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View Full Version : Dog Won't Eat Food Prepared By My Boyfriend, Only By Me



katerey
09-24-2005, 11:19 PM
Hello! 2 months ago, my boyfriend and I adopted a 5 year old Sharpei mix named Buddy from the MSPCA. Although we live together, the dog is much more attached to me, I suppose because he is male and I am female. (I heard this can happen sometimes.) Also, my boyfriend is the disciplinarian and I am a little softer on the dog. We take turns feeding the dog every morning. For the past 2 months, the routine is that as soon as one of us puts the food out, we call him and he runs to the bowl and snarfs it down.
For some reason, starting a few days ago, Buddy won't come to his food bowl when called by my boyfriend, nor does he eat the food "served" by my boyfriend. On the first morning, my boyfriend called him to eat but Buddy wouldn't come so my boyfriend dragged him by the collar to the food bowl (against my protests). The dog didn't eat (of course, who would after that?). He did eat later that night when I fed him dinner. The following day was a repeat. On the third day, my boyfriend put out the food but did not drag the dog to the bowl, and the food sat there all day. I got home late from work that day; the moment I walked in the door at 11:30pm, the dog sniffed me and then immediately ran to eat the food. He hadn't eaten all day until that point!
The following morning, my boyfriend put out the food and the dog wouldn't eat until I literally touched the rim of the dish with my hand. Then he ate everything. And the next morning, all I had to do was call him to his food & he ate, even though my boyfriend put the food out in plain view of the dog.
While all this has been going on, the dog comes to my boyfriend whenever he calls him for anything else, snacks, petting, getting ready for walks, etc. I don't understand why this has suddenly become an issue. I have a week-long convention coming up next month and am worried that the dog won't eat. Am I coddling him? Is he manipulating us? Is he having some kind of anxiety related only to me? Does he hate my boyfriend every morning but change his mind after 5pm? Help! I'm confused!!! :roll:

SalemWitchChild
09-25-2005, 08:47 AM
Since your bf dragged him to the bowl he now associates your bf and the bowl and a no no. Your husband should not be treating your dog this way. You said he was the disiplinarian. How much disaplin? :x Positive reinforcement is the best way to get him over this fear now.

I have never saw a dog that will starve themselves. So put out food yourself before you leave. Let your bf put more food in while the dog is not around. Eventually he WILL eat. He just might not for a couple of days. This won't kill him. But make sure there's plenty of water too.

Your bf really needs to learn how to treat a dog. I suggest that you enroll in a dog training class. This will be good both for the dog, your bf, and you two. This way you can learn how to properly react to situations.

katerey
09-25-2005, 06:44 PM
Hi. Thanks for the advice. My boyfriend is not physically abusive to the dog. He and I read (on some animal training website) that when using commands with the dog, you should make sure that the dog listens to you & practices the command. I.e. If you call your pet and he doesn't come, you need to make sure that he comes, if only to avoid teaching him that it's okay not to listen sometimes. So he struggled with making the dog come when he called him and pulled him by the collar as a means of following through on the command. In hindsight, he sees that this was not the most effective way to go and probably had the opposite effect of what he intended. I agree with you about the training class, though, so that each of us learns how best to react in the immdiate moment. :)

SalemWitchChild
09-25-2005, 07:09 PM
Hi. Thanks for the advice. My boyfriend is not physically abusive to the dog. He and I read (on some animal training website) that when using commands with the dog, you should make sure that the dog listens to you & practices the command. I.e. If you call your pet and he doesn't come, you need to make sure that he comes, if only to avoid teaching him that it's okay not to listen sometimes. So he struggled with making the dog come when he called him and pulled him by the collar as a means of following through on the command. In hindsight, he sees that this was not the most effective way to go and probably had the opposite effect of what he intended. I agree with you about the training class, though, so that each of us learns how best to react in the immdiate moment. :)

I'm glad that you and your bf recognize that what he did was not the best reaction to the situation. Good luck with the classes. :)