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Is your dog training you?

Dog training
Is your dog smarter than you think?

I have had many clients come to me saying that my dog only eats chicken or my dog won’t eat that, they are fussy. Pets are not naturally fussy, this is something they learn from you from day one. Dogs’ learn by performing an action and once they get the desired response will repeat the action that gave them their desired response.

In terms of fussy eaters, if your dog doesn’t like something they may learn that if they don’t eat what you place in front of them that eventually you give in and give them the food that they do like. It is no different to serving a child meat and vegetables; they refuse to eat, possibly have a tantrum and then you give them Ice-cream. So answer honestly to yourself, has your dog trained you?

If this is true, than you are not alone. I used to have a dog that trained me too. My dog was one of the ones that would only eat chicken and sausages. If you gave her anything else she would turn her nose up and refused to eat. Like many pet owners, I became concerned that my dog would go hungry. Without even realising it, I was potentially causing nutritional imbalances and long-term behaviour issues because I would replace the nutritional meal for the food that I knew she would eat.

The day had come when I decided that this fussiness had to stop. My dog and I had a five day stand-off where she refused to eat anything I put down in front of her. I put her food down and then 15 minutes later took it away. I did this morning and night for five days. It was a very emotional five days. It took all my strength and I nearly gave in every day. There were tears and guilt but the benefits outweighed the negatives and I had to keep telling myself that I am not the one making her hungry, she is the one choosing not to eat. On day five, I had finally won the battle and she ate her food. Since that day, not only does she eat everything I put down in front of her but she gets excited about her dinner. It was worth every minute because now I know that she is eating a nutritionally balanced diet. As a result, her health has increased and it shows in her coat, energy levels and demeanour.

Fussy dog
Fussy eating is learned behaviour.

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