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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
mcgruff has developed this problem in the past 6 months at the very max i'd say, but since all of his surgeries lately (entropion, neutering, abdominal surgery to fix a screwed up neutering..) it's gotten worse/more frequent. i've been giving him wet food mixed with some dry since his abdominal surgery and if i'm not within eyesight he'll leave and come find me. sometimes he'll just look at me then run back to his bowl and eat some more, most times i have to walk him back in there and tell him to "get it" 3 or 4 times before he does so.

we saved him from a very abusive home and from day 1 we've seen he's had low confidence that we've been trying to build and i'm sure this is just a reflection of that, but i'm at a loss of how to fix this.
 

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How often do you indulge this behavior? Every day?
I had a foster that acted that way for the first few days. The first two days, I walked him back to it. After that, I figured that he would eat when he was hungry. He didn't eat his breakfast the next day. I took it up before the other dogs could get it, tried again at lunch time. No go. I tried again at dinner, again, he wasn't touching it. The next morning, he ate it all and came looking for me wanting more. I never had that problem again. He ate when the other dogs ate or he didn't eat. Yours will eat when he gets hungry enough-- whether you are in the room or not. Good luck!
 

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Sounds like some separation anxiety issues. I used to have a GSD who would rather be with me than eat. But he would scarf it down while I was in the same room as he was eating in. Have you looked for a trainer that will help work with you to boost his confidence?
 

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yup I have a girl who is like this used to only eat if we sat with her or hand fed her. I got sick of it and just started putting the bowl down and walking away.Id come back 15-20 minutes later if it wasnt eaten I put it up till the next meal. She went hungry a few times but quickly learned if she was hungry she better eat. She willstill eat better if im sitting with her otherwise she just picks at it lol m but atleast she eats now. They wont starve more then a couple days they learn quick.
 

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I hate to say this but it is not a dog problem but a human problem ;) You are babying your dog and reading too much into it. I am a trainer and I have crazy rescues sometimes that try and act the same way when I foster them. If you treat them like a normal dog and ignore all these behaviors they will resolve or at least get a lot better. Just put the food down for your dog and he if does not eat it in a few minutes pick it up and offer the same portion for dinner. If he does not eat it again after about 5 min then pick it up and offer it for breakfast the next day. Even a dog who has suffered the worst abuse will get hungry enough to eat in a few days. I have had dogs go almost a week before deciding they need to eat. Dogs are not stupid and when they get hungry enough survival takes over and they will eat. Now there is a small percent of dogs who would starve themselves to death but I found those dogs have so many other issues they never really recover and end up having to be put down. Not because they will not eat but because they are so damaged they cannot have a good quality of life but again those are really rare.

When it comes to abused dogs we as humans feel like we need to be more cautious with the care of them when in fact they need to be treated like normal. Now I may approach a scared dog with my eyes down and not in a dominant stance but that does not mean I will baby the dog just earn the trust and move slow. There is a big difference in being overly pampering and just going slow and easy.

So don't treat the dogs any different and don't let past abuse make you feel sorry for the dog. Let it make you more understanding of the dogs quarks but don't go out of your way like standing there watching the dog for it to eat.

I just rescued this Doberman from a male abusive home. When I went to leash her at her old home she went after me out of fear. I just ignored her and got her on leash and brought her home. She would go after my husband but again we just ignored it and leashed her to go out to the kennels and back again in her crate for the night. After a few days of ignoring her she learned real quick we were not going to hurt her. She also would not eat for about 5 days, she was too scared. little by little she came a round and I have had her for about 4 weeks and she jumps and loves on my husband and me and acts like any one of my dogs. Now out in public she shakes like a leaf but in time that should get better too. My point is I was understanding of her past abuse but did not let her have than as an excuse to be treated any different than our other dogs. ;)

BTW she is looking for a home anyone lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the feedback. =)


i have no problem accepting fault, but i just can't see where i've caused this behavior - they're fed in the utility room/kitchen and after the 3 of them have started to eat i usually leave that area unless i'm doing the dishes or cleaning the kitchen, which doesn't happen often. =\ regardless, i'll implement ya'lls advice and hopefully he'll get the idea. poor baby is all looks and no brains. lol
 

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He will be fine, mine won't eat when my husband isn't home. Now I walk him, feed him,
play and walk him. His food is in his bedroom. He sleeps with my husband. When my husband leaves (no longer then a couple of days) he won't touch his food. Once my husband returns home he runs to his dish and eats his food and everything is back to normal. I never make a fuss over it, he knows where it's at and can go to it at any time. (I free feed)
 
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