Dog with water bowl

Dog Gone Problems is a weekly advice column by David Codr, a dog behaviorist in Omaha. David answers dog behavior questions sent in by our readers. You can reach him at momaha@owh.com.

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Dog Gone Problems,

I just read your advice about over-drinking after scouring the web trying to find a way to clean up my dog's drinking habits. Would you happen to have any advice for SLOPPY drinkers?

I've owned labs and boxers most of my life, and I've never seen more messy drinkers than the following two examples:

When my mother's boxer, Xena, drinks water, she trails it all over the place. We've always attributed it to Xena's jowls. Although they looked normal (or the same as other boxers I've owned), she was just that much more messy. This past September, my wife and I rescued a whippet hound (at least we're 95 percent sure that's what he is) and he does the same thing – with essentially no jowls.

Any help, insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Rick

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Dear Rick,

Have you considered getting an elevated dog food and water station?

When dogs drink water, they bend the tip of their tongues back to scoop the water into their mouths. Because of this, dogs needs to be in a nose-down position to drink.

When you have a water bowl on the floor, the dog’s head is as low as the floor. As a result, the dog is scooping water almost directly upward, which makes gravity more of a factor. Little droplets are missed, and when they fall down, they fall out of the dog’s mouth and onto your floor.

By elevating the water position by half the vertical distance (between the dog’s nose and the floor when standing), the dog doesn’t need to tilt its head as far down to drink. This reduction in the angle of the tilt results in less droplets onto the floor – as most misses are caught by the water bowl itself.

Additionally, an elevated water bowl causes a dog to tilt his head up when moving away. This tilt up reduces dropping as well.

Good luck and remember: Everything you do trains your dog, only sometimes you mean it.

David

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Submit your pet questions to David Codr by emailing a photo of your dog and question to momaha@owh.com

Visit doggoneproblems.net for more from David.

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