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Wants to eat--doesn't know how???

1017 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Brightelf
Hi all--
I've fed raw to all my dogs for over five years now and am experiencing something totally new with a new dog. He's been on raw for a week now and does great with ground meats, tripe, and canned mackerel, doesn't know how to handle RMBs yet ('m not so worried about that--yet). However, I introduced beef heart tonight--which I cut into pieces--he definitely wanted to eat it but couldn't figure out how. He kept putting it in his mouth and dropping it on the floor. He'd try again, drop it, lick it, then go for another piece, then repeat the process with the next piece. He's learned so much from watching the other dogs that I can't understand why he's having trouble when he seems to watch them eat very studiously. The real point, I suppose, is that he appears to want to eat the stuff but can't figure out how. I've never had a dog that couldn't figure out how to eat meat! Not wanting to eat it is another matter I can address, but can I help the dog learn to eat this stuff? I'm worried that the RMBs might not happen if he can't even figure out beef heart.

I've tried making the food more appealing, but I don't really think that's the issue. Also, I haven't had his teeth checked yet, but they look great. Plus, in his previous home, he was fond of having rawhide chews all the time. The dog is a young 4 years old (Aussie mix, not GSD).

Any thoughts? Thanks for any help you can offer!

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I have a dog like this also. It took him awhile before he understood what he was suppose to do with RMBs..It would literally take him almost an hour to eat a dang turkey neck..It was frustrating to say the least. He has finally got the hang of it though. Some dogs just take longer to grasp it than others do. I would just continue laying it down, as he will get the hang of it sooner or later:)
Thanks--frustrating is right. I will just wait it out, hard not to project into the future and imagine forthcoming problems. But, yeah, you're right, sooner or later!
Thanks again.
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Here's what I would do. Offer him the food and give him about 5 minutes to start eating - not just mouthing the food. If he isn't actually EATING the food by the end of the 5 minutes I'd pick it up and he goes hungry until the next scheduled meal time.

Missing one (or two) merals isn't going to harm a healthy dog. And it gets them to realize that if they DON'T eat what you give them WHEN you give it to them they will go hungry.
For me, it took a day or two.

I cut some raw chicken meat and put it on a plate. I also had some chicken drumsticks. I sat on the floor with both, and with my dog. I handed him the raw meat. He took it (and enjoyed it.) I then held out the drumstick, holding the skinny end. Smells the same; owner handing me the meat the same. Must also be same sort of meat. He almost immediately started to chomp on it. When he got to the bone, he stopped. I encouraged him, and he continued to chomp.

I did this once, maybe two days (I don't recall). He's never looked back. He lives for his RMBs now. He just needed me to show him that they're the same as the other meat I feed him. Yeah, it took a little extra work on my part, but eh, it wasn't that much extra work. My puppy is currently in that "stalking and pouncing on it, but I'm not sure it's food" stage. She's still eating mostly kibble. When I'm serious about moving her over to raw, if she hasn't figured out RMBs on her own, I'll do the same thing.
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've been taking away his food for almost a week now--I'm afraid this dog isn't much of a quick study. It may just take longer for us. I guess we'll just keep plugging away!
Cut the food up. This "opens" it, makes it smell more, seem wetter, easily handled. I had to do this wish fish when Grimm began fish. Then he saw that there were goodies inside.... he has oinked fish since.
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