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feeding

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blueribbonuk




PostSubject: feeding   Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:47 pm

i have only had max my bullmastiff x neo for a few days. he wont eat out of his food bowl he seems as though he is frightened of it. i have tried putting his food in another bowl, on a plate on newspaper and straight onto the floor but no he wont eat. the only way he will eat is if i hand feed him. any suggestions as to how i get him to eat out of a bowl gratefully recieved
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vickylizzy
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PostSubject: Re: feeding   Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:58 pm

We had the same problem with our family dog (who lives with my folks) when he came home from the pound. Sad

It really was a slow process, but I'd hand feed him, and each mealtime I'd move my hand very, very slowly closer and closer to his bowl (which I'd have ready beside me every time). I'd hardly move my hand at all for the first few days at least as he'd get worried about where it was going, which then distracted him from his food, but as he got used to it any movement wasn't an issue and it was all about gobbling up his dinner! Razz I started off doing it wherever in the house he was most relaxed with us, which was mostly in the living room next to the sofa, and every feeding time I'd move my hand closer and closer to the bowl, with my hand starting nearer each time.

Then, when he was (eventually) used to the bowl being there and my hand practically being in it to feed him, I'd start off feeding time by putting some food in his bowl and going through the same ritual, feeding him by hand, getting closer and closer until my hand was in the bowl, and then oops, dropping the last few bits of food in the bowl for him to eat!! Lol. It only worked if he was really hungry and so engrossed in the food he'd forget my hand wasn't there anymore. The extra food in the bowl generally kept his attention enough to draw away from the fact he was eating out of a bowl, especially since by this time his head was half way in it already, so just taking my hand away wasn't really a big deal.

I just repeated this until he was comfortable with the bowl, then I'd start feeding him only one or two nuggets by hand and using those to lead him where the bowl was (which was eventually in a different room altogether Wink ), and so on.

We did try something else someone recommended first (I can't remember what it was now though!) but this was the only thing that we found worked with our Toby.

Hope you have some luck with Max! Smile Crossed Let us know how he gets on! Hearts :hug2:
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vickylizzy
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PostSubject: Re: feeding   Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh! It might also be worth trying him with a stand to raise his bowls off the floor, as I know some dogs are fussy about reaching all the way to the floor to eat!
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blueribbonuk




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:02 am

tried him with stand he is scared of that to.
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vickylizzy
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PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:22 am

Aww, poor boy. Sad I hope you manage to make some progress with him soon. Group Hug
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blueribbonuk




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:44 am

i have tried him with varous bowls.
but have had a breakthrough he has eaten a little out of his bowl. not alot i know but a breakthrough for him Happy Dance
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Greybaby




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:07 pm

I wouldn't hand feed him, this may sound really harsh to you but no dog will ever starve its self if you put the food down for it and it doesn't eat then take it up and leave it for the next meal then do the same at the next meal time until he gets the message he will soon eat out of the bowl.
But if you start to hand feed him he will come to expect that at every meal time and then you are stuck I'm afraid
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GSD Lifeline




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:00 pm

iagree with Greybaby.

Start as you mean to go on. They soon learn Wink
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vickylizzy
Admin
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PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:24 pm

While normally I would agree I think it's down to the individual case. If Max has eaten anything at all out the bowl then that's a fantastic achievement and the best way to go! Very Happy

In Toby's case, he was an extremely traumatised boy, had terrible kennel cough and was losing weight rapidly. Before he came to us he'd been given his food in his bowl, refused to eat from it (this was before he contracted kennel cough in the pound and was very ill Sad) and hadn't eaten in over two weeks. Sad I have some photos of him somewhere, but it was absolutely heartbreaking; he was just skin and bones. He had so many issues and we did slowly work through them all with him, but when we had to make a choice between at least trying to hand feed small amounts of food, taking him to the vets to be put on a drip, or losing him altogether we opted to at least try hand feeding and forming positive associations with the bowl, and for him it worked. Smile

Hope Max continues to make good progress soon! Crossed
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Greybaby




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:55 pm

That is a sad situation Vicky but I've seen the pics of Max on another thread and he looks perfectly healthy also Blueribbon has only had him for a few days so it could be that as the new boy he's testing things out to see what he can get away with or it could be that he's just unsure of it being safe to eat but I would try the method I gave first before hand feeding because in most cases feeling hungry is enough to give any dog confidence to eat and if the food and bowl and himself are left alone to feed then he will learn eating out of the bowl is OK.
Also I don't know if you already do this but leaving the bowl down all the time even when empty can help they then get used to seeing it.
And do you feed him with other dogs around? competition for food is also a great motivator but you do have to make sure dogs don't try to eat his food and stay away from each others bowls cause fights could break out and we don't want that.
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blueribbonuk




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:37 am

max is in great shape. his previous owners cared and loved this boy. intially i was feeding him with the other dogs and then tried to feed him on his own. whilst on his own he would wine to be with the others. max is no way food possessive nor are my dogs. they have all been trained not to go near each others food bowls even when empty which none of them do.
the bowl is out all the time.
i asked advise as i have never come across a dog that seems frightened of his bowl. he ate his dinner yeaterday and will see if he will eat again today. he doesnt seem to be losing weight or anything and is a happy bouncy lad who loves everything the world has to offer, well apart from his bowl that is lol.
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blueribbonuk




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:39 am

pics of max


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Greybaby




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:49 am

Awww lovely lad Hearts How did you get him to eat then?
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blueribbonuk




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:57 am

standing next to him and just gently speaking to him.
as you can see from pic there are a few different feeding stands there.in the first pic you see two stands the one without a bowl in is the one he came with. he wont eat with that stand. the one with the bowl in he has decided he will eat out of.
its a gradual process with him but we will get there
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Greybaby




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:00 am

Thats so good well done both of you cheers
I'm sure he just needed the confidence to eat because he's in new surroundings and you standing next to him give him the confidence almost like you are there watching to make sure no one else comes an steals his food.
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redditchlady




PostSubject: Re: feeding   Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:56 pm

Greybaby wrote:
I wouldn't hand feed him, this may sound really harsh to you but no dog will ever starve its self if you put the food down for it and it doesn't eat then take it up and leave it for the next meal then do the same at the next meal time until he gets the message he will soon eat out of the bowl.
But if you start to hand feed him he will come to expect that at every meal time and then you are stuck I'm afraid


I agree with this advice. It may sound harsh but a healthy dog will not starve it's self. He looks a stunner by the way and Crossed he will soon start eating every meal out of his bowl. I do know how worrying it can be.
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PostSubject: Re: feeding   Today at 9:11 am

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feeding

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