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We have an Aussie that we rescued 7yrs ago. He's been on a twice daily meal routine for 7yrs. He doesn't have any issues with it.

We got a border collie puppy a year and a half ago, HE'S on free feed and doing very well. He's very very active and in no way over weight. When he chooses to eat he almost finishes off his bowl. We have tried to get him to eat when the Aussie is fed but he wont. I figired if he got hungry enough he would figure it out. But he just never went for it.

So, we continue to feed the BC free food. The Aussie is good about not eating the food in the BC's bowl, unless we are out of the room. Then he sneaks food.

The reason I want to switch the Aussie to free food is because I'm tired of yelling at him for eating the puppy's food.

Is it even possible? He's eaten twice a day for 7yrs. They are both active enough that I'm not worried about his weight. I just hate yelling at him because he wants to eat. And we already unsuccessfully tried to switch the puppy.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions. I'm also not interested in a debate about meals vs free feed. I'm not a stranger to owning dogs so don't need any lectures. I've just never switched a dog from meals to free feed. I want to do it right if it's possible to do.

Thanks
Keelyn
 

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If he likes to eat and eats all his food as soon as it's put down, it's probably not possible. I'm pretty sure my dogs would eat the entire bag if I tried to free-feed :p. The only way I could maybe think to do it would be to put down more food than he could possibly eat, and eventually the novelty would wear off. But he could get awfully sick before getting the idea :(. Probably not worth it.
 

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I would just switch the puppy to 2x day feedings. Easier on everyone's nerves, IMO.
 

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switch the pup to timed feedings, not the older dog.
 

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I agree, switch the pup to two feedings. I personally think that if you have more than one dog, you should not free feed. Sometimes, you may need to have one on a different food for a reason, you may need to put meds in there, etc. Much easier to do if they're used to eating two meals.
 

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I agree, switch the pup to two feedings. I personally think that if you have more than one dog, you should not free feed. Sometimes, you may need to have one on a different food for a reason, you may need to put meds in there, etc. Much easier to do if they're used to eating two meals.
This. Switch the puppy.
Along with what's already been said consider what happens if one of the dogs gets sick. A good sign of illness is a change in eating habits and that will be hard to catch if you're free feeding. Also, when you take a dog in for acting odd/ill the vet is going to ask about their eating habits. The puppy will learn to eat on a schedule.
 

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This. Switch the puppy.
Along with what's already been said consider what happens if one of the dogs gets sick. A good sign of illness is a change in eating habits and that will be hard to catch if you're free feeding. Also, when you take a dog in for acting odd/ill the vet is going to ask about their eating habits. The puppy will learn to eat on a schedule.
We just had a member here lose a dog to diabetes. She never noticed the dog's unusual appetite/thirst because she and her husband work opposite shifts and simply never spoke about the dog's eating/drinking habits.

The first sign of so many, many diseases is a change in eating habits. You'll never know that if you free feed, and it sounds like the older dog will eat himself senseless if you let him.

Switch the puppy to 2x day feeding. He will figure it out. Healthy dogs do not starve themselves to death.
 

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Ditto. It's not that hard, give them both 20 minutes to eat, then remove the food. Wait till the next meal. The border collie will figure it out within a few days. It is also easier to make sure he's not running on a full stomach and risking bloat if you know when he's eaten and how much.

It is rare for a free fed dog to remain at a good weight and not turn into a coffee table. Very rare.

There is also the issue of rodents and bugs if you have a buffet set out for them at all times. Used to rent a basement and the one guy that lived upstairs used to leave a bowl of kibble out for his dog in the garage. Every morning there would be 20-30 mice in that bowl that would scatter when I opened the door to go to work. One kibble would feed a mouse for a week! We don't have rats or roaches here (not really anyway) but I'm sure they'd enjoy dog food too.
 
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