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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the scoop...We play Flyball so we have some highly driven and athletic dogs that need to be at their top performance levels. One of these guys though has some "reactivity" issues as far as fear aggression goes. We consulted with a couple behaviorists who suggested reducing his protein levels, but a concern was still keeping his performance up.

We put them all on Flint River Ranch per several suggestions and they have done wonderfully on it. However, like everything else, their prices have gone up, well skyrocketed in the last month. So, I've been researching and looking for something new for him.

Worst case is that I keep him on it and switch the others who don't need the lower protein. I know it has some grains but I don't want to feed a no grain food due to the protein levels. They've all done well on it. Half of them are on their lamb/rice version.

Minimum 23% protein and 12% fat; No Ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT; Twice Oven-Baked turns hard-to-digest starches into easy-to-digest dextrines.
Chicken Meal, Whole Wheat Flour, Ground Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Tocopherols and Ascorbic Acid), Ground Wheat, Dried Whole Egg, Lecithin, Fish Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Wheat Germ Meal, Dried Kelp, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Zinc Oxide, Selenium Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Copper and Cobalt, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, D-Biotin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin DO Supplement.
I've looked at Canidae but it has a higher protein value. Wysong has been suggested but it is nearly the same price as FRR. My parents feed Prairie which they seem to like.

Any suggestions for a high performance dog who needs lower protein?

TIA!
Kim
 

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What exactly do you mean by 'reactivity issues' with the fear aggresion? I've had several dogs with fear issues over the last 30 years but I've never heard of dealing with it by changing their food. As far as the new food is concerned, you may want to do some research on this website and also the web site we all seem to use Dog Food Analysis - Reviews of kibble . The Flint River dog food has a lot of wheat, yeast, and salt that many people don't want to give their dogs and from what I've heard, the Canidae has changed their formulas recently and some people have had trouble with it. I use Innova, Wellness, and Solid Gold which are not cheap but then again, the dogs eat a lot less of it so you end up using less dog food. I think the Solid Gold is the lowest protein level of the bunch so it might be one you could consider. My chow/husky pup who does agility is doing really well on it mixed with Innova puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Both the behaviorists I've consulted, along with several friends who are dog trainers believe that the body can only process so much protein. This excess protein can supposedly affect the dog in his behavior. He's already an amped up kind of dog and the extra unabsorbed protein can add to this behavior. I'm no vet and I'm sure there are lots of opinions on this but truthfully it seems to have helped him mellow out a bit. I guess I should say he has fear aggression and is reactive so add those two together...We don't have any issues with him actually running Flyball as he is doing his job. We don't just "play" Flyball, he is the equivalent of an Olympic athlete really. He's quite fast, so I need to find a good balance of food for him. The FRR did him well in both behavior and performance so I can't complain about it. My friend who is highly active in Shutzhund recommended it.

I did find the website you suggested after my post and did look at the Innova. That seems like it might fit the bill. That website ranks the FRR as a 3 and 4 star food depending on the variety. I don't really want any of the 5 and 6 star ones anyway as most are way too high in protein. I can't imagine that much protein would be good for any dogs kidneys IMO.

Thanks for the link. I will check it out more.
 

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You really can't go wrong with Innova. It's one of the best foods out there. But make the switch really slowly. Some dogs have digestive issues with it because it has a lot of meat and they are not used to that. That's why my pup gets it mixed with the Solid Gold right now, to firm him up a bit in that end! Solid Golid has pumpkin included in it and the little bit of extra fiber seems to agree with him. He also is a highly reactive pup. We've been working hard with him with clicker training and introducing him to as many new situations and people as possible to get the fear and the reactivity out of him. He's gone from hiding behind me and jumping out of his skin at strange sounds and sights to trotting out in front of us on our walks and even sniffing nose with the horses we meet. He will even let strangers pet him now although he ducks and winces. These dogs take a lot of work and you may be right, good food may make a difference. He was eating science diet at the rescue when I got him (yuck!) and I couldn't even get him to walk up the road ten feet. Good luck with your pup. Flyball looks like fun.
 

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What percentage of protein are you looking for? I use Natural Balance Lamb Meal and Brown Rice and also their Duck and Potato and both are around 21% which is lower than most.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was thinking of something similar in range to the FRR, so around 23% protein and 12% fat. It seems to work for him. The other dogs I'm not quite as particular about only because they are naturally more easygoing. Three of them need to be on a lamb formula though. My goal has been to feed only 2 types of food, if possible.

If I can find something comparable that is better and less money then I'm all for it. We've only been on the FRR for less than a year, but it's now gone to around $64 for 40# delivered. I know there are other good foods out there that are less. I loved the "delivered" portion of it since we live in the boonies.

