View Full Version : Food Frenzy

28th March 2006, 10:02 AM
Hi all,
Twinkle could not be more different to Daisy Boo regarding food. Daisy Boo has always been fussy and a really slow eater. Twinkle cries when she know the food is being prepared, dives into the bowl and eats without breathing resulting in 5 minutes of burping (which can be very funny). Needless to say, I have to feed them separately or Twinkle would have the lot. I saw a programme called the dog listener last week and she mentioned that a dog will never fully trust you to feed it again. I find this hard to believe but it kind if rings true for Twinkle.
She has been like this since the day she came home and I'm wondering how I can calm her down a bit. We have tried getting her to sit and wait but she just dives in as soon as the bowl goes down. Last night she ate her food so fast that she had caught up with me as I put Daisy Boo's food down and she just dived in :roll: She gets her normal rations and I bulk it up with good stuff like veggies but I get the impression she would eat and eat and never be full.
Has this happened with anybody else and will she possibly grow out of it?

28th March 2006, 12:45 PM
This is a tip sheet from Dee Ganley, who did a fantastic two day seminar last weekend for Dog training Ireland:


There is no free lunch! Your dog must earn everything – and I mean everything! – by
first responding to the simple requests you make, i.e. sit, down, stay, etc. Only actions
that you initiate are acted upon. For example, if your dog drops the ball at your feet
wanting to play, no play. Play is always initiated and carried out by you only. It must be
your idea, not his.If he nudges you for a pat on the head, he doesn’t get one. He only gets
patted and rubbed when you, the pack leader,decide the time is right.

All activities – meals, going outside, play, even attention, are initiated by you. (This
does not apply in the initial stages of Clicker Training, for at that time we are going to
reinforce for offered behavior, until we have put what ever skill we are working on, on
cue.) In addition, the dog must obey a simple obedience command before you allow him
to engage in any of these activities. Request a down before dinner, going out, playtime or
any activity your dog likes. You must go through doorways first. Use your body to block
the dog instead of a sit, stay command. The body block is easy and is in the dog’s own
language. As you open the door and the dog tries to push past you, simply move your
body to block him. Continue in this fashion until he looks up at you in wonderment, and
submission. When he hesitates and looks to you for permission, then release him. If the
dog is going outside, just open and close the door without letting him out. When he
finally looks at you and steps away from the door, reward him with a treat, or by letting
him out. Do this consistently so he learns he must wait for you to say okay, and not
simply rush through the door.

If you put your dog on the payroll, and are consistent, he will learn that all good
things and all necessary things come from responding to your requests. All you ask of
him is compliance, which is well within his abilities. You will impress upon him that you
are the leader of the pack without having to lift a finger, scruff a neck or raise your voice.

Not all dogs require 100% No Free Lunch. But most can benefit from being on the
payroll at least part time.

When I feed my three dogs they are asked to “wait” while I put their bowls down.
Sometimes I then walk around the house. They continue to “wait” until they get a release
word. Then they can eat. Dominant dogs may always need to earn everything, 100% of
the time. And why not? It is very easy and no stress!

Copyright 2000 Ganley/Lyon



Twinkle is pretty young to be able to do a long stay to wait for her food and you need to teach even a brief wait in incremental steps. But I'd be asking the dogs to sit before they get their bowl of food and remain sitting until it is on the ground. It is easier to train this one at a time, not the two together. I'd work with the older dog as puppies will learnt he right behaviour from watching the other dog.

I'd not be too worried about her inhaling her food and often this does calm down after a while. But you may have to always feed her in her crate (door closed, which is a good way of getting positive associations with a crate anyway) or on opposite sides of the room, or in separate rooms.

If you are really worried about the speed at which she eats, try feeding her from a treat ball where she has to work to get each piece of kibble, or from a frozen (or freshly prepared) Kong, likewise she will have to work to get at her food slowly and this will keep her occupied while your slower dog eats. treat balls or kongs are a really good way to feed dogs anyway esp. fast eaters as it forces them to work for their food and works their brain and is fun!

28th March 2006, 01:24 PM
Thanks Karlin,
I'll definitely try the Kong for starters. That's a really good idea for slowing her down. I already have her sitting for it but there is no way she will wait - she's far too young yet. Separate rooms for feeding is a must at the moment also because she will eat Daisy Boo's. I'd be happy to slow her down for the moment because I'm sure she's not even chewing. You would swear she hadn't eaten in days if you saw her eat :lol:
I'll get a kong on the way home today.

28th March 2006, 01:42 PM
Treat balls are also great if you are feeding dry food -- it will take her ages to empty the ball and she'll have fun knocking it around. I have two for my dogs; they absolutely love playing with the balls (well, one is a cube). Highly recommended as a dog toy generally though you need to remember to subtract the amount of food in the treat ball (or kong) from the overall amount fed daily, if offered as treats! Get the msall kong or puppy kong size (puppy kongs are blue and white).

29th March 2006, 03:34 PM
Well, I got the smallest Kong they had (Chihuaha sized) and tried it out with Kibble this morning. It only fits about a tablespoon of kibble and I have to say it was hilarious watching her empty it. We have started the sit and stay every time we feed her also. I think it's going to be a slow process. I gave her some bell pepper last night while training and she actually chewed it - I think it was the first time I ever saw her chew anything and she looked so funny. It might teach her that food actually tastes of something and that she can enjoy it. I can tell that I'm really going to have to watch her rations so she doesn't get too heavy.
Thanks for the advice Karlin.

29th March 2006, 03:44 PM
That's great -- it also will help work her brain to have the challenge of getting her meals out!

If you are going to give her a full meal, get maybe the small or medium sized red kong and then pack in her kibble maybe with a bit of low fat cream cheese. You can also put in yogurt and freeze it which makes the going even slower! :lol: A treat ball will also allow you to put her full ration of kibble into it -- you can adjust the opening to control how quickly it gets dispensed, but make surre it is large enough for the kibble size.

Here are some pages with suggestions for stuffing Kongs: