Jump to content

Likes To Be Hand-Fed


Guest Tequila
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Tequila

Does anyone have a grey who will not eat from a raised feeder? (or from a bowl, even???)

 

From Day 1, my grey was never a food hound. She'll eat, but very slowly, and without any sense of urgency. (ie: She has never "come running for dinner"). She is 3 years old.

 

When I first brought her home (one year ago), she was eating dry kibble only. That worked for awhile....sometimes she'd come to the bowl, and sometimes I'd need to sit down beside her (while she was lying on her bed) and hand-feed her the kibble. I tried mixing the kibble with 1/2 can of canned food, to make it more interesting. At first, that worked great! Then she started going back to her old ways of "maybe I'll eat, maybe I won't. I think I'll just go lay down." So sometimes I'd just let her skip a meal. All the advice I received was "Let them skip a meal or two, it won't hurt them....and they'll learn they need to eat when they are fed. After a day or so, they'll probably get it!" So I did that. And sometimes she would eat, and sometimes she wouldn't. But she's tiny, and really can't afford to lose more than a pound or two, max.....so sometimes I will give in (yes, I know, she has ME trained!) and hand-feed her.

 

One day, after tiring of having wet dog food under my fingernails, I decided to try feeding her with a spoon. She loved it. Learned how to eat the food off the spoon, and now she actually prefers to dine that way. "Feed me, Mommy" is what she would say if she could talk, I kid you not.

 

Obviously, I don't want to cater to this, and "enable" this behavior (can you imagine when I have to board her, or have a friend or relative take care of her??? She wouldn't eat, unless they feed her with a spoon, and I can't imagine having to explain that to someone, let alone ASK if they can "feed her"....literally!). So I really, really want to get her to the point where she will eat her food on her OWN.

 

Most recently, she was eating Blue's Chicken & Brown Rice kibble mixed with 1/2 can of Blue's new homestyle dinners or stews (ie: "Backyard Barbecue," "Chicken Pot Pie," "Tasty Turkey Stew", etc -- there are 8 flavors total). I wondered if she was tired of that, so I just picked up a can of Wellness (it was featured at PetSmart as a new food), I got the Beef Stew, and mixed it with the Blue Chicken & Brown Rice kibble, and she really seemed to like it.

 

It seems I can now put the food on a PLATE, and sit down next to her (while she is in her bed), and hold the plate for her to eat off of. (I know, I know, I can hear you laughing at me!). It might not be the ideal situation, but at least I am now getting her to eat without my having to feed her bite by bite with a spoon.

 

So.....does anyone else have a dog that is this spoiled? Are there any good ways to train them to eat FROM THEIR BOWL, aside from allowing them to skip several meals? It's amazing, she won't even come LOOK in the bowl when it's in her feeder, or if I put it on the ground next to her she'll GET UP AND WALK AWAY! Yet, if I hold a plate for her, or if I feed her with a spoon, she will eat EVERY BITE.

 

Is she training me? Should I be more tough?

 

I should also mention that she has no problem drinking water out of her raised feeder. So, I don't think it's the feeder....I think she maybe just likes the attention?

 

Also, she loves treats. Any treat you give her, she will eat. Maybe she just likes having someone FEED her, literally?

 

Any thoughts / ideas / suggestions appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Kathy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also have a very picky eater.....She seems to get tired of her

kibble even when I put in extras. She too is a very small grey only

52 lbs and 11 1/2 years old. but always has been a picky eater

I cook up chicken and ground beef to add to her kibble and then

I sit on the floor and hand feed her (not with a spoon, LOL) Very seldom

does she eat by herself.

Yes, she trained me early in her life and now has me wrapped around her little

paw. Its our together time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest bellenzo

What you are describing was Mila this summer. Fortunately, she's now eating by herself again, although her favorite spot is in her crate and not in the kitchen. However, I have added a dollop of whipped cream which seems to get her going and then eating the whole amount. Good luck, I know it can be frustrating.

 

I should also add that I think the reason Mila didn't eat much during the summer months was the heat, which was excessive this summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Tequila

Oh I've tried adding all kinds of tasty things to her meals, but it doesn't work (which amazes me!).

