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 Post subject: Psycho Eating Behavior
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:15 pm 
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Okay, Betty (and others)... let me know what you think about this. As I've mentioned before, Cannon has been burying food that takes work: fish, meaty bones... that sort of thing. His eating/sleeping area is the fenced yard outside the back door, maybe 20' x 50', and that's where his doghouse is. He buries his food in what was the garden area, and will leave it buried for days except, lately if either Ann or I go outside to his area in the evening, he will immediately dig up some aged morsel, shake the dirt off, and eat it. So long as one of us is out there, he will dig stuff up and eat it, but otherwise it will stay there a looonnng time. And of course once he finishes, he wants to come and share his wonderful breath with us. ;-)

I can't figure out the behavior.. any ideas what's going on?

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:42 am 
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I say stay out there while he is eating it, maybe he is getting too much and he is saving the left overs...
Time for some doggy breath mints ;-)

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:14 am 
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Jim,

I think Shannons right. I stay with the dogs and make sure that they eat. Of course, with 3 dogs, I have to, or they will steal each others food. If Abe isnt real hungry, he will bury his food, the others just leave it. If Abe buries something, Larry just goes and gets it himself and Abe just stands and watches Larry eat his buried treasure!! I never have figures out why when they all eat the same thing, why one dogs food is so much better than theirs!!

If one of the dogs doesnt eat all that I gave them, I pick it up and put it back in the fridge, grass, dirt and all and give it to them the next time. I do wrap it up!!! LOL!!

Betty

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Sadie went through a period of trying to bury her food as well. This is when she was still kibble fed, and she never really liked kibble very much. So she would eat a couple bites and then try to bury her food bowl. She'd pull a rug over it, push it under the bed skirt, anything to hide it. So I had to teach her the "Eat" command. I'd put her food down and stand there and watch her while she ate it. If she stopped and tried to bury it, I'd tell her to eat, and if she didn't, I took the food away. After a while, I would give her the "Eat" command when I put the bowl down and she would actually do it.

This happened when we lived in a house with two roommates and she was very stressed and protective of everything all the time. Even when she knew the "Eat" command, I couldn't leave any food out past meal time, that seemed to stress her out too much. So this might not help you, because it sounds like Cannon is pretty stable and happy besides this little quirk. But if you start seeing other strange behaviors, you may want to step back and study the environment around his run, make sure something isn't bothering him.

Of course most of the dogs I've known do something a little weird with their food. My family's Welsh Corgi would herd the cats away from her food bowl. If they stayed in the kitchen with her and looked at her food, she'd run over and start eating as fast as she could. Not that I blame her, one of the cats loved snacking on Amelia's dinner :))

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:28 pm 
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What perplexes is me is that, if he isn't eating the buried food because he isn't hungry, then why does he eat it if I go out with him? And if he -is- hungry, then why doesn't he eat it when I'm not there? Maybe I shouldn't try to apply logic to a Lacy pup?

My gut is telling me it is either:

1. a security sort of thing, meaning he either thinks I might dig it up and put it back in the fridge, so he better eat it, or he feels more secure if I'm there, so he wants to eat.

2. A social thing. "Hey were all here, let's party on week old fish!"

I've been leaving him alone with food, because I figured it gave him something other than the irrigation system and the house to chew on while I was at work. ;-)

He is in an interesting phase right now. AT 9 months he is part pup and part adult; definitely becoming more confident and assertive, while ta the same time not being as destructive and getting to be very obedient.

He is clearly the best dog in the world. :-)

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 Post Posted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:43 pm 
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Quote:
My gut is telling me it is either:

1. a security sort of thing, meaning he either thinks I might dig it up and put it back in the fridge, so he better eat it, or he feels more secure if I'm there, so he wants to eat.

2. A social thing. "Hey were all here, let's party on week old fish!"


Jim, I think it's probably #1.

Sounds like you and Cannon are great for each other. Welcome to the "my dog is the best dog in the world" club (I'm a member). The problem is when you have more than one Lacy! ;)

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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:49 pm 
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Now that the hectic weekend is over, I'm trying to catch up on all the posts!

I agree with Amber, I think he is digging up his food and eating it because he is worried you'll take it away. That is actually how I taught Sadie the "eat it" command, by moving to take away her food. If she thought it was going to disappear, she'd eat it rather than try to bury it. And that is what our Corgi did too, immediately scarf down her food is she thought the cats would get it.

It makes sense if you think about wolf and feral dog behavior. If you leave something for another day, some other animal will probably come along and snag it. So you can bury it, but if you can't come back or think someone else will dig it up, it's better to gorge yourself today in case you starve tomorrow.

Is Cannon's run near a neighbor dog or busy yard or anything? If so, he may be a little more concerned with burying and scarfing his food. Sadie started exhibiting this behavior when there were two extra people and one extra dog in the house, which sort of makes sense because even though the people didn't want her food, I know the other dog did. The "eat it" command helped break that cycle.

If the rotting meat bugs you, and I know it would bug me, start training "eat it" and watch him finish his food. What he doesn't eat can go back in the freezer for next time. Don't give him the opportunity to bury it or your yard and pup will stink forever :) Eventually he'll let go of the bad habit.

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"You must be a very small minority no matter who you hang around with. Maybe you should start a magazine, Vegetarian Hog Dogging Monthly, find some like-minded individuals."
- Inspiration for my next project from TBH

True Blue Lacys: http://www.truebluelacys.com
More Lacy Pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/julieanna/sets/72157605027566732/


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 Post Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:26 pm 
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If Ann or I watch him, he just eats it, so that's what we've been doing. Nice way to have coffee in the morning, anyway... :-)

Thanks for the help, folks.

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