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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Intact male not eating

I have experienced this issue with my intact boy many times before where he just has no interest in food and the rest of his life is normal.

What is the proper term for this behavior and what are the triggers?
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 10:10 PM
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One common trigger for intact boys could be a female in heat somewhere around (up to a three mile radius, I’ve read). If that’s the case, obviously he has different (better) things on his mind.

I guess you could call it “pining away for a young lady” or “having the hots for someone”

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 10:34 AM
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Anorexia? I'm not sure if there's any other term that would fit.

As mentioned above, some males won't eat (or will eat sparingly) when a bitch is in season nearby. HOWEVER, there are also some lines that are known to be afflicted with males just not eating well once they reach maturity.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dobiewankanobi View Post
Anorexia? I'm not sure if there's any other term that would fit.

As mentioned above, some males won't eat (or will eat sparingly) when a bitch is in season nearby. HOWEVER, there are also some lines that are known to be afflicted with males just not eating well once they reach maturity.
I may be dealing with a "not eating well mature male"' he generally has to be instructed to eat and i have to be in close proximity also. Although he was closing in on 48 hours of not eating when we went to bed last night, he must have got up in the middle of the night and cleared his dishes.

I have called it "rutting" but i know this not right since he is acting normal during these episodes.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 12:00 PM
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Are you free feeding? I would help to get him on a set morning/evening time schedule an no chance for snacking in between. If he doesn't want to eat after a few minutes take his bowl up and put it in the laundry room, pantry, on top of fridge, wherever works for you until his next meal.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by alan j. View Post
I may be dealing with a "not eating well mature male"' he generally has to be instructed to eat and i have to be in close proximity also. Although he was closing in on 48 hours of not eating when we went to bed last night, he must have got up in the middle of the night and cleared his dishes.

I have called it "rutting" but i know this not right since he is acting normal during these episodes.
It could be you have worried about him eating - hence he does not eat unless told to of you are in close proximity. I do not free feed nor do I watch my dogs eat. Vigor in eating is one thing I want to see in any dog for breeding. It is a basic survival instinct. You have 20 minutes to clean up feed or it is gone til next meal. Yes they may go off feed for a day or two when bitches are in season but I have never had to tell one to eat. I would have a full blood panel pulled to make sure you are not dealing with any medical issue.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greenkouki View Post
Are you free feeding? I would help to get him on a set morning/evening time schedule an no chance for snacking in between. If he doesn't want to eat after a few minutes take his bowl up and put it in the laundry room, pantry, on top of fridge, wherever works for you until his next meal.
He is not free fed...if he does not eat i will close his food drawer. He is not a snacker either he will clear a meal or not take a bite. He is not food orientated towards treats either he will line up with his housemate to get a treat but will usually spit it out or go to another room and look at the treat more closely.

He maintains a perfect weight for his frame and consistent energy and focus on what is going on around him. I may add that he gets very little sleep from about 7:00 am to about 10:00pm , no crazy exercise but always on the go.

I do not think he has a problem and the info that within some lines the males
are like this may more of a answer .
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 12:44 PM
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I may be dealing with a "not eating well mature male"' he generally has to be instructed to eat and i have to be in close proximity also. Although he was closing in on 48 hours of not eating when we went to bed last night, he must have got up in the middle of the night and cleared his dishes.

I have called it "rutting" but i know this not right since he is acting normal during these episodes.
I may have misunderstood but if you do not free feed then how did he get up in the middle of the night and clear his dish??? I might have missed something. I was told a long time ago by a very respected Doberman breeder that a good eater is a vital part of a strong dog. I do not ever worry about any of my guys eating. I have double fed when they cleaned it up so fast I thought I might have missed their bowl.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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It could be you have worried about him eating - hence he does not eat unless told to of you are in close proximity. I do not free feed nor do I watch my dogs eat. Vigor in eating is one thing I want to see in any dog for breeding. It is a basic survival instinct. You have 20 minutes to clean up feed or it is gone til next meal. Yes they may go off feed for a day or two when bitches are in season but I have never had to tell one to eat. I would have a full blood panel pulled to make sure you are not dealing with any medical issue.
This is a double edge sword because i am his chief concern and he has to be close to me this is why i believe he needs a audience to eat.
The basic survival instinct is what concerns me...he had to be boarded at his vet for what was supposed to be 5 days that turned into almost 3 weeks. They said they could not get him to eat just small quantities a day. I was shocked t receive him. He ate normal once we were home together and after a week he was good to the eye and touch.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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I may have misunderstood but if you do not free feed then how did he get up in the middle of the night and clear his dish??? I might have missed something. I was told a long time ago by a very respected Doberman breeder that a good eater is a vital part of a strong dog. I do not ever worry about any of my guys eating. I have double fed when they cleaned it up so fast I thought I might have missed their bowl.
I had left it open last night...When he does eat he eats and he will clear a bowl i will feed till he walks away some times 4 cups at a feeding if i look at his food intake over a 30 day period it would be considered normal but smaller snapshots of time may tell a different story.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 02:22 PM
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Could it be that he is just bored with his current food? Zuko would have days where he would act the same, not seem interested in his food at all and would only eat if he was reallllly hungry. We try to give him something right before his meal times. A cracker crushed over his food. A raw egg. Maybe a couple cat kibbles... it always does the trick and the bowl is gone. I'm thinking now maybe he has US trained.... lol!

