odd eating behaviors

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morganmariah
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odd eating behaviors

Postby morganmariah » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:20 pm

I've never encountered this with any dog of any breed... Nala won't eat until Luna eats, while Luna won't eat out of her bowl unless I trick her into doing so. Let me explain...

Luna will eat anything i hand/toss to her, but she won't eat her breakfast from her bowl. I pet her food in her bowl, set it in front of her, and walk off. She eats nothing. I pick up a piece of food from the bowl. She acts as though she didn't realize that was food in there, and starts going through her list of tricks hoping i'll give it to her.

I've been meaning to teach her the "find it" game anyway, so i decided this morning to throw her food around the room piece by piece for her to sniff out and find. She loves it and found all 20+ pieces i tossed. A few pieces landed in an empty drawer, so when she got them out, i set the rest of her bowl in the drawer. She gobbled for a moment, then looked at what she was eating, apparently realized it was in the bowl, and walked off.

Nala started eating her breakfast when I started playing "find it" with Luna, but stopped when Luna stopped eating from the drawer. Now Nala is looking at her bowl and whining like she wants to eat, but won't because Luna still has food in her bowl.

They only started acting like this recently, and nothing new has happened since the last time they ate normally. they've been doing it for about a week or so, maybe a little longer. Eventually, when she gets hungry enough, or when i add bacon or chicken broth, Luna will eat from her bowl, and Nala will stop waiting to eat, but i've never had a dog that wouldn't eat the food they're given, so I don't know if this kind of silliness indicates a problem or if it's just silliness.

Luna is 13.5 months old, Nala is 9.5 months old if that would change anything. (Nala's half husky though so i usually blame her goofiness on that)

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GoingPostal
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby GoingPostal » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:25 am

Feed the dogs in separate areas. Put down the bowl, tell them to eat, if they haven't within a couple minutes pick it up and put it away until next meal time. Repeat until they eat. Alternatively you could get a work to eat toy and feed out of that, give them something to do for awhile, there is no reason you can't use the kibble in training through the day if you want as well, make them earn their food. Either way I would be feeding the dogs out of sight of one another and break this habit before it gets any worse. Is the bag of food new by chance? Are the dogs fixed? Could be going into or in heat if they aren't. How much/what are you feeding?

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:57 pm

In my experience, weird eating habits are totally a husky trait.

Since Buddy died, Obi will leave his food untouched in his bowl for an entire day sometimes. It doesn't bother me, so I just let it go. Once Ev (the human puppy) is crawling, I will need to put it up if he doesn't eat.

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chinchi_&_chupa
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby chinchi_&_chupa » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:25 am

The human puppy :)

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taurustendency
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby taurustendency » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:31 am

Did this ever get resolved? We've got a few weird eating habits going on as well.

When we first got Lego, he wouldn't eat without us and the other dogs being in there with him. And he would scarf it down like he had been starving forever. I don't know his story, before we adopted him, maybe he was neglected or something. After time, he now eats without us hovering, but he still scarfs it down, and what we give him is never enough. That could just be growing puppy though. I will give him more or let him finish the others, as long as he isn't getting chunky. But the speed in which he eats worries me. He gives himself the burps and hiccups. But it not a food aggressive thing. He's just ravenous.

And my boyfriends dog has grown so picky, that she will literally go three days without eating, unless we break down and give her what she wants. Which is people food, table scraps. We don't feed our dogs table scraps, but this is the type of treatment that they get when we visit any one in my boyfriends family. They are constantly feeding them right from their plates, even from their forks! We tell them not to, but they they still do, sneak it to them. Finally after repeatedly asking, they will stop they will, but then the damage is done. It usually takes a few days of normalcy to get back to routine. But this last Christmas has ruined it for this particular dog. She hasn't been the same since. She will literally force herself to go as long as she can, in hopes of getting what she wants.

There's nothing wrong with her physically. Her appetite is fine, she will eat, as long as its what she wants. Over the past few months, I think I have tried every brand of food available. She turns her nose up and walks away from it all. But she will snatch up any human food that is dropped by accident by our son or while cooking. She isn't losing weight, because she always will finally break down and eat...But man this can't be good on her. It's so frustrating.

The only other thing I can think of that happened since christmas is that we got lego. We switched from free feeding, to timed meals. We've had to do this, because Lego would eat everything in sight, if we didn't. This dog that is now being picky, used to be a midnight snacker. She would eat throughout the night. I've thought about leaving some out at night for her only, but I don't want to encourage this odd behavior in any way. I just want to get back to normal.

