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Hi, my name's Luke. Found the forums through my girlfriend, who's a member on here. I have a 5 year old Siberian named Showa. He's a very picky eater. Bear with me, this IS a raw-related question. lol

I currently have him on Authority kibble for convenience and because it's at least a little better than most grocery brands, but he's always been very picky. He was on Iams for a while when he was younger, and didn't eat much. I left his food out for him all the time and just filled it up when the bowl was low, and he maintained himself about 5 to 8 pounds underweight, and you could always feel his ribs easily. I switched him to a few different kibbles to try to get him to eat more, and he would always eat well for a few days then go back to his old habits once the food wasn't 'new' anymore. I've tried mixing a few higher end brands like Wellness into the kibble, and it doesn't seem to interest him.

The only thing I've been able to do to get him to eat well is to mix canned food with his dry. I would mix one to two big spoonfuls of canned with two cups of dry, and by the time the can was empty he was bored with it. He would still eat better than with plain kibble, but he'd be back to eating slow, picking, and not eating the whole bowl. While I was feeding the mixture he filled out to a more normal weight, but even feeding as much as he would eat (still not much, he would stop eating at about 3 cups/day) he was always somewhat borderline.

My girlfriend started feeding her dog a raw diet, and I help her with the portioning and packaging and all that, so at this point it'd be not much extra mess and effort on either of our parts to feed both our dogs raw instead of just hers, and Showa (so far) seems to LOVE raw food the few times I've fed it to him as a special meal.

With that background out of the way, my question is this...does anyone have a dog that was picky like Showa is that has switched to raw, and has been on it for a while, is eating healthy and doesn't get picky? I'm just worried that I'll switch him to raw and he'll love it for a month then decide it's just OK and he'll go back to not eating. Every time I've fed him raw so far (bone-in chicken quarters) it's given him VERY runny stool, completely liquid and foamy, so I don't really want to start him on it and deal with those issues unless he's going to stick with it.

So...comment away. :wink:
 

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My Boxer puppy was on kibble for about a month or so when we got her. She would eat enough to survive, but honestly, was so underweight it was alarming. I could probably dig up threads on here I posted during that time. We tried everything. canned food (even straight canned food) yogurt, cottage cheese, broth, anything.

After switching to raw, she just loved mealtime. She had a new excitement for meal time.... and now, she'll eat anything I put in front of her.
 

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Hi there, I am new to the forum and to raw. So I can answer on a couple things.

Yes, I have 4 dogs and have had them on so many different kibble over the last year, I was just gettng tired of never seeing the excitement of them wanting to eat. Also one food would cause different effects to one dog and not the other....and then feeding 2 different kinds of kibble. It was a pain and I fed them good quality food and the one I could get them to eat was Blue Buffalo....not grain free.....but they would eat it.........eventually.

Any adjustments to foods will cause some soft/runny stool, it takes time for the old to cycle out and the other in:redface:

I looked at it this way after reviewing the facts, what do I have to lose? They were picky before I changed their diet. I mean if they end up not liking it we will be back to where we were when we started the raw (by the way 4 days ago lol) but they are loven it so far and I hate to admit this, but so do we!!! I am in aww at how much happier they appear and we look forward to the coming months to see the improvements and hope this is it!!
 

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Hello and welcome!!! I'm really glad that you are considering raw, and from the sounds of it you will have a good support system lined up with your girlfriend showing you the ropes :wink:

There are plenty of picky eater cases that have switched to raw with no problems whatsoever about their dogs being picky about it. It's like dogs have a greater drive to eat raw food, because they know that it is what they actually need.

Granted, picky eaters are created...by their owners catering to their dog's whims. I am not going to type out a new, full response since I have covered this topic extensively countless times before. So here is a thread from the past that will help you (even though they are in the kibble section, the ideas still apply to raw feeding):

http://dogfoodchat.com/forum/dry-canned-dog-food/2650-piper-wont-eat-picky-picky-picky.html

ETA: Here is a link to a "getting started" guide to raw feeding. If you follow it I guarantee you will be amazed at the results. Just be confident and patient with the switch!

http://preymodelraw.com/how-to-get-started/
 

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Hi there! Showa is already famous here from when your GF was dogsitting. :wink: He's super cute!

Ania never had any interest in eating kibble. We would just leave her bowl out with food in it 24/7, and she would take a nibble here and there. She ate just enough to maintain a good weight, and she didn't seem to "enjoy" it.

Since switching to raw, she has shown nothing but excitement in her meals. The only problem we've had is getting her to eat fish. But there are many tricks that can help with issues like that.

I encourage you to take the plunge! Good luck!

