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World's worst eater


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My 8 month old Labradoodle is adorable in every way except his eating habits. He will NOT eat what it put in front of him. From a very early age he ignored the kibble he had been reared on and ate only the tiniest amount of it once a day. I started experimenting with better brands, which he would eat a little of from the sample packs but as soon as I bought a big bag, he would turn his nose up. As he was so young, I was reluctant to let him starve and although I tried all the advice of leave food for 10 mins then take it away, nothing worked. He would eat in the evening, a very small amount. I then tried Nature Diet sort of pate which he liked for a while though again, he was never interested in food at any point except evening time and ate nowhere near the suggested pack a day. Half, if I was lucky. Soon though that became another casualty to be sniffed at and ignored. I have lost count of how many foods he has tried and won't eat.

I weigh him regularly and he was 12 kilos a few weeks ago (he is a mini-doodle) but last weekend he weighed in at just over 10 kilos. Now I am worried. He is very very active and lively, doesn't seem under the weather in any way it is just his frustrating attitude to food.

He is a cheeky stealer and he will sneak unattended human food so there is no issue with eating per se - it is clearly that he is very strong willed at not touching anything he doesn't fancy. I am trying to be very hard on him now with no treats, absolutely no human food only what he is offered. Trouble is, I am throwing food away regularly, which I can ill afford.

We had some success with dog mince - especially if I pretend it's MY dinner and then give him some but I don't want to have to have this subterfuge - I want a dog who eats what is put in front of him and is growing healthily.

I can see it is a battle of wills. He is winning at the mo.


So what does this dog eat which has enabled him to live to the age of 8 months and be active and lively? It must be eating something or it would have expired by now?
First, the more you play around with his food, the more of a problem you are creating. He may like something for a couple of days, but then he knows that he can play the 'I want something better' game and you will cave.

You need a good week or two (at least to start) of being STRICT. NO EXTRA FOOD OR TREATS, NO HUMAN FOOD. Put the food down that you want him to eat, give him 10-15 minutes to eat it and take it back up - eaten or not. If he's a 2 meal a day dog, put what you want him to eat down for dinner, same thing. NOTHING extra in between. He may be stubborn and refuse to eat for 2-3 days, but in general (there are a few exceptions) dogs will NOT starve themselves, so at some point when he realises nothing else is coming he will eat.

No hand feeding, no catering and adding yummy stuff. You give him what is healthy and what YOU want him to eat and you take it back up when time is up.

It's not easy, he will cry and plead and you will feel guilty as heck, but you must not cave in and every single member of the family MUST be on the same page

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