View Full Version : Off his food

26th December 2007, 07:16 PM
Hi has anyone else had this problem over christmas. Harvey is nearly 6 months old and has been on the nature diet frozen nuggets and james wellbeloved dried food mixed together. He seems to be off his food. When i've been doing christmas dinner and dinner today he wants our food but wont touch his own. What to do?

26th December 2007, 10:46 PM
I just made this post elsewhere today but it also applies to your situation. This is a very, very, very common problem. Stop feeding your food to him. stop all treats, and be very strict on what you feed and follow the directions below to the letter or it will expand into a much bigger problem. A lot of us have been there! :rolleyes:

the feeding problems you describe are behavioural problems not eating problems, and a lot of us have had the same issue with this breed. Basically you need to do this :

Choose a good quality food and stick with it. Do NOT switch around if the dog refuses food. Instead, you need to regain control of the feeding sessions by not offering choices. Basically, your dog has learned that refusing food gets lots of attention from you, probably a bit of fussing and cajoling to eat, and then -- what fun! -- a new type of food. All this is a great game and very rewarding for the dog. So you want to break ALL associations between food and social interactions with you. So do this exactly every single day and I will bet you will have a dog eating normally within 3 days to a week.

1) Prepare the dog's bowl without ANY interaction with the dog -- do not talk to her, look at her, nothing. You pick up the bowl, place the food in the bowl, and without any comment, set it on the ground. The dog now has exactly *10 minutes* to eat. Totally ignore the dog during this time regardless of whether she eats or not.

2) At 10 minutes, you go and pick the bowl up and put it away. Do NOT interact with her, talk to her, fuss over here, speak to her, make eye contact. Then go back about your business for at least 10 minutes before you again can interact with her. But only interact normally -- NOTHING to do with food, praising, scolding, nothing.

3) Until the next scheduled meal do not feed her a single thing. Not a treat, nothing. In particular do NOT try to see if she will finish the bowl of food she didn't eat earlier.

4) At the next *scheduled* feeding, repeat the above.

A dog can easily go several days without eating with no problem (indeed their guts are actually designed to eat in this way) so if she won't eat she needs to learn the consequences are NO FOOD. Not new, more interesting food, or attention from you, or treats instead. Zilch.

It sometimes helps to consider what you'd do if this was a child refusing to eat. No parent would rush about making completely new dinners each meal because a child is refusing to eat, and we'd also recognise the child was being seriously manipulative in order to get attention, and that the problem was not the food. Indeed most people find that if they have a problem eater dog that goes to stay with a relative or at a kennel while they go away, lo and behold the dog eats everything it is given and anything it is given. Why? Because the new person feeding the dog isn't seen by the dog as part of the game.

Another tip is to start feeding just a single daily meal.

27th December 2007, 06:08 PM
I did resort to threatening mine that I was going to take their dinner away and give it to a stray that had been on the streets over Christmas but that didn't work either!!

NO Karlin's advice is very sound, you have to be firm - of course they are going to be interested in the yummy smells coming from your kitchen...if you stick with it, they will learn that they are not going to get anything else - and no dog will starve itself, eventually they give in. You have to decide what they are going to eat...

27th December 2007, 06:42 PM
We have had the same problem with candi, and i'm the first to admit that i go soft with her, sometimes i have to put the food in my hand to get her to eat her food. But now i know i can't so we;ve done what karlin has suggested, breakfast was fine but lunch she just looked at it then looked at me (probably waiting for me to feed her) so after 10mins i took her bowl away and leave her be for 10 mins. So we'll see how she gets on, i'l keep you's posted.

27th December 2007, 06:46 PM
Be strong, it's worth it in the end - very hard when they look at you with those big eyes I know...