How To Get A Dog To Drink From A Bottle?

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by myraellen, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend would like to know if it's possible to make a dog to drink from this kind of bottle:
    [IMG]

    They sell also other kind of bottles that have this kind of cap:
    [IMG]


    In case someone suggest something: they don't sell water bottles for dogs here, otherwise my friend could buy one. They sell them only for people here. We live in Finland.

    My friend sometimes tried this kind of bottle:
    http://www.mustijamirri.fi/tuote/tr-juomapullo-muovi-wire-holder-600ml/031321/
    It was for rodents. Lotta didn't want to drink from it (she didn't want to lick the tip of the tube that's in that bottle). They sell that kind of bottles only for rodents here. Besides my friend is talking about how to get Lotta to drink from the kind of bottle we have linked above.

    So, my friend would like to know if it's possible to get Lotta to drink from the bottle my friend has. She had just seen this video:


    My friend should probably start with that? It should still work although that's not a dog. Although in that video the person puts a syringe into the pig's mouth, when my friend would start to use a bottle later she thought that she would do it this way:
    [IMG]

    It should also be easier that way. When one turns that bottle upside down, only drops come out of it. However, Lotta should be willing to open her mouth by herself. In theory, if Lotta would be willing to drink from it, my friend could pour a little bit at the time into Lotta's mouth. Since my friend could pour drops from it, water should not be lost that much. It wouldn't matter although a little bit of the water would get poured on the ground or on Lotta's fur.

    In case someone suggests to use meat broth, my friend would not want to make it by herself because she is a vegetarian. They don't sell ready made meat broth here. Is there some other kind of liquid in addition to meat broth that could be used in this?
    running_dog likes this.

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

  3. running_dog Honored Member

    Zac often drinks from this kind of bottle, I pour the water slowly into my cupped hand and he laps from my hand and the bottle as well. The more thirsty he is the more likely he is to drink from the bottle.

    Apart from making sure that Zac was not afraid of the water coming out of the bottle I didn't train this he just used the most efficient way to get the water he wanted!
    stdpoodad, kassidybc and southerngirl like this.
  4. myraellen Well-Known Member

    One reason my friend would like to use a bottle is that she might be somewhere where it's difficult to use a bowl.
    They do sell that kind of bottles here:

    However, a bowl is attached to it. It doesn't make any difference what kind of bowl it is and is it attached to a bottle if it's difficult to use a bowl.

    You are saying that a dog can drink from a bottle.

    However, Lotta should be teached to drink from a bottle. She doesn't want to drink from it. It doesn't help if my friend pours water from it.
    The next questions are:
    1) How to teach Lotta to open her mouth by herself so that my friend could pour water into it?
    2) Could the method in the video be applied when my friend would start to use a bottle?
    3) If so, then how? How should it be done?

    We told that:
  5. running_dog Honored Member

    You need to ask yourself why Lotta doesn't want to drink from a bottle.
    Zac often doesn't want to drink from a bottle... because he is not thirsty.
    If she IS thirsty and won't drink from the bottle then either she is afraid of/dislikes the bottle or she does not associate it with giving her water.

    1) This is a video of someone starting to shape their dog to open it's mouth.

    If you try dripping water into your dogs mouth if it doesn't want the water as it will be like punishing it for opening it's mouth. So that's why it would be better to try dripping a liquid treat in as a reward - you could try the juice out of canned dog food (something like meaty chunks in gravy).

    2) If Lotta is afraid of/dislikes the bottle then this method could help her to stop being frightened and be comfortable having it close to her. But I wouldn't use this method myself because there is another way through playing a game that would suit my dog better and would teach him to voluntarily drink from a bottle if he chose to.

    3) Just like in the video except replace the pig with Lotta and the syringe with the bottle. Put something Lotta likes in the bottle not just plain water. Remember that dogs are not always thirsty when we think they look thirsty so make sure you don't end up forcing her to drink when she really doesn't want it.
    myraellen, kassidybc and southerngirl like this.
  6. myraellen Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your quick answer to my friend's questions:)

    Lotta is not afraid of the bottle. The reason Lotta doesn't drink from a bottle is that she simply isn't interested in it even if she was thirsty. When my friend tried to pour water drops from it, she poured them on the floor.


    We told that: "In case someone suggests to use meat broth, my friend would not want to make it by herself because she is a vegetarian. They don't sell ready made meat broth here." You suggested to take it from a dog food can. However, the kind of food Lotta likes doesn't contain liquid. Those foods that do contain liquid are not so good. The question still is: Is there some other kind of liquid in addition to meat broth that could be used in this?

    My friend couldn't see properly what is happening in that video. :D Where else can she find instructions on how to teach Lotta to open her mouth? She doesn't open her mouth enough by herself. So it should be teached to her.

    My friend thought she should start it with a syringe in any case. In the video we linked that pig is not forced into anything. She/he is gradually teached to touch the syringe and eventually to put it into his/her mouth instead.
    running_dog likes this.
  7. running_dog Honored Member

    So Lotta probably does not understand that the bottle is for drinking from.