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 02:32 PM
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I’ve only boarded my dogs a few times, but each time I was told they did not eat much and they came back looking noticeably thinner.

Kip is a somewhat reluctant eater, but I always chalked it down to the fact that he expects to get his medicines (which he hates) before he gets his meal (the ones that were supposed to taste good I tried putting in his food--apparently they don’t taste good to him). I figure that is why he won’t come for his meal readily. I’ve tried giving him his meds at other times, but he stores them in the back of his throat and is perfectly capable of spitting them out five minutes later when he thinks I’m not looking. He’s a difficult dog to give pills to, and he needs so many; I find that the extra saliva he produces just before he eats helps those pills slide down.

He doesn’t seem to like me watching him eat.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Could it be that he is just bored with his current food? Zuko would have days where he would act the same, not seem interested in his food at all and would only eat if he was reallllly hungry. We try to give him something right before his meal times. A cracker crushed over his food. A raw egg. Maybe a couple cat kibbles... it always does the trick and the bowl is gone. I'm thinking now maybe he has US trained.... lol!
I would like to change foods since to get to his current food was a process that i would not like to go through again...i will treat his food sometimes with a tablespoon of hot melted butter not to get him to eat but he does seem to like the process of getting the butter , the microwave bell and poured over his kibble.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 03:32 PM
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Looks like you've essentially trained him to eat like this.

I don't free feed. I also don't hang around to watch any of the dogs eat--I'm often in the kitchen while they are eating but most of my (nearlly always) intact males inhale their food. And I feed a specific amount in each meal--I don't keep adding more food to their bowl once they've cleaned it up. In the past the dogs I've occasionally had problems with were older puppies 10 months to 2-1/2 years and it usually coincided with the period of time when they really weren't mature and needed to carrry 2 to 4 pounds of undeniably excess weight so that they looke more mature when they were showing in conformation.

All except my first Doberman ate fine once they made it through the initial raging hormone period. The first dog was the one I made every mistake in the book on--I added all kinds of stuff trying to get him to eat more. I hovered over him while he ate, I begged him to eat, fed him part of and sometimes all of his meals out of a "special" spoon.

And he wouldn't eat for anyone else--when I was in the process of moving when he was about 16 months old he ended up being kenneled for a month--he ate about 1/4 of what he actually needed and looked like a starvation case when I finally took him home--then to add to the problem he was so accustomed to eating tiny amounts it took forever to get him back to a reasonable weight.

I also don't screw around with how fast my dogs eat. Dogs are actually designed to eat fast, eat a lot and then go somewhere quiet and sleep it off. So if puppies eat so fast they choke themselves on huge mouthfuls of food or puke up part of their meal I just let them re-eat it. Or if it happens a lot I put the food on a cookie sheet so they can't grab huge mouthfuls.

I aways feed kibble with water--that also slows down eating and makes the kibble smell better and slide down more easily.

Sounds to me that the way you are feeding him accounts for the way he eats. I've had outright gluttons who would eat as much as I'd feed them (if I didn't know better I'd have suspected those Dobes of beng part Labrador) but I know that either of the two adult males I have at present would quite happily eat more than the two cups per meal than they get--and if I gave them four cups or more in one meal they might eat some but probably not all of the next meal. That's probably the explanation for why he stays in good shape dispite the way he eats sometime and doen't at other times. And if you keep accurate records over time it probably does average out.

