Dog Barking at Water Bowl? Here’s How to Stop It!

It’s the oddest thing: your dog barks at their water bowl. What in the world is going through their mind? Why does your dog bark at his water bowl? And what if it’s a new thing? Why is your dog suddenly scared of her water bowl? Are they having fun? Why does your dog playing with his water bowl?

Today, we’re going to end all of the confusion for you by answering every single one of these questions. We’ll also cover how to stop your dog from barking at the water bowl, of course. This will soon all be behind you for good! Keep reading below for our article “Dog Barking at Water Bowl? Here’s How to Stop It!”

How to Stop Dog Barking at Water Bowl

Dog Barking at Water Bowl

To get your dog to stop barking at the water bowl, they need to learn to become quiet when instructed. To accomplish that, bring your dog somewhere you know they’ll want to bark such as the park, with lots of small dog treats. Keep them on their leash and stay a good distance away from the other people there.

When your dog starts barking, say “quiet” in a positive, calm voice. If they focus on you, then reward them right away with a small treat and praise. But if they quickly resume barking again or never quit, then you should hide a treat inside of your hand.

Place your hand very close to your dog’s nose. Your dog will still be able to detect the treat even inside of your hand and will stop their barking to sniff it out. Once they’ve become quiet and are also giving you their full attention, again give the “quiet” command and then open your hand to reward them with a treat and praise.

If your dog continues staying quiet, keep rewarding them with praise and a treat. But if they start to bark again, regardless of whether it’s at someone at the park or at you, repeat the steps of hiding a treat inside your fist, placing it right next to their nose, and then waiting until they’ve quieted.

Make sure that you’re waiting until your dog has gotten silent before you give them their rewards. This helps create a positive connection for your dog with giving you their attention and getting silent any time you say “quiet.” Reward them with treats and praise immediately when your dog is responding well.

With time, repetition, and consistency, your dog will get quiet solely by you giving them the command, and you won’t need to put your hand next to their mouth. You should then begin lengthening the duration of time before you give them any rewards. Start with just a few seconds, then increase that to 5 seconds, and so on.

Before long, the food rewards and praise will no longer be needed and your dog will stop barking at the water bowl or at anything else solely by giving the “quiet” command.

These steps should help you make a lot of progress with getting your dog to stop barking at the water bowl, but you still need to address the fact that they ever thought this was an appropriate response to any feelings of anxiety they were experiencing.

To properly cover that, we must first discuss what makes dogs function and has for thousands and thousands of years now. You’ve likely heard before that all dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.

But when your dog barks at the water bowl, they are definitively proving to you that they have no trust for you in this leadership role.

If they did, they wouldn’t bark at their water bowl and refuse to quit even when told. They wouldn’t engage in any other types of anxiety-related misbehavior or disrespect. And they would immediately obey your commands at all times, and they would do so happily.

Show your dog that you are not just their pack leader, but a capable one worthy of respect, and you’ll make all of these terrific transformations your reality.

Obviously, you’ll be better off. But your dog will be too because they’ll no longer have to deal with all of the worry and confusion that their anxiety issues are currently burdening them with every single second of every single day.

Sounds like a wonderful thing, don’t you agree?

“Sure, absolutely, but how do I actually do this then?”

You should watch a tremendous free video series which is on this exact subject — how to be your dog’s pack leader — by a renowned trainer named Dan. In the series, he explains all you’ll need to know in ways that are very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you can start seeing these important changes in your dog before things escalate any further.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress, because no, you’re not going to have to be mean or yell at your dog. Dan uses only 100% humane and loving teaching methods at all times. Not just because they’re the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

Why Does My Dog Bark at His Water Bowl?

Your dog barks at his water bowl because he might be feeling fearful or anxious due to the water tasting funny, or scaring him for some reason. If he’s barking while still drinking, then resource guarding is likely. While it may look like your dog is barking at his water bowl, he’s actually warning others to stay away and just isn’t stopping drinking to do so.

In the case of resource guarding, it will likely be accompanied by growling and grumbling. You’ll likely see them having the same issue with their food bowl and with their toys. This is a dominant behavior that can’t be allowed to continue, as if left unchecked, it will turn into more severe aggression.

Barking due to anxiety also needs to be addressed right away or you will give your dog the idea that responding in this way to the things which worry them is acceptable. Their anxiety and worries will continue to grow and pop up more often, and they’ll continue to respond by barking uncontrollably. It’s annoying for you, but a lot of suffering from them.

You can now see why you need to address things as soon as possible, no matter whether your dog’s barking issue is due to anxiety or resource guarding. Dogs who don’t receive your help will soon be barking at other people, objects, and animals in addition to their bowl.

You’ll see that your dog barks at hedgehogs, barks at planes, barks at the toaster, and even barks at the microwave — pretty much anything will be a possible target. To learn how to stop your dog barking at his water bowl and all other things on command, go back to the first section now.

Why Is My Dog Suddenly Scared of Her Water Bowl?

Your dog is suddenly scared of her water bowl because she had a recent negative experience that is causing her anxiety. She may have had water that tasted funny or made her feel sick. She may have accidentally bit the edge of the bowl or knocked it causing a large, scary sound. Dogs have extremely sensitive hearing, so a loud noise could easily be painful to her.

She may even feel sick and doesn’t want to drink, which could appear as being fearful of her water bowl. If you’ve noticed no other signs of sickness (lethargy, loss of appetite, etc), then it’s likely that she just had a bad experience in the past few days which is causing her to feel worried around her bowl.

Why Does My Dog Play With His Water Bowl?

Your dog plays with his water bowl because he has a lot of pent-up energy and is looking for any source possible to let it out. He may even be seeing his reflection in the water and doesn’t realize that it’s not another dog for him to play with. Many dogs also enjoy splashing in the water, and you may find him putting his paw into the bowl to do so.

Ensure that your dog has plenty of more appropriate things for him to play with, such as toys specifically made for dogs. Keep these wherever your dog spends significant lengths of time (inside, the backyard, the car, etc). Replace toys as they become worn so that your dog will always have something safe and made for them on which to focus their attention.

I’m sure you’re looking forward to your dog not acting strangely, so I’ll let you get started now. Best wishes with everything, and we hope you found our article “Dog Barking at Water Bowl? Here’s How to Stop It” helpful!

The Author



Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge on dog training and behavior, while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.