SWITCH IT UP FOR PICKY EATERS
Some dogs are more talented teachers than others. For instance, a dog that’s deemed to be picky may be trying to tell us they prefer a challenge rather than being served. One puppy who shall remain nameless drove this home for me.
He’s a GSD so that should have been my first clue. Smart dogs catch on fast and can get bored easily. After a while, the food that was appreciated became meh. So, we changed it, and that was ok for a short while, but then – meh – again. He decided to show us what he liked, and it had nothing to do with the food itself. It was all about presentation. Some foods weren’t allowed to touch (you can’t make this stuff up). Others weren’t to be in the bowl, so he’d pick them out, put them on the floor and paw at them a bit before eating. He had created a game to entertain himself.
We learned that all food would be eaten quickly if we challenged him. Mash veg into hard boiled eggs and put that in a bowl in the kitchen – under a chair. Beef was on a plate inside an open cardboard box – on the laundry room floor. This guy was showing us the power of scatter feeding in no uncertain terms.
Once we realized this was the level of brain power he needed to use, food puzzles (mostly DIY) and make shift barn-hunt entered his life. Suddenly his real meals weren’t a challenge to feed anymore. * Pic is generic, not the pup mentioned above- but so cute! - 8 hours ago