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Woof Wednesday: Dog Water Maniacs

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magic standing in water bowl

Magical-Dawg as a baby LOVED to play in his water bowl--messy!

Is your dog a water baby? Today’s Ask Amy responds to a reader with a “water maniac” dog who can’t seem to stay dry no matter what. Some dogs come by the urge due to breeding, such as retrievers who live for diving into water. But even my Magical-Dawg thinks chasing the water from the hose is nearly as good as Frisbee Fetch.

But how do you handle waterlogged pooches as the weather gets cold? Water play and games can be a wonderful pastime in hot weather. Some parts of the country continue to suffer unseasonably warm weather and you can refer to these tips including water games to keep hot dogs cool.

My concern, though, would be for Magic to become used to splish-splashing in the tank (that’s Texan for “man-made pond”) and then try to do the same and fall through winter ice. There’s probably no chance of that this year–our drought has dried up the tanks–but drowning can be a problem for water-loving hounds. Just because they can swim doesn’t mean they won’t drown if they can’t get out of the water. Here’s an article on drowning first aid and water safety as a “just in case” that I hope you’ll never need.

Are your dogs water fanatics? Or do they avoid getting furry tootsies damp? How do you keep them safe? What other suggestions would you have for the owner of the doggy-slob in this Ask Amy?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

6 responses »

  1. A few times in his younger days (he’s almost 6 months now), my Border Terrier splashed in his water bowl. But after our long hot DRY summer, now the rough and tumble boy doesn’t even like walking in wet grass. I’m guessing it’s because he didn’t experience that in his early days? Wonder what he will think of snow this winter.

    • I think it does have something to do with early experiences, Mary. As you can see in the picture, Magic from very early days (even before we got him) stood IN his water bowl–the whole litter I think climbed in to drink. He went through a phase of “digging” the water out of the bowl and thank heaven’s he outgrew that!

  2. I’m sort of agreed on the “learn to live with it” stance. It’s natural for them, it’s fun, the water play is its own positive reinforcement. Now, it’s possible, if pup can learn enough self-discipline, that you might redirect the behavior, like some people train dogs that it’s OK to jump up/bark/etc SOME times and not others – see if you can train her to a certain cue that says “it’s ok to splash now”, and that might work. Depends on the dog. I’ve known some who could catch on to that sort of thing easily… others with the attention span of a fly. LOL

    If all else fails in the winter, find a room in the house that’s a bit more “splash proof” and put her water bowls there, or let her hop in the bathtub for a little while each day (hey, dog that would like a bath, that counts for something, right?) – throw some suds down, clean your floor, double deal! 😉 This sort of goes with the redirection thing too – find a way to show her that outside and that room are her “splash zones” where it’s OK to be messy. I suspect some of it would be similar in pattern to potty training, since it’s another case of “you may do this here, but not there”.

    I don’t think I ever had a dog of my own that was such a water hog… we did have a cat that way once. I do believe I have mentioned my mom’s old cat (the one with no breastbone) who once surprised my sister by jumping into the bath with her? Apparently he was happy as could be, just paddling around in the water. Of course, he also dipped his feet in the water bowl, and in the toilet until we started keeping the lid shut.


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