I hope this is the right forum for posting this -- it’s not quite training, but it’s as close a match as I could find. I also tried several searches, but nothing seemed to come up -- if someone’s already gone through this, feel free to point me to the right thread. Anyway...
For rather mundane reasons, we need to switch the pooches over to water bottles. The full size dog gets it; the little dog is not participating. We want to eventually take the water bowls away completely, leaving him with no choice but the bottle.
He’s a fifteen-pound miniature pinscher. He tends to take a common breed description, “willful,” to the extreme — he knows how to use it, knows what’s in there, but just won’t drink from it.** For the time being, we’re giving him water from his dish in the morning and at night, but he’s clearly thirsty during the day.
We figure as long as he’s getting water like this, he’ll never make the full transition to the bottle, hence the question. We didn’t give him any water this morning. We may not give him any later tonight, but we don’t want to end up in a pattern where he knows he’ll be getting water, and learns he just has to hold out. There are bottles in every room (where there used to be water bowls), and we now also have one in his crate.
Will his survival instinct kick in before he comes to harm? If not, how long do we wait before caving and giving him water?
** What makes us think he knows what to do? Few things. Perhaps most telling is that when we put beef broth in the bottle, he has no problem drinking it. We can go as far as giving him the soup bottle (an identical, second water bottle) for a bit, then taking him out of the room while switching the bottle, and letting him go. He’ll trot down the hall, make a beeline for the bottle, actually take a couple drinks (i.e., find out it’s just water), and then start looking around for the soup.
Also, given that he’s so observant in things like snack-stealing, morsel finding, and toy thievery, his seeing, hearing, witnessing, etc., his brother’s modeling how to use it seems quite suggestive.