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Hello everyone, first time posting, and also a first time GSD owner, and loving it. There has recently been an issue with his eating routine though.

Kaiser is a ~7 month male, and a very relaxed, chilled out dog. Very smart. Since he was roughly 6 weeks, I have made him sit infront of his bowl, and wait for the "good boy" command before he can eat. This has also worked out really well because he waits for permission to eat something dropped on the kitchen floor. I forgot to tell him good boy once, and he sat infront of his bowl for an hour :cry: .

The issue : He has recently not been eating once I tell him good boy. He will sort of act like he doesn't remember what the command means anymore? I have to pretty much say it 15 times, and tap his food before he eats it. Once he starts eating, he will eat the whole bowl.

Note : Before this started happening, he completely scarfs down his food and couldn't wait to hear the "good boy" command. He gets fed in the morning, and evening.

Thanks for any help!
Kevin
 

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You should maybe leave out the commands cause he's maybe thinking he shouldn't eat it until he is told some shepherds are really smart and will obey there orders once he eats it anyway that's the main thing :)
 

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I disagree with Jay about leaving out the commands, he needs a clear release cue. "Good boy" is said alot in my house, which I'm sure it is with yours. Not the best idea but our release cue is "ok", for everything. Release to eat, release to go through the door, release from a command behavior.

I would suggest just using the release command of your choice, just once, then walk away. If he doesn't eat, then he's not understanding the release cue. Pick up the food, put it away, then try the whole thing over again in about 10 min. I promise, he will remember.

The most important thing in this I think is to not repeat the command. Just give the cue, and walk away.
 

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I disagree with Jay about leaving out the commands, he needs a clear release cue. "Good boy" is said alot in my house, which I'm sure it is with yours. Not the best idea but our release cue is "ok", for everything. Release to eat, release to go through the door, release from a command behavior.

I would suggest just using the release command of your choice, just once, then walk away. If he doesn't eat, then he's not understanding the release cue. Pick up the food, put it away, then try the whole thing over again in about 10 min. I promise, he will remember.

The most important thing in this I think is to not repeat the command. Just give the cue, and walk away.
You are right about using "good boy" as a release cue. He has sometimes thought I was giving him the "OK" to eat our other dogs food when I call him a good boy haha! I will start using OK now as my release cue, and try what you have suggested. I just feel bad for him, because he sits and stares at me until he eventually figures out he is fine to eat haha

Kevin
 

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If you are gonna start with a new release cue, you might want to reconsider using "ok". You would be surprised how often that comes up in casual conversation! So many times I have released my boys from a down or sit without meaning too! LOL! I wish I had used something like "free" or anything else that doesn't come up quite so often!
 

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If you are gonna start with a new release cue, you might want to reconsider using "ok". You would be surprised how often that comes up in casual conversation! So many times I have released my boys from a down or sit without meaning too! LOL! I wish I had used something like "free" or anything else that doesn't come up quite so often!
I know exactly what you mean lol! He will be eating here in a few hours, so I will let you know how it goes. Shouldn't take to long for him to catch on id imagine.
 

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If you are gonna start with a new release cue, you might want to reconsider using "ok". You would be surprised how often that comes up in casual conversation! So many times I have released my boys from a down or sit without meaning too! LOL! I wish I had used something like "free" or anything else that doesn't come up quite so often!
actually, dogs easily learn when you aren't talking to them. It's something that you proof in obedience training, to insure that your dog doesn't break when there is someone in the next ring screaming SIT!! or HEEL!!
 

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I can see where that can be proofed in obedience training, I was just saying that I had not proofed against it. It would have been easier if my release cue was something I don't use in casual conversations, live and learn!
 

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Pick a word in another language. Doesn't have to be the proper translatation. Just make it short, one or two syllables.
Really makes it hard for you to accidentally be saying it while talking to others. Nor do you have to worry about others using it around him. Something like sit, though, should be taught, in case some else is around your dog. Of course, you could teach two different words for the same command. One private, really solid command and another for the public.


When I want my dog to drop what is in his mouth, his command is very clear: naschkats. I shortened naschkatze to be a syllable shorter, which means sweet tooth, but the direct translation would actually be 'to gnash cats.' Complete nonsense of a word choice, but it is very clear to him, as he never hears it elsewhere.


Anyway...just start teaching a new release command. Perhaps one that you just solely use for food. I make sure mine knows the command by testing/mixing things up. I don't want him to think just hearing my voice is his release to eat. A bowl of beef may be on the floor, but he'll wait until he hears the right thing. I'll have him do things such as sit, lay down, hug, recall him to another part of the house, or whatever. You can see him thinking, too. Going from a sit position and slightly start to lower himself and then go, "no wait, that's not what 'hug' means!" does a quick hug and sits back down waiting for the next thing I say. I always mix it up. One time I may have him to a lot of things, sometimes just a single thing. Bonus to all this is that it helps really solidify commands. He's getting less and less sloppy with 'wait, which was it that Dad just said?'
 
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