My Labrador is malfunctioning

(57 Posts)
HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Fri 01-Mar-13 14:08:00

She leaves food in her bowl shock

Dh feeds her in the morning and it takes her till around 3pm to finish it. She is not sick, her mouth is Finland she is motivated by the same kibble when training so its not a case of disliking the food.

Is this normal? Are their Labs out there that don't demolish a bowl of kibble in 3.8 seconds and then are immediately hungry again?

I'm certain this breaks the trade description act.

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Fri 01-Mar-13 14:08:56

Her mouth is fine. Not Finland.

She has not eaten any country's

Bahahahaha @ 'her mouth is Finland' grin

My spaniel is sometimes a bit picky about his kibble. It generally coincides with me cooking bacon or something.

starsandunicorns Fri 01-Mar-13 14:19:08

I have a fussy dog. If cooking etc she will not eat incase she gets treats when I go to make brews she follows and looks in her bowl uncase the menu has changed.

Bit like us humans going to check fridge incase something nice will be in there by magic

sanityawol Fri 01-Mar-13 14:21:32

Had this with our lab a couple of months ago. We have far too many dogs, so DH bought ten 15 kilo bags of food in one go.

By the time we got to the end of it, I think she was sick of the sight of it and wasn't eating very well. Tried a different type of food for the next bag, and she was back to inhaling it as soon as she was allowed to the bowl.

Is she spayed? One of our other dogs isn't and she goes a bit odd over food just before she comes in season.

Does sound as though yours has developed a fault though!

mistlethrush Fri 01-Mar-13 14:27:13

Embrace the fault - I have had 4 self-rationing dogs who have had treats put on their kibble at 'meal' times that get wolfed down, with a bit of kibble, then they pick at kibble when they feel like it the rest of the time - and didn't have to be rationed at all. It was good because we knew that they were getting a balanced diet, and were not hungry, but stayed nice and trim without being on a diet. It wasn't interesting - but then their treats were...

Our current dog is moving in that direction which is again fine by us - she started inhaling food and now breakfast gets finished about 3pm and supper by about 9.30pm....

ajandjjmum Fri 01-Mar-13 14:39:50

Our 15 month old lab is wolfing his food down as he used to. This morning he had a couple of mouthfuls, and then decided he wanted to go outside for a while! He used to salivate when he saw us walking towards his dish, so at least my kitchen floor is no longer a soggy mess! grin

littlewhitebag Fri 01-Mar-13 14:45:33

My labrador is an inhaler. 2.6 seconds from full to empty bowl.

iseenodust Fri 01-Mar-13 14:59:42

Yep you need to sue someone. grin
13 yr old arthritic lab still inhales two meals even though there is no competition. In between times hoovers kitchen floor for crumbs.

Toomuchtea Fri 01-Mar-13 15:08:14

My lab turns the labrador suction machine on whenever she even thinks about food. There is no competition. The only thing that slows her down is the raw carrot. She is useless at eating carrots so I often stick one in her food to slow her down a bit. Fortunately she is very good at clearing up the appalling mess she makes as she sprays bits of half chewed carrot far and wide.

Not quite the same but our friends little rescue takes one piece of kibble from his bowl, takes it to his rug, crunches it into pieces and then eats it. Then goes back and repeats the process over and over until his meal is finished. Makes me laugh every time!!! Takes forever to eat a meal.

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Fri 01-Mar-13 17:06:52

She is getting spayed next month her season was 6 weeks ago.

So generally not usual in Labs then. I knew she was faulty.

punter Fri 01-Mar-13 22:16:53

We used to have a rescue mongrel who would take ages to eat his meal and needed to have wet food separate from dry and then take his final biscuit into the garden whatever the weather. He passed away last summer. We now have a golden lab which is a bit of a shock, he would eat the bowl if he could. Frozen carrots take a nano second longer (he is teething). My worktops have never been so clear or clean. They cannot actually taste anything can they? Love him to bits though.

