Dog Site - Dog Stuff
Dog Forum | Dog Pictures

Go Back   Chazhound Dog Forum > Dog Discussions and Dog Talk Forums > Dog Training Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:05 PM
Crothall Crothall is offline
Active Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3
Unhappy Dog Refuses Food - Eats Trash Instead

Hello,

My wife and I adopted a 2 year old female Black Lab a few months ago.
She's well trained and good natured, great with the kids - we're quite happy with her.
I'm not sure what her eating habits were before, but when we adopted her we were given a 3/4 full large bag of Pedigree dry food and told that it was what she was accustomed to.
We noticed that she didn't really take to it though.
At first we thought it was just due to her settling in, but she began to refuse it all the time.
Uncertain, we tried other food, which she loved, but this started a trend;

- Refuses food, refuses to eat.
- We buy new food
- Dog loves new food, wolfs it down
- Three to four days later dog gets tired of it and wants new food.
- Refuses food, refuses to eat.

Well I planned to put a stop to that cycle and quick.
We refused to change up her food.
And she would refuse to eat.

We now put her food down and take it up after about 20 minutes if it's not eaten.

She paces, she knows that the food will go soon if not eaten, but she still refuses.

(when I say she refuses, she gives in and eats it maybe 20% of the time)

So how is she surviving without (hardly any) food?

She's constantly in the garbage or eating the cat food, the second our backs are turned. She knows this is bad, she's submissive the second we walk in the door (often before we even realize what she's done, but her body language says it all).

This dog has an iron will. It's been 8 months and this is still going on.
She paces around the house and has the face of a poor mistreated and forgotten dog who's owners aren't feeding her.
It makes me feel bad, but I KNOW she'll eat the food - she couldn't get enough of it the first time she had it!!

This is really killing the whole dog ownership experience and making it more stressfull.

Any tips or suggestions?

I'm open to any ideas, but I am NOT willing to buy her new food every four days as her whims change.

Please help.

I hate feeling like a bad owner.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:13 PM
Kat09Tails's Avatar
Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
*Now with Snark*
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Upper Left hand corner, USA
Posts: 3,352
Default

First off Pedigree is a garbage food. Please don't feed it.

Feed the cats in a room the dog can't get to. Put the garbage in a spot she can't get to. When your eyeballs aren't on the dog put the dog in a crate.

Here's how morning routine goes with my lab. I wake up, lab goes outside the back door. I scoop/prepare a bowl of chow, I put it outside the back door. 30 minutes later I pick up the dish. Repeat. No healthy dog will starve themselves. Eventually she will eat and at 8 months she may need to go a couple days but she will eventually eat. Don't hover, and don't punish. The dog doesn't "know" anything.

This is a management problem.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:19 PM
Crothall Crothall is offline
Active Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3
Default

Interesting, Kat09Tails.
Is your dog typically an outside dog?
Or do you just feed your dog outside?


BTW1
Pedigree was the food she came with.
She's on Purina right now.

BTW2
She was never, to my knowledge, in a crate.
I don't suspect that starting her now would go over well......would it?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:22 PM
*blackrose's Avatar
*blackrose *blackrose is offline
"I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 6,291
Default

My dog is like this to, and it is something she has done since she was a puppy. I currently just free feed her. To keep her weight, the bag says to feed 2 cups of food a day so I keep 2 cups of food down in her bowl for her. She'll nitpick at it and eat anywhere from four cups to a half cup a day, sometimes going a day without eating anything. She has stayed at a steady weight so I'm not concerned. When I was giving her a set feeding time (put the food down and pick it up after so many minutes if she hasn't eaten it) she would literally go days without eating and was loosing weight, so offering her food at all times has worked out for both of us. I'm going to switch to a new brand of food with Chloe to see if she will take to it any better or not. Wish me luck!

So you could try offering her a set amount at all times and see what that does, as that worked pretty well with Chloe.

You could also try maybe buying a few different kinds of food (in smaller bags) and then rotating them every few days. I know it is cheaper to buy in bulk, so that may get pricey buying multiple small bags of different brands.

Or you could try adding some tasty tidbits to her dry food. Cooked eggs, beef, chicken broth, unflavored yogurt, spoonful of canned dog food, cooked veggies, chicken...the list goes on. This will keep the main diet the same, but will provide the variaty she obviously wants.

If you are up to it, switching to a raw diet might be the solution, too. But that is a lot more complex than just buying a different brand of dog food every week. Still, it is something to look in to.

EDIT:
Yes, definitally keep the cat food out of the dog's reach, as well as the trash. Chloe will scrounge out cat food any chance she gets and she will counter surf to find food any chance she gets. If you keep everything picked up you don't have the aggravation of her getting in to it.