Richelle
 

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Well, I can say that my female bull terrier as a puppy had horrible digestive issues AND she was a very picky eater. I tried every possible trick to get her to eat her dog food to no avail, she was probably 8lbs underweight.

After I rescued her full brother she finally had competition in the house for her food so she started ravenously eating, it was not long after that I switched the dogs to a raw diet and she has never turned her nose up at anything raw I've offered her except whole fish. I wish I could say that she was still 8 lbs underweight (haha) she steals food whenever she can.:biggrin:

However, I have since rescued another sibling (3 all 2 1/2 yrs old) and she was fed crap food before I got her, you would of thought she was a picky eater as to how small she was 37# compared to Leo-60# and Cayenne-58#. This dog ate her Acana fed twice a day like she was starving to death, but I couldn't handle how many times she had to poop:rolleyes:. I switched her to a raw diet and she WON'T TOUCH chicken or turkey but will eat turkey necks, pork ribs, beef(pickily) canned fish, won't touch the tripe my dogs go nuts for, so there is no telling what will happen when you make the switch but having competition always encourages dogs to eat!
 

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i know one of our newer members, xxshaelxx has huskies too and her female was super picky until she switched to raw and now she loves it. I'm sure she'd love to tell you all about it too :biggrin:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Granted, picky eaters are created...by their owners catering to their dog's whims.
I wish that was the case all the time. I went for months feeding him twice a day on a fixed schedule, leaving the bowl down for 10 to 15 minutes then taking it away until the next meal, never giving him treats EVER, etc. His eating habits didn't budge a bit. :frown:

Thanks everyone for the responses. :smile:
 

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I wish that was the case all the time. I went for months feeding him twice a day on a fixed schedule, leaving the bowl down for 10 to 15 minutes then taking it away until the next meal, never giving him treats EVER, etc. His eating habits didn't budge a bit. :frown:

Thanks everyone for the responses. :smile:
That tells you exactly WHY you need to switch your dog to raw :wink:

Not every single picky eater is created....some are just that revolted by their "doom nuggets" LOL

Don't hesitate to post up any questions or comments! We are always happy to help!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That tells you exactly WHY you need to switch your dog to raw :wink:

Not every single picky eater is created....some are just that revolted by their "doom nuggets" LOL

Don't hesitate to post up any questions or comments! We are always happy to help!
Yeah, Kim's been subtly pushing me toward raw since she joined here. lol I didn't start really catering to him until he went for months at a time on a couple different kibble brands barely eating and staying so skinny, at that point I felt so bad for him that I just wanted to find something that could put some meat on his bones. :rolleyes:

I rescued him from a shelter when he was about two, so I have no idea what his diet (or life) was like as a puppy. His markings are just about perfect for the breed...he must have been expensive, you know? I can't imagine what would have caused anyone to give him up. He's a ham for attention, is GREAT with kids and strangers, and is perfectly fine around 95% of other dogs. Ah well. Story for another thread. lol
 

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I wish that was the case all the time. I went for months feeding him twice a day on a fixed schedule, leaving the bowl down for 10 to 15 minutes then taking it away until the next meal, never giving him treats EVER, etc. His eating habits didn't budge a bit. :frown:
I can attest to his story...damn other picky booger. :biggrin:

My thoughts on it are so long as you don't feed him the same thing day in, and day out you'll be fine. Even Brady seemed to get a little bit bored with the chicken when that was all he could have for the first few weeks. Raw's so much better too....:wink:
 

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I had exactly the same problem. I prefer a varied diet so when she was on kibble she would get a different kibble type/brand every meal. She would eat a bit now and then, but not once did she eat the entire bowl. Switched to mostly raw and I swear she turned part pig. Trouble is that she's packed on the beef a bit now, so instead of reducing her food (I love that she enjoys it so much) we've increased her exercise quite a bit.
 

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Well the day I made this thread I had started him on chicken. So far so good. His feces has been normal, and he's still eating well. He's much more possessive of the raw food, though. Go figure. lol I could mess with him as much as I wanted when he was eating kibble, but he got grumpy the first few meals with the raw. Kim and I have been working with him on it pretty regularly the last few days.
 

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Well the day I made this thread I had started him on chicken. So far so good. His feces has been normal, and he's still eating well. He's much more possessive of the raw food, though. Go figure. lol I could mess with him as much as I wanted when he was eating kibble, but he got grumpy the first few meals with the raw. Kim and I have been working with him on it pretty regularly the last few days.
Raw food is a lot more valuable to a dog, so they feel compelled to guard it more than they would kibble. Personally I think that you should leave them alone while eating, since even you or I would think it rude to mess with our food!!!
 

