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09 Dec 2004

Food Habits
About two weeks ago we saved a 6 week old Boston Terrier X puppie from sure death. It was obvious that she has been treated very badly. I now have two problems:
1. She grabs food out of my maltese poodles mouth. It is as if she has to fight over the food although she gets her even share.
2. She carries the food and water bowls around the house, and spills food and water everywhere!

What can we do to make her stop? She gets scared very easily, even if you walk up to her to fast, she runs away. She also doesn't trust people very much - especially men.

Please help
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Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

Hi Jakkals
Well done for rescuing the pup. With any puppy you need patience and with this one you may need even more because she seems to have been deprived of food and either abused physically or neglected by her previous owners.
1. Feed her separately. Leave the food down for half an hour (while the dogs are separated) and then remove it till the next mealtime. She should be getting at least 3 meals a day of PUPPY pellets. The amount she should get will be on the bag, but you can increase it by 10 % for a while until she has got over the "famine syndrome". You can also add grated carrot or apple or cooked vegies or rice to it if she wants to eat more.
2. If you take the food away between meals there won't be any food bowls to carry around. Plastic or metal water bowls can be weighted down by putting a rock or brick inside or by filling the underneath with cement.
3. Fear of people needs patient, kind and gentle behaviour from all the humans she comes into contact with. Never reprimand her or punish her. If she does something naughty then either ignore it, walk away from her or distract her with something like a toy or treat. She needs to learn to trust people and you may have to use treats, toys and gentle touch to encourage this.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
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