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Thread: feeding two dogs....

  1. #1
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    Default feeding two dogs....

    Hi!
    Tonight I tried something new. Usually I prepare their food then feed then plop Katy's food dish in her x-pen and she climbs in after it (eeek).
    Then I put Teddy's food down for him in the laundry room.
    Well, I put their dishes down in the laundry room tonight and I monitored their feeding by standing between them. I made sure Katy did not make a bee-line for Teddy's dish. Usually, when she comes out of her x-pen after eating, she goes into the laundry room and gets a drink from the water bowl then licks Teddy's dish---of course it is empty!

    I want to be able to put down their dishes in the laundry room and have that be the eating place for the doggies. Is this appropriate? I do not want any guarding behavior and I know I will have to monitor while they are eating....they both eat soooo fast....wonder if they even CHEW?

    Should I continue this or not?
    Calling all dog behavior expert opinions.

    Nancy
    Teddy and sweet, little Katydid

  2. #2
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    hi Nancy,

    Faith was growling at us and Kosmo when she first came for getting close to her food. I asked opinions of everybody and was told that many separate their dogs while feeding but there are also many people who feed them in the same room. I was determined to feed mine in the same room and overcome that problem.

    I dealt with Faith's guarding problem but that didn't take long - I think she was just finding her place here.. Since just about the day she came home she's been eating in the same room as Kosmo. I stay in the kitchen with them while they're eating but they don't have a problem. Faith will eat hers and then kosmo will go lick her empty bowl every time.. If Kos doesn't eat his right away I have to moniter Faith to make sure she doesn't steal it but we're generally pretty lucky.

    Good luck to you!
    Sara, mommy to Kosmo ~ 4 year blenheim boy and Faith 3 year b/t girl *rescue*

  3. #3
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    Sounds good Sara!
    I really can't stand watching Katy freak and then climb up the pen and jump in....she is going to hurt herself!
    Tonight was step one. I would like to get her to sit and wait like Teddy....then eat with the command.
    Two polite doggies HOPEFULLY...Katy has Teddy all wound up now....barking and jumping and acting crazy.
    I want nice, polite doggies and I want to be in charge of when then eat ...sit nice then command to eat.
    Thanks Sara!

    Nancy
    Teddy and sweet, little Katydid

  4. #4
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    I am not the greatest trainer, so to make eating a quiet event, I feed the dogs in their crates. They are well mannered and then no one is stealing the other's food. If you have 2 crates, this works too. If you find that you do not have success in your current plan of action.
    Charleen and Cav's: Pippin (ruby male), Merry (b&t female), Luke (blenheim male) & Jolly (tri male puppy)

  5. #5
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    Back in the days when we had 7 Boxers they all fed together out of the one huge dish and there was never any problems. I actually love that kind of feeding.

    However, once senior-citizen status struck, I found that some were getting a little plump, so I had to start feeding them separately. Maybe because they had a lifetime of community eating I could never get them to stick to their own dishes. They'd all eat in harmony out of the one dish & then all move on to the next.

    So how I have to separate them whilst eating. Has nothing to do with fights, and everything to do with ensuring that one doesn't guts down too much, while the other goes a bit hungry.

    I find that Sonny who we adopted, is more territorial about his food and even though he might not wish to eat it himself, he will snap at the others if they come near it. My understanding is that the breeders/previous owner of Sonny fed him alone in his crate.

    Personally, I like the community eating ethos. I just find it easier, more friendly, but as you can see above, there are some drawbacks.

    I hope my comments help you in making your decision.
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

  6. #6
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    When Milly first joined the family, I fed her separately out in the mudroom, behind a baby gate from the kitchen. After about a week, I decided to see if I couldn't feed them side-by-side. The set up I have is that I've got two plastic doggy placemats butted up, side-by-side, with a water bowl on each so that the water bowls are in the middle. Then when I feed them I put their food dishes down at the opposite ends, with the water bowls serving as a divider (their food bowls are maybe 2-1/2 feet apart, and they can't push their bowls at each other as they eat, because the water bowls block the way). At first I stood in between them monitoring what was happening, in case any problems developed, but they are really great with this system and I don't have to watch them at all (though I do anyway out of the corner of my eye).

