I'll never forget the maternal-child health nursing instructor I had in nursing school. Her core belief for preventing an STD was that all folks participating should turn on the lights in the room to see what they're getting in the bargain. Lights off, you're making a deal with the devil, warts or herpes, take your pick.
She had a point.
Even though it was broad daylight when we met our dog, it's turning out that he has a few flaws. Nothing major, because overall, he's a pretty spectacular dog. Is it too soon to talk about the problems I see in Leo? I hope not, because I need advice. The reasons the owner added for surrender of the dog were that:
- He was aggressive toward the female dog. Well, duh. She hadn't neutered him. Yesterday I saw him running in the yard with 2 females and I have to say, it looked like normal pack behavior and play. I think his problem was fixed when he lost his bits after the shelter got ahold of him.
- He was marking every place he went with pee. Double duh. See above. He hasn't peed on anything here except the driveway and the grass. Good dog, Leo. Good dog.
- He had digestive problems. This I plainly see and I think I know the cause.
Leo is snarfing his food as though it's the last bit of chow he'll ever see.
I put his kibble in the dish, and he inhales the food without chewing. I'm at a loss to get him to stop and today had to clean up some huge piles of barf. Sillliyak was prophetic with his word verification warnings. Damn.
So this afternoon, I had to feed him again because the kibble he puked up was still whole. When I fed him, I gave him two cups of kibble and did it at the rate of 1/4 cup at a time. It didn't slow him down, but he didn't puke. Tonight, I gave him another two cups of kibble, but this time, I smeared the bottom of his dish with a glue--peanut butter--and packed his kibble on top of this. It took him about 4 minutes to eat up all the kibble and I actually heard him chewing.
This behavior for racing to eat his food is not one I think I can change right away, and I've never had a dog that did this. I'll bet the original owner's other dog gobbled up the pup's food. He learned to eat fast or go without. I'm sure 2 months at the rescue did nothing to improve this.
Do you have other tricks I can use to slow this beast down? I tried to video him this morning, but I didn't have the heart to watch him eat so fast and then get sick. I think this is a main reason he's underweight. He's not keeping nourishment down. Although I haven't put my hand in his dish when he's snarfing, he hasn't growled at me at all, even when I try to pull him away from the dish. I don't think he's resource guarding in the traditional sense. He's just eating fast.
I'm all ears.