I'm new to this forum. My name is Suzy and I have 2 dogs: a Fox Red Labrador, and a Springer Spaniel.
My Labrador Amber is 4 years old and my Springer Spaniel Archie is 10 months old.
For quite a long time now, Amber has become a very fussy eater. You can put a bowl of food down for her and 6 hours later it can still be there un-touched. Sometimes, we don't even bother putting her dinner down for her as her entire breakfast bowl is still full. It can reach the next morning and she hasn't touched it.
From a puppy she was fed firstly on Weetabix & Puppy Milk and then moved onto dog kibble mixed it with a bit of human food. I'm thinking it may be the problem? That she won't go back to dog food because she wants human food? Trouble is, we can't afford to feed her an extra meal at the moment other than her dog kibble which she shares a bag with our springer.
Archie can eat for England and if not supervised around her food bowl would happily eat it all and leave her nothing so we have tried picking up her bowl and putting it back down a couple of hours later. That doesn't work. She doesn't seem to be losing weight because my parents will feed her titbits and she gets her daily bonio and if there is any dinner leftovers, she will get it mixed into her bowl with the kibble.
Can anyone suggest anything that may help?? Is this normal lab behaviour? My 2 previous labs were absolute gannets.
Many thanks in advance!
Amber has become spoiled. Your fault, sorry. Stop mixing any human food into the dog food. Feed her what you want to feed her dog food wise and that's it. Put the food down for 10 minutes. If she doesn't eat, then you pick it up and save it for the next scheduled feeding time. No more free feeding where she dictates when or if she wants to eat. You are putting her on a schedule to eat twice a day.
At the next scheduled feeding time, NEVER BEFORE NO MATTER HOW PITIFUL SHE LOOKS OR ACTS, you put the food down again for 10 minutes. If she eats half of it, or just a kernel, whatever is left in the dish is what she gets at the next scheduled feeding time. If she eats it all except for one kernel, then we do NOT add food until that dish is clean and only at the next feeding time. If she leaves a kernel of food, then that's what she gets.
YOU will need to be strong, but you are in control here, not your dog. She will not starve herself. It will become a battle of will and if you want to be in control then you need to win this battle.
♣ Laura ♣