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sunnygirl01
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby sunnygirl01 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:43 am

GoingPostal wrote:Feed the dogs in separate areas. Put down the bowl, tell them to eat, if they haven't within a couple minutes pick it up and put it away until next meal time. Repeat until they eat. Alternatively you could get a work to eat toy and feed out of that, give them something to do for awhile, there is no reason you can't use the kibble in training through the day if you want as well, make them earn their food. Either way I would be feeding the dogs out of sight of one another and break this habit before it gets any worse. Is the bag of food new by chance? Are the dogs fixed? Could be going into or in heat if they aren't. How much/what are you feeding?



I agree with this. My dogs are fed twice a day and they eat it all right away. They are also fed in separate areas. When my grandmother was in the hospital, we brought her Miniature Sheltie Max home with us. He had always been free fed. He did not eat for several days. In the beginning it was mostly due to stress and the change of environment. I always gave him about 15 minutes to eat and even if he didn't I would take up his bowl. Eventually he learned that his opportunity came twice a day to eat and he got on our schedule. He was never as into food as much as my dogs are but he did get into a routine. Sometimes he ate and sometimes he didn't. He lost a few pounds at my house (which he desperately needed) but he also came a bit out of his shell having other dogs to play with.

It may sound harsh but my grandma always said (when I didn't want to eat what she had fixed for dinner) "You will get hungry enough eventually!". And I usually did! lol!
I hope you both can find something that works for you. That sure sounds like a lot of work for feeding time!

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taurustendency
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby taurustendency » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:44 pm

If your dogs do not have any food or dog aggression, what's the reason behind feeding them all in separate rooms? Just curious.

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Amie
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby Amie » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:06 am

Mine don't have food or dog aggression, but Oscar will eat until he's full and Liberty will eat until she explodes. Oscar runs a little on the thin side, and I have pictures of Liberty looking pregnant because she'd just eaten an entire five pound bag of cat food and her belly was visably swollen... So they get fed separately to keep Liberty from eating all of Oscar's food and him starving to death. Dork.

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sunnygirl01
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby sunnygirl01 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:33 am

Mine are fed on separate sides of the kitchen. My motto is don't ask for trouble. I don't want to have to break up a dog fight over food. I feel like this way they will never be in a position to fight over food. I am a preventative maintenance kind of person... lol

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taurustendency
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby taurustendency » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:23 pm

Hmmm. I understand the idea of taking preventative precautions. But I'm a "don't fix what ain't broken" kind of person. My three do everything together. We do our tricks for treats together. Everyone is respectful of space and each others treats. They watch and take turns. They sleep together. We have 5 beds for them, and sometimes they choose to lay together. The two older girls have never played together, but each takes their turns playing with Lego. They will all lay on our bed with us together. They ride together, not caring who's hogging the backseat and laying all over eachother. Everything but the car rides even include the cat. I guess with all this togetherness, I can't bring myself to start separating when it comes to mealtime, unless it's needed. So far it hasn't been. They each wait patiently, while I prepare it. They don't race from bowl to bowl. They eat and that's it. Lego always finishes first. They he sits and waits for the others to walk away, and he finishes theirs. Even back when we free fed from the same bowl, one would eat while the other waited about 5 feet away. 99% of the time they each have their own bowl. But occasionally i practice getting them to eat together and right next to each other. Sometimes I will only put down two bowls. Sometimes just one. They just take turns. They totally understand how they should behave. One will go get a mouthful, back away and drop it, and start eating it...while another will do the same. Then the third as well. I do these exercises to ensure that they always stay tolerant of each other. two of them will even eat head to head from the same bowl. But mostly they are just respectful of each other's space and wait. I practice this tolerance , because I don't want to have to ever worry about it. We have an open floor plan in our kitchen area, it's really nice to be able to put the bowls down and go sit on the couch, or go sit down to dinner ourselves, without having to worry about it.

Maybe I am humanizing their thought process too much, but I fear that if I do start to treat them differently and start separating them...that that is what will cause them to worry about their food too much and get protective. I don't know. Obviously I am very observant about it, and will continue watching them for signs of behavior changes. I know that when Lego ages, he will need more attention. But for now, things are great just the way they are. With the exception of the picky eater.

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AllisonPitbullLvr
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Re: odd eating behaviors

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:33 pm

taurustendency wrote:Maybe I am humanizing their thought process too much, but I fear that if I do start to treat them differently and start separating them...that that is what will cause them to worry about their food too much and get protective. I don't know. Obviously I am very observant about it, and will continue watching them for signs of behavior changes. I know that when Lego ages, he will need more attention. But for now, things are great just the way they are. With the exception of the picky eater.


That's key-- being aware that things could change and being proactive if they do.


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