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Old 04-14-2012, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: florida
Why won't my dog eat treats?

I have a 5year old Rottweiler who will not eat his treats. When I give him a bone like a knuckle or a rawhide it is like a punishment. He will ignore it for 3 days and on the third day he will finally eat it.

I have another dog and I have the same problem with my rott whether she is with him or separate. He has no food aggression at all.

I would love to be able to give him a treat now and than but it seems to stress him and make him miserable has anyone had any experience with this?? Any suggestions as to how to help him with this??
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:39 PM
Vintage Valued Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Upstate, NY
Images: 21
Re: Why won't my dog eat treats?

Well, there are several possibilities. First, he is 5 and he may be due for a teeth cleaning at the vets. Plaque is very unpleasant, and gums sometimes hurt. He may be too well fed or have an undiagnosed digestive problem.

Perhaps change your treats! Make them more high end, like a nice raw marrow bone. Processed bones often slpinter. Raw is better. I'm not sure what kind of knuckle bone you mean of course.

The butcher shop or meat section of a supermarket is often a good place to find raw bones. You may have to ask. Some stores have them in the freezer, and it is OK to give them frozen or partially thawed. If there is too much marrow (very rich), scoop out some to replace another time. You can even refreeze if necessary, but I have found raw marrow bones, once cleaned of meat and marrow, do not rot or smell. My dogs have a bone bin where the most recent bones reside.

Last, rawhides are difficult to digest. They can get soggy and messy. They can even be shallowed more or less whole, and may even cause an intestinal blockage. It's been known to happen. Many of us here do not use them.

My dogs like meat and cheese, and vegetables for treats in addition to he raw marrow bones. I have let them have raw pigs feet, but they are a bit messy. Mine like natural, grain free dog biscuits! They're a bit more expensive but I like the quality. They like the taste! I also freeze baby meat or plain yogurt, and ice cube tray will do. Or... stuff the now empty raw bone (or knog) with a bit of PB and kibble, or the aforementioned yogurt with kibble or baby meat.

They Love, love, LOVE those! Think what might appeal to your dog, once you see your vet.? I hope you find some things your darling boy will enjoy. I know how it is to want to be doing something "special" for a devoted companion(s). I love the "extras". Good luck.
Lucy and 2 Rott'n Kids!
"If your dog thinks you're the greatest person in the world, don't seek a second opinion." Anonymous
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:28 PM
Valued Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Arizona
Images: 32
Re: Why won't my dog eat treats?

I wholeheartedly agree with above about having his teeth checked as a first step just to rule out teeth problems. One thing that comes to my mind is that the treat may actually be seen as high-value; (if you take it away, does your dog start looking for it?) so much that the dog wants to keep it for later and gets frustrated. I am not sure if this is somewhat linked to a dog's innate predisposition to bury bones for later, but it is quite a curious behavior I sometimes stumble upon. Of course, burying bones in the home is out of question; he probably knows that if he did that, your other dog would very likely find it!

Does this happen only with bones? I had a similar problem with my female refusing to eat her bone; she would readily eat though any other treats (pig ears, dental stick, generally any treat she could eat fast and that was not a bone). If I took the bone away she would be looking all over for it, but when she had it she would just take it, keep it between her paws and lay next to it, sort of guarding it away from my male but yet not enjoying it as she should. It was as if she was obsessing over it, a very frustrating ordeal! Even if I closed her in a separate room I would open the door two hours later and the bone was still there!

I solved the problem by smearing the bone with some peanut butter or cream cheese; this gets her started on licking and then eventually she would start gnawing on it. Of course, she needs to be in a room away from my male so to enjoy the bone fully. Still as of today, she still has those moments of staring at the bone or putting her head on it, but all I need to do is smear it and she will eat it. If there are too many noises and things going on though she may stop and start again later...
"Dog training should not be a battle of wills, but an ever-evolving dance of communication and cooperation." - Nicole Wilde
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: florida
Re: Why won't my dog eat treats?

He has just been at the vet and they did a full workup on him checked his mouth and had given him a clean bill of health so I believe he should be good. I did go out and pick up some raw bones from my food store going to try it tonight to see how he does.

He is kind of weird with food in that he savors everything. He will take a small treat and eat that but he will take it away and chew and really savor it. I have never seen a dog like him he will actually chew a(yes1) cheerio!!! He does the same ignoring thing with pig ears also. He will take it away and lay down with it but he wont even look at it. He will turn his body so it is behind him like he is avoiding it. I have tried shutting him in a different room and shutting her in a different room it does not make a difference. He will do this for exactly 3 days every time than he will go to town on it.

Through those 3 days he seems stressed though. He will do all he can to avoid it and than finally eat it.

Gave a fresh ham bone at Easter and he went right to eating that. Starting to think maybe he doesn't like the smoked taste as much. Well fingers crossed he will like the ones I got from the butcher today. I did throw them in the oven for awhile he has never had raw food and I don't want to chance him getting sick.

Thank you and wish me luck!!
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: PA
Images: 15
Re: Why won't my dog eat treats?

He is stressed because he is guarding it. Even though he is not showing it in aggressive way he is still concerned about the bone being repossessed by your other dog or you. He obviously doesn't like the bone enough to eat it right away but doesn't want to give it up either.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: florida
Re: Why won't my dog eat treats?

He loved the raw marrow bone!!!!!! Thank you for your opinions, I'm going to try some of the other ideas also but so excited to have found something that he loves! It was so wonderful to see him enjoy a treat last night!

Thank you!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:31 PM
Novice Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Canada
Re: Why won't my dog eat treats?

My rottie does the same thing. He just seems not to care enough to work for his treat, since he is well fed and I supply other treats for him when on walks. He does eventually eat the bone, but he also guards it from the other dog. If the other dog partially eats his bone, Romeo will switch and eat the half eaten bone and let the other dog have his full bone that he was hiding (win-win).

I have heard that cooked bones are more likely to splinter when your dogs chews it. Dogs can consume raw meat safely, and if it is just a bone he will be fine. Romeo is not on a raw food diet but I give him raw bones all the time.
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