Water play is fun and in the summer getting wet makes a puppy cooler. It is a self-rewarding behavior that can be hard to stop. So how do you stop your puppy from strolling water all over the house by digging in the the water bowl? Well…..It is easier to change your method of giving your puppy water than to train him not to play in it.
I suggest doing away with water bowls all together and use buckets instead. We attach ours to the outside of crates with either a clip or a carabiner. When we have very young puppies, we attach them with 2 clips, one on each side to give it greater stability. The way we have them attached, puppies can’t get into them. Dogs cannot tip them over. However, we do have the occasional puppy who will enjoy sticking his paws in the water without tipping it over. We simply raise the level until it is too difficult to be worth the effort to get paws in. Once the habit is gone, we lower the bucket back to ground level. We use stainless steel buckets between a quart and a gallon in size.
Stop water bowl digging by giving him water in something besides a bowl. In time, he’ll outgrow this stage and you can go back to normal bowls.