Chow time

Feeding time in our house is a very controlled event. It has to be when you have a pack of dogs and one food crazed Jack Russell Terrier. Jessie has an auto immune disorder so she is on prednisone for the rest of her life, this added to the fact that she is in fact a Jack Russell makes her somewhat of a tiny Great White shark. But she is a very smart tiny white shark.  Jessie will eat just about anything that is edible so when it is actually time to eat she is a little out of control.   If I just threw my hands in the air and said this is crazy or I'm just too lazy someone could definitely get hurt, and that someone would probably be Jessie.

I am the boss and the dogs know this; so that means I control the food. Each dog has their own bowl and their own spot where that bowl is placed  down for them to eat. The dogs are fed in the same order at every meal. This act itself eliminates any mixed signals of whose bowl is whose. It may seem like a little overboard but it sure makes feeding time a breeze. No one tries to eat someone elses food and no one is in a panic; except Jessie that is. But even though she is a whirling white dervish she is controlled in that she knows where her bowl and her spot is.

No sooner is Jessie's food down; its gone. She is fed first as the present "top dog;" then Tilley and lastly Luke.  Each dog awaits their turn; patiently and calmly.  It works out well this way but as soon as that little shark is done inhaling her food she would be off to circle someone else's bowl if she was not trained to go to her place.  I have taught her now that as soon as she is done she is to go to her bed.  This was an essential training step that I had to take; with her loss of sight and hearing she no longer hears or sees warnings from the other dogs. 

Because I love to watch canine behavior I find feeding time to be very entertaining. Luke now knows that the once circling Jessie will not take his food so he can relax.   This all creates calm in the kitchen at meal time which is what you want.  In all of my years with dogs we have never had a fight over food; there is no need for any fighting. The dogs know the rules and know that anything outside of those rules is not allowed. They sometimes eat out in the backyard but in the same order; just different locations. It is very routine and structured but because of it I have no over excited or grabbing behavior at meal time.

It's like butter.


  1. How do you deal with giving bones or larger pieces of food?

  2. Hi Debbie; bones or large slabs of food are given outside in a very supervised manner. The are handed out in the same order and all dogs know not to push or grab. They all wait their turn.


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