How to Train Your Dog to Drink from a Water Dispenser

Easy
2-7 Days
General

Introduction

There will be many times you and your dog will be out and about and he will need fresh drinking water. When you take your dog on long walks or hikes or just to a dog park, you might need to teach your dog to drink out of something other than a conventional water bowl. If you are hiking, the less you must carry the easier your hike will be. With different options available and different scenarios of places and situations your dog may need to access water, you may need to train him how to drink out of a water dispenser so he can remain hydrated when he's away from his water bowl.

Defining Tasks

There are items on the market available to make your life easier when you are out with your dog and need to supply him with fresh water. An adapter to a water bottle is simply a cap that will go over the water bottle with a little ball inside to control the water flow. Think of it as a large hamster water bottle. There are also water bottles with sides that flip out and create miniature water bowls. Your dog should also know how to drink out of a running water fountain. Many city parks may have dog water fountains that are low to the ground and require you to just step on a pedal to get the water flowing. Others will only have fountains for people, and you may need to train your dog to use one.

To teach your dog to drink from a water dispenser, you are going to need to practice. You will need access to different dispensers your dog will use for water. So, if you are taking your dog to a dog park, you may need to introduce him to a water fountain while at the park so anytime he is in this situation he has access to water. This should be fairly easy to train and you can teach puppies as well as adult dogs.


Getting Started

To teach your dog how to drink out of certain water dispensers, you may need those items on hand. Obviously, you can't carry a water fountain with you, so you should go to various places that have water fountains and allow dogs to drink. Whether these are higher people-sized fountains or the lower, ground-level dog fountains, he will still need to know how to drink with running water. Taking water bottles on walks and hikes with you can help teach him how to drink directly from a water bottle or from an adapter on a water bottle. Be prepared with treats, lots of praise, and excitement.

The Water Bottle Method

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Step
1
Pet adapter
Add a pet adapter to a water bottle. These can be found in pet stores. Your dog may not be interested in drinking straight from a water bottle unless you make it enticing at first and he understands what this funny thing is.
Step
2
Entice
Add chicken broth to the water. This will encourage your dog to drink because he will smell the delicious chicken broth instead of just the water.
Step
3
Encourage
Pet adapters for water bottles have balls in the cap, and as the ball rolls around the water releases. This controls the water flow for your dog. You may need to encourage your dog to drink by rolling the ball a bit yourself and releasing some of the chicken broth, or at least the scent, from inside.
Step
4
Command
Each time you bring the water bottle to your dog's mouth, hold it upside down vertically so he just has to lick the ball to get the water flowing. Each time you do this used the command ‘drink water.’ This will help your dog connect this new water bottle to the action of drinking.
Step
5
Adjust flow
You can adjust the flow on these pet adapters for water bottles making it easier for your dog to drink.
Step
6
Reward
Once your dog is used to using a water bottle for drinking, the reward itself will be getting water. However, while you're training your dog to drink from a water bottle, be sure to reward him with a small treat and excitement for a job well done.
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The Large Opening Bottle Method

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Step
1
Introduce
Introduce a bottle of water with a large opening to your dog. The opening should be large enough that your dog can get his tongue inside. Sport drink bottles often have large openings. Toy or small dogs may be able to get their little tongues inside the opening of a normal sized water bottle. Be sure you're not using a water bottle that is too small.
Step
2
Entice
Unless your dog is extremely thirsty, he's not going to do much beyond sniff the water bottle. Entice your dog to drink the liquid by adding chicken broth to the water to give it a scent and a delicious taste.
Step
3
Peanut butter
If your dog is still not interested in sticking his tongue into a large opening on a water bottle, put a little bit of peanut butter on the outside and as he licks off the peanut butter, he will discover the tasty chicken broth flavored water inside.
Step
4
Tilt
Be sure you are tilting the bottle as he drinks the water so the water stays near the top of the opening. Don't tilt too much. Your goal is to not pour water down your dog's throat, rather let him lap it from the top of the bottle.
Step
5
Reward
Give your dog lots of love and praise when he successfully drinks from a water bottle. You can also offer him a small treat to reward for a job well done.
Recommend training method?

The Water Fountain Method

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Step
1
Introduce fountain
You may find water fountains in your local parks or along pathways on hikes. You can also buy water fountains for your home and to hook up to your hose. Introduce the water fountain to your dog and teach him this is where fresh water comes from.
Step
2
Playtime
If you are using a hose or an attachment on a hose to create a water fountain your dog can control by stepping on, consider creating a little bit of play time. Most dogs will play with a small amount of water as it pours out of the hose. Many dogs won't like to be sprayed with the hose, so be sure not to make your dog uncomfortable and scared of the water flow. Once he is comfortable with play, he’ll realize this could be drinking water.
Step
3
Public fountains
Some areas have low water fountains for dogs and some areas do not. A dog water fountain will typically have a pedal to get the water flowing where it will settle into a bowl before draining. These fountains are typically easy for dogs to use, however, if your dog needs to drink from a taller water fountain, you may have to teach him. Large dogs will have to place their paws up on the water fountain, while smaller dogs you might be able to hold.
Step
4
Introduce the water
If your dog is hesitant to drink from a public fountain, put a little water in your hand and place it on his lips and tongue, letting him drink and lick off of your hand. You can also create a bowl by cupping your hand. Continue but move your hand away so your dog can drink directly from the fountain.
Step
5
Reward
When your dog successfully drinks from a fountain or a running hose, be sure to reward him. When you are out and about at a dog park or outside all day, keeping your dog hydrated is really important. Drinking from a running water source can be challenging for some dogs. Be sure to reward your dog when he does well.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Bella
Chihuahua mixed pug
2 Years
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Question
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Bella
Chihuahua mixed pug
2 Years

