View Full Version : strange behavior - need advise

28th August 2006, 08:59 PM
Our little Charlie has a pretty strange problem: basically, he is AFRAID to eat out of his bowl! :shock:

We've had him for almost two months now, and he has never wanted to eat kibble from his shiny chrome bowl. He will sit in front of it with his head down at times & just stare at it, but will not touch his food. He sometimes even attempts to come close to it, but then all of a sudden he jumps back, as if it were going to get him! :sl*p: We guessed that maybe the sound the kibble makes against the chrome bowl bothered him, so we tried plastic & styrofoam bowls and plates, but nothing works. The only thing that he will eat from is a paper towel on the floor! Not joking; he eats his food from a paper towel. :sl*p:

Has anyone ever heard of something like this? And if so, is there a remedy so that he will not be scared to eat from a bowl like a normal dog would??

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

:huh: Confused,


28th August 2006, 09:43 PM
Is his name tag hitting the bowl and making a clinking sound? This is usually why a dog will act scared of his bowl...

Denise G.
28th August 2006, 10:01 PM
Does he see his reflection on the rim of the bowl? Maybe that's scaring him...

28th August 2006, 10:02 PM
Hi Edith,

Yes, we removed his tag, but even without it he will not eat out of the bowl. Strangely, he drinks water out of his other bowl, (which is identical the food bowl) with no problem! :huh:

We also thought about the bowl's reflection or shadow, but he drinks his water just fine.


Pam Smith
28th August 2006, 10:57 PM
I had a time when Rudy was acting the same way about eating his food. He acted scared of the food and would just stare at it. I have two other dogs and when he spent his meal time staring at the food the other dogs were eating theirs and so they came over to him and started to eat his. He started guarding the food and got aggressive with the dogs and us. The whole thing started over some type of fear related to the food or bowl. We resolved the situation by hand feeding some and adding some very tasty treats to his food that he couldn't pass up. Once he got his mind off the fear and more towards the tasty food addition the whole thing went away. :sl*p: Hope this helps.

29th August 2006, 02:26 AM
Brodie was the same way. He will drink out of his shiny bowl but I actually feed him in a small (low sided) pie plate...ceramic...I have 5 so I can put them in the dishwasher. I think they will drink out of the bowl because that does not require them to apply pressure to it in order to get out the food (if that makes sense)...which might cause the bowl to move, shift, or make noise in its holder. Also, if their nametag has hit the bowl in the past, even though you take it off for a feeding or two they will still have that memory/fear.

Good luck...I have used several different bowls/dishes and finally found something that works!

29th August 2006, 03:36 AM
Pixie will not eat out of a stainless bowl. She'll dump the food on the floor and then eat it. We changed all her bowls to ceramic.

The vet tech mentioned that some dogs may get an off taste from the metal...whether that's true or not, i don't know. I just know that if I want to keep the food off the floor with Pixie, I can't use a metal bowl. :roll:

Cathy T
29th August 2006, 04:08 AM
Neither of mine carried for stainless when they were young. We ended up using pottery bowls. Now, I can put water in a little stainless bowl when we're on the go and they're okay. Funny little boogers aren't they?!

29th August 2006, 04:19 AM
Try ceramic. :)

29th August 2006, 11:13 AM
My two always eat out of Pyrex glass or ceramic dishes. We had a problem with Charlie when he first came to us, he was petrified of the food dish that came with him - to the point that he would run away & hide when he saw it :yikes

I find the Pyrex and ceramic easier to clean too as they just go in the dishwasher :)

They really are funny little furpeople :lol:

29th August 2006, 03:16 PM
Wow, I'm SO surprised that our Charlie is not alone w/ this strange little fear!
Thanks a lot to everyone for your insight & helpful suggestions. I'm definitely going to try the ceramic bowl :xfngr:

Thanks again!


29th August 2006, 05:37 PM
the first bowl we ever gave max was a chrome bowl exactly like you describe. He approached it with caution and as he tried to get some food out he accidently flipped it over, It banged on the tiled floor making a woeful noise and he ran off scared with his tail between his legs, we bought a new plastic bowl which was less noisy and much less scarier, problem solved.

29th August 2006, 08:18 PM
Our little Wrigley is now 15 weeks. The night we brought him home, we got some plastic bowls which looked more suitable for cats, as he was so small. I have since bought him two stainless steel bowls which sit in a small stand, so they are off the floor a little bit. We also have a rubber mat so his paws don't slip too much on our tile floor. He did the same thing with the stainless steel bowls - will drink water fine, but seems frightened to bits with the food bowl. I thought it might be because of his reflection, and the clanking noise the dry food makes.

I am back to using the plastic bowl for his food for now and am gradually easing him in with the stainless steel bowl. He will pick dry food out of it, but does so very quickly and throws it on the floor before eating it.

I'm sure as he gets older, he will get a little braver!

Cathy Moon
29th August 2006, 11:22 PM
This is really interesting about the sensitivity to stainless steel bowls! This must be an undocumented cavalier trait. :lol:

30th August 2006, 12:50 PM
Thats so weird - I just had a problem with the eating at first wasn't the bowl. I have a ceramic bowl for water and a stainless steel one for meals. I have the more "spaniel" type one as this doesn't move as much as the others as the bottoms don't get mis shapen.

Merlin likes to eat off the floor as well! - usually when we've been cooking with cheese and the little hoover is about! icon_whistling