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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,
Can I get a little advice please when it comes to feeding treats. I am using boiled chicken(done at home) and some freeze dried liver and freeze dried duck treats (store bought) and also some kibble from his daily diet(orijen large puppy formula)

He is having some soft stool and I have been adding canned pumpkin to his kibble. After a day or two his stool firmed up. But if I want to use high value treats and my dogs stool keeps returning to soft is there any way to combat this.

The kibble just isn't of hugh enough value to keep his attention. I always try and feed him his diet through training but I am also concerned with feeding him all through the day like that and not having a set meal time and I am also concerned with just feeding him from a bowl. Dr. Sophia Yin believes in throwing the feeding bowl away. http://info.drsophiayin.com/Portals/13722/docs/10TipsHandout_v4.pdf

what are some of your opinions here?

One other question. I hear a lot about filling and freezing kongs with peanut butter. I would have thought that was so rich it would be too much fat and give a dog the runs easily. Am I wrong on that?
 

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It could be a variety of things, for starters, when I was feeding kibble, I tried Orijen once and noticed it gave my dogs extremely soft stools. It could also be overfeeding the treats, when I was training my puppy he ate a combination of fruits, veggies, cheese, leftover meats and dried liver, and the stools were always a bit soft after consuming a lot of high value treats during training sessions, and obedience classes. Nothing really you can do about that. However, you may want to try ensuring he isn't consuming too much 'food' in a day, including the treats, ya know? You need to count his daily treats as part of his entire food intake for the day. Also, Orijen is a very rich food, you do not need to feed nearly as much of it as some kibbles... if you overfeed a food like Orijen just a tiny bit, plus adding in all the daily high value treats you will no doubt experience soft stools. However, I don't know how big your dog is, and how many cups per day of Orijen + treats you are giving.. so I cant' say for sure.

As far as peanut butter? I wouldn't "fill" a kong with it.. I put about a tablespoon or less in around the inside of it, and fill it a bit more with goat yogurt and sometimes even organic baby food in fruit/veggie flavor, or sometimes, because my dogs are raw fed, I put some ground raw food and fill it in his kong as part of his breakfast, but I don't give him this stuff every day.. usually about every other day, and when I do give him stuff like peanut butter, yogurt, baby food, liverwurst, etc, I decrease his meals to account for the extra calorie intake.

Just a bit of my two cents..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Max is 21#s and he is almost 12 weeks. He is gaining about 3#s per week which is about 1# too much I believe. Thanks for your comments
 

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Max is 21#s and he is almost 12 weeks. He is gaining about 3#s per week which is about 1# too much I believe. Thanks for your comments

Its hard to say, young puppies (especially around the 12 week mark) are growing rapidly. They typically need a bit more food around this age, up until about 6 months old and then can start to decrease. However, I think the constant loose stools could be a result of too much food per day (including all the treats). Try decreasing the amount of kibble your giving, and spreading it out to 3 times a day (if possible), and see if that helps any, and continue to try and use some of his meals for routine training, you can also hide his food around the house or use food dispensing toys to mentally and physically stimulate him during mealtimes. I'm *assuming* a 21 lb and growing 12 week old puppy should be getting roughly between 2 - 2.5 cups/day .. but that depends on what his ideal adult weight will be when full grown, I dont' know his breed so I don't know.. but what I do know is that Orijen is very rich, and you will most likely be safe feeding slightly less than what the bag recommends for his age/adult weight. You can always adjust accordingly. The rule of thumb generally is that you should be able to feel the ribs/hips by gently touching with your fingers, but shouldn't see the bones. If it feels quite thick and you cannot feel the rib or hip bones by gently touching then you may be overfeeding just a bit.. thus causing some loose stool. But tha'ts just my speculation and experience. You may just have to tweak his diet accordingly until you find what seems to work. Good luck
 

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I totally agree with PackMomma. Your dog may be getting too much food with the addition of all the treats. Definitely take stock of how much food/treats he's getting and adjust accordingly. Cooked chicken and liver are a lot richer than dry kibble so that's also a factor. Sometimes dogs have a hard time processing the richness of the chicken/liver. As long as the soft stools aren't a regular thing (or turn into the runs), I don't think it's a big deal. I always notice our dogs have softer stools after obedience class.
 

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You can substitute about 25% of the kibble calories for fresh food. Use that as your limit for treats. Just smearing peanut butter rather than stuffing like PackMomma wrote and use tiny bits for training treats and that should do it.

My dogs got most of their food during training but I did most training at meal time inside with low distractions. Outside, the good stuff.

I wonder if soaking the kibble would work better. Perhaps the length of time it takes to crunch it up is letting that busy baby brain lose focus? Might look into whether Orijen will absorb water, the time it takes is reasonable and if baby dog will work for it.

Max has the same issue. At agility trials I have to really watch his intake of treats or he will have increasingly soft and numerous stools during the course of the weekend long trial. I just cook part of his raw food and use for most of his treats.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi thanks everyone.
Yes Max is a black Lab and was born on 4/4 2012. So he will be 12 weeks tomorrow.

This little puppy has basically shown a grown man that he is really not all that smart, and needs to work so much more on his patience and work on managing frustration.

Also it really is not right that the kikopup's and karen pryor's of this world show us how easy it is in videos when in actual fact it is nearly impossible to train this little fellah.
I have my work cut out for me.
Here is a few pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wonder if soaking the kibble would work better. Perhaps the length of time it takes to crunch it up is letting that busy baby brain lose focus? Might look into whether Orijen will absorb water, the time it takes is reasonable and if baby dog will work for it.
I actually tried soaking it in beef stock on the pan. Heating it up. Oh what a mistake!! The smell of it was ghastly.

But yes it's a great idea to use the puzzle toys and training him at meal time. I am now starting the meal time (three times a day) with training and then the second half of his meal in a puzzle toy. He is loving it.

And I'll save the good stuff for outside
 
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