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Greed, Blood, and a General Lack of Pride.

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  • Greed, Blood, and a General Lack of Pride.

    Once again, I appeal to you guys for helpful ideas and I've already re-visited the "Luna is chomping" thread of last year. That was in relation to her biting the hand that feeds her bait in the ring, and you advice worked really well and solved the problem.

    This is different.

    The new pup, "Lyric" is a maniacal eater. Greedy to the point of dangerous if I don't get a handle on this.

    She drew blood for the 4th night in a row on my hand, before I even had her bowl in her crate. (All my dogs are fed separately)

    The lack of pride is my own...I need some help here, and quickly, while I still have a chance to rework her.

    When she and her littermates left here (my home) @ 5 weeks (totally weaned) I was feeding 4 puppies from 5 bowls...as I always do. There were NO food issues.

    My co-owner fed the pups from 5 weeks on...from 2 bowls.
    I have never seen anything like this in all my years of dogs...she is an obsessed food vacuum to the exclusion of everything around her.

    Her health is fantastic, has been de-wormed right on schedule and had a very tiny intestinal parasite load...few rounds, her weight is perfect.
    SHE THINKS she is STARVING.

    I am feeding a very high quality food, and am now at the point where I am feeding her SIX smaller meals a day because if I only feed her 2 or 3...she gulps so fast she chokes and/or vomits.

    I know this is behavioral, and more so than teaching her to eat slowly...I need to know what "go back to square one" might be.

    She shows NO SIGNS of food aggression...I can put my hand on her, in her face, in the bowl...nothing elicits a response from her (and that was a test...I don't do that everytime I feed her)

    I thought of making her food (it's dry) a slurry, than freezing it into cubes and it might force her to eat slower...but I'm desperate.

    We don't start formal classes until January...and she can't be taught to "sit" for food yet as she will be in the conf. ring before the disobedience ring.

    Oh, she is currently 9 weeks old.

    Any ideas......welcome! Signing off, your BFF. Bloody Fingered Friend, Bernie
    Last edited by 4Sibes; 11-28-09, 05:08 PM. Reason: added age. might be important, might not?
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

  • #2
    You don't always have to have "sit" as her behavior before eating. I have no idea what your terms for the conformation ring are, or if you even have any, but start using those and teaching her to use those. I know at some point you need to have the dog to be able to look @ you on command, that is a good one to start getting her attention away from the food dish. She must look @ you for as long as you need her to before she gets any of that food. I have actually found pouring water over the food makes them slow down too. Not letting it sit long enough to sink into the food, just pour and serve. My food obsessed girl takes about twice as long to eat when there is water in there too. She can't go all crazy because she will slosh it out of her dish and that is no good, she is too good (and too tall) to eat it off the floor. They do also make dishes w/ the bumps in the bottom to cause slower eating. If you have the patience and time, you could always hand feed her, make her behave between each bite. I never had the time or patience for that one, but I've heard it actually helps. It causes them to see the food as more yours until you give it too them kinda thing. The good thing is, this is a puppy and you have some time to work it out of her. I'd start learning to fight for my food too if I had to share it w/ others.
    I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
    -Michelangelo

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    • #3
      Consider yourself blessed My old girl is a maniacle eater too and she finished her CH fast with 3 majors because she was super motivated in the ring..this was after she decided to to backflips in the ring a few times, with one flip that planted her firmly ON her back on the go-round. She sprung back up, covered in grass clippings and elicited quite a delighted response from the audience. I just used no bait at all when she was shown, instead i simply held my hand out and waved my finger..she loved that because even though there was no bait, she had fun -imagining- there was bait.

      I would take a chow hound over a hard keeper any day

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      • #4
        My husky gulps, and the vet told me to put a tennis ball in his food dish so he would have to eat around it, and eat slower.

        Well, it worked BUT I had to use three tennis balls.

        Friggin' huskies....

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SiberianLover View Post
          My husky gulps, and the vet told me to put a tennis ball in his food dish so he would have to eat around it, and eat slower.

          Well, it worked BUT I had to use three tennis balls.

          Friggin' huskies....
          lol almost a good idea with my pigs I would have to use a bowling ball as I fear they would eat the tennis balls.lol

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          • #6
            I know you are looking for more of a behavioral approach, but there are feeding bowls called "portion pacers". Alas, they don't make them for humans....
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              the tennis balls are a great help, but the dog must "earn" the food. have her stand for exame(sp) then give a nibble, had one like that,i'm obeideince,he had to leave it on command,teach the leave it with anything, toy etc, make her earn the reward.in my world this would be a highly desired trait as it can be used to the pup to ANYTHING. take the foodaway after a few gulps, wait CALMLY, give the food, take the food,just be calm and confident. you may have to repeat all the above steps for a few days to a week, but she is well worth the effort. i hope you find what works for you.
              ~~Everyone is entitled to my opinion!~~

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              • #8
                Feed her by hand. FE: Portion out her food like normal but, Make her take each bite from your hand after she earns it. It's a slower process but, she learns to earn her food.
                "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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                • #9
                  Ha, I put my standard on this because he'd do the same. I bought him a bolter bowl. Helps A LOT.

                  http://www.calvetsupply.com/product/...r_Modification
                  There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Smart-n-Pretty View Post
                    Make her take each bite from your hand
                    Already done that Smarten. I'm down to a pointer finger on my right hand and a pinky finger on my left. What do you reccommend after I only have bloody wrist nubs?

