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Old 01-13-2010, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Eating Habits

How does your dobie eat? By this I mean do they eat as soon as you feed them and eat all of it, or do they snack on it eating a few bites here and there until it's gone after a couple of hours?

I feed Sascha twice a day. In the morning she nibbles at it until I am about to walk out the door when she really starts eating. In the evening she does the same thing. It takes her a couple of hours to eat all of her food. It's not big deal in the evenings b/c we're home.

I am feeding the amount recommended by Innova (Large breed puppy food) for her age/weight. Is she just going to be one of those dogs that I have to leave food down all day for her; I know some dogs are that way. Just curious what other dogs do.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think if you end up leaving food down all day, she wlil most likely eat slower and might be pickier. If you put it down, pick it up and don't let her pick at it, she will probably become a better eater.

My Doberman is an inhaler. She eats so fast she will regurgitate if I don't feed her in a special bowl.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We feed our Dobie pups 4 times a day. The first and last meals are 'special' and we separate the girls for those meals. Those first and last meals get 'extra' stuff tossed in with their kibble like chicken, rice, carrots, etc. We separate them during those meals both so we can monitor WHO eats how much and so they do not fight over the food... They ALWAYS clean their bowls during these meals.



We fix the same amount for both girls. One is a slow and messy eater and the other eats fast and leaves NO remains behind... We give them 15 minutes to eat those 'special' meals (this is MORE than enough time for our girls to finish) and then the bowls are put away, the gate is removed and Princess is allowed to clean up any remains that Potatoehead left on the floor...

The 2nd and 3rd meals they get during the day are kibble only. They will not argue over kibble so they are allowed to share a common bowl for those meals but they ARE supervised. Those meals usually do not get any time limit... We just set the bowl down while we are doing dishes or cleaning the kitchen and let them have at it... Princess always gobbles anything her sister drops on the floor and cleanup is easy. They usually spend no more than 15 minutes eating before they are finished and the bowl gets put away. Usually there is food left over in the bowl during these meals.



For a snack try giving your Dobie a carrot. No need to cut it up, They can whittle it down in no time...



You may want to toss a towel down for the carrot treat. They will make a mess and that stuff is not so easy to clean up.

ALL dogs will have different metabolisms and eat different amounts. You can't really depend on the bag label to determine the serving size for YOUR particular dog... That is only a guideline suggested by the food maker.

For all of the adult Dobies we have owned in the past, We just kept a full bowl of food (kibble) and fresh water available for them at all times. Never had an adult Dobie get 'fat' from overfeeding that way. 'Kibble' does not taste as good as chicken does and they will stop when they get full.

IMO, The BEST way to know if you are feeding enough is by weighing your Dobie every so often. We are fortunate to have a Vet very close to us and we are able to weigh our current girls every three days to chart their growth. We also kept records of the age and weight for all of our previous Dobies and know about what to expect... Keeping records is a GOOD THING. If you should happen to be required to go to a Vet for a problem, the more information that you can provide them with about your Dobies food and growth will help help them better help YOU and your Dobie...

If YOUR puppy is not growing and gaining weight, YOU are either not feeding enough or she is sick and you need to see a Vet...

Best of luck with your puppy friend!
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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All of my dogs finish their meals immediately. As soon as the bowl hits the ground their head goes in and doesn't come out again until every last bit is gone. It actually takes longer to put each one in their crate with their food than it takes for them to eat it. By the time I have put the fifth and last dog in their crate with their meal I'm already starting to let them all out again because they are done.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with Adara. I know many people free feed, but I want my dogs to eat when I put the kibble down. It makes it easier for me to track their eating habits (are they skipping a meal, hesitating to eat, or taking a longer time than normal? = something isn't right health-wise) and to adjust their portions very easily if they are losing/gaining too much weight. I like to keep my dogs lean and to do that I have to carefully control portions. I also give supplements and want to be sure they take them. Not to mention that when you have multiple dogs, leaving kibble down is asking for guarding behaviors, and then on top of that you don't know which dog is eating what.

