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Odd Eating

Odd Eating Habits - Moving, Hiding Dog Food

Training Your Pomeranian to Eat in the His/Her Dining Area

Some Pomeranians are known to take their food, that you place so nicely down for them in their designated eating area and then pick up their food and go into another room to eat it.

This is often thought to be a strange or odd Pomeranian eating habit. However, this is not uncommon and there is a training method to show your dog where to eat.

A Member wrote in, asking how to help her Pom stop doing this. Read on to learn how to train your Pomeranian to eat where they are supposed to.

Question: Are Pomeranians picky eaters? Or does it depend on the dog? I have the runt of the litter. And as a result of this she displays an unusual eating habit, which is to take her food walk away with it and eat in another spot other than from the bowl. How can I stop this? She has dog food everywhere!. ~ Owner Jackie, Pom Bella
Pomeranian with leg cast
Chloe, 6 months
"opps, I broke my leg"
Photo courtesy of owner: Holly Beadle 
Answer: Hi Jackie! All dog breeds can be picky eaters, however toy dogs seem to get a reputation for it easier! It is not uncommon for a Pomeranian to test you when it comes time for dinner. Poms are so lovable and they also can be a bit stubborn or want to just see how much they can get away with.
Your Pomeranian, Bella, will be as picky with food as you allow her to be. She is not being a "bad" dog, she just needs some reinforcement training. Being the runt of the litter most likely did cause Bella to act this way. The smallest dogs are almost always pushed aside. 

Without someone keeping a very close eye, the runts of litter often die from starvation or dehydration. So, poor little Bella probably had to fight for every drop of mom's milk that she got!

Rescue dogs are also known for this behavior. In addition, dogs who do not feel secure that their food is safe will move it to another room, one where they feel that their food is "protected". 

This can happen if the kitchen is a very noisy room, if there are other dogs in the home and the Pom feels as if she needs to compete for food or if people sit or walk too close to where the dog food dish is.

Bella will eat where you want her to. She will do this by your non-stop efforts to show her that no other option is acceptable. 

It is also important that she feels very safe in the area that you wish for her to eat. Please make sure that it is in a very quiet corner of a room. It should not be in an area where people walk by or near an open door. 

When she eats, she should feel secure that no one is coming close: an action that she may see as a threat to her food being taken away.
Another thing to keep in mind is the depth of the dog bowl. Since the Pomeranian is so small, sometimes if the dog bowl is too deep, the dog can bump their forehead on the edge of the bowl. This can become very frustrating for a dog, that then simply removes the food to eat it on a flatter surface. You should make sure to have the right bowls for your Pom, which is those that are shallow and sized proportionally to a Pom's small body. In addition, just a change from floor level to raised can make a big difference. 

Once you have a quite, safe area with the correct size dog food dishes, it is time to show Bella what is acceptable and what is not. 

This can be done in a very calm way so that you nor Bella is stressed out. If Bella is trained to sit, have her sit down before you set out the dog food. 
Pomeranian with shoes on
Boh, 9 months old
Photo courtesy of owner: Corina
Once you do set the dog food out, give the command to eat; it can be as simple as "Dinner" or "Eat now". 

If she takes any food out of the dish, immediately take the food and put it back into the dish or that plate. Get ready for her to test you, she may try to move it 10 times before she gives in to your request. It will be worth it!

While this can seem like a game, it is not. Keeping a very close eye on your dog and not allowing her to eat outside of the designated area will show her that if she wants her tummy full, she must eat where you ask her to.

Never give in and always stay consistent. