"kibble picky" shepherd

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Little devil- puppy!
Barked: Thu Jun 27, '13 9:03pm PST 
Hi everyone,

I have a shepherd that is only picky with the kibble I feed him but will gladly eat every single bit rarely without anything added or only when I add sardines in their food once/twice a week. I have changed kibble brands already.. same thing happens- he'll either eat none/skip a meal or eat half of what's in his bowl. He is currently eating 2 cups(trying to add in a 1/2 cup more)2x a day at a 1 year old. On the other hand, he has absolutely no problem at all taking food you give him.

I've been told by another to not cater to his picky needs and not just mix in other foods to get him to eat because he will come to rely on it every time I feed him. So I haven't been doing that. He is just pretty skinny yet muscular, I think he should be eating 3 cups by now ..or am I wrong? Should I keep doing what i'm doing or try something different?

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Fri Jun 28, '13 8:52am PST 
Others may disagree, but I'm a firm believer in not coddling this behaviour. If he is healthy, he will not starve himself. Some dogs will go a day or two without eating. Put his bowl down..give him 15 minutes to eat. Then you pick up the bowl & there is no opportunity to eat until his next feeding time. No treats or cajoling. Repeat, repeat. He will learn that when the bowl is down, he needs to eat.
If he takes the kibble at other times, then I would measure out his daily portion & use it for training. At his age it is really important to train every day..even commands he already *knows. He is entering the bratty teen phase, so lots of opportunities to get food in him.
At this age gsds can be skinny & lanky, so don't worry too much...he'll fill out in time.

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Fri Jun 28, '13 4:01pm PST 
Totally agree with Squ'mey way to go After a few repetitions of the food being set down for a while and then picked up, he'll catch on and start eating what you give him.

Skinny and lanky is definitely the norm for his age. Mine turned 2 about a month ago and just started filling out these past few months. I wouldn't worry too much about how many cups he's eating if his body condition looks good. A little skinny is better than a little fat, and it sounds like he self-regulates pretty well.


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Jun 29, '13 2:10pm PST 
And I will agree as well. My dogs have 15 minutes to clean their bowls, that's it.
My youngest will often leave her food either in protest or because she simply isn't hungry. She once held out for 4 days when I refused to 'up' the chicken she knew was waiting, but a healthy dog isn't going to starve itself so stand firm or you will quickly become a slave to a smart dogs whims.

Little devil- puppy!
Barked: Sat Jun 29, '13 3:31pm PST 
Thank you everyone for the responses. I only give my dogs so long to eat what's in their bowl and then I pick them up regardless if they ate it all. My other dog has no problem eating and has only been affected by the warm weather to not want to eat at times. My shepherd has been doing this ever since I got him. It's hard when other people give him food scraps when I tell them not to when he hasn't been eating his kibble or all of it.