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Fri 01-Mar-13 22:25:46

Yes, I've always had Labs. So I am more used hearing "Glunk" coinciding with an immediate absence of food grin

SecretNutellaFix Fri 01-Mar-13 22:33:57

Your dc feed her part of their breakfast?

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Fri 01-Mar-13 22:41:03

Nutty. NOTHING gets between dd and her porridge grin. Hully would rather take steak from a tiger.

SecretNutellaFix Fri 01-Mar-13 22:51:31


nooka Sat 02-Mar-13 05:01:30

Our dog is mixed breed but pretty lab looking. He is fed several times a day when dh thinks he might like a little more (kibble) but pretty rarely eats it all up at once. Sometimes he stands there and lets the cat eat it!

If there is fish around on the other hand then he's there in seconds grin

DeepRedBetty Sat 02-Mar-13 06:10:59

Yup, definitely a minor fault. But if she's running about like a loon, rolls in fox poo and hurls herself in rivers, canals and large puddles, everything else is ok.

TataClaire Sat 02-Mar-13 23:29:49

I DP's 14.5 year old lab eats anything and everything resulting in projectile effusions at both ends...time clearly has taught him nothing...

WhereMyMilk Sat 02-Mar-13 23:44:47

My lab does this.

Breakfast is still in her dish shock. Obviously not hungry today-though she goes and looks at her bowl to see if anything miraculous has appeared without her noticing!

Also, she'll only eat if we're in the kitchen with her...waits until I'm unloading the dishwasher, so knows I'm stuck for a while!

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Sun 03-Mar-13 07:51:49

grin. My last Lab used to get a chew when we went out. She would save it till we got home before eating it. The weirdo.

ColdHandLou Sun 03-Mar-13 09:56:53

Love the story of your friend's rescue needastrongone - when we take our dog to the local pet shop they give her the odd treat which HAS to be eaten on the mat in there, nowhere else will do!

Pick the bowl up off the floor!

It should be down for 15 minutes only. If the dog hasn't eaten, tough.

You should reduce her ration a bit and offer it twice a day. She will eventually eat normally. That sort of behaviour isn't unheard of in a lab, but is usually caused by food being constantly available and in slightly too large a quantity.

nooka Sun 03-Mar-13 18:19:54

Why would I want to do that though? My dog is nice and thin and happy to eat when he wants. I just think that kibble isn't very interesting food. He gobbles up treats no problem (or buries them for later).

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Sun 03-Mar-13 22:34:23

Daisy. I was removing the bowl. But mentioned it to the vet when paying for her spay, and he said to leave as as she wasn't being over fed. smile

I'm quite happy to start removing it again though.

She always eats in the evening but the vet said 10 months is too young for one meal a day. She doesn't have much in the morning as her kibble is used for training etc.

I leave the bowl down all the time. What's the reason for removing it after 15 minutes?

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Mar-13 08:53:15

Our collie x lab used to eat as he was hungry rather than inhale. I assume his digestive system was the collie part

mistlethrush Mon 04-Mar-13 11:28:26

I don't understand why its necessary to pick the bowl up and force them to eat within a specified 15min period either.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 11:37:52

My sister had a Lab and he only ate when he was hungry.

He was a big lad and a lovely shape but just completely self-regulated. She would put kibble in his bowl and just leave him to it, it got re-filled when it was empty. He was a lovely healthy weight all his life.

I have a lab/lurched/whippet type cross breed. She does not self regulate. She also doesn't appear to waste time chewing her food. However, she also eats as many non-food items as she can find so probably not a great example!

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 11:38:33

What's the reasoning behind taking away food they haven't eaten?

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 04-Mar-13 14:13:50

Randell to prevent over eating.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 15:14:04

Ah, I've never heard of that. I thought as long as you gave them the right portion for their size it was ok to let them eat it in their own time.

Wouldn't taking their food away cause them to start eating it all regardless of hunger simply because they though it would be taken away?

I don't know anything about it so genuinely interested.

