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Feeding Time Madness!


Guest rmp5s
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Guest rmp5s

Our 2 hounds:

 

Turbo - M, 2 and a half, off the track for a few months, in our house almost the entire time.

 

Maddie - F, almost 5, off the track for about a month and a half, in our house the entire time. I got her off the track.

 

They get fed at 7-730 am and pm every day. In the morning, from 530 on...madness. Turbo jumps in the bed and rubs his face on us, Maddie whines and barks, they both pace non-stop and, in the evening, it's even worse. From 5 on, any time either of us MOVE, they both JUMP to their feet and come running to us like they haven't eaten in a week. Even if we just move a leg the wrong way, they're running. Then when we sit down, they pace.

 

We've tried for weeks to just ignore them as to not reinforce the behavior...no go. We've tried the spray bottle. We've tried all different kinds of stuff and nothing seems to help.

 

We love our hounds! This is really annoying though. Any ideas for breaking this habit?

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Have you tried a bedtime snack like a Milk Bone or similar? They probably are hungry, and are used to being fed pretty early at the track. A little something extra at bedtime might hold them a little longer in the AM.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack, and Diva Astar Dashindiva.   Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, and Petunia MW Neptunia.

 

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I feed mine four times a day. Two main meals morning and early evening, plus smaller meals for lunch and supper (+ biscuits at bedtime). They probably are pretty hungry if they're going 12 hours without food, just as we would be.

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When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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I agree to feed more frequently. Our hounds eat 3 (to 4) times per day. If we miss their bedtime kibble snack (1/4 to 1/3 cup of kibble), some hounds vomit yellow bile before breakfast.

 

Btw, caloric content of kibble differs between brands: a 300 calorie per cup kibble requires greater daily quantity than a 500 calorie per cup kibble. An easy guideline for healthy "pet" Greyhound weight is being able to see the last 2 ribs, plus hip bones.

 

Another possibility (besides excitement of loving family life :)): Your hounds might be trying to communicate that they desperately need to go outside to potty. (Most newly retired hounds don't know how to show potty signals because they've never had to "ask" to be let outside.) Pacing, sniffing the floor or approaching their people are signs. Track hounds are usually on a schedule to eliminate every 4 hours with a minimum of 4 outings spread evenly through the day and evening (16 hours awake time). Not sure if you live in their racing time zone but time zone changes are another adjustment.

 

Hopefully extra kibble snacks will work for them. If possible, try to avoid using a spray bottle which could create new challenges. Good luck, and enjoy your new family members. :)

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Wow. I have NEVER heard of feeding a dog four times a day, and here we have two people in one thread doing it!

 

Your dogs are used to eating MUCH earlier than 7:30. Perhaps if you start at a time more typical for them and gradually move the time, it will be an easier transition? Or just tough it out a few more weeks. They'll get the point.

 

I get up at 5:30, and my dog gets fed at about 5:40. I think my cats would attack and eat me if I tried to make them wait until 7:30 now that they're used to such an early breakfast!

 

My first Greyhound woke up at EXACTLY 4 AM every day for the first six weeks until I finally got him over that habit.

 

I see no reason to feed a dog more than twice a day. I do give mine a treat when I leave for work, and another before bedtime, but that's just a milk bone. I don't know if that's the sort of thing others count as "feeding" them extra times?

 

Back in the day (when my parents where young) it was very rare to feed a dog more than ONCE a day. They all seemed to survive quite well!


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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Take them both to obedience classes and teach them commands such as lay down, sit, etc. Once they have basic obedience they will have more "self control" and will settle more quickly when you ask them to. Also, do you have crates? I have crates for my hounds and they are always fed in their crates, so when its time, they jump around and act like idiots, but as soon as I give the "crate" call, they RUN into their crates and lay down waiting for food. You could do the same thing with a mat or other "location" that you feed them every day. This way give a name to the location you want them to wait for their food at, then instead of them freaking out, just give them the call and let them wait calmly where they need to eat.

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I feed my dogs 2x a day, 5:30ish am and 4:30ish pm. They also get 1/2 milkbone as dessert. Some days they do seem to be hungrier and will start bugging me 1 to 2 hours early. On those days they get 1/2 milkbone or we play "find the kibble". I will put them in a room and close the door so they can't see me. Then I take 1 cup of kibble and hide it throughout the house. Then I let them out to run around to find the food. They all love playing that. I do feed my foster in her crate. As Chad said, she runs to the crate and waits for me to bring the food.

<p>Mom to Kyle (Diehard Kyle) & Angel Gracie (KB's Sankey) Foster Mom for AFG

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I see no reason to feed a dog more than twice a day.

 

I can see several good reasons, not least of which is to have happy, contented dogs that aren't frantic for food for several hours a day.

