Karen, how did you know Kodi was ready and did you give him larger portions? I'm feeding Fionn "Now Puppy Formula" and the portion recommendation for his age and weight is 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 per day....he doesn't eat nearly that much though (he's 8.5 lbs). I give him 1/3 cup each meal and he rarely finishes it. Should I try 1/2 cup twice a day and see how that goes?
Kodi just plain stopped eating a third meal each day. I called his breeder and asked her about it, and she said every puppy is different... He probably didn't need it any more. I dropped his mid day meal, and he began eating much better.
In general, it's not a good idea to leave the food down. It leads to a picky, inconsistent eater. Leave it down for no more than 20 minutes, then pick it up. They rarely skip more than a meal or two. Healthy puppies WON'T starve themselves.
Part of your problem is that you are definitely trying to get him to eat more than he can/should. Pet food manufacturers are in the business of selling pet food. The more they can get you to feed your dog, the more they can sell. You just can't go by the recommendations on the packaging.
I think you will find that most of us who feed kibble feed between 1/4 - 1/3 c twice a day. When Kodi as a puppy, he got a level 1/4c 3x daily, now, as a largish adult (16.5 lb, with no extra fat on him) he gets a rounded 1/4c measure 2x daily.
Aside from potty training questions, this is probably one of the most common questions we see from puppy owners... People concerned that there pups aren't eating enough, when, in fact, they are trying to get them to eat WAY more food than the pup can possibly metabolize!