Why is my dog waiting for the other one to enter the room before it eats? Why is one dog sitting back while the other chows down?
These questions may seem perplexing to us with our dinner time manners, but the habits of dogs are completely different from humans. Read on to find out more.
Dog Only Eats When Other Dogs Are Around?
It may be a sign of respect if the one who waits is the younger. Same age may indicate seeking companionship or even safety in numbers. If they’re older they’re making sure the younger dog is well fed and strong and healthy. Or it could simply be that a more aggressive, stronger, snapping dog is eating, and the other dog has taken the wise decision to wait until that threat is gone!
Why Does My Dog Wait For The Other Dog To Finish Eating?
There are many reasons why one pup might be waiting on another to finish eating.
Innate habits and environmental factors can all contribute to this. Some reasons may be the age of the dogs, what breed they are, their past, and their rank in their pack.
Dog Won’t Eat Unless Other Dog Watches?
Dogs are pack animals. Their instinctual habits play a part in all aspects of their life, including feeding time. Having another dog around when they’re around may comfort this need.
A particularly anxious or stressed dog could have this same problem but to a stronger degree. Knowing another dog they trust is around them could be needed so they can calm down. A trusted presence when they’re vulnerable is the reassurance they need to let their guard down.
Dog Won’t Eat Until Other Dog Finishes?
If your dog won’t eat until the other dog finishes, there are plenty of reasons why this could be the case.
It may be a sign of respect, or if they’re older they’re making sure the younger dog is strong and healthy. A snapping dog would deter any other pet from eating until that threat is gone, which could also explain the problem.
Dog Won’t Let Other Dog Eat?
If your dog isn’t letting the other dog or dogs eat, this would be food aggression.
Food aggression develops in domesticated dogs as a resource-guarding behavior due to the environment they grew up in. Coming from a large litter, being neglected, or have been a stray are all possibilities for this behavior. In a traumatic environment where resources are scarce, being able to protect what you can get is a survival tactic.
Certain working-dog breeds may be more apt to food aggression as well, due to their guarding instincts.
Resource guarding is a very bad habit for a dog to develop and can result in serious injuries to other dogs or humans in the wrong situations. If possible, you should correct this behavior while they’re still young.
To correct this, make them know you’re the one in charge. Make the puppy wait before you put the bowl down. While they’re eating, pick the bowl up for 20 seconds or so a couple of times. This way, the dog knows that you can be trusted with their food and that they’ll always be fed and won’t be in danger.
Positive reinforcement, while they’re eating, works well too. You can add wet food or another treat to the bowl while they’re eating so they associate someone coming to the bowl with a positive outcome. When your dog lets you touch their bowl, pick it up, or move it, give positive reinforcement such as treats or praise to encourage that behavior.
Does The Alpha Dog Always Eat First?
The alpha classification is one that’s deeply rooted in your dog’s ancestry.
Wolves, which your pet descended from, have a strong class system within their pack. Separated by gender, there will be one female and male alpha, with the following beta group. Beneath the betas are the rest of the group and the lowest ranking member, or the omega.
Even though your household isn’t as large as a pack of wolves would be, your little household wolves have their class system in place.
The designated alpha out of your dogs will eat first as they do in the wild. This is a sign of respect from the other dogs to their high position.
Dogs Won’t Eat Together?
One dog may be getting aggressive towards the other dog if they aren’t eating together. A dog whose resource guarding will snap and growl at anyone who approaches the food they’re eating, including other dogs.
Likewise, if the other dog is a fearful dog or naturally anxious, it may feel too vulnerable in the presence of another dog it doesn’t trust.
Feeding Two Dogs At The Same Time?
Feeding more than one dog at a time can seem like a difficult task if both parties aren’t cooperating.
One of the things you can do to make sure your dogs eat at the same time is to just feed them in separate rooms. In separate rooms or separated by a baby gate, this will keep them motivated to finish their food. If they tend to wander before they’re finished, keeping them in the same place as their bowl will encourage them to finish it.
If your dogs are crate trained another way to feed them at the same time is to feed them in their crates. Similar to feeding them in separate rooms, this will keep them separate and keep the focus on the food.
How To Feed Two Dogs When One Is Overweight?
An overweight dog or a dog who has special dietary needs is difficult to feed with other dogs.
The simplest solution to this is making sure the dogs have two separate food bowls. Keep the correct portions or correct food in the appropriate bowls for the dogs. By chance, their nose starts wandering to the other bowl, just redirect them to their own.
This works well for dogs on medications too. Their pills can be put in their normal food as long as they’re the only ones eating it.
Older Dog Not Eating Since We Adopted A New Puppy?
Following the habits of wolves and wild dogs, your older pet may be waiting on the younger pup due to survival. Not their own, but of the pack.
Studies on this behavior have concluded that this action ensures the survival of the pack as a whole. By letting the younger dogs eat first, they make sure that the young are healthy and ready to survive.
Why Do Some Dogs Dislike Being Watched While They Eat?
Being watched while they’re eating could make your dog feel anxious. To be honest, if someone was watching you while you ate, it would make you uneasy, wouldn’t it?
Pair this with the possibility that your dog feels the need to resource guard and it would only make the situation worse. This uneasy feeling makes them think that the person watching them is going to take their food. They may take it to a corner to eat discreetly or out of sight to ease this anxiety.
When dinner is all set up, it may be frustrating if your dog seems to be turning their nose up at its meal. For all the reasons this may be happening there are many simple and quick fixes to these problems if there needs to be one. Whether it’s pecking order, age, or a problem with aggression, dogs develop these habits which are easy to identify once you know what to look for.