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 Hyperactive feeding times

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myhusky
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Male Join date : 2010-10-24
Location : Munno Para West, South Australia

PostSubject: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:12 am

We brought Tayla home on Monday. She's 9 weeks old. The only issue we've found that we need some assistance with is food. I know that puppies generally will eat and eat and eat, but this girl's behaviour has me a little worried. I can safely say she gets hyperactive when food is concerned.

When I put her bowl down at meal time she lunges into it and eats as much as she can as fast as she can. The majority of it just gets thrown around on the floor.

We've found the only way to get her to eat slowly is to hold her bowl and hand feed her small bits one at a time. After doing this she gets the bowl back and starts to eat a little slower.

When anyone else is eating, if there is food in the area, or if she is waiting for her food, she starts jumping around, yelping, and doing anything possible to get the food. She gets really quite loud and frantic about it all.

Apart from wanting some advice about what to do about this, I was wanting to know how normal this is? Logan was such a quiet, well behaved puppy. We had him eating calmly and slowly straight away. Tayla has yelped, whinged and been vocal more in these 4 days than Logan did in the first 6 months. Today it seems like Logan has been getting quite grumpy about Tayla's yapping, as have we all. We really do have two extremes.

Seeing as how we've only had experience with these two it is hard for us to determine what is normal. I've been getting worried about Tayla because she's been so different to Logan, but then I thought maybe she's acting normal, and maybe it was actually Logan that was unusually quiet.

Any ideas?
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Koda
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Female Join date : 2009-05-20
Location : Glenville, NY

PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:23 am

Huskies, like any dog, are all different. Koda and Hailey are just as polar opposite when it comes to food. Koda regularly skips meals, whereas Hailey would never even THINK about missing a meal. She is so highly food motivated that she jumps and gets excited EVERY meal time. Koda decides whether or not he cares that day (to the point where we're cutting down his food thinking we're feeding him a little too much).

Feeding her by hand is one of the best things that you can do, so good instincts! I would continue to do that until she slows down a little more. Then you can do a few things. You can feed her on a cookie sheet on the floor. This would force her to slow down as she can't get as many kibble bits in her mouth at a time. You can always try wedging a bone or a toy in the bowl so that she has to eat around it, which slows her down.

For your own meal times. I don't know if you can crate her (not sure if you have a crate) but definitely isolate her when she acts like that. When she starts to get hyperactive (so it sounds like the moment you start preparing food in the kitchen) remove her immediately to a crate or another room. If/when she calms, go ahead and let her out. She's still young, so eventually she should learn that "When I calm down, Daddy comes to let me out, but I go back when I get excited." Logan's example and your consistency should really start to make a difference, but just remember to be patient! The most important thing that you can do is to remember to remain calm. Don't let your frustration or emotions show, which can be REALLY hard with a yappy dog around.

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SaraB
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Female Join date : 2010-09-09
Location : Deltona, FL

PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:39 am

Siku would literally inhale her food as a puppy. I ended up just tossing all for food into her crate to slow her down. I also put it in Kongs (she learned quickly how to get all the kibble out in one move) and in one of those puzzle balls that they have to roll around until the food drops out. For whatever reason, at around 6-7 months she suddenly lost her appetite for a week then has eaten slowly ever since. She still eats some things quickly like her THK, but she eats kibble much slower.

Also a good thing to teach a puppy is to wait until you say it's ok for them to eat. Ever since I got Siku I have made her sit and wait as I put down her food bowl and only let her get to it when I say "release." Even though you puppy goes crazy for food, it is possible to teach them to wait. I almost think because Siku went crazy for food it was more of an incentive to wait, so she could actually get to her food quicker (if she got up on her own, we'd make her wait longer).
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Koda
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Female Join date : 2009-05-20
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:20 am

@SaraB wrote:
Also a good thing to teach a puppy is to wait until you say it's ok for them to eat. Ever since I got Siku I have made her sit and wait as I put down her food bowl and only let her get to it when I say "release." Even though you puppy goes crazy for food, it is possible to teach them to wait. I almost think because Siku went crazy for food it was more of an incentive to wait, so she could actually get to her food quicker (if she got up on her own, we'd make her wait longer).
Very true! I take telling people that for granted cause it's so second nature to me. Ours do this as well. Hailey took a little while to learn (and she was 2 years old when we got her) but even she sits and waits until I give them the release command (ours is "Okay!") I can walk over to the sink, turn my back, go into the other room, I've made them wait while I go to the bathroom (I know, that one's kind of mean, but I wanted to see how long they would wait!) and they won't touch their food until I say "Okay!" My point is that, if Hailey can learn to do this, so can Tayla Smile

