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6 months with our rescue and still afraid of the water dispenser

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Charley has lived with us for almost 6 months now, and I am still trying to get him to drink out of the water dispenser, it is a dish with a water jug on top. Before I put the jug back on when I fill it, I encourage Charley to drink out of the dish and it is fine, add the jug and it becomes a

monster. He watches the cats and the other dog drink without them

flinching when it glugs, but he always reacts if he is nearby when it does.Needless to say, I have a separate water dish for Charley. I would like to get down to one dish. Charley is a wonderful dog, he is beginning to settle down where every moment out of his crate doesn't have to be a busy one.

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I think the simplest answer is, "Give him time."


Let him continue observing that this is a good thing in everyone else's mind and one day, he will probably come to the same conclusion. Eventually, when he gets to the point where the gurgle does not cause any reaction in him when he is close by, it might be nearing the time when you could "wean" him off his own dish. He may even let you know when that time has come by being brave and giving the water dispenser a try on his own.


Best wishes!

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Do you do any clicker training with him? I would try to associate good things (treats, tricks, meals, fun interactions with me) with the water dispenser. Every glug would be cause for a little celebration and treats or a quick game. Since I clicker train, I would train right by the dispenser, including training things like a nose and paw touch.


He might get over his fear on his own with time. Most of my experience with canine fears is with Shelties and they often do not tend to get past their concerns without assistance. At one point my girl became frightened of the reclining sofa after living peacefully with it since puppyhood. It got to the point where she wouldn't come into the living room. I began feeding her meals on the sofa. I also fed her treats for coming up on the sofa and sitting with me. With this encouragement, her fear subsided in stages until she no longer worried about the sofa.


Good luck with Charley!

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