I need nutty dog advice!

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  1. So, I have 2 rescue doxies. Casey has been with us for almost 2 years. He was rescued from a high kill shelter (not sure why he was left there) and was 24 lbs which for a doxie is morbidly obese. Casey is a big food lover, not just like a regular dog, but he is crazy for food. When we first brought him home, he would bark anytime anyone had food, run around like a nutter, bark some more. We worked with him and he has gotten much better. However, he still cannot relax, he runs into the kitchen anytime anyone goes in there, and is literally stepping on their feet trying to get at food or see if there is food coming. He also licks his paws all the time, like an anxiety response or something. We cannot relax around him. I am at a loss! Any suggestions? He is healthy, now weighs 14 lbs and has no medical problems. Thanks!!
  2. No suggestions here, but I can commiserate. My dog is a rescued Beagle/Bassett, and you'd better not get between her and food. When it is breakfast/supper time for her, she makes the most pathetic high pitched whining sound. If I am in the kitchen, she is always underfoot. Mostly I just feel bad for her, she didn't get fed in her first home. She was 25 lbs when I got her, you could see every ribs sticking out (this was after the shelter had fed her for a few months). Now she's a perfect 40lbs (she still thinks she's skinny :P).
  3. I can't offer any solutions either, but I do understand your situation. One of my dogs spends her entire life trying to get food...from the pantry, the counter, our dinner plates, the other dogs, the cats, etc. It's on-going.

    Once she even jumped on the counter and got a half pound of raw bacon and ate it in about two seconds. I had to rush her to the vet to have them get it out of her system.

    Maybe this is just one of your baby's "quirks". Good for you for rescuing him, though, and keeping him healthy and happy.
  4. Not to ask a stupid question, but is he getting a lot of exercise? That mioght help mellow him out or at least get him to slow his brain down a bit. Like Cesar says, a lot of times neverous energy can get redirected into food obsession. Kind of like people. You can also try feeding him something like raw brocoli as a treat. It's high in fiber, low in calories so it is really filling.
    Also, I happened to watch "breed all about it" this weekend, and it was about the dachshund. A lot of people have them doing field work were they hunt and dig for mice. Don't worry, they don't kill the mice.
  5. I am the proud parent of an overly food motivated golden. She also feels that food rules her world... (even after a ton of exercise and/or mental stimulation).

    I found a dog toy company called Busy Buddy... they make a few different types of toys. One is called the Twist n Treat. See here You twist this open, fill with a handful of kibble, and twist shut. You make it easy or hard to get the food out, then give to your dog. Often I put a small amount of food in this toy and give to Katie while I am in the kitchen preparing a meal. She has to work hard to get the food, but is rewarded with the treats. The best part is she does this on her own leaving me free to cook without her bugging me.

    They make several of these awesome toys... we have a few that we rotate so she doesn't get bored with them. Just one suggestion to channel your dogs food obsession into something that may also stimulate their mind and make them work for some food.
  6. My Sassy is crazy about food as well. I know she was on the street for a while at least once before age 11 months. My other dog was a owner turn in so maybe he didn't miss any meals as he isn't so frenzied about food as she is.

    I suggest teaching him a down stay while food is around. First have somebody with him to put him back down at the best spot for him to be. I would have that person giving him tiny bits of not so great food every couple of seconds at first like Cheerios or bits of bread. My dogs now herd the cook into the kitchen when it is time to cook dinner. They adore watching dinner being cooked although they now don't get any cookies at all!

    I ask for a sit stay at the minimum before dinner is served. Do it bit by bit. First sit, dinner. Sit, dinner down, count 1, dinner. My dogs now sit, dinner down, I walk around, okay at any time, dinner.

    There is a nifty training device out that dispenses a kibble using a remote. Mine is a Treat N Train, it is a different name now. I would be using that if I had one dog, were using kibble to feed and needed to train a down stay around food.

    I agree about the exercise. Any open fields to go 'chase' gophers? Any beaches to dig in sand? My Sassy is very anxious and the food is part the expression of her anxiety, exercise helps. I so wish I had taken a photo of her best gopher hunt ever. She 'chased' it for at least thirty feet. There was a 30' brown Sassy made trench in a green field, so funny! Somehow it got away. She didn't care.
  7. aklein-not a stupid question at all! Yes, he gets at least 2 30 min walks per day.Plus we have a huge back yard with squirels a plenty. And they both get vegetables. Hmm.
    Ladies, these are all great suggestions, that toy sounds very interesting. Thanks to those who shared their stories too, as this puts things into perspective for me. I will keep working with Casey.