Food in bowl at all times or 2-3 times a day feeding? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 12:32 PM
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I feed 1/2 free and 1/2 by hand. Never had an over weight dog or one unwilling to train, but food i normally never use as an incentive for training just for bonding.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 12:42 PM
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We feed our 10wk old pup twice a day (she was already on a twice a day schedule at 8 weeks from the breeder so we decided not to go back to three times a day). we started feading from a bowl but she wolfed it down so fast that we changed to feeding out of Kong's. This slows her down and gives her something to think about while she's eating. keeping her mind busy trying to figure out how to get the food out of the conch is a great way to help her sleep at night also.

We follow the calorie intake recommendations on the bag, and save a little on the side to stuff Kongs for naptime/crate time or to use for hand feeding during training.

She will get bonus protein sources from time to time, like some cooked ground turkey from taco night before we have the seasoning, or scrambled eggs or even the raw eggs rwsidue out of the bowl after scrambling.

She gets ziwi peak lamb treats for training as well because they are higher value and sometimes freeze-dried liver.

For treats and snacks she will occasionally get blueberries or pomegranate seeds. But we limit the fruit intake because it's a lot of sugar.

she usually has fairly free access to water but sometimes she spills her water bowl and then gets put up so we try to remember to give her water just before going out. Water gets taken up at 7:30 p.m. and she goes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the crate without a peep.

more information than you wanted I'm sure but I'm trying to be complete. 🤣
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 12:49 PM
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When we were much younger, my brother and I lived together for a couple years. He had a male Doberman that he free fed, and I had a female GSD that was not. For his Dobe, my brother would just bring home 40# bags of dog food, open the top all the way across and roll down the sides a bit, and that was his dog's food bowl for the next month or so. My brother would periodically roll the edges down as the food disappeared and that was it! His dog was always very trim and well muscled, and never over ate.

My GSD, on the other hand, would eat until she popped if she had access to food...But she would not under any circumstances get into the food bag. I truly believe she would have starved herself to death, with the open bag of dog food right there, if no one put food into her bowl! On the flip side, if you put 12 cups of food into her bowl she wouldn't leave until she'd eaten every last kibble LOL! In her later years it was hard to keep her trim, so close regulation of her food was a must. I don't know if this was a genetic thing or a personality thing, but free feeding would have shortened her life for sure!

For me, especially considering the training value of food, I would never free feed a dog. But clearly it does work for some...

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Mark Twain

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Sorry, I've never had a dog that wouldn't just eat and eat and eat if there was constantly food in the bowl. Regular mealtimes are also an opportunity for some training, such as impulse control. As others have mentioned, you'll also know how much he's eating and can increase or cut back as necessary to maintain optimum condition.

And actually, if there was always food in the bowl it seems like a dog that has a propensity to food guard would be more likely to do so. Why guard an empty bowl?
I agree with most everything you said. Except.... the empty bowl. My resource guarder WILL guard an empty bowl. He is, however, a neurotic butt hole. I got nothin'. lol!
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-12-2018, 04:27 PM
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My dogs regulate. I put 4-5 cups of food each in their bowls whenever I see it empty. Typically have to fill them every other day. One of my dogs has a guarding issue due to living with my ex girlfriends dog when he was a puppy. That horrible dog would eat his food in front of him and bully him out of it unless I was watching, so now he guards. They both have identical bowls too and are on the same food so that doesn't help, but given his upbringing it's expected. If you have one dog, I wouldn't worry about guarding. My dogs have no issues with humans being near their food, I could put my face next to the bowl and they wouldn't care or put a hand inside the bowl without issue. Prior to having both dogs, I fed once a day, the switch was made due to my GSD being extremely underweight when I got him and not having much interest in his food. I let him eat when he felt like it. They're both lean and free feed but every dog is different.

Side Note: This hasn't changed the value of treats/food as training rewards for either dog, they're still very food driven even though they are free fed. I know this won't be the case for most dogs however.

Jax - 2 year old WGWL GSD, 125lbs
Leeroy - 3 year old Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix, 120lbs

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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I really appreciate all of the good advice. Thank you! At this point I am feeding three times a day 1.5 cups morning, one cup mid day, and 1.5 cups evening. I switched from Orijen to Purina Pro Plan Focus Large Breed Puppy. The Orijen was giving him some diarrhea and the Purina does not. I am over feeding by one cup according to Purina bag, but my dog is skinny as a rail. Not sure if this is normal or if I should feed him until he starts to look a little "bigger" "Cubby" whatever. He may be lean, but he has endless energy. Is it safe to assume that as long as he is highly active and not having diarrhea that he is doing ok as far a food and amount? Some people scoff at Purina. I did A LOT of reading and feel that the higher end Purina food is really very good as long as your dog can tolerate the grain (corn). My dog seems to like it. Nestle has the highest food standards in the world and they supposedly apply these standards to their Purina dog food as well. Also have lowest incidence of recall that I can see. Purina spends more money on research and also spends outside their walls as well. Who knows. What a rabbit hole.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 02:55 PM
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I free feed and she self regulates like a champ. She’s actually the first dog I’ve had that can be free fed. I couldn’t trust my other dogs to not overeat. So it definitely depends on the dog. I have noticed it helps substantially with resource guarding.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 03:12 PM
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Plenty of dogs do great on Purina and RC, whatever works for your pup. I'd consider a digestive enzyme, probiotic for a few months since he had coccidia and antibiotics and just feed him the recommended amount of food, he'll fill out soon enough. Sounds like he's doing well.


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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 11:12 PM
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I have 2 GSD pups, a 3 yr old Shepard mixed breed and a Maltese, my female pup does really well with her feedings but, my male pup growls and barks at the Maltese if she gets to close to his food and he pees when he growls, can free feeding help with this issue?
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