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View Full Version : I'm sick of hand feeding! HELP!!!!!



My Wesley
6th March 2007, 03:43 AM
Ok, so time to admit it. We got Daisy a week ago now and the only way she will eat for me is if she's hand fed or I put a few pieces at a time on the floor for her. She's on some form of Canidae but I think she doesn't like it or something. The previous owners did tell me she was a fussy eater and they'd do it by hand or gate her off in an area. I've tried putting it in her crate and she just dumped it all over.

How do you break a 2+ yr old from being hand fed?!? I didn't know she was THIS bad. Wesley scarfs his food in literally just under 1 minute. It takes Daisy almost 10 minutes! And of course the whole time after he's done with his, he's wondering what the heck she has. LOL!

Should I try different kibbles? I've tried adding canteloupe and that didn't work. I'm willing to add things in there, but I'm not one that's going to take lots of time to prepare the dogs meals. I don't mind cutting up some carrots though. Any other quick ideas? And how long is pumpkin good for in the fridge? And no... I don't really want to freeze it either. :) I like quick and easy!

PLEASE HELP!!!

Caraline
6th March 2007, 03:49 AM
How do you break a 2+ yr old from being hand fed?!?
This might sound really flippant, but honestly, just stop doing it. A healthy dog will not starve to death. Simply put her food in her dish... walk away... do not look back... do not fuss.... go and read for 20 minutes (in another room), then come back & remove the uneaten food without a word. Do exactly the same thing for the next meal, & the next, and your dog will soon get hungry & eat. Even if it takes a week do not give in. Don't keep changing it and don't give treats between meals.

Works for human children & fur children.

Good luck xox :flwr:

Charleen
6th March 2007, 04:35 AM
I agree with Caraline. If Daisy isn't hungry, pick up the dog bowl and try again at the next feeding time. She will eat eventually. I've had the same problems with my dogs and this worked for me. I also cut back on the quantity I was feeding the dogs. It turned out they weren't hungry, because I was feeding them too much. So cutting back the amount and only feedi them at the scheduled time and they finally started eating soon enough.

Zippy
6th March 2007, 04:37 AM
Seeing as the dog has only been in your home for a week, maybe you need to be patient for awhile til she settles into your schedule.

There is a BIG difference between getting a puppy and an older dog.

The poor dog is probably upset about all the changes. :)

With some encouragement and patience, I'm sure she'll start eating by herself in a week or two.

Can you stay nearby and encourage her to eat?? Then in a few days, move away slowly??

After another week or so, leave her food down ....... she will come around, slowly.

The poor doggies don't understand all the changes in their lives. :flwr: :flwr:

Kodee
6th March 2007, 05:33 AM
I have to agree with Zippy on going easy on her for a bit. Kodee was a pain for 2 or 3 wks. Then when her other activities (chasing mom's toes, chewing the furniture, claiming 24/7 lap time) proved she was settled.. I finally stopped diddling around and said enough.

I do use Merricks puppy plate to add some tasty moisture. But when she was being fussy, I found adding a bit of yogurt, cheese, carrots etc just made it worse as she picked them out. So I went the hard drill route "lift in 15" and she started eating it. I add them occassionally.

luvzcavs
6th March 2007, 10:51 AM
I'm going with the tough love approach.
Dogs learn so quick and you can teach an old dog new tricks. Providing the little one has had no trauma in her past like being starved or underfed, attacked at mealtimes by another dog ??? I would go with the 15 minute rule. Lots of post on the same topic and I'm pretty sure all have had sucess with this.
Stick with a good quality kibble and I would keep it basic in the beginning, not too much stuff to encourage just what you want to eventually feed everyday. Good luck.

Claire L
6th March 2007, 11:34 AM
When Minnie came to me first, I was told that she didn't like anything except chicken and had to be hand fed. I was worried at first because she would not eat and so I fed her from my hand and then I slowly introduced kibble as well. She would begin by eating from my hand and then I would put some on her bed and then put a trail of kibble leading to her bowl.

