My pup Sabelle has been acting really strange around her food bowl lately. She eats from it fine when it's in her cradle thing but whenever I take it out to put food in it and she is near she'll put her ears back lower her head and walk away like she has done something bad or like I'm going to punish her.
I'm worried that somewhere in my teaching her to sit and wait for her food while I'm getting it ready for her and then having her sit and wait before I put the bowl down, something went wrong.
I've tested it to see if what I was seeing was really happening, so I took her bowl and put a little yogurt in it with her food and held it out to her and she shied away from it. I sat on the floor next to her and put her bowl in front of her and she seemed not interested and almost worried I was going to punish her.
She did eventually eat it but it worries me that she is shying away like that. She's usually excited to get fed, but now it's hard to get her to eat. I'll put her bowl down and she'll just sit there and watch me almost like she is waiting for me to take it away and starve her. I have to tell her "ok" many times before she gets up to eat.
Another thing she has been doing is scratching at her bedding at night. I'm thinking she is only trying to get comfortable, but she's never done it before either. We have her in a kennel with a nice pad and blankets and toys and she will scratch and move her bedding so it's all crooked so I've taken the blankets out and just left her toys and the pad. She's also done it while laying on our bed, she'll scratch at the covers then lay down somewhere else.
That could be it. Maybe she got the idea that somewhere in the food preparation she may not behave correctly. If she's a very sensitive pup, you may have to be very gentle in training and always use a soft tone of voice with her. I would just change the feeding procedure: Prepare her dish while she's in another room, put it down then call her.I'm worried that somewhere in my teaching her to sit and wait for her food while I'm getting it ready for her and then having her sit and wait before I put the bowl down, something went wrong.
The scratching at her bedding thing is a very common behavior, sometimes called nesting. My Judy does it so I just give her a big fluffy throw and let her go at it.
Last edited by mitziandjudysmom; 10-23-2009 at 06:14 PM.
Or maybe it could be one of those irrational fears that the puppies get and it lasts for a bit and then it goes away.
Just a thought.
I'd try a different bowl and a different spot and change the routine and see if she is still behaving like this.
Nesting behavior is instinctual and all dogs do it in some fashion. Even wild dogs.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Not sure about the feeding issue, but as others have said, the nesting behavior is very common and normal. We have blankies on all of Bella's beds (yes, she several scattered around the house) and she has her own blankies on our bed too. It gives her something to nest with.