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Old 09-12-2008, 07:54 PM
Goddard Goddard is offline
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Default Training, food, treats

Hi all,

This forum has been amazing. Thanks for posting all the great advice. I've been reading like crazy.

My question for the day involves the amount of food I should be feeding my puppy. He's a 3 month old English Shepherd (med/large breed). Right now he's about 19 lbs and we think he'll grow to about 65-70lbs. He loves loves loves training, including dashing across the park to "come puppy" and searching for us behind hiding spots.

Our vet told us two weeks ago to feed him 1 cup of Innova a day (1/2 in morning, 1/2 in evening). So we've been trying to limit his total intake, including the freeze dried liver treats, to the 1 cup a day. So about 1/2 a cup in the morning, 1/4 for dinner and 1/4 of mixed kibble and freeze dried liver for training treats. Sometimes, we reserve the whole evening amount for treats. But even if we just feed him one piece of kibble or a very small piece of liver, we end up going through the amount we've allocated. Is the 1 cup a day enough for him? Can we go over with the liver treats? Should I not feed him the full 1/2 cup in the morning? Or are we over training him?? Any other activities that he might enjoy that can be done in the evenings?

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Old 09-13-2008, 10:36 AM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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1/4 cup of training treats doesn't sound like a whole lot to me.... Course I train service dogs, and they get about 1-2 cups of treats per day. Still, I think you could up the treats to about 1/2 cup a day without a problem.

Do you train more during the day or in the evening? If you train more during the day (anytime between your dog's breakfast and dinner), I'd suggest cutting the breakfast down to about 1/4 cup, and then use the other 1/4 cup of kibble as training treats, mixed in with other treats if you want. If you train more in the evening, then keep the breakfast at 1/2 cup, dinner 1/4 cup, and then 1/4 cup kibble as training treats, plus other treats. Make sure that your training treats are cut up into small pieces - about the size of a pea. I don't know what size of kibble you're feeding, but I often even break kibble in half and give one piece of kibble as two treats.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:08 PM
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Domestika Domestika is offline
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Just my two cents, but my 3 month old GSD is eating more than 3 cups of dry food a day. She's about the same size as your pup now and will probably end up being the same size as your dog, give or take.
So, to me, 1 cup a day seems like...not much? But that's just my two cents. Of course your vet would know better, or you can see if your dog is growing and healthy and putting on weight at a good rate and all that and then adjust as needed.
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Old 09-13-2008, 03:28 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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It depends on the food, Domestika.

Innova is one that has a good concentration of nutrients and is calorie dense, so you don't feed as much of it as you would many other kibbles.

Goddard, the best advice I can give you is to monitor your dog's growth. You will be the best judge of that. Puppies take growing spurts when they NEED more calories, and if your pup is active (as he will be during training) he's going to be burning more calories.

Just watch and if he seems to be getting a little chunky, dial it back a little.

Oh, and congrats on finding a vet who recommends a superior food!
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Old 09-19-2008, 07:14 PM
Goddard Goddard is offline
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Thanks for the help. We bought a scale and have been tracking his weight. Not entirely sure what good weight gain should be but we'll figure it out.

I also tried breaking the kibble and liver up into smaller bits. It's going further so that helps. I'll keep him on the one cup/day for a while and see what his weight does.

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Old 09-19-2008, 07:25 PM
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ihartgonzo ihartgonzo is offline
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I agree with Renee. Feel your puppy's ribs/backbone daily... and get an idea of what is healthy for him, and what is too ribby or too padded. There is NO perfect daily number of calories for any dog; for instance, if he's running around the park, doing long-distance recalls and getting a hard work-out for an hour, he's probably going to burn off all of the treats you're giving him, anyway.

Unless you are feeding several handfuls of unhealthy treats, I wouldn't even count them into the daily food intake, personally. Feeding healthy treats like freeze-dried liver, chicken, soft food rolls (ie Red Barn), etc, and feeding them in lots of tiny pieces, is not a ridiculous number of calories (after all... 1 cup of kibble has VASTLY more calories than 1 cup of plain chicken) and shouldn't put any weight onto a growing puppy or a dog at a healthy weight. If you go over your daily "quota" and you want to feed more treats, you could even give him little pieces of apple, banana, or baby carrots.

<3 Erica, Gonzo & Fozzie
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