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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure if there is anything that can be done, but my GSD won't eat unless I'm at home.

I had a cat who was like this, as well. She was really attached to me and when my husband and I would go on vacation, my friend who went over each day to feed and play with her told me that for the first 4 days she would not eat at all. After that, she did start eating, so I suppose it's just a matter of how hungry they are.

But I wonder if there is a way to help my GSD feel more comfortable so it will eat when I am not around? At some point (when it's older and Covid is not an issue) I will travel and I would feel better if I know he's not hungry while I'm gone.
 

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Not sure if there is anything that can be done, but my GSD won't eat unless I'm at home.

I had a cat who was like this, as well. She was really attached to me and when my husband and I would go on vacation, my friend who went over each day to feed and play with her told me that for the first 4 days she would not eat at all. After that, she did start eating, so I suppose it's just a matter of how hungry they are.

But I wonder if there is a way to help my GSD feel more comfortable so it will eat when I am not around? At some point (when it's older and Covid is not an issue) I will travel and I would feel better if I know he's not hungry while I'm gone.
Do you mean like if he's in the care of someone else? Or do you free feed? I'm a little confused by your post.

I guess I personally don't like the idea of free feeding. I feed my dog twice a day and she cleans her bowl...so in that respect, I'm always home when she has her meals. She has never had an issue eating when she's at the boarder's.
 

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these dogs love routine. If the dog is being watched at home perhaps having food in the same bowl, the same way at the same time might help.
 

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What do you feed your dog? If you feed dry food, maybe try having your house/pet sitter add some yummy, juicy, canned food to the dry food.
 

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Shadow won't eat if I'm not around, usually sitting with her or holding her dish, but she doesn't eat well at the best of times so if me sitting with her gets her to eat I'm totally cool with it.
Sabi also wouldn't eat unless I was there, the rest of the time she would have eaten the fridge! It may just be a breed thing.
My step fathers dog wouldn't eat if he wasn't there either.
I never leave the food out. It goes down for 15 minutes and then gets put away. Shadow gets a few minutes longer, but not much.
You could try putting her food down and leaving the house for 15 minutes. As soon as you come back pick her food up if she hasn't eaten and put it away until next meal time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Do you mean like if he's in the care of someone else? Or do you free feed? I'm a little confused by your post.

I guess I personally don't like the idea of free feeding. I feed my dog twice a day and she cleans her bowl...so in that respect, I'm always home when she has her meals. She has never had an issue eating when she's at the boarder's.
No, I mean if he is in someone else's care. If I am not home and my mom feeds him, he will not eat. He only eats if I am at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
these dogs love routine. If the dog is being watched at home perhaps having food in the same bowl, the same way at the same time might help.
No, I guess I wasn't clear, sorry for the confusion. I meant, if I am not home, my dog will not eat. If my mom is home and feeds him at his normal dinner time - he doesn't eat until I get home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Shadow won't eat if I'm not around, usually sitting with her or holding her dish, but she doesn't eat well at the best of times so if me sitting with her gets her to eat I'm totally cool with it.
Sabi also wouldn't eat unless I was there, the rest of the time she would have eaten the fridge! It may just be a breed thing.
My step fathers dog wouldn't eat if he wasn't there either.
I never leave the food out. It goes down for 15 minutes and then gets put away. Shadow gets a few minutes longer, but not much.
You could try putting her food down and leaving the house for 15 minutes. As soon as you come back pick her food up if she hasn't eaten and put it away until next meal time.
that is a good idea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Survival instincts are great. They have located owners who will move mountains to ensure that they survive. Lol.
LOL, I am probably stressing way more than I need to. I am sure at some point he would start to eat... meanwhile, I'll be biting my nails while I'm on vacation waiting to hear that yes, he finally ate his dinner.
 

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I babysat a friend's dog for a couple weeks, he came with the warning - "He'll only eat late at night when no one is watching"... 3 hrs later at a more regular feeding time I sent her a video of him clearing his bowl out. I expected to have a couple missed meals before he caught on, other pets in the home and food doesn't get left out... He got it the first time after only eating in the middle of the night for years. Their survival instincts are very in tune to "what hoops can I make humans jump through" sometimes! If I recall correctly they became domesticated by figuring out that humans would give them food if they performed "tricks aka tasks" for them and accepted/gave affection, way easier than foraging and hunting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I babysat a friend's dog for a couple weeks, he came with the warning - "He'll only eat late at night when no one is watching"... 3 hrs later at a more regular feeding time I sent her a video of him clearing his bowl out. I expected to have a couple missed meals before he caught on, other pets in the home and food doesn't get left out... He got it the first time after only eating in the middle of the night for years. Their survival instincts are very in tune to "what hoops can I make humans jump through" sometimes! If I recall correctly they became domesticated by figuring out that humans would give them food if they performed "tricks aka tasks" for them and accepted/gave affection, way easier than foraging and hunting.
OK, this is hilarious!!! I feel a lot less concerned now about my boy eating when I'm on vacation. :)
 

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When you prepare his food, it smells like you. Try preparing it in zippy bags portioned out and making sure you handle it. It may also have something to do with the dish itself. Once in awhile we have a bowl break and the replacement gets a once over before eating out of it. ("This is NOT my bowl"). The canned food is a good idea, too. Only foreseeable problem is your dog wanting to eat at mom's but not at home...

Like the cat story. When we had my son's cat living in the garage his dish was always empty and my husband could not believe that little cat was eating that much food so he set up a camera to watch. And he did watch - a mouse taking one piece at a time over and over while the cat sat there and watched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
When you prepare his food, it smells like you. Try preparing it in zippy bags portioned out and making sure you handle it. It may also have something to do with the dish itself. Once in awhile we have a bowl break and the replacement gets a once over before eating out of it. ("This is NOT my bowl"). The canned food is a good idea, too. Only foreseeable problem is your dog wanting to eat at mom's but not at home...

Like the cat story. When we had my son's cat living in the garage his dish was always empty and my husband could not believe that little cat was eating that much food so he set up a camera to watch. And he did watch - a mouse taking one piece at a time over and over while the cat sat there and watched.
OMG, that is HILARIOUS!!
 
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