As soon as Cara arrived, Minnie changed completely; she immediately ate her kibble (no more chicken) from HER bowl ( I have a yellow ceramic bowl for her and a green one for Cara) They both gobble up their meal and then check out each others bowls.

I think it is important that they recognise their own dish.
Like Zippy said, Daisy is adjusting to a new environment and another dog so she just needs a little time and patience to find her place.

:flwr:

Linda
6th March 2007, 12:39 PM
Sorry can't agree more, I had a very fussy eater and also fell into the trap of being manipulated for a very very long time.


If she is hungry regardless of where she is, she will eat.

If you continue to play into her manipulation she will continue, tough love may sound cruel but it isn't. Put the food down for 15 to 20 minutes and then lift it like Caroline said no reaction from you what so ever just lift it and continue on.

She will not starve herself, I have been through it believe me if you don't do this now you will be doing this for a long time.

Dudley has gone 4 days as a wee one without eating, he gave in.
She will give in, but remember no emotions.

Lisa_T
6th March 2007, 02:13 PM
Ditto ditto ditto. Holly led me a merry dance for the best part of three years. She balked at bowls one day, and ate from them another. She'd pick bits from her kibble or turn or nose up altogether--- and I *wasn't* chopping changing. Shortly before I got Amber, I switched to a better quality kibble, started measuring what I was giving Holly, and started with the 15 min rule. Never looked back. Since getting Amber I've observed the same "gobble mine quickly and then see if there's any left in the other bowl" phenomenon.
Incidentally, no treats of any kind while you're trying to break the hand feeding.

Cavs can be so manipulative. My breeders told me about a Cav owner who was a trained singer and travelled with her Cav. Moving tended to disrupt the Cav's eating routine, and since the girl was practising for performances, she inadvertently got into the habit of singing while she fed the dog. It got to the point where the dog refused to eat without being serenaded... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Ste
6th March 2007, 02:19 PM
How do you break a 2+ yr old from being hand fed?!?

Just stop doing it, she's not going to starve herself. Our current foster held out for a couple of days waiting on treats or human food which weren't forthcoming, she'd ignore her own food dish, now she eats what she gets when she gets it with no complaints. Tough love :lol:

Cathy T
6th March 2007, 04:52 PM
Having been there...agree 100% with tough love. It does work. I had problems with Jake and after 4 times of not eating within 15 minutes, we ceased to have a problem.

I had a doggie visitor for a couple of nights who was not used to our routine. No point in tough love on that one....so I fed him separate from Jake and Shelby and just sat on the floor with him while he ate. He just didn't want to be alone. The first time I put his food down he didn't eat it at all. So about 4 hours later I tried again...no problem.

The biggest point made to me was...a dog will not intentionally starve itself to get your attention, they just don't have that kind of reasoning capability.

My Wesley
6th March 2007, 06:51 PM
Ok, so I already started it this morning. Sure enough, she didn't eat, so in 15 minutes I took it up. Of course I forgot about the treats and I gave her one after she came in from potty. DANGIT! But no food until this afternoon. We'll see!

Maggie's Mom
6th March 2007, 08:10 PM
Maggie wanted to be hand fed at the beginning. I started to put a few pieces on the floor in front of bowl and then made a trail to the bowl. She hated when the bowl moved. I bought wroght iron bowl holder with 2 ceramic bowls. Raised bowls off the floor and kept the steady. Now she eats like a pig. 15 seconds tops for her meals. I don't even think she chews.

Cicero's Mummy
6th March 2007, 09:14 PM
How do you break a 2+ yr old from being hand fed?!?
This might sound really flippant, but honestly, just stop doing it. A healthy dog will not starve to death. Simply put her food in her dish... walk away... do not look back... do not fuss.... go and read for 20 minutes (in another room), then come back & remove the uneaten food without a word. Do exactly the same thing for the next meal, & the next, and your dog will soon get hungry & eat. Even if it takes a week do not give in. Don't keep changing it and don't give treats between meals.

Works for human children & fur children.

Good luck xox :flwr:

Agreed...