 

Some of the additives have included: cheese, liverwurst, pieces of a freshly cooked hot dog. All of which she LOVES, but none of these things would inspire her to eat. She would sometimes take ONE or two bites, and then walk away and go lay down in her bed! I guess she just cant' be bothered to "stand up" and eat. LOL. And even if I place the bowl down in front of her, while she is laying down, she will get up and walk away as though the bowl is annoying to her. But if I HOLD the bowl, and feed her, she eats.

 

Go figure......!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Man, I'd be in trouble if mine expected to be hand fed every day. Can you imagine that!:lol I don't have any picky eaters. I'm either very lucky or my pups have realized that if you don't eat, the bowl gets taken away until dinner. If you don't eat then, well the next meal is breakfast. That has always worked for me. You can bet by the next morning they are chowing down on their meals. Bebe came to me from another owner and there were days when she would look at her bowl and walk away. She soon learned if she didn't eat, well she had to wait. She does great now, no problems at all.

 

If your pup was 11 or older I could understand but at the age of 3, you have a lot of years of sitting on the floor feeding her ahead of you. Have you had a complete check at the vet to make sure there is nothing physically wrong that could be affecting her appetite?

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both my broodies were hand fed. Polli was one thing but Elsie who ate with no problem came here and after 3 weeks of standing and eating at a raised feeder decided she likes to eat on her bed, litterally. Food ON BED. She is 11 1/2 and she can eat any way she wants as long as she eats!

 

For the young dogs... I wouldn't do it.

 

 

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest sirsmom

We had a girl Bonnie that did this. She had me soo nuts I changed her food every week. What finally cured it was getting a second dog.(and finding a food she really liked helped, too)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest FreddyGirl

Bobbi will only eat kibble from the raised feeder. For her 2nd meal, I hand feed what I call chip and dip. Dehydrated duck or chicken strips as the "chips" and canned food as the dip. She lays on her bed and I serve her on a towel.

 

Bobbi is almost 12 now. However she wants to eat, as long as she eats, is fine with me. The 3 younger ones all eat from raised feeders-NO problems.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Tequila

Small improvement:

 

We have graduated to eating from a plate! Yay!

 

For the past few days, I have put her dinner on a plate (which she prefers over a bowl for some reason), and I bring it over to her bed where she is laying down. I have to hold the plate for her (if I put it down, she will get up and walk away as though the plate is annoying her and she doesn't want it near her -- odd). But if I HOLD the plate, she will eat every bite of food. And LICK the plate clean!

 

Maybe if I do this for a few more days, I can then train her to eat by HERSELF off the plate.

 

We'll see..........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greys as a breed seem to be notoriously picky. I wonder how common of stomach ulcers are? I know Rainy was a very picky eater until I switched her to a raw diet. I think she knew the kibble was giving her an allergic reaction. but I wonder if stomach ulcers could have been the cause...

------

 

Jessica

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My Sage is almost 5, and a tiny little thing. She is also a very picky eater. Drives me absolutely nutty. We've tried countless kibbles, mix-ins, tough love, you name it. What seems to working ok for the moment (and it's always 'for the moment'. What's ok today likely won't be tomorrow) is just leaving her bowl where it is. If she doesn't eat, fine. She seems to prefer to graze. I'll put dinner down around 6, and sometimes she won't touch it until 9 or 10:00. And there's yogurt mixed in so by then it's all mushy... but... if she wants it...

GTsiggy_zps0481d543.jpg

Lisa with Finnegan (Nina's Fire Fly) and Sage (Gil's Selma). Always missing Roscoe
www.popdogdesigns.net pop art prints, custom portraits and collars

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I free feed my boy and it works really well for us. I leave food out all the time and he eats however much he wants whenever he wants. This doesn't work for all dogs, some would look like blimps. My guy is pretty slender and at 85# could still gain a few pounds. It may be worth a consideration unless she starts to have a weird bathroom schedule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I have 4 hounds in the house and I agree with the "tough love" approach. I havent had an issue yet. One of my 4 is a rotating foster so you better believe there are times when my fosters dont want to eat. Sometimes they are stressed out from being moved around from one home to another, sometimes its being picky. All in all, they get 5 minutes to eat, after that, next regularly scheduled meal is what they get. I dont have time to hand feed, and free-feeding is not an option (imagine the fights, or the one really fat greyhound). That said, a well-being check needs to be made to ensure there is no medical reason for the food refusal. Obviously a medical reason for not eating changes the game, I will do whatever needs to be done in that situation to get them to eat. I do however hand-feed certain hounds. One of my hounds came to me painfully shy, in order to get her to trust me, I hand-fed her for the first 2 months she lived in my house.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just an update....

