I wish I could say the day-to-day aspects of our lives were easy, but that would be a half truth. Some parts of it are very easy (or have gotten easier), like Diggs’ willingness to eat his breakfast and dinner. A year ago, I would spend ~30 minutes trying to coax him into eating at each meal, sometimes bribing him with beef or chicken stock. Now, he runs towards his bowl when I mention “kibbles”, and we’ve had to find creative ways to slow down his actual eating. It’s a complete 180!
Other parts we still struggle with, like inappropriate chewing. The latest victim, the corner of my box of very expensive contact lenses. In the short time of my shower, Isis managed to knock the box off the counter and Diggs decided they looked tasty. Luckily, he only got the cardboard and didn’t manage to damage the packages inside, but that’s only because my hot water heater is smaller than I’d like it to be. Now, let’s be honest, they weren’t intentionally working together to be destructive, but the timing is pretty convenient, don’t you think?
Sometimes it does seem like they’re getting awfully cozy, doesn’t it? I wonder what they talk about when they’re not wrestling with each other.
Logically, I know that half of our training battles would be resolved if I helped create a more ideal situation for Diggs. He wouldn’t be able to chew tissues from the waste basket if it wasn’t at face level or had a lid on it, but that’s not the style of trashcan we have. Getting a different style would be easy, easier than some of the other changes we’ve made, but it’s just one I haven’t taken care of yet. He and Isis wouldn’t have colluded to destroy my contacts if the box had been put away instead of left on the counter. This is my last semester of classes in graduate school, and my schedule is more than full attempting to wrap everything up. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for other things, so I’ve had to work hard to carve out time for important things, like training Diggs. I know he needs to be challenged, mentally and physically, and I know it improves our bond together. So sometimes I struggle with housekeeping, but it’s worth it to see the progress Diggs is making in other areas.
What are you struggling with lately? Have you had any successes, big or small?
Ok, the food thing… We have NEVER experienced that. We put food out, and it’s inhaled by all 3 dogs and the cat in seconds. Seriously, seconds. Our current foster dog, though, will run around the room, chew a piece of kibble, run around, ask for pets, go back in her crate…. basically anything but eat. If I add canned food, she’ll take a few more bites, but YEESH! How did you work on it? Any tips or suggestions?? I’m starting to worry because she’s also a resource guarder so if she can’t learn to eat, she can’t be adopted into a home with other dogs!
I can’t say that I have one magic answer for Molly not wanting to eat all her food (Diggs didn’t have other pups to go play with when he didn’t want to eat) but I do have some ideas. One thing we tried was stopping Diggs from playing until he finished 3/4 or so of his food, no fun until dinner is done essentially. That might work with a babygate depending on the area you do your feeding in. We also took away his food after 15 minutes or so of it being available to him, which reinforced the idea that food was meant to be eaten when it was available. Molly might be too young for that though, since she is a puppy? Does she seem to have any trouble crunching on the kibble? We’ve started adding water to Diggs’ food to help with digestion, but softening the food overall might help, especially to make it seem more like canned food.
I’m surprised that she hasn’t picked up on eating quickly since that’s what the boys do, that’s really interesting. I’ll let you know if I think of anything else that might be useful though, I know you must be frustrated!