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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if this is normal puppy behavior or not. My 11 week old 2.5 pound maltipoo will cautiously approach the bowl several times before finally picking out one kibble. Then she'll back away from the bowl about a foot and eat the kibble. Then back to the food bowl, tentatively pick a second kibble, back away, etc. I've read postings where some people have to hand feed their pups but I don't want to start a bad habit. My plan is to just let her work it out figuring that she'll get the hang of it eventually. So is this normal behavior, anything I should do differently?
 

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Just out of curiosity ... is the bowl maybe too large and scary looking to her? Just a thought. Never had this problem so I cannot really give much advise. :) Pups do however go through fear stages.
 

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It is entirely possible. Dogs can be fearful of anything, sometimes a perfectly rational dislike, sometimes odd. Sassy wouldn't eat from her stainless steel bowl once her hearing got bad as the tags on her collar clanked against it which really bothered her. Tiny dogs may dislike not being able to see over the rim of a dog bowl. Another dog may hate the taste or feel of plastic or metal or enamel or glass.

Try a different container to feed her. If she has some fluff on her head she may not be able to see up well and eating from a saucer might suit her better. Make it one that doesn't move or clatter if moved.

Hand feeding is an excellent bonding exercise used as rewards for good behaviors like watch me, touch, sit and all of that. Hand feeding would be a horrible way to feed a dog if one is begging for Pookie to just eat one more bit!

I know of a yorkie who takes out a bit and eats it elsewhere, I think it is probably pretty common for tiny dogs to eat like that. Any kibble is large for them and they don't need to eat very much of it. She ate faster if she watched my medium sized dog eat so the owner would buy that kibble and she went right back doing the same picking and eating elsewhere when by herself. Eating can be a social activity for dogs. Food in a bowl is boring, watching another dog eat, using a food puzzle or for training helps stimulate the grabbing, chomping and swallowing behaviors. It is super common to want to overfeed tiny dogs too, the instructions on the bag are generally far more than a dog needs for good body condition and if you keep trying to get those last 10 kibbles into the dog the dog may end up eating slower as he/she just doesn't need those last few kibbles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We had a vet appointment today and asked her the same question. She said that's it's common for a puppy to take the kibble and move away from the bowl to eat it. She suggested that we just keep feeding from the bowl and she'll eventually get used to it. The food bowl and the water bowl are the smallest we could find and fit into a metal frame so they don't move around.
 
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