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Cheryl K.
Cheryl K., shelter volunteer
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience:  14+ years of shelter work/ vaccinations/ disease/ illness/ injury/ medical care
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Why is my dog covering his food bowl up and not eating his food

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We have a Rough Collie who is 7 years old, he has recently started to cover his food bowl over with the rug that the bowl rests on, he then refuses to eat his food
Do you have any other animals or little children in the home?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
This is a behavior issue that can actually start at a young age due to the scanvenger instinct in them that has been passed from generation to generation. It is in alot of cases due to an attention need in them as when they do this they get your attention even if it is just to tell them to stop. First you need to remove the rug so he does not have this to continue hiding his food under it. It is also recommended to change the area of feeding to a quieter area so they do no feel their food is being watched. In another aspect it could be that a change in food is necessary as he may not be enjoying his food and hiding it is sort of like whe a child does not want to eat their vegetables and hides it to allow you to think it has been eaten. One good approach to stopping this behavior is only allow him to only have a certain amount of time t eat his food, if he starts to cover it then take the bowl away so he learns that if he does not eat it he will not have any and instead of a fussy, picky dog he will change and eat it in fear of having it taken away from him. But in most cases it is due to the fact they have become tired of the food they are given and doing this is showing you he does not care for it anymore and the other cause is due to the fact they feel if it is left out it will be eaten by someone else so they hide it to come back to it when they are ready. In your case since he is not wanting to eat it at all it seems more related to not caring for this type of food and changing his brand ca make him be excited about his food again and start to eat it when given. Most all dogs will not allow themselves to starve so he won't continue to do this when he becomes too hungry. But this is attention related because he knows when he does this and that is getting him the attention he is wanting so try a change in diet and also only allowing him a certain time frame in which to eat his food and he will come to learn that if he does not eat his food when given to him it will be taken away and not able for him to have a chance to hide it.
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