So along with the things I don't do when feeding a dog there are things that I do--deliberately. I don't do things like teach my dog to only accept food from me (if there wasn't any other reason the handler who shows them in conformation would lose her mind if she couldn't use food in the process of teaching a dog what he was supposed to be doing in the conformation ring) but I want other people to be able to feed him if I'm not around. And one of the very best indications that something may be awry with the good eater is when they start skipping meals--one missed meal is no big thing but two will have me taking them to the vet. Some of my dogs have never missed meals--my Australian Shepherd was one of them--when he turned his nose up at breakfast it was so incredibly unusual I took him to work and we ran a full senior panel so that by the time we went home I knew that he was in the early stages of lymphoma.

I don't know how old your male is now but it's true that old habits die hard with dogs so I doubt that his pattern of eating an/or not eating isnt likely to change but good luck.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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You are right i did train him early on to eat ...i would set his food down and have him sit then say eat and would stop him as he got to crazy. I was stopping him from just attacking his food bowl, chocking and keeping kibble from going every where.
Thanks Dobebug for the insights.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 04:32 PM
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I've only had one dog that I would consider even slightly picky, and she wasn't even really that, just a "slow eater". When I got Gin, she was about 20 pounds underweight, and my vet advised free feeding her until she picked up some much needed poundage. Once she was at a better weight, I switched to meal feeding. It took about a week, but once she caught on, she would eat what she was given when it was given. She would lie down with her bowl between her front paws, and eat two cups of kibble one or two pieces at a time. It would take her a good ten to fifteen minutes to eat a meal, but she ate it.

Contrast that with the crew I have now, where I feed Ilka in the kitchen, Lily in the dining room, and by the time I've made it out to the living room to feed Leo, Ilka is already done. Even Leo and Lily, who eat slower than Ilka, are generally done within a couple of minutes.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 05:21 PM
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Is it a newer bag of food?


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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Is it a newer bag of food?
He is 3 plus years and has cycled like this for most of his adult life. We are not too deep into a new bag.

What is your opinion on changing brands and ingredients just for the sake of change?

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan j. View Post
He is 3 plus years and has cycled like this for most of his adult life. We are not too deep into a new bag.

What is your opinion on changing brands and ingredients just for the sake of change?
Often times if there is a change in formulation (temporary or permanent) it can cause a little stomach upset. For some this may cause the dog not to eat.


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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-02-2017, 07:31 PM
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Alan j,

I don't often change foods and I've really never had a dog get bored with a food so most of my dogs eat the same thing all their life.

I went back to feeding the same adult food to puppies. When I get a new puppy I feed them whatever the breeder was feeding for at least a month--then I make a change if I don't think that diet is inadequet in some way.

For adult dogs I've occasionly changed to a prescription diet if my vet and I felt it was appropriate.

While occasionly you might a bad bag of food or an ingredient change that a dog was unhappy with but I basically don't change foods to see if my dogs might like something else better.

I occasionally will try a bag of something new that is getting rave reviews but generally since my dogs inhale thier food (average speed is 1-1/2 minutes to eat two cups of kibble with 3/4 cup of warm water and a hardboiled egg for dinner and I toss the fish oil and vitamin E capsules in the bowl with the food)--they eat everything and anything at the same rate. I've learned over the years that none of the Dobes did well on any of the lamb based kibbles--always made their coats look bad in a matter of 2 to 3 weeks.

You sort of have a different issue--so since he eats the way you have taught him to eat probably the most realistic thing for you to do is decided what you want to feed him that. I seem to recall you switched him not long ago to something that wasn't locally available for you I'd think it would make some sense for you to find a food that you think is OK and avaible in your area and feed that.

Good luck and hope it works out well for you and the boy
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Thanks again Dobebug,
I do not think we have bad issues other than a few days out of every month he takes a day off from eating. I do not have anxiety about this but was reaching out for some insights and you did give me somethings to think about. He is not a food inhaler but he will clear a 2 cup bowl in about 2+ minutes but you cannot slip anything past his taste bud that he is not familiar with. One other thing he does do regularly is he spits his first bit of kibble to the floor and then begins the bowl clearing.
He has been on the same kibble since about his 10 month and it is a Costco brand and this was the first one that worked for him except for a Purina brand.
We really do not have a routine of eating times, 2-3 times a day but no set time but this our lifestyle. I have to present and in a calm and relax state for him to eat , i understand this part since we are together 24/7 (almost) and when I am working he is anticipating my next move and he does exhibit SA.
To shun food for 24 hours is not right unless he is feeding off emotions during these times. I am almost sure i am the root of it.
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