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Hello everyone,

We've had our puppy (now 9 weeks old) Bender for 2 weeks now, and he constantly seems (or acts) starving when it comes time to eat. We have him on a feeding schedule of 1/2 cup 3X day, 7:00am, 12:30pm, and 6:00pm, and use puppy food as treats throughout the day for training. My question is if we are feeding him enough?

He gobbles down his food in a matter of minutes and acts like he is still starving. Just two days ago he started to growl and act aggressive while he was eating (we have been petting him and talking to him while he eats, and it WAS working fine).

This morning he knocked the bowl out of my hand (spilling the food everywhere) and then started to growl and bark at me while he was eating.

My solution was to get him to sit away (he knows sit) from the bowl and feed him 5-6 pieces of food at a time (by hand). I figured this would slow his eating down and remind him that I am in control of his food and reinforce his good behavior of sitting away from the dish and eating slowly.

Is he acting this way because he needs more food? or does he act starving?

Thanks,
Tia
 

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Mine would act starving too if only fed that amount! By the time my pups leave at 8 wks (females ranging from 10-15 lbs normally), they are usually eating ~2.25 C per day and quickly graduate to 3 over the course of the next 2 -3 wks. My 16 wk old (almost 30#) is eating closer to 4 C a day now.

Did your breeder send any recommendations home w/ you at all? Anne
 

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I sent puppies home a few weeks ago at 8 weeks and they were eating 1 c, three times a day at 8 weeks-pup weighed about 15-16 lbs. I have 2 keepers and they are now 13 weeks and they are eating 1 1/3-1.5 cups 3 times a day. I think your pup needs more food. You are addressing the issue correctly with hand feeding him and making him sit and wait. You can also feed him in a muffin tin to slow him down some. Good luck!
 

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i think you need to feed more. by 8 weeks i don't (because I can't) do three feedings a day. I do two. But I would say they are eating 3 cups a day.
 

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Needs more food for sure! Mine at 8 weeks was 3/4 cup 3 x a day and was up to a full cup in a week or so. He is now 14 weeks old and is at 1.5 cups 3x a day and has a very nice body condidtion. They are growing so fast at this age, I am sure he is frantic for food!
 

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I am sure of it too... would be willing to bet $$$ on it that the pup is just hungry. The "pigginess" will likely correct itself once he is satisfied again.

If you can feel their ribs *too* easily, they are too thin. Think about keeping enough of a fat layer there that if he were to get sick for a couple days, he'll have reserves.
 

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what food are you feeding your puppy? I am pretty sure we were feeding 1 cup of our Eagle Pack Large Breed Puppy food 3x a day until 4 months and then it was 1.5cups 2x a day and now we are on grain free and are feeding 3/4 cups 2x a day. (but she is alot older now too!)
 

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wow...our rescue pups were eating 1.25 c. twice a day at that age. Feed more.
 

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I agree with feeding more, we did # of cups for # of months old for the first few months and it worked really well for us (2 cups @ 2 months old, 3 cups @ 3 months old, etc) Baloo had nice even growth on that schedule.

But, your pup is also a lab, so the "pigginess" will probably never go away altogether. Labs aren't exactly known for their discriminating palates. ;)
 

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everyone has already said feed more.

Puppies are growing fast and need more food for energy and growing. My dogs ate twice as much as puppies as they do now. At about a year old they slowed down their need. Infact Gordy now eats between 2-2 1/2 cups, compared to 5 cups as a puppy.

Also I wanted to adress your hand feeding...Sometimes when an owner begans to see aggression with food they do more harm by trying things to lessen the aggression.

I just leave the dog alone when they feed. Give them their bowl of food and give them space. If you hover your dog may fear you will take the food. The only thing I suggest for food possession is adding treats into your dogs bowl and only in passing. Never take away his food midfeeding.
 

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What food are you feeding?

How many kcals/cup does this food contain (if this value is not listed on the bag, call the 800 toll free number on the bag and ask).

How much does your puppy currently weigh?

Desired food intake goes by puppy weight, age, and kcals/cup.

Young puppies (below 3-4 months age) typically need 2-3X the amount that an adult dog of that age and weight would need. The multiplier gradually decreases to 1X at about 10-12 months.

 

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I agree with what everyone says about feeding more but I don't believe that will stop his "piggishness". He is a lab after all. :D

My first lab was a female around 59 lbs and did not eat too fast but would have eaten herself into a stupor if we let her. My new puppy (6 months) sounds just like your pup. He eats like a maniac and does the food guarding. We consulted a positive dog trainer and she suggested hand feeding. It has worked wonderfully as I get to spend time training while feeding him and he has to eat slower. We also use the buster cube for one of his meals and he loves that as well. Food time is now play time. We also feed on a tray at times and add treats by hand while he is eating. Just remember there is no hard and fast rule of what to do. Do what works best your you and your pup. One last comment regarding hand feeding, my puppy just fractured his leg in two places and is having surgery today so hand feeding has been our only option and he loves us for it. So getting your dog used to various kinds of feeding routines can help you in future situations.
 

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everyone has already said feed more.

I just leave the dog alone when they feed. Give them their bowl of food and give them space. If you hover your dog may fear you will take the food. The only thing I suggest for food possession is adding treats into your dogs bowl and only in passing. Never take away his food midfeeding.
I would differ here. You need to be able to remove food or a food-like item from a dog. He may find something undesirable/unsafe (think cooked steak or chicken bone) and be eating it and you need to be able to reach over and take that item out of his mouth without objection. You may not always be able to make your boy drop it or leave it on command.

