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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
Dave T
 
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Finicky Eaters

I asked Sabine for her views on why dogs become finicky eaters. I must say I have to agree. I think any dog can have an issue with certain foods but quite often we are the ones that create a problem eater. Here's her letter. ...

Hi Dave,

Sadly this is something I hear about a *lot* in small dogs.

IMO, in most cases it's behavioral, and yes - the owners tend to make it worse. Especially when they start trying

to tempt the dogs into eating by switching from one food to the next and to the next, and adding tasty tidbits,

and even hand-feeding and begging the dog to eat. Essentially they are teaching the dog the fussy behavior, and

to hold out until something comes along that strikes their fancy on that particular day.

And not only that - as people get more anxious about their dogs not eating, there's more and more negative energy

and emotion that the dogs pick up on, making everything worse.

In a nutshell, people need to train their dogs to eat properly like they would train anything else (loose leash

walking, tricks etc.), and try to not hover over them with all their anxiety while they eat. No feeding treats or

snacks outside of mealtimes until the dog knows to eat regular meals, possibly a new plate/bowl that the dog

hasn't associated with the whole process yet, maybe also a new location for feeding, preferably somewhere where

the dog doesn't get distracted.

Small portion size, put down for 5 minutes, taken away after time is up, no matter how much the dog has eaten. If

he/she ate some, cut the next portion by as much as was left, until you arrive at an amount that the dog *will*

eat in one sitting. I know many popular sources say give the dog 15 minutes, but if you actually look at a clock

while a dog is eating, you'll realize that is an awfully long time. The average dog eating out of a bowl will

finish in 2-3 minutes.

Sabine

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-05-2012, 07:27 PM
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I've been lucky with Brody about his food. He's always loved the Orijen kibble.

Surprisingly, he's more finicky about treats. I have to introduce most treats several or even many times before he decides to eat them or like them; this included freeze dried beef liver. I think it wasn't until the 5th introduction to it that he ate it...then he loved it. The only two things I can think of that he loved instantly (other than his kibble) are cheese and chicken jerky. If he doesn't eat a treat I give him I don't make a big deal of it, I just throw it out after he finishes playing with it.

Tracy and Brody


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
I asked Sabine for her views on why dogs become finicky eaters. I must say I have to agree. I think any dog can have an issue with certain foods but quite often we are the ones that create a problem eater. Here's her letter. ...

Hi Dave,

Sadly this is something I hear about a *lot* in small dogs.

IMO, in most cases it's behavioral, and yes - the owners tend to make it worse. Especially when they start trying

to tempt the dogs into eating by switching from one food to the next and to the next, and adding tasty tidbits,

and even hand-feeding and begging the dog to eat. Essentially they are teaching the dog the fussy behavior, and

to hold out until something comes along that strikes their fancy on that particular day.

And not only that - as people get more anxious about their dogs not eating, there's more and more negative energy

and emotion that the dogs pick up on, making everything worse.

In a nutshell, people need to train their dogs to eat properly like they would train anything else (loose leash

walking, tricks etc.), and try to not hover over them with all their anxiety while they eat. No feeding treats or

snacks outside of mealtimes until the dog knows to eat regular meals, possibly a new plate/bowl that the dog

hasn't associated with the whole process yet, maybe also a new location for feeding, preferably somewhere where

the dog doesn't get distracted.

Small portion size, put down for 5 minutes, taken away after time is up, no matter how much the dog has eaten. If

he/she ate some, cut the next portion by as much as was left, until you arrive at an amount that the dog *will*

eat in one sitting. I know many popular sources say give the dog 15 minutes, but if you actually look at a clock

while a dog is eating, you'll realize that is an awfully long time. The average dog eating out of a bowl will

finish in 2-3 minutes.

Sabine
Great post, Dave. I particularly like what she says about cutting down until you get to what the dog WILL eat. I think a lot of "finicky" eating is just a dog who is getting too much food, because the new owner has read the dog food bag, and tried to feed the amount suggested there. Every bag I've read has GROSSLY over estimated the amount that should be fed. No wonder we have so many obese dogs around!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 09:11 AM
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Dave,
I read this post to Pixie and she explained that this is absolutely inaccurate. She says she cannot be faulted for being born with a sophisticated palate.

Beth, Pixie Puff and MiG too
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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I agree Karen ,and I think you're bang on with regards to the bag recommendations. I found this out lately when helping my disabled BIL with a new cat food. I thought the bag recommendations seemed high from what I remember with our cats years ago , so I checked with Sabine , and sure enough it was about 25 percent too high. Maybe their recommendations were for AGILITY CATS? LOL

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pixiesmom View Post
Dave,
I read this post to Pixie and she explained that this is absolutely inaccurate. She says she cannot be faulted for being born with a sophisticated palate.
Beth we know we're talking about an exceptional dog though. Right?

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-09-2012, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davetgabby View Post
I agree Karen ,and I think you're bang on with regards to the bag recommendations. I found this out lately when helping my disabled BIL with a new cat food. I thought the bag recommendations seemed high from what I remember with our cats years ago , so I checked with Sabine , and sure enough it was about 25 percent too high. Maybe their recommendations were for AGILITY CATS? LOL
I think their recommendations are to sell moredog and cat food!!!


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