Although admittedly it's unlikely to ever be an issue given my waste disposal unit of a mutt!

mistlethrush Mon 04-Mar-13 15:22:57

But if they've not eaten a modest portion size, why would taking half of it away stop them over eating?

I assumed it was more applicable to dogs who are human dustbins rather than those who naturally regulate their appetite? So, dogs who would eat everything even if full.

The breeder who we got our puppy from said there were two in the litter who were human dustbins, the others left food if full. My brothers puppy is astonishing, he doesn't bother chewing!

Lou - our friend rescue is a real little character who all love who meet him. The noise he makes when playing is something to behold!!!

There are a number of reasons for removing dogs food; it helps prevent dogs becoming fussy/picky by ensuring they remain interested in food. It is more sanitary - even kibble will encourage vermin and flies. It prevents over eating if a dog is that way inclined. It also makes it easier to spot a dog who is going off their food - free feeding makes that hard.

I can't think of a single reason for free feeding - other than convenience for the owner. Dogs like eating. It gives them something to look forward to; free feeding sort of numbs the brain a bit.

OP - I always split my labs food allowance over 2 meals a day, and yours is def too young for just one!

mistlethrush Mon 04-Mar-13 16:38:54

Daisy - I'll give you one - the dog we had when I was little ate in the middle of the night. That was her preferred time to eat. She once went into kennels and they took her food away - she came back skin and bone because she hadn't eaten for 2 weeks (never took her there again).

Mistlehound sometimes doesn't want to eat breakfast first thing. Some days she will - but others, like today, she didn't even glance at it and went back to sleep for a while - she will have eaten it by 3pm and will eat her supper over a period of 3 hrs or so. She likes eating - but she clearly wants to do it when she wants to and not in one go - whereas when she first arrived here she wolfed it down in 40 secs flat. It seems much more 'natural' for them to eat smaller quantities on and off during the day rather than wolf down two decent sized meals.

My last dog was a free feeder (ie we didn't monitor the amount of food we put in her bowl) for much of her life and we never had any flies or vermin issues.

I'm not even sure why it is more 'convenient' for her to eat it over a period of time. It makes no difference to me whether she picks at it or wolfs it all down as I'm putting the same amount of food in her bowl. Similarly I can see when she's not eaten it because its still there - I'm not sure how picking the bowl up changes anything apart from forcing them to have a larger meal than they want in one go?

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 16:47:27

I agree mistle I think it completely depends on the dog. I don't think one rule suits all.

I've never heard of free feeding. If thats just filling a bowl willy nilly then I don't think that's what anyone was talking about. My sister's dog was fed in exactly the same way as mine is. They have their set portion put in their bowl twice a day.

Mine swallows it in three gulps my sisters went back and forth to it when he felt like it.

I don't think either of those things are wrong and certainly wouldn't call it over-feeding. Just different dogs.

TomDudgeon Mon 04-Mar-13 16:51:25

Or in our dogs case we needed her to eat as much as possible as she was underweight having been ill ( and had an op)
Even then she only eats what she fancies
I wouldn't like to be told to clear my plate or that's it. Sometimes I'll eat a bit more of it later

TheChimpParadox Mon 04-Mar-13 18:30:26

My lab malfunctioned like this - I was feeding her twice a day , she started being leaving food etc . To try and overcome this I tried feeding her once a day - laste for a couple of weeks , I really wasn't comfortable with it so put her back on two feeds and she seemed to function OK again !

Then about 18 months later she started leaving some of her kibble again - shed'd eat everything else so I put it down to the food , also she was increasingly being sick in the night - but no runny poos or other indications of upset tummy . I decided to change her kibble and haven't looked back and no more sick in night .

Perhaps her food doesn't agree with her ? Like yours she'd eat it as a treat but faced with a bowl full she'd not fancy it .

But the thing is, we're not dogs. Dogs just don't have human style emotion or thought processes.

And as ever, there is more than one way to bring up a dog just as there is more than one way to bring up a child. My way is not the only way, but it is the one most commonly used within the dog world I know.

