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New Weird Behavior with Meals

Big Dog Mom
August 4th, 2008, 07:05 PM
My 10 1/2 year Great Pyrenees, Maxx, has started doing something weird at meal time that I don't know what to make of. First let me say that we just had a complete blood panel run two weeks ago and he is fine.

He and my other Great Pyrenees, 12-year-old Maggie, have shared a three bowl standing feeder all their lives. For some reason, Maxx will not eat in the feeder with Maggie any more. At first I thought he just didn't feel well and din't want to eat (which is unlike him), so today I moved his food to another room and he ate like nothing was wrong. This morning, when I put the food bowl in the feeder, he keept glancing over toward Maggie, and up at the ceiling fan - it's like he had a new found fear or felt threatened somehow and unsafe eating in his usual place...???

What do you guys make of this? Should I accomodate him and feed him elsewhere (I really don't care where he eats as long as he eats...) or hold out and keep putting the food bowl in the regular spot until he gets hungry enough to eat where he used to?

This is just totally weird, but I have to say that over the last month, he has shown a 'shyness' when approaching his bowl on the stand, so it really doesn't surprise me that he's taken this to a new level. He and Maggie have had no fights over food or anything else so what do you think this is about?

Chaser
August 4th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Can you try to figure out whether or not Maggie is the problem or if the stand is? Will he eat there if Maggie is in another room? Has one of the bowls fallen off the stand recently?

If the problem is Maggie....well, I really don't know :shrug: But I'm sure other members will have ideas for you!

Big Dog Mom
August 4th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I have no idea if Maggie is the problem for him or not. He's eaten beside her for 9 years, and he's eaten from the stand for about 5 years. The bowls haven't fallen off the stand.

He seems to be apprehensive about the ceiling fan that is in the family room which is about 10 feet away from the bowl area. I tried turning off the fan and that didn't matter.

Do dogs just start doing weird stuff out of the blue like this?

Chaser
August 4th, 2008, 09:18 PM
Do dogs just start doing weird stuff out of the blue like this?

To my knowledge, yes. And it's a pain in the butt. Could very well be the ceiling fan that's bothering your boy. My cousin's dog one day randomly decided she was terrified of guitars (not even being played - just sitting on the stand).

Can you move the whole stand and Maggie to another location for one or two meals and see how that goes? If you still feel pretty sure it's the fan I'd try giving treats/toys/pets and trying to make the area around the fan very happy and positive until (if ever) he feels comfortable there again.

Hope it all works out. :goodvibes:

TeriM
August 5th, 2008, 12:04 AM
I would accomodate the dog and either move the entire stand or just him to another room. Sometimes older dogs develop strange habits or reactions and I would think it is just better to keep his stress level down. Chances are that after a little while you might be able to move him back to the old area.

Good luck and we'd love to see some pics of your furbabies :).

kigndano
August 5th, 2008, 06:55 AM
i agree.

move the whole setup to another room, and that will tell you if it is your other dog, or the area.


good luck.:goodvibes:

Chris21711
August 5th, 2008, 09:48 AM
Big Dog Mom - other than the issue when Max is getting fed, do you feel that he is avoiding Maggie at all? I say this thinking that maybe he can smell some underlying illness in Maggie. I certainly hope not, but it was just an idea.

:offtopic:I always see a pic of your Pyrs' in your avatar, could you post some pics of them, we used to have a Pyr, Pepsi :candle:. I posted a pic of her taken from a photo I have in the Picture Part of the Forum http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=54900 if you would like to have a look.

Big Dog Mom
August 5th, 2008, 07:46 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts. This morning, I was able to get Maxx to his bowl and praised him and petted him while he ate. Let's see how it goes tonight.

I just tried to post three pics of the Furkids. Let's see if this works!

Frenchy
August 5th, 2008, 07:58 PM
I just tried to post three pics of the Furkids. Let's see if this works!

:cloud9: they are gorgeous but the pics are too small :cry: but oh my dog are they beautiful !!! :lovestruck:

Longblades
August 5th, 2008, 08:12 PM
As they age I'm always suspicious of loss of hearing or vision. If either is going he might have been startled one day to discover the fan was on.

Or, with hearing, maybe there is a bearing going so the fan is making a funny sound that he can hear and you can't. Of course that would mean his hearing is OK.

rainbow
August 6th, 2008, 12:44 AM
As they age I'm always suspicious of loss of hearing or vision. If either is going he might have been startled one day to discover the fan was on.

Or, with hearing, maybe there is a bearing going so the fan is making a funny sound that he can hear and you can't. Of course that would mean his hearing is OK.


Good point. :thumbs up

rainbow
August 6th, 2008, 12:46 AM
At first I thought he just didn't feel well and din't want to eat (which is unlike him), so today I moved his food to another room and he ate like nothing was wrong.

When you moved his food to the other room did you put it in the raised feeder or on the floor?

rainbow
August 6th, 2008, 12:47 AM
:cloud9: they are gorgeous but the pics are too small :cry: but oh my dog are they beautiful !!! :lovestruck:

I agree :cloud9: .....I hope you can post bigger pics. :goodvibes:

Chris21711
August 6th, 2008, 08:35 AM
Thank you all for your thoughts. This morning, I was able to get Maxx to his bowl and praised him and petted him while he ate. Let's see how it goes tonight.

I just tried to post three pics of the Furkids. Let's see if this works!

Hope the situation continues to improve BDM :thumbs up Your Pics show how beautiful Maggie and Maxx are, but I echo Frenchy and Rainbow could you make them a little bit BIGGER :D

Big Dog Mom
August 6th, 2008, 04:27 PM
I think I figured out the feeder problem.

Maxx has been on a diet the last two weeks and his portions are smaller. Maggie eats about two feet from him in the feeder, and I think he is getting nervous about her proximity, because his food has become more "scarce" lately. Up until he was about 4 years old, they could not eat together because he'd keep looking over at her, sorta looking for her to make a wrong move so he could snarl at her. I think this behavior that I'm seeing has to do with his old food aggression rearing it's ugly head but manifesting ina different way. He's not getting as much food as he used to and he's become more protective of it.

Frenchy
August 6th, 2008, 11:03 PM
He's not getting as much food as he used to and he's become more protective of it.

ahhh poor baby ! :sad: I feed all of mine in different rooms to avoid the dirty looks routine :D