Some puppies are just slower, pickier eaters. I've read quite a few threads on this forum about picky / slow eaters. Silas was initially when we got him. My rule is that I put the kibble down. You have 5-10 minutes to eat it. Now, if you stop and think about 5-10 actual minutes, that's actually a long time to eat a cup or two of food. My adult dogs eat their kibble in probably less than a minute, and that's without gulping. At that point, I pick up the dish and put it away. No more food until the next meal. Repeat. The dog might skip a few meals, but don't worry, they won't starve! Eventually hunger will kick in and they'll learn to eat more quickly. I'm NOT encouraging gulping here... I don't sit there and hover and threaten. I just wait until their time is up, walk over and calmly take the food. Keep at it, and it will get better. You don't want to start a dog on picky habits now or they'll be hard to break!

I had to watch a friends' dog for 3 months. She was a "leave food out" kind of owner. Well, with three dogs that's just not an option unfortunately. I applied my tough-love rules, and she adapted very quickly to how we do things around here.

Good luck!

Edit: and re: your statement "I know some dogs are that way" - that is because it's allowed by the humans.
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Old 01-13-2010, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Like Julie said, my dogs' heads don't come out of their bowls until their food is gone, and the bowl is polished clean.

I wouldn't let a dog pick at food, the bowl would be removed and no food would be offered again until their next scheduled feeding time.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, that's what I'll do. I'll start picking up her bowl after 15 minutes or so instead of after 1-2 hours. I know she won't go hungry.

My sister is one of those that leaves food down all day and lets her dogs snack. She is a total pushover; her dogs run the show.

Thanks all!
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My sister is one of those that leaves food down all day and lets her dogs snack. She is a total pushover; her dogs run the show.
My friend with the aussie that we watched for 3 months - I love her dearly but she is also a pushover and her dog also needs a bit more leadership.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When I first got my pup he gobbled all his food - probably used to having 8 littermates to compete with. He's fed separately from my adult dog, and only at specific times of day due to my work schedule and potty training. He now eats a little at a time then walks away, but returns every couple of minutes to take another bite. Even so, it only takes him about 15 minutes total to finish a meal. I pick up the bowl regardless after about 15-20 minutes.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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With Leanne, she will scarf her morning meal and and pick at the evening meal. I found she loves her kibble in her kong, so now she'll get her entire evening meal in it and a brain boost too. She loves her kong SO MUCH! She knows the name now and will bother us around dinner time if we are a little late in feeding her.

It is also helping us train her up, as she doesn't get excited about much, not even treats or toys.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lolli was a gulper, thanks to some DT'ers I started putting a large smooth rock in the center of her bowl to slow her down, now I don't need the rock, unless there is Deer meat in her evening meal, then back to the rock.

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Old 01-14-2010, 08:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Last night she nibbled and I picked it up after about 30 minutes - she had eaten about a quarter of the food. This morning I put her food down and she took her sweet time getting started and only ate about another quarter. Maybe she'll be hungry tonight...
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:04 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sky is a picky little brat who could care less about her kibble. If there is chicken in it, or if it is a raw meal she will not move from it until it has been completed. But for her regular meals it is a fight to make her eat. Like your pup, if I remove the food, then bring it back at a later meal time, it is unlikely that she will exhibit any different behavior. This will go on for days.

I have found one means of making her eat her food and I do not like to invoke it. If I park the hoover-esq labrador next to her food bowl she will eat, and will try to force down all that she can. At that point it's hard to keep her concentration on the bowl, because if the lab is there she thinks it's playtime. I'll toss a piece of kibble to the lab, who will gobble it up, and Sky will turn back to her food.

I don't like to use this, in fact immediately after discovering this I've pretty much stopped. My fear is that it might breed food aggression, in either dog, and that is a worse problem, imo.

