General Question

simone54's avatar

Why don't these dogs eat?

Asked by simone54 (7592points) September 18th, 2010

I am doggy sitting for friends two dog, a black lab and multipoo. My friend does a special routine to feed them. He gets their food bowls, put them in front of them, wait for the to sit, raises his arm and slaps his legs as the signal for them to go ahead and eat. I have seen him do it and it work fine.

However it doesn’t work when I do it. They just sit there and refuse to eat. I’m think they’re not getting the message that it’s okay for them to eat. If I if put the food in my hand, the lab would eat it out of it (not so for the Multipoo).

What can I do to get them to eat.

PS They’re eating later than they normally would. Also, they haven’t been showing any other usually behavior so I don’t think they’re sick.

What can I do to get them to eat?!

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10 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

I don’t think they are sick at all, probably just trained very well. my suggestion would be to take discipline and training out of the equation.

where is their territory? where do these dogs have free reign? is there maybe a place in the back yard where they know they are allowed to do anything they like? find this place and leave unguarded food in that area, and im sure they will eat it. they probably see you feeding them as some kind of test of loyalty or something. so until the owner gets back you will probably have to change a few things. if there is no back yard, maybe you will need to take to the streets to feed them.

simone54's avatar

They always get fed outside on the yard.

Maybe I should try feeding them at the park?

poisonedantidote's avatar

maybe, its bound to all be down to just one small variable in their habbits.

augustlan's avatar

They may just be missing their owner. I’ve cat-sat for a friend many times, and the cats won’t eat for the first day or two. How long has it been, and how long are you sitting them for?

gondwanalon's avatar

Perhaps it is the dogs that have their owner trained that is the problem. Normal dogs don’t demand a special routine before they eat. Normal dogs will eat whatever, however, where ever, by whom ever the food is presented to them. Cesar Millan the dog whisperer could be of help.

Kayak8's avatar

We have had a bunch of questions on Fluther about how to train your dog NOT to take food from strangers (or those who don’t know the secret command/series of commands). Sounds like you are finding yourself with dogs that have received similar training.

If the series is “put down bowls, dogs sit, then you slap leg” then you need to start series again from the beginning. You can’t just stand there and keep slapping your leg. Make sure you are using the right hand if that is what the owner does. Is there a command word associated with the leg slap? It could even be as simple as you mixed up the two bowls (multipoo has lab’s bowl, etc).

If the above suggestions don’t help, I would call the owner and explain the situation and ask, exactly, what you are supposed to do again and see if it helps. If you can’t reach the owner, both dogs will likely eat the food from your hand if you do it as treat rewards for other commands (not with the food bowls sitting there).

And again I question why people train their dogs in ways that can’t be replicated by others if they don’t plan to have the dog with them all the time . . . this may be another classic example of why such training is a bad idea for most people.

jazmina88's avatar

I’m sure the dogs are missing their folks. Keep the same eating habits.

Gamrz360's avatar

Maybe your friends dog has grown close to your friend and only listens to him, its a grown kind of nurture thing.

simone54's avatar

@Kayak8 WAHOOO!! YES. Thanks you so much. I repeated the ENTIRE process about fives and it finally worked.

Kayak8's avatar

@simone54 I am so pleased! Dogs really are pretty predictable creatures which is part of why they are so easy to train.

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