 

Last night I decided I would begin a "tough love" approach. After all, she is only 3 years old, with no LOGICAL reason not to eat. And she has NO PROBLEM eating all her food if I feed it to her....so I take this to be purely a behavioral issue.

 

I served her dinner in her raised feeder. She approached the bowl, sniffed the food, licked it, then went to her bed and laid down. I walked away, went into the other room. (Usually, I would place a dishtowel down in front of her, sit on the floor, and hand-feed her....so that was what she was fully expecting. Instead, I left her alone).

 

Maybe 15-20 minutes later, I walked by and she was still laying on her bed, so I picked up a piece of food and brought it to her (as if to say "here, taste this, it's GOOD!"). She accepted the food. I gave her another piece, which she ate. Then I walked away again.

 

About 5 minutes later, she started CRYING. I kid you not. She was sitting in her bed, crying, as if to say "MOMMY!!! COME FEED ME!!!" I waited a moment for the crying to stop (so as not to "reward" that behavior), and once it was quiet for a minute, I went back to the kitchen, picked up her bowl, and placed it on the floor in front of her bed. And walked away.

 

Guess what? SHE ATE IT!!!! I was peeking around the corner from the other room, and when she got up and leaned over to eat, I wanted to shout for joy "I WON! I WON!" (how silly is this?!!) But she was hungry, and finally realized that I wasn't going to hand-feed her.....so she ate! Ta - dah! I have a spoiled dog, who will watch me and see if it looks like I'm going to feed her. If I'm AROUND, she continues to play the part of a diva. But if I leave the room.... and she's all alone.....she'll eat.

 

Tried this procedure again at breakfast this morning, and she actually started to eat from the bowl IN THE RAISED FEEDER. Then she went to her bed and laid down. After 15 minutes, I put the bowl in front of her bed, on the floor. She ate about half.

 

I think it's working. I'm hoping that once she realizes I'm not going to hand-feed her, that perhaps she'll simply eat right out of the bowl while it's in the raised feeder. If not, I don't mind putting the bowl on the floor, that's fine. But I need to break her of the habit of expecting her MOMMY to feed her. LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest kelli123

I just wanted to say that you are such a sweet mommy to take care of her like you have been. I'm glad she is finally trying to eat with out you there. I was like Her when i was a little girl. :lol If my dad would give me juice in a cup i wouldn't drink it. I had to have my mommy give it to me it just tasted better . Your baby girl sounds like i was as a baby spoiled mommas little girl and every thing tasted better if mommy served it. And if it didn't come from her i would pout. Maybe i was a greyhound in another life.. :lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was going to suggest maybe it's not the feeder, but the location of where you feed her. She might just feel safer and more comfortable in her bed.

 

When Molly first came to us, she ate no problems with the raised feeder in the kitchen. Then about a month and a half in, when I'd get her meal ready she'd run to her crate and wait. And didn't want to come into the kitchen and would only eat a few bites in there before moving to her crate. Finally I caught on and once I fed her in the crate, she went back to eating with gusto. I didn't feel like it was a big deal to feed her elsewhere, as long as she eats regularly and is healthy, the location seems pretty minor.

 

 

Jennifer, Mike and the menagerie ---

Molly (Blue Sky Dreamin), Tinker (BT My Lil Girl) and their feline brothers Miles and Lewis

Visit Molly's Photo Album

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was going to suggest maybe it's not the feeder, but the location of where you feed her. She might just feel safer and more comfortable in her bed.

