they are only made in plastic (I prefer stainless steel). If anyone has come across a stainless steel one, please, please tell me!
My deerhound pup does this most evenings ...I have put a washable mat underneath the water bowl which is ceramic ...
If you look up 'water bowls for dogs with long ears' a variety come up. They are high sided bowls and a bit narrower so the ears stay on the outside, if that makes sense!:) You might be able to find something that is suitable and worth a try. A cocker spaniel that used to stay with me used them quite happily without getting her ears wet or covered in food!:D
(if it is his ears that are the trigger that is, they also maybe harder to dig in!)
This is very interesting behaviour! I think it might be floating it by a dog behaviourist too! Robin struggles with getting water (due to long nose!) and we have the kitchen floor flooded constantly! I have his bowl raised and put sponges under this helps. It might be worth checking his tongue is alright too? just belt and braces!
As @Hemlock says, it could just be fun, remember a poodle is a water retriever after all!:D

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