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Am I doing something wrong here? Genuinely, let me know if there's something I can/should be doing...

Occasionally my 2 year old dog steps in other dogs water bowls. Steps in them. Making them dirty.

It seems relatively rare. But, he does it quite intentionally.

Most people brush it off as a dog thing. Whatever.

There's one guy at the park -- who seems to be there every evening for hours, so can't avoid him -- who gets annoyed, and has essentially been berating me for not controlling my dog.

If my dog did it often enough that I could be there, react, and reinforce NOT doing it, sure... I can see how I can do something. But, it's rare... though, he seems to do it a lot more with this guy's water bowl (I'm actually thinking he's reinforced the behaviour by constantly emptying, rinsing and refilling the bowl as soon as my dog dirties it...)

So, I found myself in an argument about this at the park. I don't wanna be the guy getting in these stupid pet situations at what should be a friendly park. So what am I missing? Is this other guy over reacting? Or is he reacting normally but needs to accept that this is just something that happens? Or is this actually something that I, as the pet owner, should know how to control? And if it's the latter... how?
 

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My first thought is, if this guy is that finicky about his dog's water, he should stand by the bowl and stop any dog who tries to touch it. He could carry the bowl and pour a little water out for his dog when the dog comes by, instead of laying it there. He could have learned this himself after having to replace the water several times, however, for some reason he continues present the invitation for dogs to step in it and starts arguments. (I'm assuming he approached you?)

I personally wouldn't be annoyed if another dog did this repeatedly to my dogs water bowl. It's a dog park. :p Its the first thing i would expect.

I was at a dog park recently and I saw a dog go up to someones water bowl, put his two front paws in, and had a blast splashing all the water out. Everyone laughed in shock as the dog then continued to roll in the dirt and get muddy.

However if your dog is doing it a lot, and you want to avoid it you can teach the "leave-it" cue. You'll have to keep a good eye on your dog though.
 

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If your dog is making a nuisance of himself and stepping in another dog's bowl, why not dump out the water, rinse and refill the bowl yourself?
 

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It's a dog at a dog park acting like a dog. I wonder how he'd handle having a Great Dane taking a big drink out of the bowl and slobbering it up? I personally would refill the bowl, unless the man is being nasty about it, then I'd just avoid him. It's not worth fighting over. Honestly the guy sounds snotty, unless your dog is doing it constantly. Then I can kind of see the irritation. The dog parks I've been to a lot of people bring bowls and fill them, so there is always fresh water around. When the bowls get dirty someone dumps and refills them. Even just drinking gets dirt in the bowls.

Teaching 'leave it' would probably be a good idea. It's one of the first things I work on teaching all my dogs, it can be a life saver. Maybe also teach a good solid recall and call your dog away from him. You could suggest he pick the bowl up when his dog isn't drinking, to prevent other dogs from getting it dirty too. I'm not so sure he would take that well though.
 

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If his dog doesn't mind it, he shouldn't either. Also, if this guy gets upset because his dogs water gets dirty,maybe then he shouldn't be at a dog park.
 

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This reminds me of a time on a different forum some girl was claiming that (having never been to a dog park as she lived in the UK and they don't have them) all dog parks were "dirt fields saturated in pee" and her dog would NEVER touch a ball that had the slobber of another dog on it, and that she thought they were disgusting.

Sounds like he's a bit snotty, though if it happens rarely I would just refill the water bowl for him since it's such a big deal to him. If he gets rude with you trying to refill it then I wouldn't bother even giving him the time of day. Our park has a plastic pool for summer and Cosmo will dunk his big dirty paws in there every single time I refill it. Oh well, it's a dog park.
 

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Personally I would just do what I could to prevent the situation. Might not make sense to others why it bothers him, but it does.

Since he's a regular you know him and where he hangs out. I would just keep my dog in a different area of the park, recall as needed to keep my dog away, and also stick close to my dog to hopefully body block the man's dish as a last resort.
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It's ridiculous, but sometimes people are very strange with things that bother them. Levi used to LOVE to dig in the water dishes at the dog park. Never at home, just at the park. It made it difficult to work on at home, so we just practiced recalls and leave-its. He hasn't done it in a loooooong time, so seems like it worked. Everyone at the park thought it was really funny, and I had lots of water to replenish, so maybe that was why.

There was one guy at the dog park who was super annoyed that Levi was wrestling with his dog. So I would call Levi off, his dog would run over to Levi to continue the wrestling. So they would go back at it, and the guy would complain that Levi was going to "rip his dog's ears off". The guy wouldn't come get his dog, regardless of how far away I walked away with Levi. Then he was annoyed because he told me I was leading his dog away. :eyeroll:

People at the park have their quirks.
 

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I would pay 0 attention to this guy. It's a dog. What does he expect? It's not like you're the one going around and putting your muddy feet in the dog's water bowl.. Don't even give him the time of day, in my humble opinion.
 
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