Puppy strange eating habit developing quickly
Gunner is 12 weeks old today! Also this is the 3rd or 4th day in a row, where eating has become somewhat of an issue. Up until about a week ago, we were feeding him simply nourish (Petsmart attempt at blue buffalo.....attempt), about 3/4 to a cup at 8, 12, & 5. It was three times a day because when we got him from the breeder, he was pretty ribby. Even the vet and our trainer were concerned a bit. Regardless, that was his feeding schedule. It was good, he liked it and got excited at meal time. His stools were normal as well. Had plenty of energy, slept well enough, seemed to be going smoothly.
We tried a gradual shift into Blue Buffalo itself (1/4 BB, 3/4 SN for 3 days, 1/2 BB, 1/2 SN for 3 days, 3/4 BB 1/4 SN for 3 days, then full BB). We are currently still on the 3/4 BB 1/4 SN. Problem is, a few days ago he began not finishing his meal like he normally does. In fact he had barely scratched the surface of it.
So I would try and coax him into finishing a meal. This could take 15-20 minutes of making a trail of kibble from where he would back off too and sit from his bowl (almost as if he discovered there was a bug in it or something), to the bowl itself. or shaking the bowl, or putting some in my hand. Nothing. Eventually it just got gone through the coaxing. But I feel like I was forcing him to eat what he didnt want.
So I logically assumed its the Blue Buffalo. So, I took one handful of Blue buffalo, and one handful of Simply nourish and put them both up to his nose(not at feeding time), let him get a real good whiff of both, and then backed off, and held both hands open. He looked and went for the Blue Buffalo. So ok, its not that. We dont leave the food bowl down when he's not eating, nothing else seems to be wrong with him, its just the eating part.
Now, also about a week ago, I noticed he was literally gulping down food without chewing. It got to the point that while standing over him, I wouldnt hear a single crunch, just kibbles getting shifted around and thats it. So knowing that kibble doesnt get completely processed in dogs, I thought oh crap, now its not even getting broken down in the initial stage of digestion! So Instead of putting the whole amount in his bowl, I would but just a bit, let him eat it...actually eat it, then add more, etc. That seemed to work fairly well. But im afraid through some wild puppy logic it may have something to do with not wanting to eat? So I went back to putting it all in the bowl, and it helped a little, but he still wont finish a meal. It may be too early to tell also, but he might not be drinking like he used to. I need to watch him today to see if thats true or if its nothing at all.
Oh, the last thing It may be. Im worried about this one. Our trainer came by on friday and he is doing incredibly well, we have to do one more class to make it six weeks, but she said he was ready to pass the puppy S.T.A.R. after 4. He's gone way above and beyond that now, and she says he will be her youngest CGC student she's ever had. After shots of course. regardless, we were talking about pack role, dominance, and leadership and how thats the language they understand. Then she kind of got into and said "well you know, if you really want to establish dominance, what you do is put a plate of food on the ground, get on all fours over it, and when he comes near, growl at him until he backs off, and if pushes the limit, go ahead and push him back" Well it works pretty darn good and pretty darn quickly. She had us do that in a circle out in the yard that day. So im afraid perhaps that was too much for him and now hes just afraid to eat!! if thats the case, we gotta fix that asap. needless to say, we havent done that since she left.......and wont be. She trains in ScHH and a bunch of other stuff. She's just got a tough alpha mindset i guess. But Im a **** Marine and can run tough alpha mindset cirles around her and dont see a need to scare off little influential puppies. So maybe its me, or maybe its her, or maybe hes just picky and his tastes are blooming. Who knows. Anyone got any experience or advice with this?
Before any of this started, I was getting serious about doing some raw diet research. Maybe its a sign or something that the raw diet is a good idea. IDK, but any advise would be great.