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myhusky
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:42 am

Yeah we have Logan doing that, got him doing it really early since he was so calm about it. Now when I say he was calm, I don't mean he wasn't interested. He was still excited, doing his little twirls and stuff. He just wasn't so hyper. But we have Logan sitting and doing whatever we want, but in the end he needs to look at me and I'll say ok.

I have every intention of doing the same with Tayla, it's just that at the moment she's much too hyper to consider that.

We do have crates for both huskies. Tonight, after I posted this, Tayla went hyper, jumped and stole some of my baked potato. That was the final straw so I put her in her crate, at which point she continued to whine, yelp and howl the entire time I was eating.

With Logan being so quiet, I can see that all of this noise is really bothering him. Tayla needs to be a good addition in his life for him to welcome her properly, and she isn't helping this happen.
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:13 am

Where did you get her from? I think you need to be really proactive about training her. Do you and your partner eat together every evening? Try having one person prepare the food and the other person holding a leash. (You may want to crate Logan or put him in a separate room for a while) As soon as Tayla gets hyper, leash her, and walk her out of the room into another and stand calmly with her. As soon as she's calm, walk her back into the other room. IF she starts getting hyper again, walk right back out. If she can get into the room and be calm, unleash her, but repeat as soon as she gets hyper again.

You might need to do this for several days to start to see an effect, but she needs to learn that if she's going to be hyper, she can't be with you near food. Once it's time to eat, if she can't calm down, leave her in her crate.

I understand the vocalization is annoying and difficult, but you CANNOT react. She's doing it for the attention and the moment you give her any sort of reaction, you're setting yourself and her training further and further back. Just don't react. And the moment she quiets down, PRAISE. You have quite a handful on you.... she's not going to be as easy as Logan at all, but think about it this way... you're well-versed in huskies and understand putting time and energy into them.... where would she be with someone less prepared?

ETA: One more thing you can try, and I'm sure Eddy will chime in, take her for a GOOD RUN before meal times. Exhaust her. That will help a LOT.

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Huskyluv
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Female Join date : 2009-06-23
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:36 pm

This is such a great thread and both Tori and Sara have given such excellent advice I really can't think of anything to add.

One of our Chihuahuas is an extreme food lover and the way she vocalizes and bounces all over the place waiting for her food you'd think she was on a hot plate. Initially I did the hand feeding thing but that was just way too time consuming and after that I was putting a ball in her bowl to slow her down by having to eat around the ball. She still was crazy and grabbing desperately during hand feeding despite NILIF training and making her wait for it. Even when she had the ball in her bowl she inhaled her food as fast as possible, the ball only slowed her down marginally. I know this isn't an option for you but I've seen the most improvement since switching her to The Honest Kitchen dehydrated raw. THK food has the consistency of oatmeal when prepared and you can really make it as thick or soupy as you want. I do thicker consistencies for my normal eaters and I do a more soupy consistency for my food inhaler, since being on THK is the first time my food inhaler has EVER really eaten her meals at a normal pace. I love it! LOL I practice the wait command with food and treats with my inhaler daily and it has made a world of difference combined with her soupier Honest Kitchen dinner. Raw meals also slow down the feeding process since they have to chew up the bones. It takes my sibe about 10 minutes to work through a whole raw chicken breast and it takes my food inhaler Chihuahua, Faith, about 20 minutes to eat half a raw chicken wing.

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CoffeeK8
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:36 pm

My mother's dog (a heeler) eats WAAAAAAAY too fast. She bought an Anti-Bloat Bowl (http://www.fetchdog.com/pet-supplies/dogbowls-feeders/dogbowls-dishes/eat-slow-dog-bowl/00148) and it has helped to slow him down tremendously. It's similar to the Ball in the Bowl trick, dogs need to eat around pillars in the bowl, thus slowing them down somewhat. And I totally agree with Koda: leash her in the house and teach her how she must behave. Ignore the whining and reward/praise the calm. It'll take some time, but she'll get there. :-) GOOD LUCK!
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myhusky
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:13 pm

Yeah this morning while Logan was eating i took Tayla away to calm her down. Held her on her leash while she freaked out, and praised her when she was calm. Went back and forth like that for about five minutes but in the end she was calm more than hyper. Didn't really help when it came to her breakfast, but at least I can see that she is able to be calm when food is involved.

