Feeding Advice

I have an x-pen set up with Liyah's crate in it. Since day one of Liyah coming home, she will wait while I put her food in her bowl and then run right into her crate to wait for her meal. I'd put her food down and close the door. She'd gobble down her food. Done and over 5 minutes flat.

As of 3 days ago, if I close the door, she won't eat. She will paw at the door, and ignore her food all together. If I leave the door open, she will eat, and if I close the door even a little, she will push her paw against it to see that it is open. This morning, she wouldn't eat if she was standing in her crate. I even put her food bowl in the back of her crate instead of at the front, but she kept turning around to see if the door was open and wouldn't eat and would walk out.

This went on 15 minutes and I took the food away. While she might have had a couple of mouthfuls of food, she pretty much ate nearly nothing.

So far, she has been great in her crate…travels in the car 2 -3 times a week without as much as a peep from her. She sleeps in her crate when she goes to bed at night (door is open). When I went to visit friends at a ski resort 2 weeks ago, she slept in her crate without any fuss with the door closed. Oh, and btw, there are always kongs or other treats in her crate when she runs into her xpen, so she runs right into her crate, so I know she associates good things with her crate.

I want her to eat in her crate with the door closed. Do I just let her eat with the door open for now and not standing in the crate? Do I just let her miss a couple of meals while fussing because the door is closed?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Everyone will have opinions… mine is I would let her miss a few meals.... How/where do you feed your other B? Are they in crates too?

Is there a reason you want the crate door shut? Other dogs try to get in?

@tanza:

Everyone will have opinions… mine is I would let her miss a few meals.... How/where do you feed your other B? Are they in crates too?

My other 2 bs are fed in another room in their crates. I feed Liyah in the bedroom in her crate in the x-pen as I pretty much wanted all food/treat related association to happen with that crate to make it a happy space for Liyah. It had worked great up until now.

@sharronhurlbut:

Is there a reason you want the crate door shut? Other dogs try to get in?

Mainly the reason I want the door shut is because she'll eat a couple bites, wander off, come back - eat a little more…not focusing on "this is mealtime". Not good eating habits like the other 2 have.

@renaultf1:

Mainly the reason I want the door shut is because she'll eat a couple bites, wander off, come back - eat a little more…not focusing on "this is mealtime". Not good eating habits like the other 2 have.

Exactly the right reason to shut the door…ggg (again IMO)....

So this is what I would do... can you feed her in a crate with the other two in their crates?(in the same room)... that way they are all together is their crates

And what I do with puppies to develop good eating habits is that when they start leaving food or not paying attention to eating... I would let one of my adults out, open the puppy's door and let the adult eat their food... It doesn't take much for the puppy to figure out if they don't eat it, someone else is going to......90% of the time it would take one or two times of that and no more playing at feeding time.....

You do need to keep in mind (and I am sure you are) that when they start teething there will be times that they just don't eat period... but that should really only last one or two meals.

Thanks Pat, I'll give it a try letting her eat in the same room with the other 2. I love the idea of letting an adult get her food if she doesn't eat it…that should get her to catch on real quick. 😃

Yes, I've been thinking about the teething...but I don't think that is the case just yet though.

Just wondering, is it really better to have a dog bolt it's food, or is it a healthier practice to let them eat at leisure?

Not judging, just wondering.

@snorky998:

Just wondering, is it really better to have a dog bolt it's food, or is it a healthier practice to let them eat at leisure?

Not judging, just wondering.

Depends on what you mean by bolting… that is not the best, but mine ate pretty quickly... Maggii would "inhale" her food and then nicely belch after.... as did most of my girls, the boys ate a bit slower.. and if you mean leisure as in free feeding or leaving it for them to come back and forth to.. that is not good either... I don't think that either is healthy... eating in a prescribe amount of time (no more then 10/15 minutes) and not picking at the food is the best practice.... There are ways if you have a serious "one that bolts food" like putting rocks in the bowl that they have to eat around.. there are even bowls that have things built in that they have to eat around.

To me the important is building good eating habits... it can tell you so much about your dog... if they are good eaters and then suddenly stop, chances are they are not feeling well... where as if you are free feeding or letting them go back and forth (or carry it around) you will really never know how much they are eating or when they are not eating very well.

Ha, ha…well Pat, that worked! :D:D:D

I set up another crate for Liyah in the same room as the big kids. Adults went in first, food given, doors closed. Then Liyah went in, closed the door, she nibbled...spent a lot of time looking around. About 10 minutes went by (adults long finished eating) and most of Liyah's meal remained. I opened Ruby's door, opened Liyah's door and in went Ruby and finished Liyah's meal...Liyah tried to put her head in the bowl to get a couple bites when Ruby was eating, but Ruby would have none of it so Liyah was left to watch her dinner go to her Grammy. 😃

So, because I felt a little bad that this would be 2 meals missed today, I put more food in the bowl, put it in Liyah's crate and she went in, I closed the door and Liyah gobble it down. Ruby was outside her crate the whole time trying to stick her tongue in and get some food...and reminding Liyah that she was there waiting if she didn't want her food. :D:D:D

Needless to say, tonight she is a member of the clean bowl club. So my 2 girls are very happy tonight with full bellies (and Ruby got a special reward for being the #1 dog in the house)...and mom is happy. :D:D:D

Such great advice on this forum!!! Thanks Pat!!! That was easy!

LOL… glad it worked...usually does... and I have had to do it more then once... but they get the message... if "I" don't eat it... Mom gives it away...eek!!!!!

My b's not only chew your couture, but pee on them as well. Find another venue Please!

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