Saturday, July 16, 2016

Seriously, eat your damn breakfast!

Enough is enough and I am changing the way I do things when it comes to meals and Stuck.

I have always felt like meal time for my dogs is their time. I have never felt a need to make them work for their meals. That isn't to say I've never done it. A few times I have had them work for their dinner, but for the most part I let my dogs eat their meals in peace.

However, I have also always had dogs who would eat themselves until they exploded.

Unfortunately, that is not Stuck. Stuck will eat her food most of the time, but she is picky about treat rewards, she would rather work for a toy, and more often than not she will either skip breakfast or only eat part of it.

It sounds really stupid, but it drives me up the wall! I'm like, EAT YOUR FOOD!!!!!

SO, that being said, I tried something new yesterday that I am going to run with for a while and see how it goes. I am not going to feed her breakfast anymore. I will soak her food and feed her when I go on my lunch break and make her work for the meal. Yesterday she was extremely happy to work for the food and she ate the entire meal. I did the same thing for breakfast this morning and dinner tonight. Right now I am working on food luring, teaching her to roll over, and teaching her positions. It's a bit inconvenient depending on the day, but if anything I guess it helps encourage me to do even more with her.

I feel like a lot of people poo-poo malinois ownership. I know not every mal is like the dog that I have. I also know that she is a fairly easy dog compared to a lot of other Belgian Malinois, but, that being said, I never had to do this kind of thing with my other dogs. There is a lot that I have to do differently with her. I exercise and train her multiple times a day. My other two dogs Seth and LiLo don't need that. They can go days and days without exercise and right now I haven't been training either of them and they are just fine. They eat their meals without question. They will take any treat that I offer. I also discovered today that she will play on the springpole by herself. Seppel loved the springpole but would only play on it with me standing there watching him... I think it's a testament to the difference in drives and energy level. I am really glad she is willing to play with it on her own because it's something she can do outside while I am doing things outside too. I guess I'm just saying, a high drive dog is a huge commitment and you won't know what you're in for until your experience it. But don't blow off the experiences that other people have to share, because it can be helpful to you, I feel.

Now to go way off topic but I took hip and elbow x-rays on Stuck and sent them to OFA. They came back as good and normal. Today I took her to a health clinic and got her CAER/CERF and cardiac certifications. The CAER testing is only "good" for 12mos, but I did it just be sure that her eyes are totally normal - and they are. If I were to breed her in the future I would repeat the testing. Her heart screening came back normal too. At this point it looks like Stuck can do all the things!

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