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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I take total blame for making Debo a picky eater, just wondering how to fix it.

Debo doesn't seem to be interested in any food unless it comes out of the refrigerator. I don't make the habit of sharing food at the table or when I'm eating, but I do give him plain yogurt, cottage cheese, apple pieces, and hotdogs out of the refrigerator. It's like when he sees me getting scoops out of his dog food, he's not interested. I tried mixing things in his food, but he either licks it off, or shoves his nose through the food to get the "goodies". He'll eat new dog food for the first day and then become uninterested. I don't like to see him not eating :( I decided yesterday that I was going to stop mixing food and giving things out of the refrigerator, b/c he seems to wait for only that kind of food. He's always following me to the fridge, to see what I'm going to get. I also decided I'm only going to give him 2 treats (large) per day. I had given him 3 or 4 to make up for the lack of eating, just so he had something little in his stomach.

Also, since yesterday I put the bowl of food down for 30 minutes  3 times a day and if he doesn't eat I put it up. Do I just have to keep at it, or is there another alternative? He's barely at anything since yesterday morning. And he's definitely hungry, he just wants to be picky.
 

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Good idea about picking up his food if not eating.  I mix yogurt really well in the food that way it coats the kibble & they cant just it the yogurt.
 

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we used cottage cheese with the girls. They get it once a day, but had been getting it twice a day. they dont know it yet but as of yesterday they arent getting any cottage cheese. i was doing that for weight purposes and it isnt needed anymore!  Personally i dont take the food up. Savannah likes to graze so i keep her food bowl down all day, but she gets no more than 4 cups of food a day. Reese on the other hand has no problem eating her food with or without the extras. ok enough rambling...if you are adament about not adding extras to make him understand he has to eat his food then doing what you are doing now will work. not a one of us want our babies to starve, but he will eat when he gets hungry enough. right now he is trying you to see if you will crack and give him what he wants. its hard but keep truckin, it gets better :)
 

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What you may have to do is totally eliminate all extras and start all over again, when he's hungry, he'll eat...Then start slowly adding things in, but roatate it. I feed mine yogurt, green beans, carrots, apples, bananas, scrambled eggs & sardines, sometimes a bit of chicken, little bit of hamburger...Angel has started to get finicky and this was a way for me to get her to eat better..She's awful about spitting out the stuff she doesn't want and eating the rest, then Hoover(samson) comes along and tries to clean up!!!
 

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We recently went through this with Brady...while not specifically addressing your question, I figured I would share a couple things that convinced him to eat the kibble were, the basic idea being to get them to eat the kibble by making it taste good to them but not by adding something to it which would distract them from eating the kibble itself, basically, to get to the good stuff, you MUST eat the kibble:
1.  Tuna juice. Not the meat itself, otherwise only the meat would be eaten but strain the juice onto the kibble and give it a few minutes to absorb.
2. Same with broth (beef, chicken, etc)(a low sodium one), but mix with water, maybe 1/3 broth to 2/3 water (the broth itself is very strong) and let absorb.

Then start to wean off this by just moistening the food with warm water (warm versus cold helps release more of the flavors) and letting sit for a few minutes to absorb.
 

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Picky eater??  What's that?    :D  Mine will eat dry food as quick as table scraps.    I know all dogs are different but one thing is the same......when they get hungry,  they will eat.    It will be harder on you than on the dog but I would cut out the people food for a while and leave the dog dish out and full.   Monitor how long it takes for the bowl to empty.   It may take a week or more but when a dog gets hungry.......it will eat whatever is available.   When you do give it some poeple food as a treat down the road,   don't let em see you getting it out of the frig.

Good luck
 

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I did the same thing with Kane as he was very thin when I got him.  I figured that kibble looked bland to me so it must be to him.  I was feeding him table scraps and putting all kinds of stuff in his food until he figured he just needed a seat at the table.  Then I started putting chicken broth on the kibble.  He liked it but it made him go to the bathroom too much, so I quit that and just started feeding him kibble, moistened just a bit and added the canned food he loves (Merrick Wild Blend) and now he loves it.   I give him apple slices with pb on them and I also mix the pumpkin into his kibble and he loves that too.  I have eliminated all table scraps except for a tiny taste if we have steak, grilled chicken or hamburgers and I have no feeding problems with him now.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very good info. For the past few days I've cut out everything other than his kibble. He finally started eating some yesterday. I think he realized he wasn't getting anything else and he better eat or starve. I felt so bad for him though. I'd go to the refrigerator and he'd poke his nose in there, like "Oh yeah! What you got for me?" lol. I tried to kind of just ignore it to give him I guess "tough love" and even took him outside a couple of times when I ate, b/c I felt so bad. The plain kibble looks so..."plain" :p.

Funny thing though...I placed his kibble from his bowl in the Kong Stuff'n Ball that I got for him and he went crazy. He was eating up all the food inside. I had to fill it up 3 times! I guess it's all about the presentation lol. I did it again today and he ate up the food in the Kong, but not interested in the bowl. Go figure!
 

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Maybe you could keep his kibble in the refrigerator -- perhaps he just feels special when he sees it coming out of there or he just likes his food cold.??????
 

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Discussion Starter #10
lol, it's crazy how spoiled he's become and it's my fault :) yeah, he does seem to want to feel special. sometimes he'll eat out of my hand, but not the bowl. i've even tried switching bowls. *shaking my head* but he's gotta eat sometime, right? and he's the SLOWEST eater in the world. he tends to lick things more than bite, even if it's wet food. it's like he has a hard time biting. maybe a raised feeder?
 

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I've worried over how much Sophie eats as she wants to eat what Kane eats and, of course, he scarfs everything down in minutes.  So I have been feeding her in her crate, and have changed her bowl 4 times, even given her my good china with little success at getting her to eat without goofing around and banging to get out of her crate to play.  She still insists on eating out of his bowl -- which means I have no way of knowing how much she is actually getting and it's so big she can sit in it.  Today, I decided to give her lunch in Kane's bowl (in her crate), and she ate all her food -- I need a dog psychiatrist.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just a quick update, since Tuesday we've cut out all the "goodies", and the first two days were rough. He didn't eat much of anything at all. Yesterday he finally decided he better eat, b/c he's not getting anything else and today is even better. He's actually staying in front of his bowl and eating, and not just out of the the toy ball! lol. It was tough but it's working. I will add back in the goodies slowly and sparingly probably after another week or so.

And Kate, aren't dogs something else? Almost worse than people with their picky habits! lol...but you know, I also noticed that Debo wouldn't eat (even when he ate good) until Jass started eating. I don't know if she is considered the Alpha dog, or if it's like kids who copycat, b/c it's "cool", so I guess I'll do it too...ok maybe I'm REACHING on that one, but he usually waits for her to eat out of the bowl and then he will...
 
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