Author Topic: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.  (Read 465 times)

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Offline Rebeccask

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Hi everyone,

I have a 3.5 year old working cocker called Molly. She has always been a fussy eater but I've managed by keeping her food interesting by rotating flavours and biscuits etc...

However, over the last couple of months she has started running out of the kitchen when I put her food bowl down. When I call her back over she sits and stares at her bowl and then starts shaking. I have tried different biscuits, different meat toppers, cheese, roast chicken, scrambled eggs. I've changed her bowls, moved her bowls to a different place. Eventually she will eat if I hand feed her or put something different on a plate next to her bowl. I am at my wits end and this can't continue.

The vets advice was to leave her food and if she is hungry she will eat it. However I don't feel like that is very constructive and doesn't explain why she has started behaving like this out of the blue. She's hungry because as soon as I open the cupboard with her chews and treats she'll come charging over and she is not showing any signs of being unwell. Full of beans.

Anyone else experienced this? or has any advice please!!

Offline pam1

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2020, 08:18:22 PM »
Can I ask what sort of bowl you are using?  I have heard that some dogs are worried by the clanking of their tags on stainless steel bowls.



Pam, Oliver and Poppy

Offline Rebeccask

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2020, 09:33:10 PM »
Interesting - She's always had stainless steel bowls since she was puppy however a few days ago I changed her bowl to a ceramic one to see if it was the bowl. Todays dinner fiasco ended up with me playing with her, giving her lots of encouragement and excitement and then I took her over to her bowl and she ate everything! Every last biscuit. So I am completely stumped!

Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2020, 09:49:47 PM »
There was a very similar post on here last year.....Can‘t remember what the outcome was though :huh:

Offline Finvarra

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2020, 10:27:49 PM »
Have you or your vet checked her mouth and teeth? If she is suffering any pain on eating that might account for it. One of my dogs once got a bit of stick wedged in their mouth that wasn't immediately apparent, and put her off eating til we discovered it. Or a bad tooth?

Lesley and Dylan
Remembering All the dogs of my life, especially Milo

Offline Nicnac49

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2020, 11:36:00 PM »
https://www.bellaandduke.com/guide/feeding-dogs-naturally-feed-raw-food-dogs/
Not sure if this link will work. Copied from a raw feeding page but doesn't just apply to raw and has some good tactics. Lots of people seem to have success with the opportunist method.
Good luck

Offline fionad

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2020, 12:41:35 PM »
Mine will only eat from a flat plate or saucer. I have lovely redundant food bowls!

Offline Jaysmumagain

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 10:27:04 AM »
There was a very similar post on here last year.....Can‘t remember what the outcome was though :huh:

Yes it was me and my darling Ollie ....who by name always wants more, so quite alarming when he starting running away as if scared by his food or food bowl, firstly the kitchen floor is tiled and he had been using a stone food dish designed to keep cockers ears out on a small dog food mat, no amount of encouragement helped, but if I put the food in my hand he gobbled it up, OH said he thought maybe the dish had given him a fright maybe falling onto the floor so we but mat on rug in utility room and if we held dish he would eat a few mouth fulls and back off again, so I decided to use one of our soup dishes, and again holding it on the rug he ate it all up so we continued with holding it then standing close and he started to eat as normal, and that is where we are at today, he loves his food - and in true cocker style tells you when it is his meal time(another cocker bully).

OH has marked the bottom of dish so it doesn't get mixed up with ours ;)

He does occasionally stand back if you are close by and a word of encouragement soon has him eating it all up, and also nowdays a crushed yumove tab goes down too.

Hope this helps Molly.
Cocker kisses and cuddles just make my day!


You are always with me darling Jaypup

Offline ollie nathan's mum

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2020, 04:33:01 PM »
I think I would try sticking to one type of food and just put it on the floor. Ditch the bowls and variety. I’m no expert but feels she is anxious so keep it simple and stress free.
Ollie D.O.B 29/03/2010

Offline Rebeccask

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 05:38:10 PM »
Thanks EVERYONE for all your help!!! Wealth of information and tips provided and really appreciate it.

After months of this today we've seen some improvement by following all of your advice. Lots of encouragement and fuss seems to help so we will have to continue working on this. Today there was no running off and she licked the bowl clean! God only know what the trigger was but it does seem to be some sort of anxiety.

Anyway Thanks again.




Offline Rebeccask

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2020, 08:00:00 PM »
Just an update on my situation as it may help someone else:

Molly is now eating really well.
The praise and fuss before she eats followed by more praise and a small treat has done the trick. For a fussy eater she is eating better than she did before any of this strange behaviour started!  :D


Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Need serious help - Cocker keeps running off when I try to feed her.
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2020, 09:43:48 PM »
That‘s good to hear, you must be very relieved!
 :luv: