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Hello everyone,

I got my first GSD puppy about 7-8 days ago and he's 11 weeks going on 12 really soon! Before when I fed him he'd go straight for the bowl and start munching away but now he seems to look at me and wait. He'd maybe take a bite and then just stand around his bowl. He's not barking or showing any protective signs over his bowl but I don't understand this sudden change of behavior.

A few days ago I got advice(from another GSD owner) saying that I should never let him eat before I do. It was recommended by many that I should keep his bowl on the table where I would normally eat, eat first and then let him eat his food. Then I joined this forum about 2 days ago and you guys said that I should just feed him when I need to feed him.

Is he waiting for me to eat first or is he just being protective over his food?
 

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or he could be feeling too dominated by you and mistrustful of you?
Hmm, I'm not sure. We don't do much but play with his moose toy, tug-o-war and take walks :confused:
And training of course.

I don't think he doesn't trust me. He follows me everywhere and tries to cuddle next to me when I'm asleep.
 

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just throwing it out there, i'm not into the never let them eat before me...etc. my pups at that age pretty much get all their food from my hand during training plus some recreational chew bones. they see my hand as the thing that provides.
 

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just throwing it out there, i'm not into the never let them eat before me...etc. my pups at that age pretty much get all their food from my hand during training plus some recreational chew bones. they see my hand as the thing that provides.
You use dog food as a treat? :confused:
Did not know you can do that.

My puppy gets his food and broken treats for training. Maybe I'm feeding him too much?
 

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I usually make my pup do something before, I put his food down (ex. Sit or down), I don't put the food down until he does. Once the food is down he has 15mins to eat and then I pick it up, even if he isn't done. a puppy that's hungry eats all there food way faster than that.


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When I got my puppy a few months ago she would go crazy when I filled up her food bowl. She would actually put her front paws in her food bowl and her back paws in her water bowel and scarf it down. Then a week or two later she had no interest in food.

Since this was winter my dad suggested that since she laid around inside all day she probably hasn't worked up an appetite so I started bringing her for runs and play fetch before i fed her and sure enough she ate it. Some dogs just need to work up an appetite.

Even though people warn against it
I leave her food out all day until she eats it and its usually gone by night. I probably should take it away after twenty minutes but I'm too scared about her being underfed.


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I'm in the "give your puppy it's bowl of food, and let it eat in peace" camp. I don't make mine do a sit-stay, or, well, do anything. I just feed my dogs. :)
 

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Not sure why he's doing it, but you could take this as a training opportunity (this is all my opinion. I'm not a trainer; I'm just speaking off something that I do with my dog). So he's having trouble all the sudden eating food with you there, so make it a game/training exercise. With my girl she has to have permission to eat her kibble. So what I have her do is I have her (typically, though sometimes I change up the commands just to make her focus on what I'm saying rather than the reward) do is she has to sit and then I say, "look at me" and after a few seconds I say, "eat", and then she knows it's ok. The great thing about this for her is she's working for it, and it's a reward for good behavior. I don't know what your dog knows, but whatever it is use it as a precursor to being able to eat. It's kinda similar to what Rachell2313 said about exercising her dog before he eats; in my experience German Shepherds get more out of mind exercises than they do physical exercises (not to say they don't need plenty of physical exercises, but this is a breed that loves to think and problem solve, so mental exercises can be just as engaging/rewarding to them as physical ones). Just my 2 cents worth.
 

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As far as age goes, I would think any age is fine (didn't get my girl as a pup; I got her as an adult and she had some issues so it was a bit before I was too strict about anything due to her trust issues). As far as treats go, I agree with other people who have said their own food is fine, but if you want to go the treat route I would recommend any treat not made in China (there have been too many scares for me to trust anything made by China for dogs), or I sometimes do some cooked chicken or even on rare occasion cooked liver. If your dog's more play motivated a good play session after a completed command is as good or better than any treat. My current girl is highly food motivated; my previous dog was not so much, so it's just a matter of getting to know your dog.
 

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You use dog food as a treat? :confused:
Did not know you can do that.

My puppy gets his food and broken treats for training. Maybe I'm feeding him too much?

yes certainly, nothing new here. i work out their daily portion and it gets fed out in games as per micheal ellis video - power of food.

i do provide recreational chew bones as well, but only under supervision i would never leave a dog unsupervised with a bone, think choke/blockage.

here is a typical feed session;


by the way i have never had a issue like so many with food guarding, my hand goes near bowl only means i have something better in my hand than whats in the bowl.

hope this helps, i am unsure about giving training advice in case it causes a newb more problems, i can only say what works for me, no expert.
 
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