Bella goes crazy when ever she see another female dog outside barking and turning around in circles how do I get her to calm down

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
92 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the question. Is this new behavior for Bella? I suggest the best thing to do is work on her obedience commands. Doing so will stimulate her mentally and as well, help her to listen when you are asking something of her. Sit and Down are excellent commands that can go a long way in any situation. https://wagwalking.com/training/perform-the-down-position https://wagwalking.com/training/sit. Do you have a favorite toy to distract her with when she barks? Another option is to put a barrier in front of the window so that she does not see out, but that would be a last resort. A view is nice for her, for mental stimulation. Try the Counter Conditioning Method here, too: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-attack-other-dogs Good luck and happy training!

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Question
Louie
Maltese
6 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Louie
Maltese
6 Months

The dog lick too gently on the roller of the dispenser. How do I train him to lick harder?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Fann, Try putting a little bit of peanut butter on it. Also practice drinking from it more often and after she has just exercised outside so that she will be trying to drink enough to quinch her thirst. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Nova
APBT
3 Years
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Question
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Nova
APBT
3 Years

She is by far the smartest dog I ever had. She learns tricks sometimes in a few mins to a couple days. She is fully house broke but that was no easy task. I tried everything I could think of and friends and family suggestions. Her brother (also an aunt about 8-9 yrs old) is very vocal and let's me know when he needs to go outside. I thought she would follow suit. After about 8 months of her still using my carpeted floor as her bathroom she just stopped one day. Right before I pulled all my hair out. She hasn't had an accident since. She's doesn't bark or talk much as all and we're trying to teach her. She doesn't let me know when she has to go outside. She doesn't let me know when she needs to come in either even when it's 30 below here in Minnesota. I have forgotten her once. Wasnt long. Only about 15 mins and it wasn't 30 below but I remembered and opened the door and there she was waiting and shivering. I would have heard her had she told me (barked). Her brother wasn't out with her or he would have barked to come in. She only ever barks at strangers and then only when her little big sister (my first dog, a chihuahua 7 yrs old and she runs the show) barks. And let me tell you. The little one is the biggest instigator ever! Otherwise I wouldn't know Nora's bark. As for bathroom, I just take her out periodically. She can hold it 8 hours and more. 8 hours is the longest I've gone with her and only in special circumstances otherwise she comes to work with me everyday. I work outside. So we're struggling teaching her to use her voice when we ask. She knows what we want and sometimes obligates. Otherwise everything else she learned easily and likes to learn. She's a pleaser and very observant of my emotions. She has taught me patience. She can be sensitive and yelling at her affects more than I ever thought it could affect a dog. I dont put my hands on my pets. I use a spray bottle and it works wonderfully even on my husband. When nova was younger I have had to pin her down and make her relax and submit but it's been at least a year since then. She's amazing and silly and keeps me laughing everyday. I'm ready to hear your suggestions. Oh and shes not very treat motivated. She can take them or leave them. Food isn't a big deal for her. Thank you for your time and knowledge
Amy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, First, I recommend teaching her to ring a bell to go outside - I would still work on the barking on cue, but she is going to be more likely to alert you when she needs to go outside if its with something she is more comfortable with, and she doesn't seem to be super comfortable barking. Teaching a bell: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out You can also create something outside that would ring or buzz when she pushes it outside - like a doorbell but at her height, and teach her to paw at or push that with her nose - the same way you taught the bell on the inside of the home. As far as the barking though, first, you need something that can consistently trigger the barking. Check out the article linked below for details on how to teach barking on cue once you find a trigger. Finding the trigger will be the hardest part - test out door knocks, other dogs barking - like videos, howling videos, sirens - either recordings or literally go somewhere like a park that's near a hospital or fire station and see if the sirens will trigger it for her when they are close enough by. Off-key music or singing can sometimes trigger it, having someone knock on the front door loudly, or really exciting play. Pay attention to what does motivate her - since she doesn't love food, what about tug of war or fetch? You can use anything that motivates her as a reward in place of a treat, you just need to praise right when pup does the barking/howling, then give the reward right after - like a quick tug on a toy, lots of praise and pets, a short ball toss, ect... Barking video: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-speak You can also teach pup to bark by "capturing" when she does it on her own, like when she barks while playing you say speak and immediately give a reward and praise right after - even though she was barking on her own. For this to work you have to catch her barking a lot of times though - so I would work on trying to trigger the barking through things like sirens, door knocking, and howling dog videos first. Doggie doorbell option: https://www.chewy.com/mighty-paw-smart-bell-20-potty/dp/162572?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=Mighty%20Paw&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KCQjw8rT8BRCbARIsALWiOvT8PvcY1yd5WjVEsZMUuMMiBgkk5DmatjREU-duCxvv6bH0X9nAWU0aAgUqEALw_wcB Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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