 

When Molly first came to us, she ate no problems with the raised feeder in the kitchen. Then about a month and a half in, when I'd get her meal ready she'd run to her crate and wait. And didn't want to come into the kitchen and would only eat a few bites in there before moving to her crate. Finally I caught on and once I fed her in the crate, she went back to eating with gusto. I didn't feel like it was a big deal to feed her elsewhere, as long as she eats regularly and is healthy, the location seems pretty minor.

 

Right, I feel the same way. If she likes eating in her bed, that's fine with me. However, she's now back to wanting me to hold the bowl for her. (Sigh....)

If I place it down, she'll stand up and walk away. But if I sit on the floor and hold the bowl for her, she'll eat from the bowl. I take a dish towel and place it on her bed in front of her (and say "dinner napkin") then present her with her bowl of food. Princess???? LOL. But at least when she pulls her head away to chew a bite, or spits some out, it usually lands on the dishtowel and saves me having to wash the blanket on her bed again.

 

If I leave her bowl on her bed (or near her bed), she will EVENTUALLY return and pick at the food. But sometimes not for an hour or two, and I really don't want to get in the habit of allowing her to "graze." THat's why I've been sitting on the floor holding her bowl lately. I find that it's working. She'll eat, right THEN, If I do that.

 

Actually, we have a routine. I serve the small dog first (we also have a small dog), and that's gets Tequila interested enough to stand up and come to the kitchen. Then I place Tequila's food bowl in the raised feeder. She walks over, sniffs the food, maybe licks it, then goes to her bed and lays down. That's when I (the sucker!) say, "Okay...." and I grab the dishtowel, put in in front of her (really does remind me of a person placing a napkin on their lap), then I sit down and hold the bowl for her. Otherwise, we end up playing the "waiting game" where I pretend I don't care of she eats (and I don't pay any attention to her), and she pretends she's not hungry. Eventually, she'll give in, but I really don't like havin to wait 2 hours for her to finish her food. My other dog eats immediately. Sigh.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

Just an update....

 

Last night I decided I would begin a "tough love" approach. After all, she is only 3 years old, with no LOGICAL reason not to eat. And she has NO PROBLEM eating all her food if I feed it to her....so I take this to be purely a behavioral issue.

 

I served her dinner in her raised feeder. She approached the bowl, sniffed the food, licked it, then went to her bed and laid down. I walked away, went into the other room. (Usually, I would place a dishtowel down in front of her, sit on the floor, and hand-feed her....so that was what she was fully expecting. Instead, I left her alone).

 

Maybe 15-20 minutes later, I walked by and she was still laying on her bed, so I picked up a piece of food and brought it to her (as if to say "here, taste this, it's GOOD!"). She accepted the food. I gave her another piece, which she ate. Then I walked away again.

 

About 5 minutes later, she started CRYING. I kid you not. She was sitting in her bed, crying, as if to say "MOMMY!!! COME FEED ME!!!" I waited a moment for the crying to stop (so as not to "reward" that behavior), and once it was quiet for a minute, I went back to the kitchen, picked up her bowl, and placed it on the floor in front of her bed. And walked away.

 

Guess what? SHE ATE IT!!!! I was peeking around the corner from the other room, and when she got up and leaned over to eat, I wanted to shout for joy "I WON! I WON!" (how silly is this?!!) But she was hungry, and finally realized that I wasn't going to hand-feed her.....so she ate! Ta - dah! I have a spoiled dog, who will watch me and see if it looks like I'm going to feed her. If I'm AROUND, she continues to play the part of a diva. But if I leave the room.... and she's all alone.....she'll eat.

 

Tried this procedure again at breakfast this morning, and she actually started to eat from the bowl IN THE RAISED FEEDER. Then she went to her bed and laid down. After 15 minutes, I put the bowl in front of her bed, on the floor. She ate about half.

 

I think it's working. I'm hoping that once she realizes I'm not going to hand-feed her, that perhaps she'll simply eat right out of the bowl while it's in the raised feeder. If not, I don't mind putting the bowl on the floor, that's fine. But I need to break her of the habit of expecting her MOMMY to feed her. LOL!