    The drill is that I always call them over while still holding their bowls, then make them both sit before I put their food down. Pepper's an old hand at that, but Milly's still learning. She doesn't see the point.

    Once they are finished eating, they always check out each other's empty bowl, but then they're off to clean their faces on a carpet somewhere. So it's all working very well. I believe that Milly's former family (breeder) fed each of her 8 dogs from individual bowls (I can't imagine this!), so she was already used to the concept of eating her own dinner and not going after someone else's food--at least not while that someone else was still eating it!
    - Pat

    Mom to Pepper, Ruby boy (b. 5/10/05), and Milly, Blenheim girl (b. 3/3/06)

  7. #7
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    Well we have 3 dogs they all have the same and will wait for theres they are put down down at the same time they eat their own then go and lick each others bowl out ----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)
    cavaliers at the bridge Mattie and Rocky & Sam & Jake
    Better to light a candle for one lost dog than to curse the darkness of man's indifference. Saving just one dog won't change the world but it surely will change the world for that one dog.

  8. #8
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    My two girlies are rescues. Minnie came first and would not eat out of her bowl, I had to hand feed her and then slowly entice her towards her bowl When Cara arrived about three weeks later, I was afraid at first to feed them together because of all the stuff I'd read about guarding etc, but I needn't have worried - they are absolutely fine together. Cara has a green bowl and Minnie's is yellow and YES they each recognise their own bowl. I started feeding them at separate ends of the kitchen but now I feed them about two feet apart. They enjoy their meals together and when finished , they check out each others bowl. If one finishes (usually Cara) before the other , I just say leave and they wait until the other one is finished and then check out the bowls
    You do have to watch them at first, just so they learn table(floor) manners

    Claire
    Once owned by Rudeepoohs
    then rescued by CaraMia and Minnie Moo.
    Missing all my girls every day....

  9. #9
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    I have two cavaliers Lady is a 6year old ruby and Amber a 3year old b/t. Lady is a dog that lives to eat and Amber is the type that eats to live. I feed lady in the kitchen but Amber will only eat if I hand feed her. I would love to be able to feed them both in the kitchen so if you can give me some tips on getting Amber to feed herself it would be much appreciated. Lynne

  10. #10
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    There's no reason not to feed them in the same room *as long as you are there to monitor and as long as you are aware the dogs do not have problems.* Also problems can arise where they weren't before which is partly why it is important to monitor. And of course the point that if you are not watching you cannot tell if each is eating properly or one is taking the others' food etc. All dog personalities vary so your mileage may vary with such a plan.

    I think it wise to keep at least 2 feet between dogs and to never try to force dogs to eat together. There is no reason to put dogs into potentially risky situations in order to make things easier for us when it is maybe saving us what, four steps across the room to put the bowls further apart? Bending over twice to put each bowl in a crate? This is NOT a great 'sacrifice' for a dog owner. Eating close together also is is not necessarily a normal situation for many dogs and you can risk some brutal fights as food is a high value item for any dog and a number one trigger for fights. Remember wild canids eating together can get in ruthless fights when communally eating. It is a key time to challenge other dogs/canids.

    My three all eat about 3-4 feet apart right under my watchful eye, all facing away from each other in different corners. Leo and Jaspar will potentially go for each other if one comes near the others' food and both would go take Lily's food if not watched -- she gets far less then them but eats more slowly. This is NOT GUARDING BEHAVIOUR, it is simply defending their meal (guarding is quite different, a longer term behavioural issue). Jaspar eats more slowly than Leo (except with raw food) so I have to watch eaqch of them as they finish up. Once all three are done they all go between each others' bowls for a lick and investigation. There are no problems once the food is gone.

    If my kitchen were large enough I'd keep crates there and feed them in crates. This is how most professional trainers I know feed their dogs. Intead I do the best I can with the space available -- and obviously that will influence how people feed as well.

    I free feed my cats after they get their communal plate of wet food in the morning.... but Quincy over time is getting fat so that approach is going to have to change.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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