Quirky is about 4.5 months now and we love her more than anything! Since the day we got her home at 8 weeks, she is been on raw pre-made food. She has always been a very picky eater and no so much food driven. She wants love and attention way more than she wants treats or food. Some days she just chooses to walk away from her food bowl and fasts herself. Every time she does that, it just kills me! :( I feel so so sad and depressed if she refuses to eat a couple of meals in a row. Its really affecting my mental health now! We are proving her the best food we can afford right now and just saddens me that she is not a hungry puppy like others! 

I am mostly worried that if she doesn't eat the recommended amount, is she going to have growth issues? Fur growth problem? or anything else? She is almost 28 pounds at 19 weeks now! The vet says she is very healthy, has a great digestive system, happy and active puppy! The vet mentioned that the poodle side of the goldendoodles can be picky eaters! is that true? Also, will she grow out of this behaviour when she gets older?



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  • My advice is to feed her a good quality food and be done with it. A healthy dog won't starve themselves and your vet says she is. It's really hard when they skip a meal or meals. One of my dogs has always been picky but unless I really needed him to eat that meal and at that time, I just picked it up. He was one of those dogs that self-regulated his weight. He weighed the same at 12 as he did when he reached his full adult size. Lucky me. 

  • Any dog can be a picky eater; it has nothing to do with the "Poodle side." In fact, my purebred Poodles have been much better eaters than my picky labradoodle and my picky schnoodle. 
    A normal healthy dog will not starve herself. She is not going to have any growth or health issues from not getting "the recommended amount". That's just a guideline, mostly designed to sell dog food, lol.
    We have had many discussions about this here in The Food Group, and here is my favorite one. Please read it, it's funny and entertaining, but you will also learn from it and identify with it, (particularly in regard to your feeling sad and depressed when your pup isn't interested in eating.) 


    Here's how you stop picky eating (or prevent it from happening):
    Feed your dog twice a day, breakfast and dinner. It helps if the timing of these meals can coincide with your own meal schedule. 
    Put the food down, and sit down nearby to keep her company, maybe having a meal, snack, or beverage of your own. Keep all distractions to an absolute minimum. That means nobody coming in or out of the room, nobody calling out from other rooms, no kids playing nearby, etc. Nothing to distract her. If she tries to get you to play with her, pet her, etc. ignore that and calmly direct her attention back to her food bowl.
    After 10 minutes maximum, pick up the bowl and do not offer food again until her next scheduled mealtime. 
    Repeat the process at each meal. It will not take her long to learn that mealtime is for eating, food is only available at mealtime, and if she wants to eat, she needs to do it then. 
    Take back control of the food bowl. Not only will this solve the picky eater problem, it will make life much easier for many reasons as she gets older, and will also go a long way toward preventing the much more serious problem of resource guarding in the future. 

    Now go read that discussion, lol. You'll like it, I promise. 




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  • Picco was (and still is) picky and sometimes will go without eating too.  He's very healthy and 9 1/2 years old so he is surviving!

    I still worry too when he doen't eat the morning of a hike.  I agree, good quality food and no distractions.  I can't move out of my chair while he is eating or he will stop!

    The problem with a pup that is not food driven is during training.  Squeaky toys and praise is all you have to work with and it is challanging!

    • Even my Jasper, who is very food motivated, will keep an eye on me while he is eating, and will stop if I move out of his line of vision or start doing something that interests him, lol. 
      It makes sense when you think about it. Before a puppy comes to live with you, he has never eaten alone from the moment he is born. The vast majority of them like company when they eat, it's what they're used to.

    • Riley is like this a little bit, she isn't super food/treat motivated and sometimes goes "off" her food for a few days.  She isn't all that toy motivated either.  She's more treat-oriented than she used to be but WAY less than Luna was.  Then again Luna was a super chow hound and would find even the most microscopic crumb on the floor.  

      Thankfully she isn't very easily distracted during mealtime, my son has "invaded" her eating space (as in put his hands in her bowl) a few times and she just continues eating.  I think if one of us left the house though she might stop eating to go investigate.


  • Look at the big picture: he's healthy, not underweight or losing weight, has energy, poops good (?).  All signs he's getting adequate nourishment.  Don't let your expectation for how he should eat hurt your mental health.  It's in our blood as moms (dads?) to want to keep our kids and dogs nourished and healthy.  You are DOING THAT.  He just happens to not be into food as much as you're into watching him eat.  Let it go.  He's fine.  

    • Ha ha! Picco's poops are very healthy.  I think Picco has more going out than going in!  

      • Just like my toddler!  Haha.  I don't know how he generates so much...

  • Thanks so much for all your helpful words! This really makes me feel so much better! :) 

    I am gonna keep on doing my best and she can eat whenever she wants. She is healthy and happy thats what I should concentrate on :) 

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