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What age before kids can feed puppy?
Starting to see some dominance issues


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#1 ~Karla~

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:43 AM

Our new puppy (10 weeks old) is going great guns. She's fitting in beautifully and the kids adore her and she adores them. So far, I've been the one feeding her every meal and all treats (for toileting, sitting etc). At what stage can I get the kids to start feeding her? Can the 2yo have a turn feeding her too?

I'm starting to see a few signs that she's trying to establish dominance over the 2yo, so I think if he could feed her, it would help her realise he's above her, but I'm not sure if he's too young to her for that. I'm making sure she sees me picking the 2yo up lots, I growl quite badly at her if she gets carried away with him (just play stuff at this stage, but she's jumping up and nipping his hair which I'm not cool with) etc. She's incredibly good with all the kids, but I want to make sure we don't let any problems start IYKWIM.

#2 *LucyE*

Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

What reasons do you have for not allowing the kids to feed her?

My 23 month old has been feeding our dog for a while (under supervision of course). Our dog knows to sit and wait for food and doesn't eat until given the command.

It's kinda sweet to watch a pint sized toddler who was learning to speak, give commands to the dog and have a full grown German shepherd come to a skidding stop to sit as told.

#3 Red Cabbage

Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

Oh you ended up finding a puppy?!?

Can we see pics please?

#4 Etienne

Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 29/11/2012, 10:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What reasons do you have for not allowing the kids to feed her?

My 23 month old has been feeding our dog for a while (under supervision of course). Our dog knows to sit and wait for food and doesn't eat until given the command.

It's kinda sweet to watch a pint sized toddler who was learning to speak, give commands to the dog and have a full grown German shepherd come to a skidding stop to sit as told.


That is gorgeous original.gif

My nephew was able to feed their dog treats from around this age without any problems.

#5 *Kell*

Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

Definitely include the whole family (not at the same time) when feeding & training the puppy.
Make sure the puppy gets greeted, fed, bathed, patted (etc) last... after the rest of the family.
The puppy should never be physically higher (e.g. on a lounge) than the children, the boss of the pack is always in a higher position (and standing over) the subordinates.


#6 paris-stella

Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:59 AM

We have 4 dogs - two of them are 14 week old puppies -  a little bit mad dog people here and our kids have always been able to feed our dogs.  They know to go and get their food and the dogs wait until my son (who is 2.5yrs) tips the scoop into their bowls before they eat it. They have always been great with him.

#7 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:10 AM

Our kids have been feeding our dogs for as long as I can remember - well before age 2. DD1 feeds the male, DD2 feeds the female. They put the bowls on the bench and scoop the food in, then each carries their bowl outside. The dogs sit, shake paws and wait until BOTH kids say "free!" before they start eating. IMO this is a great way to establish the kids' place above them in the pack.

Both our dogs were out of the puppy phase before our kids were born though - obviously there are more variables at work when the dog is young too. original.gif

#8 CountryBumpkin

Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

We teach our dogs not to take food from our children unless they are told they can, and our children are always supervised around our dogs. Although they are 50kg rottweilers, they have taken a small treat out of my daughters hand so gently (she was 14 months). we are all included in feed time, and we have never had issues.

#9 her mum

Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:28 AM

My 18 month old feeds our dogs and puts water in their bowls/pool. She also gives them basic commands and treats. She's been doing this for about 3 months now.

#10 ~Karla~

Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

I don't have any strong reasons as why the kids can't feed the puppy, but she's still learning to sit and stay sitting and not eat until I tell her. We've only had get a week and she's just a baby so she hasn't stopped rushing at the food bowl as soon as I put it down yet. I would have to restrain her while the kids put the food in the bowl/put the bowl down.

She's not allowed on furniture, she has to wait for everyone else to go through doorways and she sits outside and waits for us to eat before she gets her food and she's pretty good about it all. I'll get the kids to do up a roster and they can all take turns feeding her from now on.

Red Cabbage - I'll get some pics sorted for you soon. original.gif

#11 lozoodle

Posted 29 November 2012 - 12:47 PM

Both my kids feed our pets (1 cat, 3 dogs) all the time. With supervision of course. Go for it.

#12 aidensmum

Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

I'd keep the kids out of it until you have trained the puppy to sit and not eat until told to.  A strong message from an adult is needed, and she wont get that from a 2 year old.  I guess the two year old could put the bowl down, but still have an adult giving the commands.


#13 RebelWithoutAClaws

Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:30 PM

We used triangle of temptation with Bandit when we got him (at 8 months) because he jumped on people when we fed him.

In 2 weeks he would sit to eat and he does it every feed now original.gif It doesn't matter who opens the door and is holding his feed bowl (DF, me, Mum, DSD10, DSD8) as soon as he sees that bowl he runs to his feeding spot and plonks his bum down and waits. He doesn't eat until he is told "eat up".

#14 gasgirl

Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:12 PM

my two DDs both started feeding our dog from about 10mths old. They learned very quickly to hand the dog chow over, of course then it was piece by piece which also taught the young dog patience - sometimes a meal took over an hour!.
of course supervised and assisted by me, and sitting safely in my lap.
our dog was 1 yo male when first baby came along so very impt to establish early who was where in the pack.
now 7 yrs later he would do anything for them.




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