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John Wood

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My cocker spaniel is 21 weeks old and over the last few months he is being very fussy with his food we have tried different foods but he eats it for the first couple of meals then stops we have put water over it and tried wet food over the top but he just stops eating , so we have just bought him Essentials dry food which is high end and he is exactly the same with that we are putting it down dry at the moment as it’s expensive and we don’t want to waste the food . I’m thinking we should stick to one food as we feel he is just being fussy I’m not to worried at the moment as he has been putting good weight on and the vet said he is healthy .
 
Maybe we are just very lucky, but we have never had a fussy puppy. We have had the occasional young slow puppy who has needed a little more time and encouragement to eat by itself after being taken away from litter mates but never a refusal.

How many times a day are you feeding him now?

Leaving food down is not a good idea, your pup should learn to eat food when it is given.
Are you using a lot of training treats, these contribute to a daily food intake or maybe you are trying to offer him just too much daily food.

What are his days and nights like, is he free and loose in the house, is he caged, does he get good walks and exercise, is he burning up enough energy each day to require the amount of food that you are offering.
If you have changed to another food of better quality it is possible that he does not require so much food, and that he is getting plenty of nutrition from a smaller amount.

Try making his meals smaller and do not offer any more when he has finished. Keep him hungry and always looking for his next meal. At 5 months I find that a Cocker does very well on 2 meals each day.
I would also suggest that you stop all treats until this problem is solved:rolleyes:

If you wait a little longer you will find that you will get loads of friendly suggestions on this site.
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Thank you for your reply very helpful.

We have just changed his feeding to twice a day and have reduced the amount of food as suggested on the bag of food , we do still treat him as we are training him but we are trying to reduce the amount of treats to help this matter . At the moment he gets around 1.5 hours a day exercise but we are aware not to walk him to much as he is so young .
 
Recommendations on food bags can often be overgenerous, so don't feel you can't go under that amount as long as he's healthy, full of energy and a good weight.

I wouldn't stop all treats as positive reinforcement is really important, but make sure they are allowed for in his daily 'quota' and, if he'll take them, give him his normal kibble as treats (retaining high-value ones for REALLY important stuff and when he does REALLY well, such as recall from a long-dead rabbit), or something like bits of carrot. Some dogs will be more than happy to have their bog standard kibble as treats or in a treat dispenser when they would turn up their noses at it at mealtimes.

Also, consider whether it could be the bowl, or the location, he's not so keen on - try different types of bowl (or even sprinkled on a mat), maybe in a different place.

Some dogs aren't impressed by any dry food, but are happy with wet, pate-style, or raw food (if they're not sure about the latter, giving it a very brief flash in a frying pan can convince them) - these also all come in several 'flavours' so you can ring the changes if that's what he prefers.
 
When we have a puppy it gets the same free running exercise as the adults. We do not do hard walking on the pavements! We are lucky to have loads of fields and off lead walks. If a very young puppy were to get tired it would get picked up and carried. Your pup is no longer small enough to be picked up to carry, but if the exercise is loose or off pavement and in the fields, longer will be fine.
Please be aware that the food amount on the bags of food is only a guideline and should be adjusted according to each dog. If you are feeding a good quality kibble with very little or no cheap fillers, you may not need as much as is suggested.
When using treats for rewards(which I don't believe in) deduct this from his daily rations.

We have 7 of the little darlings, let's see some pictures of yours. PLEASE:rolleyes:

.
 
Your puppy may well be teething. Have you either soaked the kibble or added some wet food?
 
When we have a puppy it gets the same free running exercise as the adults. We do not do hard walking on the pavements! We are lucky to have loads of fields and off lead walks. If a very young puppy were to get tired it would get picked up and carried. Your pup is no longer small enough to be picked up to carry, but if the exercise is loose or off pavement and in the fields, longer will be fine.
Please be aware that the food amount on the bags of food is only a guideline and should be adjusted according to each dog. If you are feeding a good quality kibble with very little or no cheap fillers, you may not need as much as is suggested.
When using treats for rewards(which I don't believe in) deduct this from his daily rations.

We have 7 of the little darlings, let's see some pictures of yours. PLEASE:rolleyes:

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I don’t see giving treats as a reward as a bad thing as long as it’s good quality treats . I would assume it would be slightly easier if you have other dogs for your puppy to follow suit but we only have the one dog . We do pavement walking on the lead mainly because of time restrictions but like to give him a good run in the evenings in a field but not sure what we are going to be able to do in the winter but that’s another thing .
 

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Oh he's lovely, thank you :):rolleyes: It would be nice to watch him growing up.

We do not leave our puppies to get trained by chance just by following the others. Each puppy is trained as an individual and our way of reward is a kind word and a gentle touch.
Winter walks can get a bit wet and messy but if we stick to the headlands/ un-cultivated edges of the fields they do not get too dirty, just wet, (but none of them are perfect though)
 
I wasn’t suggesting for a minute that you leave your puppies training by chance , all I was meaning is in my short time of owning a dog they do tend to follow other dogs .
We have met a springer on our walks and Buddy loves him he is a bit older than Buddy but Buddy definitely walks better on the lead when walking alongside him .
I’m not worried about them getting wet and muddy it’s more I work through the day so his walks will all be in the dark through the week so I won’t be able to see him if I let him off the lead but I’ll figure it out when the time comes .
 
You can buy a fluorescent collar that attaches to itself with velcro and can be worn behind the normal collar. When I had to walk my dogs in the dark, I found it very useful.
 
I do tend to be rather defensive at times but no offence meant.

Your puppy will learn to eat what he is given and when it is offered. Dirt and mess comes with the happiness of a Cocker Spaniel.
I just hope that he is not caged all day while you are doing your full time work:eek::oops:


A one to one relationship as you have will grow, I have always said it is the best.
Have fun.
 
I do tend to be rather defensive at times but no offence meant.

Your puppy will learn to eat what he is given and when it is offered. Dirt and mess comes with the happiness of a Cocker Spaniel.
I just hope that he is not caged all day while you are doing your full time work:eek::oops:


A one to one relationship as you have will grow, I have always said it is the best.
Have fun.
My wife works from home this is why we have a dog as I would never leave him at home for 8/9 hours a day alone, if we are both out then we have friends and family that come and spend time with him 2/3 times in the day . We have just this week started to leave his crate door open and he seems a lot more chilled but we put him in his crate at night but will start to leave him out all the time very soon as my end goal was never to keep him cages I want him to be free as he can be
 
My cocker spaniel is 21 weeks old and over the last few months he is being very fussy with his food we have tried different foods but he eats it for the first couple of meals then stops we have put water over it and tried wet food over the top but he just stops eating , so we have just bought him Essentials dry food which is high end and he is exactly the same with that we are putting it down dry at the moment as it’s expensive and we don’t want to waste the food . I’m thinking we should stick to one food as we feel he is just being fussy I’m not to worried at the moment as he has been putting good weight on and the vet said he is healthy .
Mine was the same until I tried butternut box and now she eats.
 
Well success ! He is loving his new dry food with some wet food on top , he eats it all every time and is very excited at meal times .
 

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