Sky is six months now and is starting to show a little more interest in food. Not by much though. I will leave her food out for maybe an hour or so, and encourage her the whole time to ''go eat your food''. After that though, it goes away. She's getting better at eating all her two and a half cups in that hour. Not always a 100% success rate, but better
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Last night she nibbled and I picked it up after about 30 minutes - she had eaten about a quarter of the food. This morning I put her food down and she took her sweet time getting started and only ate about another quarter. Maybe she'll be hungry tonight...
30 minutes is too long... and it may go on for a few days, a week.... The aussie was the same way. Stay more persistent than she is, and it will work! It might just take a little time for her to learn the rules.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ok, Ok. I'll be stricter!
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nchalona View Post
Well, that's what I'll do. I'll start picking up her bowl after 15 minutes or so instead of after 1-2 hours. I know she won't go hungry.

My sister is one of those that leaves food down all day and lets her dogs snack. She is a total pushover; her dogs run the show.

Thanks all!
A healthy dog will not let themselves starve if there is food available. Kuna was quite annoying with her feeding schedule when we first got her, she would sit and stare at her food and wouldn't touch it unless we pretended to eat. She was really small and a little underweight so we played her game until she gained weight. After that, we did food down for 15 minutes and then picked it up. When she was teething she didn't eat as quickly and the only way to get her to eat it was to dump some of her food on the ground and say "you made a mess, go clean it up" (it was a good laugh in the morning). Now she chows down within 10 minutes.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adara View Post
I think if you end up leaving food down all day, she wlil most likely eat slower and might be pickier. If you put it down, pick it up and don't let her pick at it, she will probably become a better eater.

My Doberman is an inhaler. She eats so fast she will regurgitate if I don't feed her in a special bowl.
we have the same problem with cass. She doesnt chew anything. what kind of bowl do you have?
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Old 01-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I did post before about my present girl. Now I will tell you about my last girl (RIP, GWEN).
She was a beautiful dog, runt of the litter. She never cared about food. I tried every kind of dry and canned. She wouldn't eat dog treats, would bury rawhides. She ate kibbles and bites. The only thing she would eat. I put her dry food out in the morning. she ate a little. In the evening I gave her half a can of wet food. she would eat about half and some dry from morning, then leave the rest. I threw out what she didn't eat each night. She was slim but never skinny and lived to be a happy 13 1/2 . I wish my girl now was so dis- interested in food. My husband calls her a ( sorry ) food whore ! She will dance to any drummer for food !

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Old 01-14-2010, 06:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Rocket used to be an inhaler. Now he's the slowest eater of the bunch.

If he's not done in 5 minutes, it's taken away and he doesn't get to eat again until breakfast or dinner, whatever meal is next.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FairSky View Post
Sky is a picky little brat who could care less about her kibble. If there is chicken in it, or if it is a raw meal she will not move from it until it has been completed. But for her regular meals it is a fight to make her eat. Like your pup, if I remove the food, then bring it back at a later meal time, it is unlikely that she will exhibit any different behavior. This will go on for days.

I have found one means of making her eat her food and I do not like to invoke it. If I park the hoover-esq labrador next to her food bowl she will eat, and will try to force down all that she can. At that point it's hard to keep her concentration on the bowl, because if the lab is there she thinks it's playtime. I'll toss a piece of kibble to the lab, who will gobble it up, and Sky will turn back to her food.

I don't like to use this, in fact immediately after discovering this I've pretty much stopped. My fear is that it might breed food aggression, in either dog, and that is a worse problem, imo.

Sky is six months now and is starting to show a little more interest in food. Not by much though. I will leave her food out for maybe an hour or so, and encourage her the whole time to ''go eat your food''. After that though, it goes away. She's getting better at eating all her two and a half cups in that hour. Not always a 100% success rate, but better
We have experienced the same exact 'picky little brat' and also noticed exactly how the appetite changed when some chicken was thrown in the mix...

Our Dobie girl was TRYING to train US. They are smart and it CAN happen!

Appreciate you sharing your experience and time here FairSky.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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we have the same problem with cass. She doesnt chew anything. what kind of bowl do you have?
I use muffin tins. I have seen the break fast bowl. The one I saw was a bit too tiny for a Dobe snout, but fit a BC snout I put food in all 12 holes of the muffin tin.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:42 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:13 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Kyrah eats her food like its water puts her head in and laps it up without chewing. I wish I knew a way to slow her down.
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