Training pups to eat from separate dishes

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Rednailz's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-16

My male pups are now 11 weeks old.  We are working on behavior during mealtime and trying to get across the idea that it's time to eat, not time to play.  I think it would help if I could get each one to concentrate on his own dish. 

Right now, they both eat out of one dish, then move to the other dish when that one is empty.  They do not fight over the food, so that's good.  Sometimes one will eat a little, then go across the room to investigate something.  Sometimes they'll both be really focused on eating or both will ignore the dishes.  There isn't a pattern to who does what, so it isn't an issue of someone being a bully.

I watch them closely while they eat and try to keep them on task.  Should I move them to separate dishes?  Should I try feeding them separately in their crates?  Does that do anything?  Or is this not an important thing to train for right now?  I thought a puppy would be ecstatic to have his very own dish of food! :)

Rednailz's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-16

Update:  I've made a little bit of progress by showing the pups that there are fabulous things in both dishes.  While they were eating out of the same dish, I dropped a little piece of dog treat in the other dish. When one pup made a move for it, I dropped a piece in the shared dish.  So for a little while, I had them eating separately.  Today they ate together and separate, so we're getting somewhere!

sems_yates's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-20

Try putting one in a crate during meal times with the food
  and once they are done eating give them a treat so they understand they are to eat seperate.
Thats what we do.  Our dogs arent aggressive either, but like you said, they think its play time.
  But we put our male in the crate to eat, and the female out in the kitchen- and we always make sure we put their dishes in the same place everytime.  its helped because now we can keep the door open on the crate and our male doesnt move a muscle.

Good Luck! :)

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Joined: 2010-01-18

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