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Old 05-01-2006, 09:38 PM   #1
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German Shepherds=Spoiled Brats?

I was wondering if anyone else has ever noticed their German Shepherds being finicky eaters? I have 2 German Shepherds, Sienna and Annie, and a Border Collie, Hannah. Hannah would eat as much as I give her and then weigh 100 lbs, but neither of my Shepherds will eat. I got Sienna as a nine week old puppy, and she wouldn't eat ANYTHING for about two weeks. For two weeks she probably ate less than 2 cups of food, total. I tried giving different kinds of dry food, canned food, various types of real meat, among other things. The only way I got her to eat what she did was to hand feed it to her, piece by piece. Now she is 10 months old, and she does eat, but she is still pretty thin, (even for a Shepherd puppy), and the only way I can get her to eat what I do, is to lock her in her kennel until she gets bored enough that eating is the most exciting thing to do. Nothing added to her dry food helps, she just tries to pick the good stuff out, and if she can't doesn't eat that either. Then, I recently got a second Shepherd. Annie is 3 years old, and has had three litters of puppies already. (That's a lot, I know). When I bought her, she had just weaned a litter, and was real thin. I have had her for 3 weeks, and she has maybe put on 5 pounds. Unlike Sienna, who just seems to have better things to do than eat, Annie has an additional problem. She is really picky on top of that. I have yet to find even a treat that she likes. She'll take a treat from a stranger, just because she feels that they shouldn't be allowed to have it, (she is a VERY dominant dog), and then just spit it out. She won't even touch the treats that I have given her, now that she has tasted them. She eats only so much of her dog food, and then stops. And it isn't enough to put weight on her at a decent pace. Anyway, I apologize for this being so long, I was just curious if anyone else noticed this in their German Shepherds.
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Old 05-02-2006, 03:21 AM   #2
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My dad's Shepherd is the same way, from the start. For awhile there the Milkbones were the only thing she would eat, and all the Vet said about it is "Well, it's a Shepherd thing, but atleast she chose something good for her teeth".

My dad finally figured out she has to have Science Diet Lamb and Rice in a can, with some sort of dry food he gets at the Flea Market for herding dogs. It's in a purple or red bag. If it isn't a 50/50 mix, or if one food isn't right, back to the Milk Bones she goes.

My dad drives trucks now and takes her with him. He started bribing her with cheeseburgers, but she has to eat her dog food first.

She got a burger once for barking at a rude trooper at a weigh station. Apparently she didn't like his tone. He was very polite after that.

With the Science Diet mix she's gained the 20 pounds she needed to be a healthy weight. Now she's almost tubby so my dad has been running her on breaks from driving.

Your's may or may not like the Science Diet. Tamiya will go for Mighty Dog cans if it's the Lamb and Rice. But it has to have dry food mixed in. We had really picky Italian Greyhounds too, and they liked the Mighty Dog too. It's all trial and error until you find something.

"The more people I meet the more I love my German Shepherd"
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Old 05-02-2006, 08:05 AM   #3
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My last Shepard was picky on food. Gert only really like Pro Plan Large Breed Formula. But again she ate only what she wanted when she wanted. She stayed thinner because of it and with her bad hips I didn't want her overweight in the least. I fed her twice a day and if she didn't eat at those meals then I saved it and gave it to her later. Have you tried soaking the dry food. For awhile that was all Gert would ever eat. When Gert got hungry she would eat, but she hated the cheap dog food.
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Old 05-02-2006, 09:17 AM   #4
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Well, I currently have six dogs, (one of them a german shepherd) and my philosophy is, and always has been, "when you're hungry enough, you'll eat". I keep a couple of large feeders out all the time with dry food (so the larger dogs don't get stomach torsion) and I have yet to see any of my dogs skinny! Believe me, they may not eat for a day or two if they don't "like" the particular brand you buy, but eventually they will understand that that is all they're getting. I've yet to see a dog starve itself if it has food available. If your dog is thin, then it may need a better quality/higher protein dog food. (I don't know what you are feeding, it may be great food.) Check the ingredients, you want the main ingredents of a feed to be meat, not corn. Corn is the third or fourth one down on the better quality foods. Believe it or not, check with your feed store. They often have very high quality foods for a fraction of the price of pet store foods (like Science diet,etc. they're good foods, just pricey IMO)
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Old 05-02-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
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I honestly find them to be sort of picky at times, myself. Not spoiled, just very picky in what my crew will eat and what they won't. They don't like a lot of the cookies/biscuits that people give to them, and they'll politely take it and say 'Thank you for trying!' then spit it out.

In which case the Corgi promptly grabs it and swallows it. No harm, no foul.

But, I've learned from my crew that the girls are always hardest to keep weight on. I resorted to feeding Ali an ice-cream scoop of lard on her food when we were showing her on a regular basis. XD Don't try that at home unless you have a dog with an iron stomach, though.

However, if they have gotten you to hand feed them? Oh man, that's a bit rough - and kind of spoiled, yeah. My breeder did that when I had to leave Ali with her when we went on a trip; Ali turned up her nose at everything and was being a brat, so the breeder resorted to feeding her a little handful of kibble at a time. When I brought her home, she sat in front of her bowl and stared at me.

I stared right back. "Eat it or wear it."

When she didn't eat after ten minutes, I picked up the bowl, and that was it. No treats, no nothing, diddly-squat. The next morning I put down the bowl, and she went, "BLEAH!"

I timed off ten minutes and picked up the bowl.

Funny thing - she made it through the evening, then in the morning she sat and crunched kibble. We've played this game a few times over the years, her and I, and for the most part, I win.

When you keep switching out one food for another in desperation? That's when they realize they've got you good. Gabe's great - he's smart enough to work, but not bright enough to ever try that tactic. *grin*

As long as they have plenty of water, don't worry. I don't try that trick on cats, because my cats play Survivor - they can outlast, outthink, and outstarve themselves fast. But the dogs, given a chance, will not be that grudgingly stubborn; they give up and eat. Sometimes adding a little unsalted chicken broth to their dinner or a tablespoon of butter or grated cheese helps, but...

And really, a lot of Shepherds stay thin until they're about three or four. Then they bulk up and fill out. Girls are especially known for this. Fine by me, less weight, less stress on joints.
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Old 05-02-2006, 07:02 PM   #6
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Sorry to hear about your dogs. My two Shepherds will eat ANYTHING. In fact I have never met a Shepherd that didn't eat everything!
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Mahatma Gandhi
Breeding solid paints is like breeding spotless Appys - just plain wrong!
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