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Hi, my 8 month old pup has always been a 'foodie', we occasionally feed him cooked chicken or salmon with his food and for breakfast I add yoghurt and blueberries which he loves beyond belief. I don't do this all the time, just to add a bit of a change in the week. Suddenly he has stopped eating breakfast and when I visit him at lunch to relieve him and take him for a little walk, he may have a little of the morning kibble, but today nothing at all. In the evening, if I mix his food with meat, he will whoosh it down in one shot. It's not that he isn't hungry, he wants the more interesting stuff all the time. problem is that all day he goes without anything in his tummy and when we walk in the mornings and lunch, he's chewing on sticks etc which aren't good for his digestive system and of course this makes him sick. Do you think I should just follow his demands and give him the meat/fish with his kibble every day? He's such a good boy and we love him dearly, but I wonder if he's getting a little spoiled? :wavey:
 

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Super Moderator Leader
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Welcome to the forum.
Good looking boy you've got there.

How much food are you feeding him per day? If you're feeding more than two cups a day, it may be that he doesn't need as much food as he did when he was younger and growing.

I give my guys a cooked egg a few times a week, sometimes I give them fresh veggies or fruit. When I give them fruit or veggies, I normally cut their food back by 1/4. My boy gets two cups a day and my senior girl gets 1 3/4 cups total. She eats less because she's not as active as my boy is.
 

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I wouldn't worry about him starving himself. You can't let him win and feed him extras all the time. Do you ever switch up his regular kibble? For instance, my dogs eat Candidae and I rotate through the different formulas (bison, lamb, salmon, etc) to give them something new without spoiling them or upsetting their tummies.
 

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Sorry for the "tough love" but yes, he is getting spoiled.
Picky eating is learned behavior. Period.
He looks on the chunky side, although of course it's hard to tell from photos. How much does he weigh? How much do you feed him?
Why are you leaving his food down?
Dogs go through a huge growth spurt about 5-6 months of age, in which they consume huge amounts of food. Then they slow WAY down to their adult metabolism. For *most* Goldens, that means about 1 cup of kibble, twice per day.
People tend to be concerned when the dog slows down their appetite, and try to entice them to eat more than their body needs by adding all sorts of appealing things to the food. This starts a cycle of the dog not eating until the extras are added in.
Put his food down, probably one cup, in the morning, with nothing stirred in. If he hasn't finished it in 10 minutes, pick it back up and don't offer anything else until dinner. Again, his 1 cup, nothing added, left down for 10 minutes. He will learn that food needs to eaten when offered (and what is offered is what's on the menu) or it will not be there later.
Don't worry if he misses several meals. Dogs can go many days without eating at all, and it won't hurt them a bit.
Chewing on sticks, etc., isn't a reflection of hunger. It's what dogs that age do.
I always told my dogs (and kids) that they have 2 choices for meals....Take it, or Leave it.
 

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I'd be feeding him that all the time...which is good for him. You're making it a special treat that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thank you for the comments and feedback, much appreciated. On advice of a friend's breeder, we have been putting a couple of tablespoons of good wet food in Buddy's food and he's been downing all his food which is fantastic. I feed him 4 cups a day, he's around 70lbs and just approaching a year and our vet said he's in fantastic shape, he gets walked a lot and we don't feed him lots of snacks. However, recently he's developed an allergic reaction in his skin, and we think he's allergic to dairy, so we cannot feed him cheese, milk, eggs etc. Eggs made him sick before and now he has this bad skin reaction. Vet shaved tail which was bleeding from him nipping at it and now he's on antibiotics and we are back to stripping back to just kibble and putting in a little plain chicken or Salmon which is working so far. He's obviously very sensitive on his stomach, so we'll see what his new vet says in a couple of weeks, but it's cone on the head whilst he's unsupervised for 21 days, bless!!!!!! :uhoh::)
 
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