When it came to Breakfast/Dinner eating with Pitch, we had a routine before he could touch his food. He would have to come to us Heal, and Sit. Once he got that down, we increased it to a Down command. He had to do all this before he could move on to eating his food. This has worked well, once he did what he was to do, he would get a release command of "Ok". This would give him the cue that he could go eat.
Well All this week for what ever reason, he won't eat his food. He wants the food, it is almost like he feels he needs a command to eat. I have tried to go through his routine a few different times, Giving the OK command, everything. I have even nudged him towards the bowl. It has been Hell to get him to eat all this week. What I have been having to do, is get him to the bowl, start hand feeding him, then he will eat it all. What has caused this behaviour all of a sudden, I am not sure. I slept in this morning, and my husband couldn't seem to get him to eat. I did the hand feed thing again, and he gulped it up. I don't want to have to train him this way. Should we just scratch what we taught him, and maybe assign eating a new command? I have never known a lab that wouldn't eat...but this isn't due to illness. He wants his food. I haven't changed the food any either. Any thoughts?
I don't have an answer, but almost the same problem with Buddy. <insert scratchy-head guy here>
When we first got Buddy, he ate so fast that I had to put a toy, ball, or Kong in his dish to slow him down. I taught him to sit and wait for release (ok, break!) before he ate. Then I tried switching him to a different food, which he didn't care for and I had to coax him to eat, so we went back to the original. I still usually have to either hand feed him the first mouthful, or else put a couple drops of the Iams gravy stuff on it. Even with Champ scarfing his food down like there's no tomorrow, Buddy still eats slowly. ???
Champ pretty much swallows anything and everything whole, Buddy chews and crunches just about everything, even treats. Champ gets twice the amount of food, is very lean and thin, where Buddy is a chunk. Guess Buddy has my metabolism!
I don't have an answer for you.... that seems strange that he won't eat. Maybe the routine you had him going through was too much. I have my 4 sit and stay at the food barrel, while I fill the bowls. Then I put the lid on the barrel and lock it down, and put down the first bowl in front of Bosley. He has to remain sitting and not eating till I tell him OK. I have 3 others, and of course my routine differs from yours, I feed in seperate rooms to avoid any gulping or problems, but my routine is a short one. They just have to sit and stay and not eat till I say ok.......
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
Can you try feeding him in his crate? If mine aren't eating quickly (like withing the normal 2 minutes), I start feeding in the crate (no distractions) and only leave the bowl in there for 10 minutes - take it away even if they haven't eaten. It has never failed to get the dog eating quickly again - although we may go a couple of missed meals. Good luck, I don't have a reason for this behavior, however once and a while it has happened at my house.
I wish I had a problem like that, but a few things to try;
Give something irresistible, a piece of ham, bacon or chicken mixed with his food and he may forget that he needs to do something first.
Or, pick the food up and offer it again the next meal time, and let his hunger take care of the problem. I can't imagine a hungry lab not taking his food.
I did something similar with Bruno. He would jump on me and knock down his food bowl before it touched the floor. So I made him sit, then leave it until I say OK. But, If I don't give the command first, he dives right in.