View Full Version : Cavalier eating habits

Kristin in Roseville
19th January 2007, 01:00 AM
Davis our youngest of the two cavaliers that we have does not like to eat out of a bowl.

He likes to be fed by hand and after a few bites he will eat the food off the floor but rarely out of a bowl.

He simply was not eating much and thus starting eating his dung, which is disgusting.

When we feed him by hand and sit with him while he finishes the food off the floor, he gets than will not eat his dung. At least not that much.

Not sure how we break him of this eating disorder.

Could it be that since the older cavalier is the dominant dog, Davis is than just too shy to step in and eat.

The play great together and sleep next to each other , so there is no obvious aggression or dislike.

Just seems odd that he won't eat like other dogs. We have tried different bowls, etc but always back to the hand. Must be a security issue,,,maybe?

Any thoughts?


19th January 2007, 01:06 AM
Welcome to the board!

I'd suggest feeding them separately and in crates if the older dog is eating his food. What are their ages? A puppy needs to be fed far more than an older dog as well and cannot defend his food from an older friend.

Some dogs don't like bowls so you could try feeding him on a plate or just insist on a bowl. Don't feed him on the floor, by hand, etc. Before this type of feeding turns into a bad habit, though, you need to stick with giving him his food in a bowl or a plate, give him 15 min to eat, and if he doesn't eat, lift and put away til the next feeding. NO treats, NO fussing over him, NO reaction, NO offering him a different choice of things to eat. Both dogs should just have that 15 minute time period and then up come the bowls. This should correct eating issues within days. He won't starve himself. :)

Lots of puppies and dogs eat feces of various sorts. It seems disgusting to us but is not unusual for dogs as unpleasant as it may seem. They especially like cat feces. :lol: The reason they eat feces are many... but to stop this you will need to clean up after him and your other cavalier the minute they go. That's the single best way to solve the problem -- not have anything there to tempt him. It probably isn't related to his not eating his food BTW. Lots of puppies simply grow out of this.

See: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=6559

In the Health and Diet section there are recent threads on both these issues. :thmbsup:

Kristin in Roseville
19th January 2007, 01:10 AM
Thank you we will give it a try.

Sammy is 2 and Davis just turned 1 so they are close in age.

We shall see what happens.


19th January 2007, 01:47 AM
Great advice from karlin (as usual :badgrin: ). One of mine doesn't like to eat out of a bowl. I think he was afraid of seeing his own reflection in the metal bowl. We feed him on a flat dish and he eats fine now. We also separate our dogs for feeding. 2 go in their crates. Makes it so easy to tell who eats and eliminates any food stealing.

19th January 2007, 10:01 AM
Lia did the same. We started feeding her on a plate, the we found a low bowl, without rim, and now she eats from the normal bowl.
I think you souldn't feed her in your hand, because she is going to expect you to do that always.


19th January 2007, 12:41 PM
We worked on the if not eaten within 15 minutes then up (felt quite guilty at first) but it does work... we did change the bowls to plastic as their metal tags were making a noise on the metal bowls and scaring them.

19th January 2007, 03:07 PM
My dogs don't like to eat out of bowls either, so I put their food on plates, and that did the trick!

19th January 2007, 09:37 PM
sorry kind of unrelaed lady's loves looking at her reflection in the water bowl her such a diva.

10th August 2009, 10:04 PM
I was going to post a new thread but found this one, where we have a similar problem as the OP.

Basically we have 2 identical 'shiny' metallic bowls (about 3 inches deep) of the same size, one for our 8-weeker's water, and one for his food. He is afraid to approach both, but is definitely able to muster up more courage to drink rather than eat. We have been putting a few pellets of kibble on our hands, and when he shows interest, we pull our hands back and towards the food bowl, till our hand is literally in the bowl. He then eats out of our hand, and -very- occasionally grabs a bite or two out of the bowl himself. Most of the time, however, he'll grab some food, back away from the bowl, and then finish eating his mouthful on the floor there.

The seemingly obvious things that might be scaring him are the shininess of the bowls, seeing his distorted reflection in the side walls of the bowl, or perhaps the noise the dry food makes when rustling inside the bowl.

My question is, should we persevere with his bowls, or try a different, non-shiny, shallower bowl? We don't really like the idea of a plate, because that seems like it would get messy with food falling off the sides all over the place.

10th August 2009, 10:18 PM
Try a different bowl, as you are thinking about doing :). You do not want to start him on hand feeding and other food manipulation issues! :thmbsup: I'd try a small ceramic or plastic bowl. Some dogs prefer a flat plate. Just give him 15 minutes to eat then lift and remove all food til next meal. No snacks. No making a fuss out of mealtimes (that is where the nightmare starts... :eek:). Just as with a kid -- the food arrives, his choice to eat or not, if he doesn't eat food goes away til next mealtime. Don;t add more to the next meal to 'make up' for missing the previous meal. Puppies can miss a few meals if they decide to hold out. Usually they take missing a couple of meals to figure out they can't turn meals into attention time. :)

10th August 2009, 10:32 PM
Thanks Karlin, we'll try a different bowl (or 2)!