Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We adopted an 8yo Standard American Eskimo 5 days ago. For the most part, things have been going very well - he is exceptionally well behaved, absolutely adorable, walks well with the exception of some barrier/leash aggression that is already showing improvement. Snowball is not crate trained (yet) but I do have a couple of concerns which I plan to discuss with the vet in two days, but if there are issues I can fix now I'd like to try! The only concerns I have so far are thus:

1. He doesn't eat his food. We are switching him from Iams adult (what he was fed in the shelter) over to a new food. He definitely likes his new food better than the Iams (he won't eat the Iams but he will eat his new food if we alternate between kibble and treats while crate training). The first time we went to meet him in the shelter was at dinner time, and he was definitely eating the Iams then. Is it just a case of adjustment and tough love? He LOVES freeze dried chicken breast and will eat 1/2 to 2/3 of his food if I crumble a piece of the chicken and sprinkle it on top but he has yet to clean his bowl. He gets quite a few treats, but they are all very tiny pieces.

2. We bought him a doggy bed, but he does everything in his power to avoid it. It smells like cedar - could the smell be driving him off? Do some dogs not like lying on soft things?

3. He doesn't seem to like any of his toys when he's indoors, but when he was out in the in-laws back yard yesterday (they live a couple blocks away from our condo) he was super interested in his tennis ball. He has a plush, a rope toy, and a medium-sized kong... none of which he has any interest in (even when I put his favourite treat in the kong!) Can someone recommend some kind of toy that he might like indoors? Could his lack of interest in toys/play be because he's older?

Thanks for your help! This is our first dog and we want to it right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
The doggy bed and the toys: was he allowed those things in his old home? It's very possible his old owners didn't let him play with toys indoors, or very "firmly" taught him not to chew things, so he doesn't think he's allowed to use toys indoors. The cedar smell might be the problem with the bed, it might also be that he has no idea what it's for, or that he was kept off all furniture and rugs, so he doesn't think he's allowed.

I got Kabota to play with toys by rubbing hot dogs on them and praising/treating any interest in toys at all- even just looking at them- but it took a month before he'd play with them. The bed Kabota took to right away, but I picked him up and put him on the furniture to let him know it was okay. (You don't have to allow your dog on furniture. It's up to you.) I don't recommend picking him up and forcing him on the bed, but you could Fabreeze the smell off and then put treats on the bed and praise/treat any interest in the bed.

As to the food, he could be stressed out by the new situation or he may not like the food. What is it? There's nothing wrong with putting a little chicken or olive oil on his food to increase his interest.

Also, thank you for adopting!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The doggy bed and the toys: was he allowed those things in his old home? It's very possible his old owners didn't let him play with toys indoors, or very "firmly" taught him not to chew things, so he doesn't think he's allowed to use toys indoors. The cedar smell might be the problem with the bed, it might also be that he has no idea what it's for, or that he was kept off all furniture and rugs, so he doesn't think he's allowed.

I got Kabota to play with toys by rubbing hot dogs on them and praising/treating any interest in toys at all- even just looking at them- but it took a month before he'd play with them. The bed Kabota took to right away, but I picked him up and put him on the furniture to let him know it was okay. (You don't have to allow your dog on furniture. It's up to you.) I don't recommend picking him up and forcing him on the bed, but you could Fabreeze the smell off and then put treats on the bed and praise/treat any interest in the bed.

As to the food, he could be stressed out by the new situation or he may not like the food. What is it? There's nothing wrong with putting a little chicken or olive oil on his food to increase his interest.

Also, thank you for adopting!
He must've been allowed on the furniture indoors, but I think it was only when he was specifically told. He generally doesn't go on the furniture unless we encourage him ("Up!").

We are currently feeding him a mix of Iams Adult and Kirkland Signature Lamb, Rice & Vegetable from Costco. He doesn't like fruit at all, or honey, or peanut butter (but he likes peanut butter flavoured treats!). He was eating the Iams in the shelter (hence the mix) and seems to like the Kirkland better than the Iams, which he will pick around if they're mixed. He won't accept either in lieu of treats, but he WILL accept Ceasar dry food as treats but only sometimes. (we have some left from dog sitting a jack russel),

Thanks for the tip on the toys, we'll give that a try!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I would cut out the Iams food, it has really bad ingredients.
We were trying to switch Snowball over to the new food slowly, but he won't eat the Iams at all now so we've just stopped giving it to him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
Haha that happened to my dog when I switched him from Purina. I planned to switch over two weeks but he decided to switch in one meal lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
Haha that happened to my dog when I switched him from Purina. I planned to switch over two weeks but he decided to switch in one meal lol.
Kabota did the same thing. I bought a small bag of Purina to slowly switch him over, but as soon as he got a taste of Wellness Core, he wasn't eating Purina. Which really says something, because he'd tried to eat rocks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
468 Posts
Kabota did the same thing. I bought a small bag of Purina to slowly switch him over, but as soon as he got a taste of Wellness Core, he wasn't eating Purina. Which really says something, because he'd tried to eat rocks.
Jack loved Wellness core too! And my older lab used to carry around rocks when she lived at her previous owners home and didn't have any toys, it was so sad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Duke hated the smell of cedar beds. He wouldn't lie on it at all. Your pup might b the same way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
First, I would stop catering to his taste buds. I think the dog has learned if he holds out, he gets something tastier. I would put his food down, give him one minute to start eating and if he does not....pick it up and try again that night. I promise the dog will not starve to death

2. Sometimes dog do not laying on beds cause it makes them hot. Or he could be repled by the smell....

3. And he may like games more than he likes toys. What I mean is he could like retrieving more than the toys themselves. I generally prefer my dogs not to play with toys in the house.