    First I let Zac (in fact we've used this for all our dogs) drink from my hand (to encourage Lotta to do this you could either dip your hand in her water bowl at home while she is drinking or put a treat in your hand with a little water) then let him get used to me dripping water from the bottle into the palm of my hand (not filling as far as my fingers so no spillage) as he was drinking. Then by dripping the water even more slowly he began to lick it from the bottle too. We don't spill water, the other day I gave Zac several drinks like this as we were travelling on a train, there were no drips.

    If I recollect correctly in that video the trainer is moving her hand towards the dogs mouth offering the dog a treat. When the dog opens its mouth to take the treat the trainer uses the clicker to mark the opening of the mouth as the desired behaviour and rewards. Then the treat lure is faded so the movement of the hand cues the opening mouth and again this open mouth is clicked and rewarded. This can then be shaped into a wide open mouth. For your purposes you will also need to do this reaching down to Lotta so that she learns to look UP at you with her mouth open.

    What happens when the syringe is in the pigs mouth? The medicine is squirted from the syringe. The pig has no choice about whether it has the medicine or not. Nor will Lotta have any choice about whether she has a drink or not. That seems a bit weird to me as I view a dog drinking as a matter of choice unless it is sick and dehydrated. I think you are making things much more difficult than you need to.
  8. myraellen Well-Known Member

    You were probably saying that the animal would get nervous when the syringe is put into his/her mouth. However, in the video we linked that pig is not forced into anything. She/he is gradually teached to touch the syringe and eventually to put it into his/her mouth instead. He/she starts to crab to the syringe with his/her mouth at some point. My friend just watched the end of the video again and she noticed that this is what is happening there: first that person gives treats to the pig. After that she squirts medicine into the pig's mouth while she/he is eating the treats. In that video it says: "Yay! Medicine is in the mouth with no scream, running, or snorting!" So the end result of that training is probably opposite to what you were thinking. My friend thought she would use what is done in the video as the first stage of the training. That way Lotta would get used to that water would be put into her mouth.

    Where could my friend pour the water if she doesn't want to pour it on her hand? Her hand would get slimy if Lotta would drink from it. Should she pour it into a bowl? (n)

    In that video that person starts to use a hand signal at some point. However, Lotta doesn't understand it if my friend moves her hand. She doesn't really look at it. So, what could my friend do in it? How could my friend fade the treats then? Since she would be teaching Lotta to open her mouth for drinking, does she need a verbal cue for it?
  9. running_dog Honored Member

    I don't know where you got the idea that I thought putting the syringe in the animals mouth would make it nervous. I never said anything about that at all.

    I suggested that squirting water into a dog's mouth might not be considered pleasant by the dog.

    The point is that the training is to get the pig used to the syringe.
    The training is NOT to get the pig used to the medicine.
    A pig that size probably wouldn't notice that much medicine, all the running and squealing would be because it didn't want to have a syringe stuck into it's mouth.
    So you can use this training to get Lotta used to the bottle but you can't be sure it will help Lotta to like having water put in her mouth.

    I never suggested a bowl so I feel your (n) is unfair. I did not know your friend has a problem with her dog licking her hand as you did not tell me.

    As I said before:

    In that video the trainer is moving her hand towards the dogs mouth offering the dog a treat. When the dog opens its mouth to take the treat the trainer uses the clicker to mark the opening of the mouth as the desired behaviour and rewards. Then the treat lure is faded so the movement of the hand cues the opening mouth and again this open mouth is clicked and rewarded. This can then be shaped into a wide open mouth. For your purposes you will also need to do this reaching down to Lotta so that she learns to look UP at you with her mouth open.

    Did your friend follow these instructions exactly? It sounds to me like your friend tried to go too quickly.

    Only when Lotta is opening her mouth in expectation of a treat and understanding that the opening mouth is what is rewarded do you fade the treat.

    Does Lotta watch the hand when the hand contains a treat?
    Did she use a clicker to mark the desired behaviour?
    Does Lotta understand the use of the clicker as a marker?
    Did she click just a little opening of the mouth at first so Lotta could get the idea?

    At first she won't get Lotta to open her mouth without a treat in her hand. Try offering a treat from one hand, click the opening mouth and then reward with several treats from the other hand, that way Lotta will realise that the reward is different from the lure.

    The presentation of the bottle should be enough to get Lotta to open her mouth without a verbal cue. If she wants a drink she will open her mouth if not she won't. If you introduce a command you will never know whether she wants a drink or not - unless you expect her to disobey you if she is not thirsty?
  10. myraellen Well-Known Member

    My friend has misunderstood your comment. She thought that you meant that the animal would get nervous about it.

