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My dog won't eat dog food!

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

I recently began working with Koda, a 1 year-old Husky who stopped eating dog food and dog treats about 4 months ago. His owners were naturally concerned about him not eating, so they prepared boiled chicken and other delicious food for him daily. He also grew accustomed to getting unhealthy snacks such as pepperoni. His owners ruled out any medical issues with his veterinarian and tried all kinds of dog food to entice him, but nothing worked.

When I first offered Koda a dog treat, he took it but then spit it across the room, walked over to it and rolled on it. He was not resource guarding the food toward the other dog in the home, but he was simply playing with it. He learned that if he refused to eat, and held out long enough for human food, he'd get it! He was also a counter-surfer and would occasionally help himself when his owners weren't looking!

My recommendations were to immediately stop giving Koda human food, and instead start food luring exercises with medium-value dog food to activate his prey drive to make the food more attractive to him. We also taught him the "place" command for him to stay on his Kuranda bed in a separate room while his humans prepared or ate their food to prevent begging and counter-surfing.

With a bit of work and consistency, Koda now happily eats kibble and dog treats, he is completely off human-food, and goes to his place at dinner time. His owners are relieved that he can now live a healthier life and not steal their food! Great job everyone!

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