 

If people feed their dogs twice a day, with a few snacks here and there, and those dogs are happy and contented with that, then fine.

 

However, if dogs are whining, barking and pacing for 2-3 hours before meals, then it seems obvious (to me anyway) that those dogs need an extra meal (or at least a substantial snack) or two between meals.

 

I can also remember the days when most dogs were only fed once a day and yes they survived, but times change, and hopefully most people these days want their dogs to do more than just survive.

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When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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Remember that you're trying to break a habit that they have developed over many many months, perhaps since they were puppies on the farm, so it will take more than a few weeks to change their schedules. They are NOT doing anything wrong except being annoying, so the squirt bottle is probably too harsh a correction.

 

Do what has been suggested by going back to their "normal" feeding time and gradually moving it forward. This will speed up the transition process in a way that is most organic. Yes, it means a couple weeks of early mornings for you, but it won't last forever, unlike the current status quo. Greyhounds are definitely creatures of habit.

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Nothing wrong with trying to feed four times a day. It certainly can't hurt. It might not stop the feeding antics, as some of it might be habit.

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Set your alarm for 5:30. When the alarm goes off, get up and feed the dogs.

 

The next week, set it for 5:40. Alarm goes off, feed dogs.

 

Following week, 5:50, etc. In a few weeks, you'll have moved up to a more reasonable waking time. The idea is that the alarm becomes the cue for the feeding (think Pavlov and his bells ;) ).

 

In the meantime, a very brisk 20 minute walk and a snack before bedtime may help :)


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Guest rmp5s

Tons of awesome info and ideas! Thank you all!

 

:-D

 

I too thought, looks like we might have to feed them more often and even mentioned that to the wife face but that's not really an option given our work schedules. Plus, if our 2 Boston Terriers ate any more, they'd be miniature celestial bodies...

 

I LOVE the feeding in the crate idea. That's fantastic. Definitely going to work on something along those lines.

 

As for obedience training...yeeeea...about that...lol

 

Turbo is pretty easy to train as he's THE. MOST. FOOD MOTIVATED. DOG. EVER. Maddie though...short of breakfast and dinner, she is really rather indifferent regarding food and treats and stuff like that. That makes it tough...

 

I don't think they do this because they have to go out because we have a doggie door. Maddie, being as stubborn as a mule, refuses to use it but that's neither here nor there.

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With non-food-motivated dogs, the trick with training is finding what they *will* work for - maybe a squeaky toy or ball - or up the value of the treats significantly. It needs to be really tasty and really smelly - dehydrated liver (or cooked liver pieces), roasted chicken, cheese - there will be something she goes crazy for. Use this treat only for training.

 

Just be careful you don't replace one habit with another one that isn't always sustainable.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Couldn't you give them their second meal at 5pm and then give them another before bed?

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When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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Guest rmp5s

We are looking into ways to feed more often.

 

I did find one thing that Maddie seemed to like...and it's pretty weird, too.

 

http://www.ajaysmontanabananas.com/HBS.jpg

 

Spicy beef sticks. rofl

 

We ALMOST coaxed her in the doggy door with them. Got further than we EVER have. Her stubborn ass REFUSES to use the doggy door. Turbo on the other hand? Learned the deal with the doggy door in about 3 minutes.

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FWIW, I think this behavior sounds more like an issue of self-control and habit. I doubt they're so starving, they can't control themselves. When Truman was a puppy, he would act obnoxious at feeding time, similar to what you're describing. We did take a bunch of obedience classes to work on this type of stuff, but the most helpful thing was teaching basic commands (down, wait) and rewarding for calm behaviors. Over time, he learned what he needed to do, and realized that I would not put his bowl down until he offered a calm behavior. Now, he certainly gets excited for dinner time, but he doesn't knock me over.

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Set your alarm for 5:30. When the alarm goes off, get up and feed the dogs.

 

The next week, set it for 5:40. Alarm goes off, feed dogs.

 

Following week, 5:50, etc. In a few weeks, you'll have moved up to a more reasonable waking time. The idea is that the alarm becomes the cue for the feeding (think Pavlov and his bells ;) ).

 

In the meantime, a very brisk 20 minute walk and a snack before bedtime may help :)

What I was going to say exactly. They have a schedule, and they're waking you up anyway, so insert a conditioning signal, reward (feed) on the signal, then gradually move the signal to a time that works better. Easy. Work WITH the situation, not against it.

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The trick with the alarm works really well, as does the basic obedience to be calm and wait patiently as the food is going into the bowl and the bowl into position. With the alarm though, Starvin' Marvin has determined that any time the phone alarm goes off or even rings that it must be time for dinner :whiteflag

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