Self regulator or is he messing with me?
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Thread: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

  1. #1
    flyingkitty is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultSelf regulator or is he messing with me?

    Ok here's the thing.
    First of all we started Shadow on Royal Canin LB puppy. He stopped eating it and soon refused it. So....I moved to the Nutro Ultra. At first he ate this well too. Now he's just sort of picking at the food. Is he picky or just messing around here?
    He has never snarfed up any food that he's been presented with. He will eat but not a great deal. Sometimes he eats better if I put the food in his crate but I really don't want to keep doing that.
    He seems to "forget" about his food if the kids are around while he's eating or if there is any action going on in the kitchen. I don't want to create a picky eater but at the same time I'd like to see some doggy enthusiasm for his food.
    Is he likely playing me or should I try something else? I'd rather not feed a food with corn to him. I've never been big on corn for dogs or cats.
    Sincerely, <br />FlyingKitty aka Shadow&#039;s mom<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

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  3. #2
    Fallriver's Avatar
    Fallriver is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    Just keep feeding him what you already have. Put it down on the ground and leave it there for 15 minutes, then pick it up and save it for his next meal. Once he realizes the buffet is only open for a short period of time, he will soon be eating better. I would also give him a quiet place to eat, as he is obviously not too comfortable eating with an action in the kitchen. If you do this, remember to do some food bowl exchanges with him fairly often. You can also have him do some sits and downs, etc., for the first little bit of his meal and that should increase his enthusiasm too.
    Don't worry....he won't go hungry.
    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

  4. #3
    rottnlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    How old is the food when he stops eating it and when/how is it stored?

    Dog food goes stale just like other types of food. If you are buying large quantities and only have one dog, the stuff at the bottom could be stale by the time you serve it to him. Also, if you store it in say the garage (somewhere it is affected by heat), it can also go stale.

    BobPR has the best idea about this issue. He divides the food up into 1 gal zip lock bags and freezes them until they are needed.
    <br /><br />Lydia, Murray &amp; Essy in AZ<br /><br />Clear Creek&#39;s Mad About You CDX RE NJP OAP OFP ASCA CDX GSN RSN NGC TGO TNO OAC NJC HPN PS1 JHE<br /><br />Larkspur&#39;s Essence RE NAC TNN JHE

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    Thank you, rottnlabs!* So true it can and will go stale and lose its appeal.

    flyingkitty, how old is your Shadow?*

    My Puff is a true self-regulator (99.9% of the time).* *Her appetite and intake increased up to 5 cups/day at around 8-9 months age and then quickly declined, and then declined several times more, until she eventually reached 2 1/2 cups a day total divided into 2 meals.* She signalled this by skipping for for a meal or a day.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
    flyingkitty is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    Bob,
    He's only 3 months old. He sort of tastes his food in the morning...eats maybe half, at lunch he nibbled it but come tonight for supper he woofed it down. Same food, mind you. He likes treats but he's not in the garbage looking for stuff or checking out counters or shelves (yet).
    He eats somewhere around 3-4 cups a day, some days barely 3 cups. He's very lean, his mom looked to be a lean Lab and his father (from pictures I've seen) was also on the lean side so it's possible he comes from a dam and sire that are lean and he's just following in their footsteps. I just packaged all the food into plastic containers and popped them into the freezer. I have one container out right now that I'll use up then pull another out. This food was recently purchased so it's not old or anything.
    Sincerely, <br />FlyingKitty aka Shadow&#039;s mom<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

  8. #6
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    From what you're saying, it sounds like he could be a self-regulator.* If so, welcome to the rare 10% club.

    Keeping the food from a 40 lb. bag fresh for a single, modest eating, self-regulating Lab is kind of a problem but I've been satisfied that the immediate decanting of 40 lbs. of kibble into 10-11 one gallon Ziplock freezer bags keeps the kibble sufficiently fresh.

    You might try the 15-20 minute protocol that FallRiver mentioned.* It 's probably better to get the amount he eats at meals somewhat levelled out and even.* But unless he's unusually small, he probably IS within the growth stage when appetite and food intake needs are increasing so you'll have to keep trying out whether he wants more.* (But within a few months, if he's anything like Puff, he'll be skipping meals until the amount offered decreases to match his appetite.)

    You can measure and offer him a bit over what you think he'll eat and then measure again what's left over* at the end of 15-20 minutes and save it for the next meal.* That way you can monitor his intake.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  9. #7
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    I'd wager to bet it's his age. At that age Rider was very much the same way. I thought I was going to have a picky eater too...he didn't stay on 3 meals a day for long and was a lanky pup until about a year old. As he got older, he grew acustomed to the 15 minute rule and even now in the mornings I have to tell him to "eat your breakfast" some days. Rider is now really well balanced for his body structure and weighs 87 lbs.

    I don't like to free feed so if you start protecting the food to keep it fresher and limit his access times to the bowl, I think it will work itself out rather than continually switchign his food.

    I also have a 10 month old foster that was free fed and it's been a week and he's slowly understanding that he get's his food for only 15 minutes...he has still yet to finish a bowl, but he's improving.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
    SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC

    Member Since 6/2003

  10. #8
    flyingkitty is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    FallRiver,
    Thanks for your advice too and I've started pulling up his bowl after 15 minutes. This morning he only ate 1 1/4 cups of food but lunch time was the remaining 1/4 cup and a fresh 1 cup and he finished it in the time allotment. I think maybe he's just a pup with his mind on everything but food.
    I'm going to keep him on the Nutro Ultra it's a good food and I'll just have to keep myself on the 15 minute rule until both he and I get used to it.
    I don't like the idea of free feeding dogs. I did have some cats I could do that with until I got one that was a piggy. After I got him everyone had set mealtimes of measured amounts of food. So, I can get used to this with a pup, no problem.
    Sincerely, <br />FlyingKitty aka Shadow&#039;s mom<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

  11. #9
    flyingkitty is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    Thanks so much to both rottnlabs and Dani also for helping with this issue. I'm keeping an eye on him and going to measure what he doesn't eat so I know how much he is and isn't getting. Hopefully its something to do with his age. Hopefully he's also going to grow into a self-regulator, that would be great!
    The food is in the freezer in plastic containers and will be decanted as needed. He's running around as I type this playing with the kids and being a goofy puppy.


    Sincerely, <br />FlyingKitty aka Shadow&#039;s mom<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

  12. #10
    Dani's Avatar
    Dani is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Self regulator or is he messing with me?

    Glad things are improving...however, I would advise against adding to the bowl during the next feeding. He he should only get what he left over from the earlier feeding...even if it's just one morsel. No dog will intentionally starve itself. It sounds harsh, but will really aid in making that whole transition to this is your food, you need to eat.
    Dani, Rider & Rookie
    SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
    SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC

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