Laura&Lia
6th March 2007, 09:47 PM
Lia did the same when she was 2 and 3 months. One day i simply stopped.
Lia didn't eat for one day and a half. Then she started to eat normally, because she was hungry. Is the only thing i can recommend.
You have to think that a dog is not goint to die of hunger having meal in front oh his nose! :flwr:

My Wesley
7th March 2007, 04:36 AM
So far she skipped her breakfast. Then she ate on her own at dinner. Wonder if she'll remember this for tomorrow. Fingers crossed! :xfngr:

judy
7th March 2007, 09:26 AM
So far she skipped her breakfast. Then she ate on her own at dinner. Wonder if she'll remember this for tomorrow. Fingers crossed! :xfngr:

ive been there too and am a believer in the cavalier approach, no pun intended. Take a carefree attitude, just feed her and if she eats it, fine, if she doesn't, fine.

my advice is, don't try different kibbles, it's a wild goose chase, i had about 10 bags of different brands of premium kibble that all were refused by Zack, until i just picked one and gave it to him, and let him choose whether to eat it or not, and didn't worry about it anymore--knowing he would have to eat eventually. As it is, he only went one day, he ate his food by the first night. now, Linda's Dudley on the other hand....that boy was determined. But his mom was too smart for him. :lol:

don't give any treats unless you want to slow down the process, imo

Ginger's Mom
7th March 2007, 11:03 PM
Ginger had the same issue. She was a very picky eater from the start. She would not eat unless I hand-fed her or put couple kibbles on the floor. People said to apply 15 minute rule to her eating or try switching her food.

So I decided to try both methods --- and at the SAME TIME. It worked! Once she saw (or smelled) the different food in her bowl, she wanted to try it, and after about one minute, I took the bowl away from her. That made her super mad and mader her want the food so much more.

I did this to her a couple more times and gradually increased her eating time to 15 minutes -- overall took 2 weeks. She's now a desperate eater~ and will not take food for granted!

BTW "Dog Whisperer" had an episode about a dog who refuses to eat.. he was refusing even hamburger patties, crazy dog. Anyways Cesar said a good idea is to have the dog spend time with other dogs for them to eat together and learn how to behave in a pack.. So it might not be a bad idea to send her to a doggie daycare or something for a couple of days.

Caraline
8th March 2007, 01:32 AM
So far she skipped her breakfast. Then she ate on her own at dinner. Wonder if she'll remember this for tomorrow. Fingers crossed! :xfngr:

Good on you! You are well on your way. Keep it up! :flwr:

Linda
8th March 2007, 01:52 AM
Be strong, don't cave.

She will come around you are doing smashing.

:flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

My Wesley
8th March 2007, 05:36 AM
I gave both dogs boiled ground beef this morning (due to the sick post) and they both scarfed it with no problem. As far as dinner this evening, Daisy had a few bites and ignored it and I took it up. I put it back down a while later, and a few more bites, then Wesley snuck behind my back and polished it off for her. He's such a fat pig! Anyway, I wonder if that will teach her a lesson.

Normally I have to crate Wesley because he will steal her food. Tonight was a mistake because I thought he was occupied chewing his bully stick, so she didn't exactly get her 15 minutes. Guess I'll try again tomorrow!

Caraline
8th March 2007, 08:34 AM
As far as dinner this evening, Daisy had a few bites and ignored it and I took it up. I put it back down a while later, and a few more bites

Oh naughty naughty! I wouldn't be giving it back to her until her next scheduled meal. Giving it back later will just perpetuate the problem. IMHO icon_nwunsure


then Wesley snuck behind my back and polished it off for her. He's such a fat pig! Anyway, I wonder if that will teach her a lesson.

Probably not! :lol:

Anyway, you are going great guns! :flwr:

Linda
8th March 2007, 01:12 PM
I totally agree with Caroline, don't put it back down for her. If she was hungry enough she would of ate if you do this you are only teaching her that she does not have to eat it because Mommy will put it down for me later. Believe me I have been in your shoes, I know how hard it is but you have to do it. :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

I mentioned in a previous post that Dudley would literally go into the kitchen and cry for his food which was sitting on the counter.

My hubby and I would have many a word over this, but I did not give in to him.

The end result = No more eating problems
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D