How to feed a picky eater? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation How to feed a picky eater?

Hi all, I'm having trouble with my 1 year old Shepherd... He is the most pickiest eater ever and clearly hates all brands of dry foods. He's very thin because of his pickiness (which started since 8 weeks.) He didn't even like the raw food he was started on from his breeder.

Currently I am feeding him Orijen, our vet recommends 1 & a half cup ... of Orijen.. 3x a day. He only will eat once, at most, or twice and he starts spitting it out.

I noticed he LOVES meats (of course.) He will go crazy, whine, etc.. For chicken for e.g but when he comes to his dry food he sniffs it, and he's like meh.

He does this with treats too, if their not expensive brand treats, he is like meh, and walks away, but if their expensive brand he goes crazy.

He doesn't have worms according to our vet. Just... Fussy, doesn't like our vet's brand of food...

Do you guys have any ideas on what to do? We were using fish oil (from our vet) with his kibble and he LOVED it and was always eating, now he's like meh, after people kept feeding him human scraps. During a month long vacation.. While staying with my sister he was always eating his kibble with the fish oil .. And nobody was feeding him human food but that was when he liked fish oil.

Even if we don't feed him anything other than his dry food he won't touch it... UNLESS only once midnight feeding because he's that fussy.

Any ideas? He use to love wet food with his food, but our trainer said that would be hard on his stomach (mixing wet with dry...) Plus.. He got sick of the brands.. He doesn't like Merrick dog food cans anymore, he doesn't like Blue Buff cans anymore. Some brands he LOVES... But most of the time he like meh now... He just wants chicken and other meats.

Edit: I also am thinking of swapping him to Acana.. Simply because it seems Orijen is way too rich for a Shepherd while Arcana is the lesser rich version of it. I am just worried he still won't touch it.

Last edited by SadTales; 08-29-2017 at 09:36 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:41 PM
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A local trainer has a good program to train dogs to eat. Her name is Sue Ailsby and she has a blog. If you google her name and feeding her training plan comes right up.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 10:55 PM
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Our female is the same way she knocks her bowl over if there is nothing mixed in her food. She does not like her Fromm can food either as I used it as another topper to put in the list. I usually add to her dry food either a raw egg or few tablespoons of plain yogurt, primal or Stella and chewies dehydrated beef- she only likes the beef, raw goats milk or fresh cooked food from our dinner like chicken or chop meat and has to be mixed in good.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jenny720 View Post
Our female is the same way she knocks her bowl over if there is nothing mixed in her food. She does not like her Fromm can food either as I used it as another topper to put in the list. I usually add to her dry food either a raw egg or few tablespoons of plain yogurt, primal or Stella and chewies dehydrated beef- she only likes the beef, raw goats milk or fresh cooked food from our dinner like chicken or chop meat and has to be mixed in good.
Yeah he's the same, he loves beef. He loves goat cheese (haven't tried raw goats milk.) He likes fresh cooked food in his food too..

So frustrating isn't it!

We have his bowl in this stand so, he can't knock it, but I am sure if it was on the floor he'll wack it with his paw, usually he just spits it and is like; "Are you serious? You really think I'm gonna eat THIS... Ha, no, bye!"
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2017, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Attempted to use a raw egg (have never given him one before.) No luck!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 12:06 AM
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My girl has been a picky eater since she was a puppy also.The key to getting her to enjoy her food is variety.I mix in different toppings with her kibble to keep her interested.I put in a couple of tablespoons of whatever mixed with a little water to make a gravy and stir it up well.Boiled eggs are a favorite,chicken or beef broth,cheese,yogurt,etc.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 12:18 AM
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What works for my dog is mixing his kibble in:
bone broth, or
k9 Natural Green Tripe, or
a can of sardines in oil, or
a tablespoon of grated parmessan cheese.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 12:29 AM
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I couldn't deal with that, I don't have the patience for it, lol. I use the same pilosphy on my dog as I do on my kids... "you eat what I put in front of you or you eat nothing", I must have gotten lucky cos I've not had a problem with any of my pets or kids. Hats off to you guys who keep trying
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 03:42 AM
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I think you dog may be going through a picky-eater phase. I have a 1.5 year-old female GSD, and I remember that late last year or early this year the vet told us she might go through a phase where she'd get bored with her food and wouldn't eat. I think your dog may be going through that. We're lucky that Nis is a voracious eater and we've never had this problem.

Don't take this the wrong way, but have you considered that maybe he's just playing you? Maybe he's a thin dog by nature who's not very hungry, and he knows that if he holds long enough without eating he'll get something better to eat such as chicken. I've seen this kind of behaviour with my in-law's late dog. And with myself as well, as I kid I was very thin and I didn't eat much. I was also a picky eater (I still am, but not so much) so you can image the situation at home when I was given things to eat that I didn't like, such as veggies. Although I had to eat a little of whatever I didn't like before I was allowed to "move on".

I don't think a dog would starve itself to death, unless there was some kind of medical problem. So assuming there are no issues, what I would do is give him nothing other than his food. If he does not eat his food in about 1 hour (this is being generous), then the food bowl is gone until the next feeding time. My guess is that in 24/48 hours the dog will eat the kibble. You have to be very strict and resist the tempation to give him anything else, otherwise the whole effort will have gone to waste.

There's something I haven't asked... I guess he had no digestive problems with kibble, did he? If he did, maybe that's why he doesn't eat it. Then forget about what I said above.

I think both Acana and Orijen are great kibbles. But I guess you'll have the same problem with both, so I'd avoid switching for now.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KaiserAus View Post
I couldn't deal with that, I don't have the patience for it, lol. I use the same pilosphy on my dog as I do on my kids... "you eat what I put in front of you or you eat nothing", I must have gotten lucky cos I've not had a problem with any of my pets or kids. Hats off to you guys who keep trying
I almost lost my dog to hemorrhagic gastroenteritis a couple of weeks ago, so I'm a bit of a softy regarding his food at the moment. Once he's back to normal weight I'll be less accommodating.
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