Canine Feeding Instincts
Right up there next to a dog's migration instinct and the importance of you leading the way on the walk, rather than the dog leading you, is the feeding ritual. This is another key aspect to communicating to your dog in its language. In the wild, a canine animal gets up in the morning and goes off with its pack to hunt. The pack hunts together as a group. When the pack brings down an animal, the leader of the pack eats first, consuming the tastiest parts of the kill. The other members of the pack wait until the alpha member is finished and then proceed to eat their share.
It is best to walk your dog before a meal; this simulates him working for his food. It is not natural for a dog to be given everything for free. Canine animals have a drive to earn their keep in the pack. Always let your dog cool off and wind down before feeding him in order to prevent conditions such as bloat.
When it is feeding time your dog should wait patiently for you to prepare the food. The dog should not be begging or excited.
A dog that lays or sits down without intensely staring is being respectful. When a dog turns its back or walks away while its food is being prepared, it is giving the ultimate respect. It is giving you space because it sees it as your turn to "eat."
When the dog is calm, place the bowl on the ground. Tell him to wait, practicing good discipline and then give the command to go and get it.
If your dog is anxious, whining, jumping, spinning, pacing, being pushy, begging, intensely staring or otherwise not calm while you are preparing the food, do not put the food bowl down. Tell your dog you disagree with his behavior. Correct him while remaining calm and feeling confident. You may have to put the food dish on the counter and wait. Eventually the dog will calm down and if you are consistent he will learn that you only put the food down when he is calm and respectful.
There should be no self-feeding, where the food is available all of the time. The pack leader decides when it is time to eat, so you do not want to let your dog decide when to go and get a nibble. Food available all of the time sends mixed signals. There should be a scheduled feeding time. Your dog needs to see that you are deciding when it is time to eat.
You should be able to reach down and touch your dog's food without the dog getting upset in any way. If you try this and your dog growls, snaps, bites or tries to push you away from their food, then your dog is seeing himself as above you in the order. He is telling you that he is alpha and to leave him alone while eating. It is not safe for you to allow your dog to believe he is alpha, since an alpha dog will resort to biting in order to communicate his displeasure with your actions.
This video clip gives an example of how a balanced dog will act. The first part of the clip shows when I first went downstairs in the morning. The dogs are calm and not over-excited. The second part of the clip shows the same dogs getting fed. They are just as calm at feeding time.
Diesel the Valley Bulldog
- Natural Dogmanship
- It's a Way of Life
- A Group Effort
- Why Dogs Must be Followers
- What Does it Mean to be Dominant?
- Dogs Only Need Love
- Different Dog Temperaments
- Dog Body Language
- Stopping Fights Among your Pack
- Dog Training vs. Dog Behavior
- Punishment vs. Correction in Dogs
- Are you setting your dog up for failure?
- Lack of Natural Dog Behavior Knowledge
- The Grouchy Dog
- Working with a Fearful Dog
- Old Dog, New Tricks
- Understanding a Dog's Senses
- Listen to the Dogs
- The Human Dog
- Projecting Authority
- My Dog was Abused
- Successfully Adopting a Rescue Dog
- Positive Reinforcement: Is it enough?
- Adult Dog and the New Puppy
- Why Did My Dog Do That?
- Proper Way to Walk a Dog
- The Walk: Passing Other Dogs
- Introducing Dogs
- Dogs and Human Emotions
- Do Dogs Discriminate?
- The Intuition of a Dog
- Speaking Dog
- Dogs: Fear of Storms and Fireworks
- Providing a Job Helps Dog with Issues
- Teaching Dogs to Respect the Kids
- Proper Human to Dog Communication
- Rude Dog Owners
- Canine Feeding Instincts
- Human to Dog No-No's: Your Dog
- Human to Dog No-No's: Other Dogs
- FAQ About Dogs
- Small Dogs vs. Medium and Large Dogs
- Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Dominant Behaviors in Dogs
- The Submissive Dog
- Bringing Home the New Human Baby
- Approaching a Dog
- Top Dog
- Establishing and Keeping Alpha Position
- Alpha Boot Camp for Dogs
- Guarding Furniture
- Stopping a Jumping Dog
- Using Human Psychology on Jumping Dogs
- Dogs Chasing Cars
- Training Collars. Should they be used?
- Spaying and Neutering your Dog
- Submissive Peeing
- An Alpha Dog
- Who's More Prone to Fight, Male or Female Dogs?
- Whelping: Puppy Nipple Guarding
- The Truth behind the Pit Bull Terrier
- Protecting Your Puppy from Dog Attacks
- Chaining Dogs
- SPCA High-Kill Shelter
- A Senseless Death, a Misunderstood Dog
- Amazing What a Little Leadership Can Do
- Transforming a Rescue Dog
- DNA Canine Breed Identification
- Raising a Puppy
- Raising an Alpha Puppy
- Raising a Middle of the Road Puppy
- Raising a Back of the Line Puppy
- Stages of Puppy Development
- Introducing a New Crate to a Puppy or Dog
- Puppy Temperament Test
- Puppy Temperaments
- A Dog Fight - Understanding your Pack
- Understanding your puppy or dog
- Runaway Dog!
- Socializing your Dog
- Should I Get a Second Dog
- Is your Dog Out of Control?
- Illusion Dog Training Collar
- Top Dog Photos
- Training your Puppy or Dog
- Puppy Biting
- Deaf Dogs
- Are You Ready for a Dog?
- Breeders vs. Rescues
- Find the Perfect Dog
- Caught in the Act
- The Pack of Dogs is Here!
- Recommended Dog Books and DVDs
- Need to find your dog a home?