AND - Purina isn't such a great food, either. You can check out some of the forums here for what would be a good diet for her. Basically, you want to avoid a grain heavy food (corn, wheat, etc.) and you want to try to find a food heavy in named meat meals.
__________________
Cynder, Daddy's girl Little Lab muttly and Abrams, Momma's boy Chesapeake Bay Retriever
~*~ DOB 1/28/2006 ~*~ DOB 4/11/13 ~*~

Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:24 PM
lizzybeth727's Avatar
lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 6,403
Default

I agree. If she's eating cat food and getting into the garbage, she may just not be terribly hungry for her meals.... kind of like eating dessert before your dinner. You might try offering her a smaller amount of food whenever you do feed her, it's possible she's just eating too much at one meal to need to eat a lot at the next meal.

It's also possible that she could have an underlying health problem; though you'll know if she becomes emaciated. If she's a healthy weight, even a few pounds underweight, there's probably nothing to worry about.

It's also true that she doesn't "know" it's bad to get into the garbage or the cat food; what you see is her being scared of you being mad at her. Dogs are instinctually scavengers; they will eat what they can find, whenever they find it. They should never be trusted around available food, it is a given that they could eat it.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:26 PM
Kat09Tails's Avatar
Kat09Tails Kat09Tails is offline
*Now with Snark*
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Upper Left hand corner, USA
Posts: 3,352
Default

I have six dogs. I separate them at feeding time to prevent squabbles. It just works well to put her outside in the backyard while the little dogs eat inside since she's a bit too big for wildlife to fly away with.

Willow isn't an entirely outdoor dog, she does spend a lot of time outside in late summer through end of hunting season to keep her coat in condition and acclimated to the chill in the air while wet. Actually next month is when she goes back to being outdoors 24 hrs a day. She'll likely be an inside dog again around Thanksgiving.

Purina isn't really much better than pedigree. It's still mostly corn and wheat. There are lots of dog chows that are better and protein based. If cost is a consideration even Kirkland (costco) brand is better than purina and half the cost.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:29 PM
lizzybeth727's Avatar
lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 6,403
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crothall View Post
Is your dog typically an outside dog?
Or do you just feed your dog outside?
The location where you feed your dog shouldn't really matter, the principle's the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crothall View Post
BTW2
She was never, to my knowledge, in a crate.
I don't suspect that starting her now would go over well......would it?
You can certainly train an adult dog to use a crate. IMO crates are extremely important, not only for management situations like this; but if she ever has a medical problem where she should not exercise for days/weeks at a time, if she needs to be boarded, if she needs to stay at someone else's house, etc., crates can be extremely useful and are often absolutely necessary. You can do a search in this forum or in the puppy forum for advice on how to crate train.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:33 PM
*blackrose's Avatar
*blackrose *blackrose is offline
"I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 6,291
Default

And, as something else Chloe does that makes no sense to me...she'll eat her food if the other dog is eating its food. It is like she thinks, "Oh, crap, that other dog is hungry so I have to gobble my food up before he eats it all." But if the other dog isn't eating, she won't either. What can I say: my dog is weird.
__________________
Cynder, Daddy's girl Little Lab muttly and Abrams, Momma's boy Chesapeake Bay Retriever
~*~ DOB 1/28/2006 ~*~ DOB 4/11/13 ~*~

Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:41 PM
Maura Maura is offline
Top Dog
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: The Mitten State
Posts: 630
Default

Buy more dog food. This time, get a food whose first ingredient is a meat. Yes, you will pay more for the food, but you will see great benefits from it.

Put kibble into dog dish. Add water, as much water as kibble. Call dog to you, ask for a sit. When she sits, place dish on floor and say "dinner" in a soft voice. Step back. Walk away. Give her twenty minutes. If she is a slow eater, she may need more time. Pick up dish. Repeat this three times a day. Because she hasn't been eating, her stomach may be too small to eat what she needs in two meals.
__________________
Forever Home: A Guide to ReHoming the Rescued Dog, from Wild Rose Press www.foreverhomebook.net
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-20-2010, 11:36 PM
Crothall Crothall is offline
Active Pup
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3
Default

Wow.
A lot of replies, and quick!

Gyp (short for Gypsy) is not underweight.
She's actually a bit overweight, believe it or not.
That's why I'm not afraid of her starving.
It's more of a matter of getting this under control.
I've tried switching up her feeding times, to no avail.
A friend (and former dog trainer) suggested taking up the bowl after 20 minutes to add a sense of urgency.
Her dogs get so excited at dinner time.
Mine is so indifferent.
We've tried other types of food.
Wet food mixed in with the dry.
Wet food separate from the dry.
Water on the dry.
Dog-branded gravy on the dry.
All things work great for a day or two, then she just gets bored and it gets wasted.
That's why I stick to dry food only - cos it can be re-used. ;p
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:29 AM.


1997-2013 Chazhound Dog Site