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Old 01-09-2010, 11:05 AM   #1
Lindsey
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Food Obsessed

Im starting to get really cheesed off with my Doberman, he is quite a difficult dog anyway despite much training and constant exercise but the main irritation I have is his constant obsession with food! I'm sure it stems from when he was a puppy his breeder just put a large bowl in the middle and all the pups had to fight to be fed basically and as he was rather small i'm sure he got left out if he didn't get in there first.

He is a perfect weight and nothing and I mean nothing fills him up. He has been checked by the vet and has no problems whatsoever, regularly wormed etc etc. He will be 3 years old in February and I'm just finding this a real bind as he has to be shut away whenever there is food around - I cant even leave the fruit bowl out as he will munch he way though that too.

Anyone got any tips?
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
Tuckerdad
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I made sure my beagle understood food was from me by feeding him out of my hand some and I still do that from time to time.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:37 PM   #3
BetterDog4U
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BY obsessed do you mean he just cant get enough to eat? Or is he aggressive toward you if you come toward him while he is eating or if you try to take it?

This is two really different issues!!!
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:58 PM   #4
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My Cockers are obsessed. They will (like most Cockers) eat til they vomit and then go back for more. I have scheduled feeding times for them and of course, no food left unattended. Merlin will even eat mulch, he thinks he's so "starved". Nuttin wrong with him either. Maybe a slew of nylabones around will help your dobie. It seems to work with Merlin. He is very hyperactive (?) but he also just seems to want something in his mouth at all times. I'm feeding him half again what all the other dogs get which has slowed down the mulch eating but I think it's just gonna be a thing with him.
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Old 01-09-2010, 03:17 PM   #5
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Taz my Min Pin was obsesed over food, they like momto3's cockers, will eat untill they puke and keep eatting again.

The thing we had to each Taz was to 'leave it'. We got to the point we could put anything on the ground and she would leave it untill told.

BUT if she was left alone at anytime, and she had the opportunitiy to get into food, she would eat it all. She had no off switch on food.

There is no real cure for this eatting disorder in dogs, if this is what your doberman has. You can teach 'leave it' or you can teach him to go to a 'place' when you are eatting so he doesnt disturb you begging constantly.

I fill my dogs stomachs with green beans, if you think he "feels" hungry try this, or oatmeal will make him feel full, either one will work.

I would leave the thoughts that "the breeder" caused this, because dogs are situational. This kind of thinking leads to people who rescue dogs think they are messed up for life, and let them get away with bad behaviors because they were abused/neglected.

The way you are describing how he was fed as a puppy is not an abnormal way of feeding litters of puppys. And is the natural order of things for one to be the runt and one to be the alpha that gets everything.

Last edited by Shara : 01-09-2010 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:02 PM   #6
Lindsey
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Hi, no he is not aggressive with food in the slightest, you could take anything from him, even out of his bowl while he is eating and he wouldn't bat an eyelid. Also, he knows the leave command and always waits until I click my fingers until he eats his dinner - UNLESS i'm not around in which case he will stuff his face with whatever he can get his paws on!! The problem is that he is really intelligent and can open doors and has even managed to get through child locks that I've put on cabinets to prevent him getting in. I just find it really frustrating as he goes from being a lovely dog to a complete nutcase even at the sight of someone eating an apple and with three kids in the house, someone is always eating something! I just don't want to have to keep shutting him away I suppose but if that's how its got to be then thats how its got to be. Thanks for your comments.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindsey View Post
Hi, no he is not aggressive with food in the slightest, you could take anything from him, even out of his bowl while he is eating and he wouldn't bat an eyelid. Also, he knows the leave command and always waits until I click my fingers until he eats his dinner - UNLESS i'm not around in which case he will stuff his face with whatever he can get his paws on!! The problem is that he is really intelligent and can open doors and has even managed to get through child locks that I've put on cabinets to prevent him getting in. I just find it really frustrating as he goes from being a lovely dog to a complete nutcase even at the sight of someone eating an apple and with three kids in the house, someone is always eating something! I just don't want to have to keep shutting him away I suppose but if that's how its got to be then thats how its got to be. Thanks for your comments.
WOW, this is a bit "beyond" my scope of knowlage. It sounds like you need to find a specialist in food behaviors.

My thought would be to break his feeding into more sessions. Instead of 2 feeding per day, give 8 small feedings. That would give him more oppertunities to eat without him actually over eating.
- Michael -



Full of Life ... and Herself - Visit PATCHS' Website
Loving Friend & Faithful Companion - Visit NEKA's Memorial Website
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Old 01-10-2010, 03:13 PM   #8
ann_hawes
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I have known many, many dogs that did not come with a full mark on thier bellies. All have outgrown it eventually.

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Old 01-11-2010, 03:46 PM   #9
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Few things you can do to remedy this:

1. Give him more exercise. Obsessive disorders are often eased by more exercise. Add searching tasks that aren't rewarded by food. Have him find a favourite toy or item. It will train his brain that not all rewards are food and that not all things he finds are to be eaten. Dogs need jobs - give him one.

2. Kennel him when you are not around. He is obviously not truly housebroken/trained if while you are away he is digging at cabinets.

3. Give him lots of bones or nylabones, etc to chew. It will help with oral fixations.

4. There are hormone dispensers that give off a calming hormone for stressed dogs.

5. Last resort - If there is a particular cabinet he loves to get into, place a mousetrap with a taste treat in it. Allow him access to the cabinet - leave the door adjar. Repeat as many times in many different No-No locations until he gets the message - What is in these cabinets, on this counter, etc. isn't worth the sore lip.
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