4. Also this dog is very, very new to your world. It's gonna take some time for him to relax. Just be his buddy, and let him warm up on his terms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
First, I would stop catering to his taste buds. I think the dog has learned if he holds out, he gets something tastier. I would put his food down, give him one minute to start eating and if he does not....pick it up and try again that night. I promise the dog will not starve to death
Starvation is not my concern; how do you train a food-motivated dog without rewarding him with food? Should we just put off crate, aggression, and obedience training until he's eating regular meals? I'm okay putting off the crate training for a few days/weeks - we're doing it as experience (for us, training dogs) and "just in case", since he doesn't have any separation anxiety or fearfulness and is fully house trained.

2. Sometimes dog do not laying on beds cause it makes them hot. Or he could be repled by the smell....
I came home one day to find him laying on his bed. I think you're right and the bed is too warm. He may not have liked the cedar smell either, but it has mostly dissipated - he wouldn't even touch it before and now he walks on it regularly, even if he rarely lays on it. It has been unseasonably warm here this summer, we don't have central A/C, and he's got a LOT of fur.... maybe he'll enjoy it more in the winter.

3. And he may like games more than he likes toys. What I mean is he could like retrieving more than the toys themselves. I generally prefer my dogs not to play with toys in the house.
Snowball stays in the house while we're at work. So far there have not been any incidents, but I don't want him to get bored. This may be my first dog, but even I know what they say about bored dogs!

4. Also this dog is very, very new to your world. It's gonna take some time for him to relax. Just be his buddy, and let him warm up on his terms.
We really lucked out and brought home a great dog; we just want to give him the best life we can. <3

Update: Just back from the vet. We feel like such awful people....! Turns out sometime in the week since we brought him home, Snowball broke an incisor. It probably happened on the weekend when he got too excited while going down the front steps to the car and tripped himself (we have since started requiring him sit on the landing before descending the steps to slow him down). We thought he had injured one of his legs, but after the 5 minute car-ride to our destination he hopped out like nothing was wrong, and has not limped noticeably since (we reduced his walks for a couple of days just to be sure, but he seemed fine). We did even consider that he could've done something like break a tooth, and since he was still so new to us, we didn't notice a change in his behaviour. I suspect the broken tooth has something to do with him not eating food out of his bowl (since he'll gladly eat it off the floor and out of my hand), and after talking with the vet, it also explains pretty much everything else we had concerns about. The broken tooth is being excised tomorrow; hopefully things will improve after that!

Again, I really appreciate everyone's advice. Its one thing to "know" about owning a dog by reading about it, but actually having one is another thing altogether!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
"Starvation is not my concern; how do you train a food-motivated dog without rewarding him with food? Should we just put off crate, aggression, and obedience training until he's eating regular meals? I'm okay putting off the crate training for a few days/weeks - we're doing it as experience (for us, training dogs) and "just in case", since he doesn't have any separation anxiety or fearfulness and is fully house trained."

No, If he is working for treats, That's fine. I would keep training short, so he does not fill up on treats...But I would follow the same protocol for feeding meals. After a while the treats will not provide satation on a large enough scale....dinner will look appealing. I would keep training

As for boredom. One mistake many owners do is showering the dog with toys around the house. This makes it very difficult for the discern what things are the dogs and okay to chew and what things are not. So what I do is provide a kong, sometimes with peanut butter in it. In fact this is the only toy I allow my dogs to play with alone. I want the other toys to be related with me, like the tennis ball. These games are special and reserved for me and the dog. This helps build relationship....and also makes it very clear to the dog that thier is one thing, and only thing that is okay for the dog to chew.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,658 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Cheers! Snowball started eating meals regularly (dinner last night, breakfast this morning) before I got a chance to read your reply. However, that is good to know for the future.

Snowball does have a Kong, and also a sqeaky plush and a rope toy, none of which he has had any interest in. It might have been because of his broken tooth, which was removed yesterday without issue. The vet said to keep him from chewing on anything for a few days. We'll try the Kong and other toys again once his mouth has healed, and if he still has no interest, I might look into a Tricky Treat ball or similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
423 Posts
I can answer question number three. My one dog would only chase balls in the house. He would not chase sticks, only balls, and only in the house. Just the way he was. Could just be your guy's personality. That's awesome you adopted an older shelter dog! One lucky pup!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top