Common Feeding Mistakes People Make with Dogs

Food carries a powerful message in the dog world.


Feeding provides your dog with nutrition and gives you the opportunity to shape your dogs behavior.

Don't Miss Out on the Ritual of Feeding
When puppies are little, they wait to be fed by their mother. This waiting is a form of work psychological work, and it builds a healthy state of mind. Day after day, this ritual plays out among the pack.

I take my dogs for a walk before I feed them. This form of waiting provides my dogs with psychological work and builds a healthy mind. The walk also promotes a healthy body and allows my dogs to experience the world.

Don't Reinforce Negative Behaviors When Feeding
Dogs don't get fed when their mind is excited, nervousness, tense or aggressive. They get fed when their mind is calm and submissive, which is what their animal pack leader would require.

Make sure your dog has reached a calm and submissive state before you place the food bowl in front of him. If you feed him when he displays any negative behaviors, such as nerves or excitement, you will reinforce these behaviors and guarantee that they will reoccur.

Food carries a powerful message in the dog world. Understanding its meaning and consequences will allow you to connect with your dog and help him to lead a happy, balanced life.

Next month: Behavior Rehabilitation

Cesar and his pack
Get more tips from Cesar.

Note: Cesar Millan is a professional. Please consult a qualified trainer before attempting these techniques with your dog.

For more information, visit Cesar Millans Dog Psychology Center where the express purpose is to rehabilitate and maintain a dogs natural state of being.


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Natalie   tonopah, Arizona

11/14/2012 9:48:06 AM

I have 3 Pitbulls. The mother that is 2 years old and and the pups from her litter that are 11 montha old I have tryed mostly everything harness, they have chewed through a metal kennal. I have tryed stakes choke chains, and I excerise them everyday, mostly everything. But they keep on escaping and not coming home till dark. Im at my last end idk what to do to keep them home anymore, and they can't be running.the streets. Please . Do u have any advice I have four kids and they are our protestors and my family loves them very much they have been living inside cuz they will escape out of the yard. We can only afford so much please do u have any advice.. would help

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Shelley   Laramie, Wyoming

10/18/2012 12:18:40 AM

Cesar makes this seem so much easier than it really is! All my dogs get really excited and hyper at meal time, but one of them, in particular, discourages me from doing anything about any of them. (btw. they are 3 cavaliers and one cocker spaniel). While they all get excited, only one of them remains food-obsessed almost all day. He begins drooling instantly the moment he **thinks** I am going to feed him. If I ask him to, he will sit still when I put the food down, but not before an enormous slimy puddle appears and all the while he's vibrating and fixated on the food. I can't stand the drool and sometimes he starts is up when I don't even know it so that it gets all over and i've sliped in it a number of times. I've resorted to leaving him outside while i prepare food. He won't potty or do anything else but whine and wait for food the moment that he gets it in his mind that its meal time (which could be hours before the actual time). I love the Dog Whisperer shows and I watch them all the time, but knowing where exactly to start is the hard part.

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Lynne   Fairfield, AL

11/3/2011 11:44:32 AM

The article didn't address my issue of how often, how much & what time of day is best to feed a 5 yr old dog?

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Gary   Albuquerque, NM

5/18/2010 6:35:58 AM

Cesar is great & he knows what he's talking about!

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