A quantitative long-term fluid consumption and fluid-licking assay was performed in two mouse models with either an ∼2 Mb genomic deletion, Df(11)17, or the reciprocal duplication copy number variation (CNV), Dp(11)17, analogous to the human genomic rearrangements causing either Smith–Magenis syndrome [SMS; OMIM #182290] or Potocki–Lupski syndrome [PTLS; OMIM #610883], respectively. Both mouse strains display distinct quantitative alterations in fluid consumption compared to their wild-type littermates; several of these changes are diametrically opposing between the two chromosome engineered mouse models. Mice with duplication versus deletion showed longer versus shorter intervals between visits to the waterspout, generated more versus less licks per visit and had higher versus lower variability in the number of licks per lick-burst as compared to their respective wild-type littermates. These findings suggest that copy number variation can affect long-term fluid consumption behavior in mice. Other behavioral differences were unique for either the duplication or deletion mutants; the deletion CNV resulted in increased variability of the licking rhythm, and the duplication CNV resulted in a significant slowing of the licking rhythm. Our findings document a readily quantitated complex behavioral response that can be directly and reciprocally influenced by a gene dosage effect. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.