                    (Just kiddin ya! But that approach is making her MORE frantic and less discrimnatory about where she is biting.) It did help w/ the adult "Luna" last year though. That, and "yelping" like someone had advised.

                    I am trying to come up w/ an approach that is "less connected" to me, and more associated w/ the nature of the ways things are.

                    I just need a way to have her show HERSELF...that she isn't starving to death.

                    Got a few ideas I'll start to incorporate....thanks guys! gals. sorry.
                    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                    • #11
                      You said all your dogs are fed seperately ... how separated are they? Are they in visual distance of each other? I had a rottie who would scarf down her food like she hadn't eaten in weeks (even though I fed her twice a day). I use to put cans of soup/veggies in her bowl (tennis balls she'd just pick up and take out but anything large and heavy works and not small enough to cause a choking hazard) and I had to move her feeding area to another room with the door closed. It seemed not having the visual of my other dogs, as well as the heavy can in her bowl helped to teach her she didn't need to eat so fast.

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                      • #12
                        You can imitate a "bolster bowl" using a 9 x 13 glass baking pan and a small muffin tin. Invert the muffin tin in the glass pan and voila - or not. She is a Sibe after all...
                        Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
                        George Sand (1804 - 1876)

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                        • #13
                          I don't know if you're a cesar milan/dog whisperer fan - (& I don't want to start anything but I've seen several episodes where he really emphasises the feeding ritual that he does w/his own dogs. as well as episodes w/dogs w/food aggression issues - I know this is not what you have, but a related issue.

                          there's a lot to it ... but cesar holds the food bowl until the dog is calm ... then lowers it just a little so the dog can begin to eat - if they start "scarfing" or any growling lift it up slowly ... & again wait for them to be calm. keep repeating this until the dog learns to eat normally.

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                          • #14
                            Bernie -

                            I think you need to DETACH yourself (as in your hands!) for a little while from her franticness, at least by the sounds of it. You probably need to work it so that you can put HER food down somewhere without her seeing it, that would be the best - then bring her to it and let 'er rip for a few days (along with some of the suggestions below) until it becomes more routine. She also needs to be away from seeing/hearing the other dogs, as this is triggering her competition/franticness. I will try to describe details below.

                            I think your main thing now is to set up the routine so that she does not have an opportunity to continue what she has been doing, so whatever that requires, do it. She is in PRE-kindergarten at this point, so your aim is to undo the "frantic".

                            Can she see the other dogs when you are bringing the food? If so, maybe she can be in another room so that she is not "triggered" to compete. Or maybe you can crate all the dogs, feed the others, put her bowl down in another room, then let her out of her crate to follow you to where the bowl is. Later you can CARRY the bowl and she is not allowed to jump up and be wild, but for now don't ask her because she is obviously frantic. When she empties her bowl, maybe you can put a leash on to hold her away with one hand while your other hand adds food. This way you are safe from bleeding and she will get into the routine of "waiting" while you add more. This will help her not lunge until you say "chow time" or "eat up" or whatever you want to say to indicate she may now eat.

                            With frantic dogs like this, I ADD food when they empty their bowl. I let them eat several "meals" at once if they think they need it (but they are not full meals, just additions after their meal). That way they become more relaxed. She's just a pup, she's not likely to get fat right now, and it will start registering in her pea-brain that MORE is coming (maybe, lol). Put a leash on her to hold her back while you add food, if necessary.

                            After a couple of weeks of this, you can test and see if she's ready to be calmer under the routine that you have established. For instance, you might be able to bring the bowl to her kennel and let her out to FOLLOW you to her eating area. If she jumps up you can turn away and wait until she has "4 on the floor" to continue to the eating area; the same applies for putting her bowl down. If she has been more relaxed about eating for a week or two or three before you do this, she will probably show that she can get the concept quickly.

                            These suggestions are the basic levels for her state right now. I hope they help. I truly would add some food after she cleans up, maybe 2-3 times every meal, just a couple of extra mouthfuls (a handful?) at a time. I believe this will ease her anxiety. Also, as she eats away from hearing the other dogs, she will probably be able to relax more about her food and focus on what you are going to start expecting of her.

                            Good luck! Here's to no more blood!

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                            • #15
                              LOTS of ideas worth incorporating here!

                              Thanks you guys!

                              I'm going to read thru all this slowly, and come up w/ an approach.

                              Yes, Lyric is fed in her crate, in the "doggy bedroom" where everyone else is also fed in their crates. That's gonna stop effective immediately...I can feed her in a kennel on my grooming room away from the others.
                              I have been feeding her first, and each crate has a 1/2 wall (back 1/2 of their crate) so that each dog has a "cave" of sorts in the back so they don't have to feel constantly open and exposed to the other dogs, if they prefer some privacy.
                              My crates are VERY oversized...adult Sibes are in Newfie sized crates, and the puppy is in an adult Sibe sized crate.

                              I've attached 2 pics.
                              Pic 1 is my friend holding Lyric when I went to visit the puppies at 7 wks. My co-owner, in an effort to "curb" this frantic eating problem had resorted to free-feeding the puppies, figuring they would eventually self-regulate. They were gorging to the point of explosive diarrhea and...well, the belly speaks for itself.
                              I was pretty horrified, but as they were not my pups, and it wasn't in the plan for me to get one...kinda bit my tongue. She knew it was a problem anyway.

                              The second pic was taken yesterday...and is how she SHOULD look. But, she thinks she's on the verge of starvation.

                              So here we go........thanks again you guys!
                              Attached Files
                              Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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