 

Sounds like you're both making progress. :colgate

 

Have you tried placing her raised feeder elsewhere in the room or perhaps placing the bowl where it is, but on the floor? Some of the smaller females can have difficulty with the tilt of the neck in a raised feeder (they eat laying down in their crates at the track).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sure, I could try that. Why not?! I'll try anything! :)

 

But she is fine with drinking WATER out of her raised feeder. (It holds 2 bowls). So why is she okay with drinking water, but not eating?

 

When she first came home, she ate just fine (out of the raised feeder). It wasn't until later on that this spoiled behavior developed.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

It does sound like it's not something about the placement. It may be she would drink water but not eat in that same spot because you would hand feed her, but couldn't hand water her. :)

 

 

I don't baby dogs unless they are sick or ancient. It's tempting because we love them and when they seem scared or sad or helpless it's tempting to "solve" the problem by simply taking the path or least resistance. Although that may keep them eating (often, food is the common "babying" medium), it actually undermines their confidence and puts that at greater risk.

 

I always have seen my role as alpha as one of being the benevolent leader. I provide the food, shelter, exercise, and comforts. Some hounds are more timid or spooky, and no two are exactly alike. I, however, have an ideal of training, skill, confidence, and fitness. Each hound takes a slightly differnet path, and they don't end up at the same ending point. Like people they have strengths and weaknesses. I focus on trying to use their strengths to improve their confidence, which in turn helps them work on their weaknesses. I don't focus on the weaknesses, and there's no coddling going on here. There are, however, parties for small improvements.

 

With behavior like your hound's aversion to drinking from the bowl, I always sugegst moving the food/water or taking a good look at the placement to make sure there isn't something about the placement that's off putting. the darndest things can wierd a hound out and simply moving the bowl will get them back to eating out of it. Once that's consistent, you can work on acclimating to the original placement. My point being, eliminate variables so that you can deal with one issue at a time. You may not heave that issues with her, but it never hurts to rule it out.

 

Once you've done that, I would go back to no food of any kind offered anywhere other than the bowl, even treats (the exception being if you're outside of the home, or at another location doing training). Try giving only pieces of dry food as treats,; nothing else and no extras. Don't fuss or stress about the food.

 

Oh, and from your previous update, you BOTH won. You didn't have to jump through hoops and she ate her dinner like a confident hound who knows her stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great suggestions!

 

She IS a lover of treats, that's for sure. And we have treats-a-plenty in this household. All good, healthy treats. And I HAVE cut back on the treats lately. Typically, I would give her a chicken or beef jerky treat when I leave for work in the morning. I recently changed that to a milk bone (not as high-value, but still a treat).

 

Every night after her evening walk, she would receive a small plate of liverwurst. I have since stopped giving her this snack (even though it was small) because I really feel she was skipping dinner to "hold out" for the much more exciting liverwurst. (woohoo!!! Liverwurst!!!) Instead, I only give her 2 small pieces, which contain her evening pills. (The easiest way to give her her meds is hidden in a small piece of liverwurst). I don't want to start shoving pills down her throat (she takes thyroid meds & anxiety meds 2x per day), so I'll continue hiding them inside the liverwurst. I actually ask her to "sit" before giving her these "treats." How funny -- she is sitting for her pills! But I think it's good to make her "work" for the treats.

 

At bedtime, after her final potty break at 11:30 PM, she gets what I call a "cookie" (it's actually a Nutro Natural Choice Tartar Control biscuit -- she LOVES them....RUNS back inside to get her "cookie" which I place on her bed while she's in the backyard).

 

We were just at the vet yesterday for a blood test to check thyroid....and she weighed in at 55 pounds. Last vet visit (a month ago) she was 56 pounds). My vet would like to see her at 57 or 58, but I guess she prefers to be at 56 or 55. Watching her girlish figure.

 

I have cut back on "between meal" treats / snacks, with the exception of those mentioned above. She is the type of dog who could literally eat treats all day and not gain weight. Sure wish I could get a metabolism like that!!!! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Sierra has issues with noises. Her metal raised feeder makes her skiddish so she won't eat out of one. She eats from a plastic dish that I hold for her. It works out very well, she gets feed three times a day from the bowl. I sit at the kitchen table and hold the bowl at knee level. This way she doesn't have to "worry" about noises or that my other chow hounds will steal her meal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...