Instructables

How do I stop our bigger dog from eating our smaller dogs food? ?

I have two separate area's of food for each of my dogs.  The bigger German/lab mix will eat the smaller Chihuahua's food even though the food in each bowl is the same.  The larger dog has a larger and taller bowl stand but will still eat from the smaller and shorter bowl of the smaller dog with out eater her own.  I'm sure it's a dominance issue but never the less, I would like to inhibit the larger dog from eating the smaller dogs food. 

1gambit3 years ago
We have 3 pitbulls (Logan, Remy & Winston) and 1 miniature dachshund (Madison). When we got our first pitbull Logan, he was the same size as Madison - our mini dachshund. Since we live in a hurricane prone area,we do our best to keep our pets familiar with their crates. They are up year round and now with 4 dogs running around it makes dinner time a breeze. Since they all pretty much eat different food - Madison eats small bite food, Logan is on a grain free diet, Winston is still a puppy and Remy he eats pretty much the same food as Logan. We feed them all in their crates. They run and impatiently wait for their food in their crate and they all stay in there till everyone is done. This came in real handy when we first got Remy, as he was a rescue that had been abused. He was food agressive, and by feeding him in his crate, it eased his issues and allowed him to feel his food was his own and safe from the others. Their crates are their safe place, something every dog needs.
dgel (author) 3 years ago
Thanks to everyone for your inputs.
zack2473 years ago
it could be as simple as the bigger dog doesnt like the bigger bowl, try having the same size bowl for a week and see if anything changes, if not, the bigger dog might have a thing about dominance over the chihuahua or it might think there is something different about the chihuahuas food, or perhaps there is.
the bigger dog might like the location of the chihuahuas food bowl better than its own, i have two dogs that just share the food bowl, perhaps your dogs will like it better this way.
We have a dog and a cat and the cat is fed by an auto feeder. My husband built a box that fits over the auto feeder that essentially creates a tunnel that the cat crawls into to get to the food. The dog can only get to the food if she lays on her belly and sticks her head in the box, and even then it is hard. I've really only seen the dog try to do this if there is food spilled in the opening of the box, but that only happens if I feed the cat an extra scoop if good manually and it spills, as the auto feeder does not over flow on its own.
The only other trick I've used is when I watch my friend's bichon, I put his food under the chair, that only really works if I'm around, but it is protected enough that my dog goes for her bowl first and my friend's dog gets a fighting chance at his own bowl.
orksecurity3 years ago
General agreement: Physically separate the dogs so they are eating at different times or in different places.

You could try training both dogs not to eat anything until given permission to do so -- which some vets used to recommend as being both a good training exercise and possibly useful in preventing the dog from eating something that might hurt it. That's not going to be fast or easy, and it requires that you be absolutely consistent about enforcing the rule and reinforcing the training. How hard are YOU willing to work?

Suggestion: Ask your vet. This situation must happen all the time when there are adult dogs and puppies in the same household, and I'm sure there are standard techniques for dealing with it.

One other possibility, which might not work: Give both dogs identical bowls, sized so the chihuahua is comfortable with them. Then if the big guy goes after the small one's bowl, the smaller dog can easily jump to the bigger dog's bowl. If the bowls are kept a few feet apart, trying to claim them both would be impractical... so while this might yield some chasing back and forth, it should mean that both get to eat. Unless the big dog finishes his bowl and _then_ goes after the second serving, which some might... though the chihuahua can counter that to some degree by eating quickly.

Re-design3 years ago
Use a dogie fence that the smaller dog can get thru and the larger dog can't.

Or feed them in separate rooms. That's what I do. I don't leave food out all day.

You can try to train the big dog but he'll eventually eat all the food when you aren't looking. Labs want to eat everything and then some.
"Use a dogie fence that the smaller dog can get thru and the larger dog can't."

+1 easy solution. since they're nowhere near the same size, although the OP will need to make sure the caged area is deeper than the lab mic can stick his head in and heavy enough or well secured enough he can't tip it over. Dogs are a bit like humans...if there's a way they'll find it.
iceng3 years ago
  • Feed the dogs separately and only twice daily.
  • Electronics and hardware covering the Chihuahua's food opening to any number devices in the dog collar presence and more devious.
  • Size discrimination giving and denying access like a half swinging door which human can lock but let the small dog through as we do.