    Apparantely that smile would mean something else that we thought. We're sorry we saw that smile wrong, we never meant to put "thumb down"-smile. I saw (not my friend) that it was smile that was wondering. My friend has not an actual problem that Lotta would lick her hand, but because Lotta is a Spaniel, she might lick it too much. Besides, only a little bit of water fits on her hand because she has small hands. She is not sure where she could pour the water if she cannot pour it on her hand.

    My friend had read the previous comment and she does use a clicker with Lotta...
    My friend has not been able to try that yet. This doesn't relate only on dog training: when my friend does something that consists of several stages, she wants to know how should she start it and how she should continue before she starts to do it. My friend would also like to know how she can apply what was done in the tutorial you have linked. (The trainer uses cues on the video) That's why my friend has asked questions.
    running_dog likes this.
  11. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    If you mean like in this video...at the 1.43 mark...



    At the risk of over simplifying....we just squirted it in her mouth on a hot day.
    648117 and running_dog like this.
  12. running_dog Honored Member

    Thanks for explaining that Myraellen, sometimes I don't see the smilies right either. I think it is the smile next door that is "unsure" like this - :unsure:.

    You are right spaniels can be quite licky! And they can be quite furry too. My dog doesn't lick much, has a long nose, short fur and a tongue like an anteater (almost) so I forget how it would be less appealing to have a spaniel sloppily licking you a lot!

    Oh I see... I'm the kind of person who often jumps in with half an idea and me and the dog figure things out as we go along. But my dog is used to that.

    If I was working on a training plan for Lotta to drink from a bottle I would do something like this:
    1) Follow the pig video but using the bottle not a syringe so that Lotta gets to like the idea of the bottle. I wouldn't squirt any water into her mouth yet though.
    2) Get Lotta to understand (using the clicker) that when the bottle goes in her mouth she gets a treat so that she is looking for the bottle to grab hold of it. Still don't use any water in the bottle.
    3) Offer Lotta the bottle from above so she is reaching up to grab the bottle. No water yet.
    4) Build up duration of Lotta holding the bottle by letting her grab the bottle but waiting half a second before clicking and treating her. Extend this time little by little, sometimes click a short hold sometimes a longer hold.
    5) When Lotta is really confident with the above put a tiny amount of water in the bottle (just enough for a couple of drips). Let Lotta grab the bottle and try to click and treat when a drip of water goes into Lotta's mouth.
    6) When Lotta is really thirsty offer her the bottle, let her grab it and drip water into her mouth... give her a treat.

    How does that sound? No verbal cues, it is all built around the pig video and is cued by the presentation of the bottle. Would that work for your friend?
    MissyBC likes this.
  13. myraellen Well-Known Member

    For JazzyandVeronica:
    My friend couldn't properly see in the video what kind of bottle you do have but we told in the first message:
    "they don't sell water bottles for dogs here, otherwise my friend could buy one. They sell them only for people here. We live in Finland."

    My friend can't just squirt or pour water in to Lotta's mouth. She should first get used to that water is put into her mouth.We have asked advice for it. Running_dog has given some ideas including what has been told in the last message. Thank you for your answer by the way!:) My friend can try it as soon as she can.
    running_dog likes this.
  14. 648117 Honored Member


    I did the same with Holly, she has no problem drinking from a bottle when she wants to.
    Not so sure about Lewis, I don't think he would do it. He doesn't even really like drinking from bowls while out of the house and it doesn't get hot enough that it is that essential that he does.
    running_dog likes this.
  15. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member


    Here in the US they sell water bottles with sport tops for people which are basically the same as the water bottles they sell for dogs. I'm sorry I didn't realize they weren't available everywhere - they are so convenient I can't imagine not having them!! This is what they look like. You just pop up the top and the water squirts out - For a dog it's sort of like drinking from a hose only much neater. (y)

    [IMG]
    running_dog likes this.
  16. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    Your friend may not have been able to see the video because of the music. This is just a video of V. drinking that I took just because I thought she was cute. :p The bottle in this video is a reusable one we bought in a pet store - but it is the exact same thing as the sport top water bottles they sell for people; we use those too - whatever is available.

    running_dog likes this.
  17. myraellen Well-Known Member

    We mentioned in the first message that they sell those here. The reason my friend didn't see what kind of bottle you have was that the dog was already drinking from it in the previous video. It wasn't because of the music.

    My friend has not been able to try yet what was suggested. She is going to do it as soon as she can...
  18. JazzyandVeronica Experienced Member

    Oops, my apologies...you did post a big picture of the bottle in the beginning of the thread, I just forgot and never looked back to the beginning. :X3:

    When your friend tries it; tell her to make sure she is certain the dog is thirsty...a good time to try is during a walk on a hot day, when you can see the dog is starting to pant and would probably appreciate a drink.

    If I offer my dog a drink and she isn't thirsty she'll just turn her head and refuse. Sometimes on hot days when we are walking she refuses and I think she could use a drink so I'll squirt it right around her mouth area and allot of the times it convinces her to take a drink...and sometimes she just says "No thank you I'll pass". :D

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