Trick and Eat
Dickens has me wrapped around his paw. At nine years old he has now decided that he only eats when he wants to. But he forgets that I have a rule in my house that if one of my dogs doesn’t eat breakfast or dinner within 10 minutes the bowl gets picked up off the floor until the next meal. So Dickens has been snubbing his nose at his meals lately. He will eat but I have to trick him into it, literally!
So now the new routine is to give him a chance to eat it, but when he walks away pick the bowl up, then hand feed him from his bowl some kibble, which he promptly spits out. I then ask him to sit or to lie down and repeat the exercise. Each time I ask for a different cue and each time he does it, he then eats some more kibble. This only lasts a couple of minutes before I replace his bowl and he returns to it to finish his meal.
I find this interesting because when Dickens was a young adult he would not eat a meal until after I had eaten. Not because I hadn’t fed him, but apparently it was because I was the head of the household. He occasionally will still do this. My other dog, Eddie does not recognize this concept at all. He has very little restraint at mealtime and has to be repeatedly reminded to ‘leave it’ or ‘wait’ until he is released to eat his meal.