If you don't habituate/condition a puppy to realize that your hand in his dish means nothing bad, then when the dog is an adult he will very likely warn you away (or bite) if you try to remove a high value item.

I have done this with every one of my dogs and never had food guarding develop.
 

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Originally Posted by Canula2000
everyone has already said feed more.

I just leave the dog alone when they feed. Give them their bowl of food and give them space. If you hover your dog may fear you will take the food. The only thing I suggest for food possession is adding treats into your dogs bowl and only in passing. Never take away his food midfeeding.
I would differ here. You need to be able to remove food or a food-like item from a dog. He may find something undesirable/unsafe (think cooked steak or chicken bone) and be eating it and you need to be able to reach over and take that item out of his mouth without objection. You may not always be able to make your boy drop it or leave it on command.

If you don't habituate/condition a puppy to realize that your hand in his dish means nothing bad, then when the dog is an adult he will very likely warn you away (or bite) if you try to remove a high value item.

I have done this with every one of my dogs and never had food guarding develop.
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Sharon
Point well taken -- I agree.

 

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I agree with what everyone says about feeding more but I don't believe that will stop his "piggishness". He is a lab after all. :D

. We also use the buster cube for one of his meals and he loves that as well. Food time is now play time.
I am not a fan of that buster cube. I had one years ago and my Doberman got his mouth locked onto it. It was sad and he totally paniced.
 

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I would differ here. You need to be able to remove food or a food-like item from a dog. He may find something undesirable/unsafe (think cooked steak or chicken bone) and be eating it and you need to be able to reach over and take that item out of his mouth without objection. You may not always be able to make your boy drop it or leave it on command.

If you don't habituate/condition a puppy to realize that your hand in his dish means nothing bad, then when the dog is an adult he will very likely warn you away (or bite) if you try to remove a high value item.

I have done this with every one of my dogs and never had food guarding develop.
Well, I don't see how sticking your hand in the dogs bowl or hand feeding him kibble by kibble will not make him weird about food, but each his own. I have been doing it my way for years as well and can take anything from the dogs, even raw bone. But would never do it just to test to see if my dog will let me.

I think trading up or adding extra goodies is good enough. I know a few people with resource gaurding issue and when asked they all claim they did everything right including hand feeding and taking away the bowl mid feed or sticking their hand in the food to make sure the dog knew they controlled the food.

If you make your dog sit before you feed he is already aware that you control the food. If you trade items for better items you get an honest relationship with your dog and he will understand you are a fair leader. JMO.
 

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I think some people try and muscle their way through it, which can cause anxiety in the dog, which can lead to guarding. People that go at it with the "I have to prove that I'm 'alpha' by controlling food" mindset commonly trigger this.

I taught the dogs that having me around them while they eat, having hands in the bowl is a GOOD thing. Having their food taken away means they're in for a GREAT treat. They are more than happy to have me around while eating, if they see me in their peripheral coming towards them while eating, their tails start wagging. I've seen others complete this exercise by forcing the dog to relinquish food, and the dog gets stiff and upset, but people still think it's a success because the dog *technically* let them take it away. *sigh*.

I think it's important that you teach them to be OK with this (REALLY OK, not just stiff/resentful OK)) for a few reasons. What if you had kids at the house who didn't know better and grabbed the dog or food during dinnertime? It's all fine and good to say "kids will be supervised", but life happens and sometimes thats not an absolute. Or what if you need to get something edible from them in a BIG hurry? They need to be OK with relinquishing "prizes" to you. I feed raw, and one day I fed Baloo a rabbit. As I was watching them eat, I realized I had left the plastic tag still inside the rabbit, so I had to take it away from him, remove the tag and then give it back. Just one of many examples where a dog's food would need to be taken away.
 

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I think some people try and muscle their way through it, which can cause anxiety in the dog, which can lead to guarding. People that go at it with the "I have to prove that I'm 'alpha' by controlling food" mindset commonly trigger this.

I taught the dogs that having me around them while they eat, having hands in the bowl is a GOOD thing. Having their food taken away means they're in for a GREAT treat. They are more than happy to have me around while eating, if they see me in their peripheral coming towards them while eating, their tails start wagging. I've seen others complete this exercise by forcing the dog to relinquish food, and the dog gets stiff and upset, but people still think it's a success because the dog *technically* let them take it away. *sigh*.

I think it's important that you teach them to be OK with this (REALLY OK, not just stiff/resentful OK)) for a few reasons. What if you had kids at the house who didn't know better and grabbed the dog or food during dinnertime? It's all fine and good to say "kids will be supervised", but life happens and sometimes thats not an absolute. Or what if you need to get something edible from them in a BIG hurry? They need to be OK with relinquishing "prizes" to you. I feed raw, and one day I fed Baloo a rabbit. As I was watching them eat, I realized I had left the plastic tag still inside the rabbit, so I had to take it away from him, remove the tag and then give it back. Just one of many examples where a dog's food would need to be taken away.

I agree completely.

To put a finer point on my comments - I don't desire or intend to enforce "status" on my dogs. What I do with them is just a normal course of day to day in my house. So, I don't hover, interfere unnecessarily or lord my "power" over them. They do know that I am not a threat to the food supply.

Sometimes I add things to their dish, sometimes I don't.
 
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