View Full Version : Feeding Problem

12th August 2009, 06:00 PM
my 2 girls have always been fed together and often share from the same bowl (their choice) and there has never been a problem, however on Sunday they were eating their dinner and Heidi had finished before Chloe, went over to put her head in the same bowl and Chloe growled at her. She ignored the warning and they both had a bit of a go at each other, they werent properly dog fighting but barking and pushing each other and we had to seperate them. as soon as the bowls were moved they were fine. this has happened again tonight. am not sure whats changed or what do to but dont want it to turn into a bigger issue. I knowwe may need to separte them whilst feeding but cant understand why the have been ok for the past 2 years?? they get on so well and share bones,toys,beds etc, any advice greatly appreciated!
thankyou :)

12th August 2009, 08:32 PM
This can happen...and does...which is why it is suggested when you have multiple dogs to feed them separately. Sometimes the dynamic between the dogs changes as they get older.

You need to start feeding them separately *today* before this escalates. Once they start growling over food, you will not be able to trust them together anymore while eating and this could become a serious problem.

Either put them in their crates to eat, or feed them on opposite sides of the kitchen (or wherever you feed them) and stay in the middle. If one finishes before the other, do not let the one go over to the other until they are both finished and you have picked up the bowls. :)

12th August 2009, 09:00 PM
I agree with Trisha, I would feed them separately immediately. Although my 2 boys get along great and are best friends, they are not happy if one gets too close while the other is finishing a meal. I make sure to not let the one who finishes first get near the one who is still eating...I would never let them share a bowl, even if they have been okay up until now I think it's way too risky and I really don't see the benefit of using only 1 bowl....good luck! :)

12th August 2009, 09:17 PM
It is often only a matter of time before dogs fed together have a go and this can start a very serous problem of food guarding and fighting. This is why it is always wise to always feed separately and supervised, from separate bowls, at scheduled feedings (eg NO free feeding). This is one of the top recommendations of dog trainers to avoid serious problems developing over time.

I'd immediately and from now on only feed them with their own bowls, several feet apart or in separate crates (doors closed) or one in crate, one out, or in separate rooms. Also from no on make sure any treats or chews are given where they are separated safely. If it has happened once, it will happen again and a fight always risks serious injury.

I would not allow them to continue to share bones or any valuable item of this sort.

The reason it is probably starting now is that they are both adults. If they are unspayed that too can aggravate problems. Females are often more likely to fight like this than males (contrary to popular belief where some think males tend to fight -- but breeders and anyone with large mutliple dog households will confirm there's a reason the word 'bitch' has the connotation it does for women as an insult!)-- cavaliers tend to get along well even in same sex pairs and thus the 'usual rule' doesn't tend to apply, but keep in mind most dog trainers recommend not having two dogs alone of the same sex as eventually, fights can start, whereas with two of opposite sex problems are far rarer as they don't compete in the same way. That this has happened twice signals you need to take a new approach to managing to dogs together. If problems continue I'd get a certified behaviourist in -- eg APDT or CPDT. But most likely you can manage this with some simple adjustments.

12th August 2009, 09:32 PM
I never feed together.No chewies either.Duds got on the sofa tonite and Arch growled.

Cathy T
12th August 2009, 10:22 PM
I feed mine separately in their crates as well. For several years they got along just fine eating side by side in the kitchen and then one day...bam....massive fight. I tried to "train" them to eat together and found it just wasn't worth for either them or me. Mealtime became a big deal and the tensions were high. Now they peacefully (well, except for Jake's barking at me cause I'm not getting the food to him fast enough ;)) wait in their crates for their meals.

13th August 2009, 07:24 PM
thanks for all the advice, we started to feed them seperate straight away and so far no problems, they are bestest friends again - I never realised that dogs should be fed seperatley :eek:
i was so upset when this happened as we have had this routine for years,i was thinking all sorts and panicking in case they were going to be fighting all the time. touch wood it will stop now as will make sure they are always fed seperated from now on.
thanks again