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Old 11-16-2012, 02:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I free feed also. I know how much I put into the bowl each night for the following day, so that's not an issue. He's still been VERY food motivated. He just eats on and off through the day, so he's always plenty hungry to 'work' for food. He poos on a fairly regular schedule, so the house breaking has been not so bad. When I'm watching him, he has no accidents anymore. I free fed my previous shepherd for years. Especially if your pup is a "go, go, go" pup, it's hard to make sure they eat enough. I go give canned or cooked food every day, so that amount is subtracted from the amount of kibble he's given. He's used to having kibble available all the time. I've even given him bowls in his crate because there aren't any 'distractions' in there and he does eat better. Now with the larger crate, he'll have more room to actually eat in there. You have to adjust what you do based on "that" pup. As long as you're careful about monitoring weight and measuring food, you should be fine. If you find that your pup isn't interested in food for training, you can always just pick up the bowl an hour or two before training. My thought is that if the pup isn't responding to food rewards then you may not have the right reward.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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LOL if I free fed my dogs would each weigh 200lbs! My chihuahua mix got into a bag of cat food once and ate half of it. She's the most good motivated dog on the planet.

My pup who is almost 12 weeks weighed 15lbs at 8 weeks, not sure how much he weighs now but will find out next week... He has grown a lot though! But anyways he's a really stingy eater, I was giving him 3 cups a day but he just wasn't eating a lot of it so for now I took him down to two cups a day and he's eating all of that. It's pretty normal for them to not each much for the first few days in a new home, mine barely touched his food.

So I would think as long as everything else seems ok and he's growing and not losing weight then I wouldn't worry too much.

Oops I misread, yours actually likes to eat lol but still! I think 8lbs is pretty light but not unheard of for an 8 week old. He is insanely cute though, I don't think I've ever seen such a fluffy GSD puppy.


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Old 11-16-2012, 04:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

Yes - he eats like crazy. He's fed 3 times a day and as soon as I pick up the bowl he starts yapping and jumping on his back legs lol!

I seem to see a difference in him everyday so I'm hoping that when we go back for the 2nd round of shots in about 10 days, he'll have put on a couple of lbs
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:09 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Why feed at set intervals throughout the day instead of free-feeding?

1. Helps establish a routine. Dogs are comfortable with routines. Like children, they like to know what happens next and a routine will help them feel stable and secure.

2. Helps with housetraining. What goes in must come out and feeding at set specific times helps you know how much went in and roughly when it is going to need to come out. If a medical issue arises, you will more easily know if your dog has been declining in food consumption and how long it has been going on. Much behind veterinary diagnoses and getting on the right track towards treatment is the investigation and this is a primary point. In adulthood, scheduled feeding will help stave off obesity as well.

3. Provides informal, but important training opportunities. Mealtime can be a way to teach "sit", "wait" and release commands as well as teach some kind of place command association depending on where you feed your dog.

4. In most dogs, it definitely builds food drive; not just in hunger, but establishes the idea from the start that yummy things always come from you, not a bowl.

5. Scheduled feeding times offer more opportunities to learn and practice self-restraint and to curb impulse behavior/ making his or her own choices. I teach my dogs not to go through doors before I do and to sit and wait for their food and even at corners *not* because of some dominant mumbo-jumbo, but because I feel it is important to teach our dogs self-restraint and again, to look to us to make the decisions.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey I got my puppy 5 weeks ago and he weighed just over 3kgs so just a little under your pup and he was 9 weeks old at the time. Like your fella he came from a very big litter of 10 but they did tell me he was one of the smaller ones from the litter, he only had one sister left when I got him.

The first few days alls he done was take one nut out of his bowl and run off and eat it only doing it a couple of times and then wasn't eating anymore.

I changed the food and he began eating a lot more I also let him eat freely throughout the day for the first week or so but now he gets feed 3 times a day and at set intervals, food is taking up if he doesn't finish it but it's very rare he would leave any now!

At 14 weeks he now weighs 11kg/24.2lbs , he is coming along nicely, so please don't worry about your fellas weight he will put the weight on!

I don't think we will have the biggest GSDs in the world but that don't bother me! hehe
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