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Will the food madness settle down?

(6 Posts)
minkersmum Thu 20-Feb-14 10:51:24

My pup 15 week old collie eats like he has never bern fed. He was a farm puppy brought from the islands over to our local sspca. I thought initially it was probably because when weaned they were not fed little and often like they should and so was used to feeling hungry and having to gorge himself when he had the chance.

So we have had him a month. I very quickly realised he needs fed seperately from our older laid back around food lab x (also from the Islands and ended up in our local sspca weird pattern!) When I feed them apart but no door between them pup will inhale his meal and then rush in and start scoffing labxs. Labx growls but pup ignores this.

I am feeding in seperate rooms but even preparing their food makes pup frantic which worries me esp when dc are home. Our cottage layout/size means it is very difficult to do this somewhere completely out the way. I can crate pup while i prepare it but he goes crazy really screaming his head off! Other than the food thing he is really settling and I'd like to make progress with this.

I feed him 4 meals. He gets treats between meals too so is getting plenty food. He also gets a bit of warm goats milk too so I don't think he is desperately hungry. He is on fishmongers for puppies 70% fish grain free kibble with a bit of natures diet mixed in and he is a good weight. Was on Beta puppy when we got him but had terrible dandruff and change of diet

minkersmum Thu 20-Feb-14 10:53:48

Bah posted too soon oops!

Change of diet has sorted this.

Any advice how best to handle this?

He isn't growly or anything with me around food but is so frantic and snatchy a growl wouldnt surprise me.

moosemama Thu 20-Feb-14 11:28:06

My pup was the same when we brought him home. He was malnourished due to a digestive infection and would literally inhale his food in seconds then look for more. At one point he was on 8 meals a day to try and get enough food into him and try not to over-stress his digestive system.

We fed him in his crate, as it helps create positive associations with the crate itself and also it meant he was separate from our other dog.

The best thing we ever did was buy him a Green Feeder to slow him down at meal times.

The Green Feeder slowed his mealtimes from literally seconds to 10-15 minutes and as he's a breed that are prone to bloat I am much happier with him taking longer over his food.

Once he slowed his eating down it was as if he actually started to acknowledge the feeling of being full and his desperation for food reduced.

I found to reduce his desperation to get at his meal, the best thing was to weigh out and bag up his food weekly, then, not only could I be sure he was getting exactly the right intake, it only took seconds to dish it up and I could do it without him noticing if he was busy with a chew or toy or someone took him outside for me. If he was frantic and yelling for his meal I would make sure I waited until he drew breath, then say 'good quiet' and give it to him. Eventually he worked out that he had to be quiet to get the food and would take himself off to his crate and sit quietly to wait for me to give it to him.

If you don't want to feed him in his crate, could you get a temporary, push-fit style baby gate to put between the dogs when they're eating?

My boy is 8 months old now, still on 4 feeds a day and still a really piggy - which is actually a good thing in terms of training - but no longer acts like he's been starved or tries to get to our other dog's food and mealtimes are far more relaxed.

minkersmum Thu 20-Feb-14 12:02:19

Moosemama thanks for a very helpful reply. It is good to hear progress can be made.

Most of our dogs have been adult rescues and my last puppy (my great dane 12/13 years ago) was not a scoffer. She ate happily in same room as my collie/terrier cross with never a problem.

I have looked at the slow feed bowls and wondered if they would help. Currently when he finishes I have asked him to sit and I put some warm goats milk in his bowl which gives the older dog time to eat and I hoped this would help pup associate hands near his bowl as a positive thing too, although he has finished the food at this point.

I might go back to feeding in crate for the moment and try splitting feeds further. He is a good weight so don't think he needs more, I weigh it out in advance but the nature diet is in the fridge and i heat it slightly (as per instructions on packet) so this is the timely bit. I might just add a bit of boiled water which would be quicker!

Thanks again!

Whoknowswhocares Thu 20-Feb-14 13:31:01

Alongside the excellent advice above, I'd start to introduce a leave it command with treats, which will help him learn self control.
Start with a really smelly treat clasped in your hand. He is likely to try pawing etc to get it, so wear a glove if you're sensitive!
Wait it out until he moves his head away a fraction. Release the treat. As you continue he will start to learn that grabbing and pawing won't work and sitting still does! Once he does it reliably, you can introduce the verbal cue and raise criteria to opening your hand etc

minkersmum Thu 20-Feb-14 22:36:53

Thanks whocares i will try that. He is really bright so hopefully he will pick it up quickly!

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