My dogs seem to do ok switching foods as long as it's the same base. I still do it gradually but not as gradual as when I've switched one from chicken to lamb.

Thanks!
 

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WEll the Natural Balance Lamb Meal and Brown Rice is 21% protein and 10% fat I believe so that may be an option for you.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions. The Blue Buffalo is a new one to me. Ever heard of something called Canine Caviar? I just called the local pet food store that sells the super premiums and he recommended that one.

It's funny how things change. I fed Wellness years and years ago, like 10 years, and it was considered a wonderful food. Then they changed the formula and it wasn't so good, now it's good again or so it seems.

Canidae used to be so good and now I see on here that they've changed that formula too and people don't like it anymore.
 

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Blue Buffalo is almost 5 years old, but a pretty high quality food, especially for the price.

I looked up the Canine Caviar and it looks alright, nothing too impressive, but it's certainly better than Iams or SD.
 

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Another one to consider might be Eagle Pack Holistic Select - all of their formulas range from 22 - 24 protein and 12/14 fat. Good luck!
 

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The studies that suggest low protein diets for territorial/anxiety related aggression suggest a protein level of about 17%. So, I'd be anxious to know what foods have that low a level.
 

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I don't know of any with 17% protein, but I do know of some with 18%....Solid Gold Holistic Blendz....Innova Regular Senior Formula (not Senior Plus)....Wellness Senior just to name a few. Hope this helps!:smile:
 

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I've been watching this thread for a couple of days and it seems no one considered that quality of protein is more important than percentage. I don't care what anyone says, a good quality protein will not cause behavior problems.

I think the op is just trying to find the easy way out by looking to diet to solve his problem instead of modifying the behavior which would be the accepted way to accomplish this goal.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a training problem. You can't train this problem out of your dog. It's behavior problem. You need behavior modification to show results.
 

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I've been watching this thread for a couple of days and it seems no one considered that quality of protein is more important than percentage. I don't care what anyone says, a good quality protein will not cause behavior problems.

I think the op is just trying to find the easy way out by looking to diet to solve his problem instead of modifying the behavior which would be the accepted way to accomplish this goal.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a training problem. You can't train this problem out of your dog. It's behavior problem. You need behavior modification to show results.
You know I was waiting for a response like this. I've had three seperate behviorists out to work with my dog and I continue that work. He has made great strides in many areas, his food is just one small piece of the puzzle. We continue behavior modification on a daily basis and reinforce it.

Thanks to all who have suggested new foods for us. We are currently considering both the Innova and the Prairie.

To the poster who assumed I had not done any behavior mod and was only looking for the easy way out...well you know what they say about assuming.

I didn't come here to be be insulted so I probably won't be back. Thanks to the rest of you who provided valuable information.
 

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Wow! I just realized RawFedDogs is a moderator too...way to make new people feel excited to be here and learn some things.
 

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Aww don't leave! I'm very curious to know how the new foods work out for you and my brother is a psych major and HUGE into behavior modification and I've seen his exercises with it work wonders on their black lab. I'd love to know what you're doing to help your dog out so I can pass it on to him and maybe apply it to mine or my friends' dogs!
 

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No, please don't leave, I too, have been following this thread and would like to hear more about you dog.
Insults are often because you can not hear a persons tone of voice, or see them. This happens alot on all of the forums that you may go to. But, reading what was on this thread, I didn't know that you have had behavior trainers either. I hope that we hear good things come from how you are trying to help your dog.
 

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You know I was waiting for a response like this. I've had three seperate behviorists out to work with my dog and I continue that work. He has made great strides in many areas, his food is just one small piece of the puzzle. We continue behavior modification on a daily basis and reinforce it.
In your other posts in this thread you mentioned that you had consulted 2 behaviorists and they both suggested a change in protein levels. No where did you mention other activity towards behavior modifications. I can only go by what is written in the posts.

Again, a good quality protein will not cause behavior problems. You should be more concerned about what the protein is made of rather than the percentage of protein in a diet. If you insist on feeding kibble, I suggest you feed one of the kibbles that almost all the protein is animal based. Either EVO or Orijen would be good. Don't worry about the percentage as they both are high protein kibbles but almost all of their protein is animal based.

To the poster who assumed I had not done any behavior mod and was only looking for the easy way out...well you know what they say about assuming.
You didn't mention a thing about behavior modification techniques you are using or even that you were using any. All you talked about was changing to another brand of kibble and I just pointed out that you were heading in the wrong direction if you thought another brand would solve your problem.

I didn't come here to be be insulted so I probably won't be back. Thanks to the rest of you who provided valuable information.
I didn't mean to sound insulting, just trying to help you.
 
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