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Kim and I have been working with him on it pretty regularly the last few days.
Natalie is right. The way you "work with him on it" is to leave him alone while he is eating. Don't give him a reason to growl. I have seen people create the very problem they are trying to stop, simply by "working with him on it".
 

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I'm not sure if I agree with that in principle, but it's an interesting concept. Shouldn't he understand that I'm the boss, and he gets what I want him to get if/when I want him to get it, for as long as I want him to have it?
 

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I'm not sure if I agree with that in principle, but it's an interesting concept. Shouldn't he understand that I'm the boss, and he gets what I want him to get if/when I want him to get it, for as long as I want him to have it?
Its a natural instinct for them to guard their food. Raw meats are MUCH more valuable to dogs so they feel compelled to guard them. Growling is the first step in communication that a dog will use to let another know that they are not comfortable with their actions. If you train your dog to not growl when they get uncomfortable, you have taken their ability to communicate away and they can resort to the next level of communication which is a fight or biting. This is really not a desired level of communication that you want to deal with or become first nature to your dogs. Allow your dogs to communicate with each other, its not an aggression thing...its just basic communication.

I agree with you in the notion that your dog should consider you the boss, 100%. But being the boss doesn't mean taking his food away because that is just rude to a dog. I understand people want their dogs to be able to drop things on command, but that is a whole other issue. Teach your dog to listen to a command instead of just taking something away. This will reinforce to your dog that you will be giving him something even better in return and he wont see you as being a bully by stealing his food.

I would never take food away, just because I SHOULD be able to. A dog doesn't understand that kind of behavior. My dogs will drop what they have when I give them the "drop it" command, which to me is much more fair and generous to the dog and it gets them to engage their brain in a constructive way.
 

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I disagree whole heartedly with the notion that you fix food aggression by leaving the dog alone to eat. That only teaches them that their growling gets them what they want, you away. It may be easy if you don't have kids or visitors and you can drop everything to conduct mealtime with the dogs to do that but in the average family household that just does not happen. Lots of times our dogs eat in the kitchen while I'm in there trying to get things done, walking around them, etc. My dogs are each given a grace period as puppies to learn the ropes; as adults and established members of the family unit if they growled at me or any member of the human family over ANYTHING it would be the last sound that ever came out of their mouth.

If they are not comfortable with me in their space they can move, they may NOT guard that space or what is in it as their own. I am alpha, everything here is mine should I want it.

Do I just walk up and grab their food? No. Why would I? But if I tell them to move, they move. And it is a requirement that our dogs be able to eat peacefully with us walking by, moving stuff around them and petting them on the back or sides. With an adult dog that was not brought up to be okay with this definitely proceed with caution and perhaps consult a trainer to help you desensitize the dog to your presence at meal time, but I would never tell you to just accept the growling as his communication. Sure, it is how he communicates but teaching him not to be aggressive over food isn't taking away his communication. It's teaching him what he may and may not say to you.
 

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I've gotten in hot water in the past on this board for my position this subject but I still agree with the posters who won't tolerate food aggression. I don't tolerate it either and I've trained my dogs to not be food aggressive and there have been a few very distinct times I've been thankful that I did this. I also believe it helps me in establishing dominance in my pack, but that's not the only reason I don't tolerate food aggression.

Here's a couple of other reasons I don't put up with it.

Late last year I was visiting family in the Northern California wilderness. Our family home there is literally in the middle of nowhere, in the mountains, surrounded by pine trees and wilderness. There are a lot of predators out there that could easily make a meal out of either of my dogs. But as a raw feeder, I try to feed them outside whenever possible, in this case on the back porch of the house which faces a forest.

After about three days of feeding out there, I guess the smell attracted a local pack of coyotes. I suspected it from seeing a bit of their scat on one of the trails we walk on near the house. Then one evening, as I was feeding my dogs, sure enough, I saw the beady eyes of a coyote peering out from between the trees not more than 200 feet from where we were. As this was the tail-end of a drought year, I knew these dogs must be damned hungry to even come this close to me. Coyotes can get pretty brave and aggressive when they are really hungry and I didn't want to temp fate.

I had to get the dogs in the house but they weren't about to leave their food so my best recourse to do this efficiently was to pick up their meat and bring it in the house knowing they would follow me. Imagine trying to do that in the best interest of your dogs if you have to do battle with them to be able to pick their food up? No thanks. I've trained them to allow me to take their food, and I always praise them for allowing me to do it, and I'm glad we have that understanding.

