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misstigress
10-12-2005, 04:08 AM
I have a 6 month old Great Pyrenees cross Border Collie. She is 6 months old and weighs about 55 lbs, she is huge already. She isn't fat (her butt and chest are larger than the rest of her but I think its just cause she's in her awkward teenage stage) I just fill up her dish when it gets empty. She eats really well, but not overboard. I have her on a high quality puppy food for large breed dogs (18-24 months). How much should I give her a day and at what times? She goes to get spayed on November 2nd, and although she is very active (starting agility) I do not want her to be overweight. She gets her food, a bone good for her teeth and a pig ear (or something like that) available everyday and tiny treats I use for training (she is in obedience school). Can someone explain to me how the feeding works? I always just left food available all the time.

kerryclair
10-15-2005, 11:32 AM
Since you are going to the vet this month you should discuss this with the vet. He or she can best advise you!

SalemWitchChild
10-16-2005, 04:22 PM
Many people free feed and have success. While Other's find a schedule is best. I personally free feed and think it is best. As long as your dog does not have a habit of over-eating then free feeding is a good choice behavior wise. When we fed on schedule every dog fed that way was hyper around feeding time, jumping up and down, and I saw that the dogs were more food agressive that way.

My current dog is free fed and she just watches when I put food out for her. She's never hyper when I put the food down and she is not food agressive.

So I say if your dog is not over-eating, leave food out all the time.

RedyreRottweilers
10-21-2005, 01:51 PM
Dogs, as canids, are designed to eat on a feast and famine schedule, as they evolved.

Canids MUST eat when food is available. In the wild, if food is consumed,and as MUCH as possible, EVERY time it is available, it may mean the difference between death or survival.

This is one reason why food is such an effective reinforcer during training.

SOME dogs can eat and be free fed and not become obese.

IMO, this is NOT a natural way for dogs to eat, and not a good choice for feeding your dog for several reasons:

1) Dogs naturally evolved to eat at intervals. Constant grazing type feeding is not natural for dogs.

2) Free fed dogs may overeat, and you may not notice if the dog is off food immediately. Being off food is one of the first signals many times of something amiss. Performance dogs' intake must be monitored carefully.

3) The provider of the food is the alpha, and deserves the respect of the other pack members. This is a great way to put yourself in the position of the "food goddess". ;)

My dogs are never free fed from the time they are off the teat.

Once again, JMO.

;)

celtechfarms
12-07-2005, 11:14 AM
We have always free fed our dogs, I find it cuts down on the dogs getting glutton and inhaling their food. However I would take care to slow her growth, I would look at switching to an adult food, if your dog grows too fast your bound to have problems with joints in the future. As long as your dog isn't over weight I would keep free feeding, whatever works for your dog. And be very careful with the agility, a large dog shouldn't be doing any jumping until they are at least 2, we've seen the results of not realising this and ended up with a dog with a 2000 dollar vet bill with a joint problem. Growing dogs should be done growing before starting any agility at all. Good luck.

smiffy
12-10-2005, 05:40 AM
i have a feeding routine of twice a day and if anything goes uneaten i pick the bowls up and they dont have it back till the evening. things like pigs ears are given as a special treat and never every day.
with training treats break them up really small, there is no need to give large chunks :)