I will definitely look into those bowls, or try the ball in the bowl. It does sound like one of those would be helpful.

On a side note, Tayla was just resting in her bed and Logan walked up to bug her. Logan walked away without annoying her so I called him to praise him for leaving her alone when she was resting. Tayla heard me call Logan, she must have thought I was giving him a treat so she got up and sprinted over. Kind of made Logan leaving her alone a bit redundant Razz seeing as how she got up anyway.

Well the puppies are both napping, so I think I might get some sleep too. This whole puppy phase is exhausting for all involved. Thanks for all the advice guys.
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26nikita
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Female Join date : 2010-09-11

PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:12 am

WOW! I feel like I am reading about my own dogs! I have almost the same situation. I have a 10 year old, who I swear is the best dog on this planet. I have no issues with him whatsoever! I decided to get a puppy two months ago and she is hell on wheels! Dakota is so quiet and calm and never gets into anything and Willow is the exact opposit! She also inhales her food like there is no tomorrow. When I picked her up from the breeder she was housed in a very nice and clean outside pen with her litter mates, however I saw only one food and water bowl. My guess is she didn't always get her fill. I feed Dakota and Willow in their own bowls and Dakota never attempts to take her food, not that she gives him a chance, so I am hoping she will realize she no longer has to compete for her food. I think I will try to do the ball in the bowl trick as well.
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myhusky
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:17 am

We haven't had much luck with Tayla so far. We are feeding her in small portions, and we are able to get her to sit and wait between portions until we say ok, but as soon as we say ok she still lunges for the food and eats as fast as possible. She has also managed to steal a bite of Logan's a few times.
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:02 pm

Have either of you tried feeding the dogs separately or in different rooms? What about feeding them in their crates with the doors shut?

26nikita- it sounds like your girl needs to feel safe when eating, which she hasn't been able to until now. I think this might work well for you.

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Muddy~Mira
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:44 pm

My New Baby came from a Pen Where she Ate outta 1 Bowl .. And She is A HOGGG She will Push My 7 Month Old Mira Outta The Way ~~!!~
Mira Was House Raised till 8 wks and she Has ALWAYS been gentle ~
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26nikita
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:54 pm

Funny that you suggest that because I have started feeding Dakota in the kitchen and Willow in the breezeway which is right next to each other so they can hear each other but far enough apart the she shouldn't have to worry about him coming to eat her food (which he never tries to do). She is the one that tries to steal the food when she gets done with her feeding she heads straight to him. I have been working with her and she now sits down after she gets done eating and waits until he is done before she moves. Ofcourse I am standing there monitoring them but I think eventually she will do this even if I walk away. I have also been working with her to sit and wait at a distance while I fill the bowls and I am making her wait to eat until she sits calmly and makes eye contact with me before I let her have it. Tonight was the first night I didn't have to keep sending her back in a sitting position. She did it all on her own and stayed that way until I gave her the ok. She still inhaled her food but I think if I keep working with her, she will start to slow down. =-) Don't worry, I won't give up! I know I have to be consistent and patient with her and she will get there.
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26nikita
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PostSubject: Re: Hyperactive feeding times   Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:43 am

I found this bit of advice online. I'm gonna try the elevated food bowl and see how that goes.

"Another thing that might help is not to let her eat with the plate on the ground. If you place the plate a little higher, it causes the dog to slow down while she is eating. Also, you can practice holding the food and gently moving it; lifting the plate up to touch her chin until she relaxes and slows down. You're using her own body's mechanics to help her to accomplish a good thing. She will have to turn her head sideways to get the food, and even use her tongue. She will get less food with each bite, and so you are telling her to slow down, chew the food, really FEEL the food. Because when the brain is in a no-limits state of mind, the dog will just go wild and gobble the food down. By forcing her to slow down, youre just sending her brain into a different state."

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