Working With Puppies: Feeding Time
Puppies play. They will want to play in the morning before you get out of bed, and they will want to play when you are exhausted. They will even want to play in the middle of the night when they hear you get up to go to the bathroom. It is sometimes quite difficult to train your puppy to learn things when all he wants to do is horse around. Feeding time is one of these times when his playfulness can sometimes cause problems.
When it comes to feeding time, you need to be consistent and stick to your guns. Bad habits can easily creep in and take over, and they are very difficult to break. This doesn’t just pertain to your dog but to you as well. If your plan is to not feed your puppy table scraps, then don’t ever give them to him. Once he gets a taste of people food, you will always get those “puppy dog eyes” when you are trying to eat a meal. Even worse, some dogs will refuse their dog chow because they will hold out for you to give them what’s on your plate.
There should be one person who feeds the puppy, and this should always be that person’s job. The puppy should be fed at the same time and in the same place every day. Keep her bowls in the same spot all the time. Leave them on the floor for 10 minutes, and if she doesn’t eat, pick her bowls up and don’t offer the food again until the next feeding time. This will show your dog that feeding time is for eating, and if she doesn’t seize the opportunity, she will miss it. Many puppies can’t settle down long enough to eat, and this is detrimental for potty training. She needs to eat and be let out at the same time every day to establish a schedule. This is especially important if you have time constraints.
To sum it all up, you have to keep your puppy on a schedule because one thing leads to another. When one thing gets out of whack, the whole training schedule falls apart. Keep things consistent and stay vigilant.