I need to know when my dogs have eaten and how much when we go competing, working or training for the day. They cannot compete or work when empty, nor can they work all day with too much food. I can plan their meals around our days activity precisely because I can plan when they eat. If they piss about eating a bit of kibble whenever they fancy it, it just wouldn't work well for any of us.

The OP was asking, as I understood it, for advice about a Labrador who was becoming fussy or picky. My advice is feed twice a day and pick up after 15 minutes. I don't like free feeding, especially if there's more than one dog in a household.

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 04-Mar-13 20:27:45

She's on Burns Alert, and loves it. She has always finished her food on one go. She's now 10 months and is simply not interested in her morning feed. But eats fine in the evening.


If you don't give her breakfast in the morning she whines for it till you do hmm so I assume she's hungry and feed her.

Jas goes through phases of this. He's also on Burns Alert. I have been known to break a raw egg on top of his ration to encourage scoffage.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 20:36:48

I don't think its anything you're doing or not doing, I just think she's getting older so the puppy-like wolfing down has waned and she's more able to regulate iyswim.

It could well just be a faze and stop as quickly as it started, or she may just be a dog that doesn't eat much in morning.

Either way, if she's healthy in every other way I wouldn't worry about it.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 04-Mar-13 20:38:35

Raw egg's a good idea.

Was so proud when out with MaggieLab yesterday, he walked past someones discarded kebab without so much a sniff. How smug was I?
Then today we were out and he found someones smelly greasy chicken bone, was soo pleaed with himself and only parted with it, in exchange for a piece of dried liver. I had to touch the bloody thing, much grossness!

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Mon 04-Mar-13 22:22:36

I'm not worried smile

Just rather perturbed, have always had greedy guts labs before. She loves a whole raw egg, breaking on her food would ruin the ooooh ooooh ooooh! I've got an EGG! dance. That precedes the mad hunt for the perfect place in the kitchen to eat said egg grin

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Mar-13 14:48:14

Actually, my dog is free fed. Not through design, just because thats how he likes it. Being part spaniel he has smallish bucket type bowls. A full bucket will last him about a week. He picks as and when he wants. My friend has his dad. Dad is strictly fed a small scoop of food twice a day. Put anything on the floor near him and its gone. When dad comes to stay, he inhales the entire bucket and then sticks his head in the sack for more. Obviously my dog is more than likely an anomaly, but Id much rather he picks than wolfs down anything and everything. He is a lovely healthy weight.

gymmummy64 Tue 05-Mar-13 14:55:08

Hot - run me through the 'whole raw egg' thing?

Do I take it you give the whole egg, with shell intact? My lot-of-lab-mongrel will eat anything (except bizarrely, chicken wings) but I've never tried him on an egg. I love the sound of the egg dance!

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Tue 05-Mar-13 14:59:25

My old girl went off of her food at one point. Sardines in tomato sauce got her eating again. And her poo was an interesting shade of pink too!

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Tue 05-Mar-13 16:00:59

When baking or cooking I lob the shells at her.

If I am using just a yolk / whites I chuck left overs with shell in her bowl.

If I haven't washed the floors yet and I think she's allowed a treat I simply give her a whole raw egg.

She minces like a right pansy before finally eating it grin

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 05-Mar-13 16:07:35

I've never given one with the shell on before, it never occurred to me. What a fab idea.

mistlethrush Tue 05-Mar-13 16:09:54

We have - but ours got into such a mess with it we've not repeated the experiment grin

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Tue 05-Mar-13 16:11:17

Shells got all the calcium in.

Hullys actually quite tidy, she

HotPinkWeaselWearingLederhosen Tue 05-Mar-13 16:12:17

Eats it on her mat

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 05-Mar-13 16:17:23

I didn't know that, RandallMutt thanks you!

Jas takes the egg directly from the nest box given half a chance, then carefully carries it over to the patio before lobbing it so that it smashes everywhere. He does clean it up, though ;)

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