MaPaw Siberian Husky Rescue

Friday, June 15, 2007

Meal Time

Puppies, I have to be honest with you. I love food. I mean, I love it so much I lose control of myself whenever I think I am about to get food. I get so excited I just have to dance. Foody-food-food. Oh, sorry, I was getting around to the topic of the day. Feeding time means our humans have to make choices that affect our physical and behavioral health. At my house we begin with six clean bowls - some purchased, some donated - we are not picky about dishes. Then Mama and Papa measure out our kibble to help us maintain a healthy weight. Recently we met some nice people from a company called FreshPet, and they donated a whole bunch of food to MaPaw. Papa chops up the roll so it is easier to scoop and mix with our kibble.

Delicious!

Now it is time to work. Each puppy must perform a task, based on skill level, to get the glorious food. Bailey and Ananya usually do a long sit-stay or down-stay because they have the most training. They begin when the empty bowls are on the table and stay through the food preparation until the dishes are down and they get the Okay. You can see it is challenging for them because Ananya is drooling and Bailey is keeping his eye on his food dish.

I like to dance during the food prep, which Mama says is okay as long as I stay in my spot anddo not disturb the other puppies. Before I get my food I also must sit and stay for about 10 seconds because that is enough of a challenge for me. When the 3 of us are sitting calmly, it is finally time to eat! We always eat before the foster dogs because it reinforces our status at the top of the pack. It is important that our pack positions do not shift around when the pack is always changing so we do not get too stressed.
Now it is the foster dogs' turn. Since they usually do not have much training background, most of them just do a sit for food with no stay at all. Codey tried to cheat by sitting before Mama asked, so then she asked him to down for his food.
Sometimes we have a foster dog who has food aggression, is nervous around the rest of us, or just cannot control his Sibe puppy exuberance (Dawkin) and disturbs the rest of us when we are trying to work. Those puppies have to go in the hole. Just kidding, they go in the laundry room, which is just off the kitchen and has just enough space for one puppy to eat comfortably. As their behavior improves, they gradually move up to eating in there with the door open and then to eating in the kitchen with the rest of us. Before they can get to those stages, they must first accomplish a sit for their food while in the laundry room. Although Ananya, Bailey, and I must all be sitting at the same time to get our food, the foster dogs just have to sit one at a time for their food because they have not worked on stay yet. I am usually done eating my food by the time they all get to eat. As we finish, we each must go outside to wait for the other puppies to finish. That rule prevents scuffles caused by puppies wandering too close to each other's bowls. Usually either Dawkin or Codey is the last to finish eating. That is how we incorporate a litttle training into our mealtime so that we stay in practice, and at the same time prevent scuffles with a regular routine. It is just one aspect of our NILF life.

12 Comments:

Blogger Lee :) said...

Wow, your human has things really in control (in a good way). There seems to be a lot of you and what a great way to set about order in the household. It must be nice to get to play with each other every day. Good thing you're a husky and have a lot of energy. :)

5:59:00 AM  
Blogger Guinness & Shiloh's Mommy said...

What a scientific and excellent way to get through all of that pack stuff. I'm sure it makes meals take longer, but much easier for your humans, and the pack as well. We've been pretty lucky here so far, but we'll remind mom to visit this blog if we ever have a foster who gives us issues at mealtime.

10:28:00 AM  
Blogger Foster Dogs said...

Great ideas, and great explanations!

11:43:00 AM  
Blogger The Army of Four said...

Woooooooooo! Your supper-dupper time sounds a lot like ours! We all have to SIT before we get fed. I like to sproing, sproing, sproing while mom fills the bowls - and I usually sing. I can't help it - it's my favorite time of day! We get fed 3 times a day - how about you?
Oh. And I like to have mom or dad give me a kiss before each meal, while I do my "sit". I wait for it. Woo.
Luv,
Dave

12:15:00 PM  
Blogger The Daily Echo said...

We're usually very well behaved at food time. That is until the REAL yummy stuff gets added! Sometimes Mom gives us some yummy canned food in with our Canidae (we're particularly nuts over the Merrick flavors!). We have a hard time containing ourselves then. She said we make so much noise when we hear the can pop open that she has to close the windows so the neighbors don't think we've gone mad!
ECHO

2:52:00 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

We have a feeding order here too. Dad feeds Monty and Kona first, while I supervise them. Then, later, after dad goes to work, me, Abby and Samuel get fed. Mom waits to do it that way cuz Samuel gets too distracted by what Monty and Kona are eating, or dad getting ready to go to work, that he won't eat. Abby and I wait patiently, cuz we are good girls.

Holly

4:17:00 PM  
Blogger PiratesGrrl said...

What a great thought out plan. We all eat together except for Sam cause she can't eat our kinda food anymore.

How do you like that food in a tube?

Bear

6:45:00 PM  
Blogger Sitka and Tia's BLAWG! said...

Wow - your mom has everything down perfect for all of you!!! Hey, that food looks good!!!! Tia, who is the alpha over me, gets fed first!!!!
Hugs,
Sitka

7:46:00 PM  
Blogger umekotyan said...

As for food, it is necessary to judge whether to be divided fairly. It is judged by the dog. :)

from loved ume tyan

7:57:00 AM  
Blogger Peanut said...

I have a NILF life to. Sometimes it is bad but some says I am much better behaved since she started it.

8:51:00 AM  
Blogger Tasha & Eva said...

Very good advice for multi-pup households, Magnum. We have to sit-stay before we get our food, too. Feeding time at your house is BIG operation! Dad says he's glad there is only two of us. Mom wants a third doggie, though. What do you think? Do we need another brother or sister? Belly Rubs, Tasha & Eva.

11:31:00 AM  
Blogger MaPaw said...

Lee - I do like having siblings around to play, but Mama and Papa have to make sure we do not fuss.

G&S's Mom - It only takes a while because the foster dogs eat so slowly. You guys are too shy and polite to fuss over food.

HTHNBR - Thanks! I hope it helps anyone heaving meal time chaos.

Ao4 - I sing too! Mama says there is no way she it putting her face between my teeth and my food, so I get kisses at other times.

Echo - I love when we get special treats from the cans!

Holly - Ananya says she needs more girls here. It sounds like Samuel would have to eat in the laundry room if he lived here.

Bear - The food in the tube is delicious! Sometimes I get so excited I lose my balance and fall on the floor.

Sitka - I suppose as long as Tia takes care of you like a dominant dog would, it is okay even if she is a cat.

Ume Tyan - I always keep an eye on whether I am getting enough. It is never enough in my opinion.

Peanut - Good for you! I know it is hard work sometimes, but it is worth it.

T&E - Of course you need another sibling! How exciting!

1:35:00 PM  

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