All About Dog Food Forum
General => Introductions => Topic started by: HarveyDeb on Jul 08, 2015, 12:25
hello I have just joined so forgive me if I don't do this properly.
I rescued Harvey a Lowchen last November. We were told at the time that he was great with other dogs and a joy to walk. Well this lasted the weekend. His paws bled on each walk for a couple of weeks and he lunges at everything and anything. He doesn't seem to know how to greet dogs at all. He is an absolute joy in the house and now plays (which he didn't seem to understand when we first got him) We have been told that he was being groomed for showing (he did have the show cut when we first saw him) so this makes some sense. I have been having some one on one training which has helped somewhat but he is still on full alert when we walk. I have been giving him Calm and Focused for at least 4 months now and have also tried some herbal and flowers remedies but not with much success. Someone has just mentioned his food. This does seem to ring true as if he was being fed on something else prior to us having him it might have still been in his system when he was at the rescue centre. We were advised to give him Burns. So after all this rambling I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts on what we could try in regards to food.
I really want him to enjoy his walks - we have only had one nice walk since the initial one and this was about 1/2 hour after having his vaccinations, I rang the vet to see if they could shed any light on why this might be but they didn't seem to have any insights. We passed lots of dogs, children on skateboards, bikes etc and he didn't bat an eyelid, but back to his normal behaviour for his later walk!!
Looking forward to hearing from you
Hello and welcome to the forum. Well done on giving this little Lowchen a new start. From how you describe his behaviour it rather sounds like he has not had proper socialisation as a very young puppy. His behaviour might never be all you would want it to be but with patience he will perhaps improve. When mine start showing off if they see another dog I usually get their attention with a treat, which I always have in my Pooch ch bag. I try to do it before they see the dog so it means being vigilant.
Anyway, about food - can I assume that you are feeding Burns at the moment and if so, what do you think of it. Is your dog doing OK? Most of the Burns products are very high in grains and this might suit some dogs but not all. There is a belief that a high protein/fat diet actually helps the dog to be more calm. If you wish to look for something with more meat content and perhaps grain free you are in luck because these days there are plenty of good quality products and we are really spoilt for choice.
The Dog Food Directory (http://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/the-dog-food-directory) is a great place to start searching. Look to the left of the page at the Filters. Beneath that you will see eight subsections which expand when you tick the box. All you have to do is select those things which are important to you. For instance, under Type of Food you would probably want to use Dry complete.
With a dog like yours I would suggest that when you get to Food Properties you select natural, hypoallergenic, grain free and clearly labelled. Under Avoid Ingredients, select 'All Red' and 'Cereals'. Click go and you will see the results on the right hand side. It is then a case of looking through and seeing which ones you like the best.
The better quality food always has a named meat source first on the list of ingredients and they are clearly labelled so you understand exactly what is in it.
Please post back if you need any help and also to keep us up to date if you do make any changes.
Hello thank you for your reply. I am going to get some Eden as this one feels right some how. Am I best mixing it with the burns and slowly moving onto it fully? In regards to the treats when he sees dogs etc he just ignores them even things like chicken and chicken skin, he gets so zoned out. Lol
That is a good choice and I hope that your dog does well on it. Generally it is best to introduce a new food gradually to accustom the dog's digestive tract to the new ingredients. This is particularly relevant when changing to a higher protein food. I do hope that all goes well and your dog improves on Eden. It will take a few weeks so be patient. Also remember not to over feed as this is high quality food.
Hello and welcome to the forum Debbie,
It sounds like Harvey is fear reactive to me. The treats will work up to a certain point then when you get too close, well you know that, he is more focused on the dog. Sometimes it doesn't seem that way. My terrier would go out of her way to bark at a source of stress rather than avoid it so it took a while for me to realise what was going on. Being on the lead aggravates the situation but she needs to be on around other dogs. Things have improved greatly with lots of positive reinforcement for staying calm and we even took her to a dog funday recently . She had a few disagreements but it was mostly terriers in attendance. Overall though, she was fairly calm. We used this kind of approach http://muttabouttown.com/2013/08/18/leash-reactivity-its-trainable/
I doubt whether changing his food will stop Harvey being anxious but it can't hurt to give him a good diet free from likely allergens or additives. It may make some difference to how he feels.
Hi Debbie, I replied to your post on the Eden review page already, but in summary I think you need a good local trainer/behaviourist to help with the reactive issue.
A food change may or may not help, but has other health benefits anyway, so is still worthwhile.
As you have chosen Eden, and I work for Eden, we usually advise taking 2 or 3 weeks to switch from a high carb diet like Burns to a low carb high protein diet like Eden, add 25% of the Eden ration to 75% of the Burns ration, and after 5 days move to 50/50, etc until fully changed. Don't worry if you have to change faster, most dogs are fine, and the few that are more sensitive we can help ease you through it if necessary.
Check the feed guide on the Eden website carefully as you will probably only need about 60% of the weight of food (this also results in smaller firmer stools)
Please join the Eden page or group on Facebook and we can answer any questions that may arise, or twitter, email or even phone.
Look forward to updates in the coming weeks :)
Hello and Welcome to you both