In another instance, they were eating in my back yard at home, which is a small yard in a townhome community that literally butts up to four other yards with nothing between them but a simple wrought iron fence. As they were eating some gardeners showed up in the back yard next door and started spraying some kind of weed killer all over the yard and before I knew it, the cloud was wafting into my yard and onto my dogs and their food. I had to act quickly and again, my best strategy was to pick up their food and bring it into the house so they would follow. Can you imagine trying to do this if you have to fight with them to get the food first? Screw that, I want control because it is for their own good.

I ended up throwing the food away and bathing them before giving them fresh food (inside the house) but at least I was able to get them away from a potentially dangerous situation with no hassle whatsoever.

The bottom line is that the only reason I would take a dog's food away is because I need to for its own good. But when I need to do it, I don't want to see any aggression or see the process delayed because I had to fight with them to get their food. They know I would never take their food just to mess with them and when I do it, I have a good reason.
 

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I disagree whole heartedly with the notion that you fix food aggression by leaving the dog alone to eat. That only teaches them that their growling gets them what they want, you away. It may be easy if you don't have kids or visitors and you can drop everything to conduct mealtime with the dogs to do that but in the average family household that just does not happen. Lots of times our dogs eat in the kitchen while I'm in there trying to get things done, walking around them, etc. My dogs are each given a grace period as puppies to learn the ropes; as adults and established members of the family unit if they growled at me or any member of the human family over ANYTHING it would be the last sound that ever came out of their mouth.
Growling is not aggression. Its communication. Dogs communicate very differently than we do, and we don't always understand it. But you must let dogs be dogs and let them "talk" to each other and to you. Like I said, if you teach a dog not to growl, their next instinct that comes into play is lunging and biting. And that is not a good situation. If you happen to be close enough to them that they growl, ignore it. Eventually they will learn that you are of no threat to them. If you attack them for growling (ie taking their food away) you are teaching them that you are not to be trusted. You must treat your dogs with respect to gain it in return. This is not done by being a bully.

It is completely necessary to keep your dogs in line with the rules of the house hold and to be respectful and obedient of you. That is why I stated earlier that if you don't like that they are growling, teach them a "drop it" command because that simple word will earn you respect from them, and cease the undesired behavior.

Too many dogs are misunderstood and reprimanded for it and that is what leads to aggressive dogs. Dogs that don't know how to communicate. I see it all the time at dog parks. Dogs that are well socialized will give a warning growl to another dog that its not liking the interaction, no harm, no foul. But then a very unsocialized (meaning they don't know how to communicate because their humans have taught them not to be like a dog...ie growling as a warning) run into the park full gusto and jump to the punch and start a fight. That is what is called aggression.

We have 4 dogs. We also foster for the local Dane rescue and puppysit for friends during the day. There are at the very minimum 4-5 dogs in our home at one time. Sometimes as many as 9 or 10. We get to see how dogs communicate on an hourly basis. This includes a great deal of growling. They have gotten into a few fights, minor ones at that...mostly noise. Our dogs have definitely established a pack order and so we see their behavior and communication. Its astounding how unsocialized a lot of the foster dogs that we get are, BUT they know all their commands and are well behaved. WHY? Because someone trained them well, but forgot that it is a dog and dogs speak dog and need other dogs to learn dog-talk from. Humans cannot teach a dog how to communicate with other dogs. Behavior and communication is something that is learned, not something that they naturally know how to do.

If they are not comfortable with me in their space they can move, they may NOT guard that space or what is in it as their own. I am alpha, everything here is mine should I want it.
Maybe just feed them in a spot that you know is comfortable to them instead of putting them somewhere you know that they will be in the way or uncomfortable?

Be thoughtful of your dogs desires and preferences.

And if you GIVE them dinner...why take it away just because you SHOULD be able to?

Be respectful to your dog and he will respect you much more in return.

Do I just walk up and grab their food? No. Why would I? But if I tell them to move, they move. And it is a requirement that our dogs be able to eat peacefully with us walking by, moving stuff around them and petting them on the back or sides. With an adult dog that was not brought up to be okay with this definitely proceed with caution and perhaps consult a trainer to help you desensitize the dog to your presence at meal time, but I would never tell you to just accept the growling as his communication. Sure, it is how he communicates but teaching him not to be aggressive over food isn't taking away his communication. It's teaching him what he may and may not say to you.
The only way that your dog will learn that he can eat peacefully around you is if you ignore him growling at you. If you react to that growl in any kind of negative way he will learn that you respond negatively to his warning.

Again, growling is not aggression. Its not. It IS communication and it is a "Hey, your too close to my food and its making me uncomfortable." If someone were to come get in your face when you were eating, you would tell them to back off a bit, wouldn't you? Why not let your dog do the same for you?

Being the pack leader or "alpha" is not mean you should be a bully. Being pack leader means you must be respected and obeyed, BUT be generous and respectful in return.
 
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