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puppy gobbling down food

June 15th, 2006, 09:01 PM
Hello everyone! I need some advise or suggestions regarding our 11week old puppy, she is a golden/border-collie mix. First, I am a foster for a rescue and I take in mainly puppies. This little one came to us with her 2 brothers at 3weeks of age (mom was unable to feed them). They were bottle fed by my husband and I and our 3 children. We ended up adopting her. Our problem is this, right from the start this little one would gobble down everything you gave her. My children (7, 9 and 10), couldn't bottle feed her, my husband or I had to do it because she was always too agitated and difficult to hold during her feedings. Even when solid food was introduced, she was still very frantic and would eat so fast, that sometimes she would spit some food up a few minutes later. When she feeds, I will sometimes put my hands in her plate or pet her while she is eating and will sometimes ask my kids to do the same. She is a very smart puppy, who has already mastered several commands, like sit, lie down, roll over, drop it and I have no other problems with her.
I am a little worried that she will develop food aggression. I also have a 6yr old boston terrier, who is very good with staying away from the other dogs while they're eating. The pup has not growled at her, even though she comes really close to her dish. Since she is still very young, I need some advice on what I can do to make sure it does not get worse. how I can improve these feeding periods. Any suggestions would certainly help!

June 15th, 2006, 09:17 PM
We have a Golden who eats so fast the food is almost gone by the time you are finished putting it in - he is not food aggressive at all and he eats beside 2 other dogs.

If you want to slow down the fast eating you can put LARGE rocks in her dish. That way she has to hunt around the rocks to get at the food.
Another way to keep her busy for her food is too scatter it on the floor or toss it out on the porch - then she has to do a treasure hunt for it.

She might not develop aggression around her food - enthusiasm doesn't not always translate to aggression. If your other dog can get close and she isn't acting out then you might be just fine. I would encourage you to put your hand in her food and act like you are helping her get every drop. This shows her that sharing food is good.

You could mix some wet food in (nasty on your hands - sorry) so that she licks at her food more instead of gulping.

June 15th, 2006, 09:18 PM
a trick that works very well (if feeding dry kibble) is to put big, round rocks in the food dish, so the dog has to work its way around the rocks to eat, it slows them down quite a bit. or feed part of her meal inside a toy (kong, buster cube, etc). if you feed raw then no problem, give the pup a peice of boney meat bigger than her head and it'll take time to get through it, plus it's great chewing exercise... :pawprint:

June 15th, 2006, 11:14 PM
I spread kibble out on a cookie sheet to slow Cider down.

June 16th, 2006, 06:37 AM
Thank you for the tips, I will certainly try these. I know a lot of dogs gobble down their food quickly...a lot of puppies that I have fostered have done this. I always assumed it was because they were in a pack (I get litters) and wanted to protect their food, also because some were not fed properly. Once the pups were separated though, it usually ended.
I am more worried because she hovers over her food and seems to protect it and since their are a lot of kids coming and going at our house, I would like to make sure it does not get worse. My pup is on can food at the moment because of a recurrent urine infection. Tenderfoot, with 3 kids and over 40 foster puppies in the last 2years, I have put my hands in worst things than dog food, I will certainly try your tip.
Thanks all!

June 16th, 2006, 06:54 AM
for food aggression and kids running around (I have a daycare, 5 kids under the age of 5) I had the children hand feed the pup daily, a few pieces of kibble or a spoonful of can food while they sat in a chair. The pup learned that the children were over her in the pecking order and it slowed her eating down considerably. This was suggested by our trainer. It's worked wonders! My lab/shepherd loves all kids and eats so nicely now.

June 16th, 2006, 10:44 AM
When I first got Den-Den, I was planning to free-feed as I had done with my previous dog. At first he scarfed everything as fast as he could. I found out it was because the breeder had put down the food, allowed a certain number of minutes, and then removed whatever hadn't been eaten. The puppies learned they better eat as fast as they could. I started giving him small quanties of puppy chow at frequent intervals so that he would realize he didn't have to wait a long time before eating again. It didn't take long for him to stop bingeing and he would just eat when he was hungry, leaving the rest in the bowl.

June 16th, 2006, 03:52 PM
We have that problem with our GSD. What worked for us is putting her food in a deeper narrower bowl so she cant open her mouth all the way. She is only able to take small bites. It works for dogs with longer noses!

We have also put a soft ball in her dish and she had to eat around it. Or you can cut up a veggie that she doesn't like! SHadow had to pick through cut up carrots and spit them on the floor to get some kibble!