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Discussion Starter #1
Here is our dilemma....would love everyone's take as we have ruled out any medical issue......

Our 5 month old female GSD has an obsession with water. It has been this way since she walked into our house at 12 weeks.

Background:

At 12 weeks she was bought from a pet store and 3 days later given up to our rescue due to their young son's allergies. Looking over her paperwork and researching the breeder, she was most definitely a puppy mill dog out of Ohio.

She began guarding the water bowl (along with other things) at 12 weeks! She would back up my two full grown males whenever they even walked into the vicinity.
We have worked her through the guarding issue intensively and she no longer guards, she is even to the point of allowing the other dogs to drink right along with her from the same bowl harmoniously.

Our issue....she has developed an obsession with water. She will empty the water bowl, lift the lid on the toilet, jump into the bathtub after someone took a shower, dive into the sink when doing dishes or simply running water, eat snow and obsess with puddles.

What I can't figure out is how to alter the learned behavior. My thoughts are at one point she was without water. Either at the puppy mill or pet store. I thought once she had access to water it would slowly go away as the need would be met but that hasn't been the case.
I also thought about inundating her with water by allowing her to have as much as she wants but she will go through bowl after bowl without stopping.
She goes out on a leash so I can limit the obsession (she also climbs the fence!) and during walks I reward her for "leaving it" around puddles and snow.

Here is my thought....begin shaping the behavior I want. If she lifts her head for a moment from the bowl, reward. And so on until she gets rewarded for walking away. But I also don't want any ill effects of this training either since I have never seen it in action/after affects.

I would love any ideas as I am at a loss. We have come across this in rescue many times but like I said, once water is available the behavior slowly abates. Not the case here :(
 

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She is pretty young yet. If it were me, I wouldn't be too worried about her antics yet. Just keep up with the training. Now if she's still being a water spaz at a year and a half old, then I would start to wonder.
 

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I used to have two water buckets on opposite ends of the house and out in the yard to prevent water guarding.

My current dog is almost 4 years old and still goes crazy for water. He goes insane for the sprinkler and for any sort of moving water. I have to be super careful when we go to Duluth so he doesn't jump off the sea wall to get into the water. I don't see any problem with his water obsession.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
One of our major issues with the water thing is house training. I cut her water off at 9pm so by 11pm she is emptied or she would not make it through the night.

But during the day she could drink so much water that just walking towards the door is enough to make her burst.

Literally she could float away.

I can see the point of waiting a while longer to see if it gets better with age, but I definitely do not want this "obsession" to continue into adulthood.
 

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Our little boy of 11 weeks loves water himself. I could fill the bowl to the top but he would try his hardest to drink every last drop in there if I did that. We only fill a little at a time so he doesn't drink so much and for when he dumps it there is less water to soak up.

I'm also hoping it is something he will grow out of with age. Right now he always has his paws in the bowl then flips the bowl spilling water every where and feels the need to carry the empty bowl (usually has a little bit of water) around the house with him.

Its exhausting....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had to buy a really heavy ceramic bowl because she gets so obsessed when it's empty she will literally fling it around the house.

Just a moment ago she banged the bowl so hard against the washer that it broke :(
 

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My 17 month old male loves the water. He likes to lay in puddles, stand his front legs in our outside water bucket, tip his inside water bowl over and lay in the mess. He has even attempted to get into the toilet water. He loves the water. I just have to be careful about putting the toilet lid down and not allowing a full bowl of water in the kitchen.
 

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I had to buy a really heavy ceramic bowl because she gets so obsessed when it's empty she will literally fling it around the house.

Just a moment ago she banged the bowl so hard against the washer that it broke :(

I don't know what else to do about the water situation myself. Maybe I should just guerrilla glue it to the floor, but something tells me even that wouldn't be enough. lol
 

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Not to be a downer on this, but has your vet checked her kidneys/renal function? Recently spoke with someone about a dog obsessed with water and she was in the early stages of renal failure - still a puppy.
 
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