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A Feeding Schedule for Your Dog

Sue Sternberg

A Feeding Schedule for Your Dog


We recommend that you feed your dog twice a day, puppies under five months, three times a day, but always check with your veterinarian. Leave the bowl down for 5 minutes, and then pick it up, regardless of whether your dog has eaten or not. Put the bowl back down at the next scheduled feeding, for 5 minutes. Your dog will learn to eat when you put the bowl down, and not to linger and nibble throughout the day. A dog who eats on a schedule, poops on a schedule. Remember that sometimes the only way to recognize that your dog is ill is a lack of appetite. If your dog has his food down all day and usually just picks at it, it may be two or three days before you notice that he hasnt eaten; whereas the dog that gobbles his meals as soon as you put the bowl down would be easy to recognize when he is ill.

Training sequence:

For the first week:

  • pour kibble into bowl
  • raise bowl over dogs head
  • command, sit
  • place bowl on floor and let dog eat

For the second week:

  • pour kibble into bowl
  • hold up bowl in front of dog
  • command, sit
  • start to lower bowl to floor AS LONG as dog is sitting
  • as soon as dog gets up to go to the bowl, stand up and hold bowl up in front of you again
  • repeat, sit, lowering bowl as soon as he sits
  • keep raising it back up as he gets up, each time you should be able to get it slightly lower than the previous time
  • keep at this (its good for the upper thighs) until you actually have the bowl on the floor, with your hands off of it AND YOUR DOG IS STILL SITTING
  • then release him with an, okay and let him eat
    • make sure you dont release him AS he is already getting up – take the time to make sure he is solidly sitting and staying before you release him to go eat

For the third week:

  • your dog should be able to sit and wait patiently until you release him
  • so, as he is sitting and waiting, you can label the command, stay
  • every stay has a release, okay

For the fourth week:
(this week we work on getting more distance from your dog)

  • pour kibble into bowl
  • dog should be sitting and waiting patiently by this time
  • place bowl a little further from him
  • release with an okay and let him eat
  • if your dog breaks his stay before you release him, pick up the bowl, and put your dog back in the exact spot you left him originally

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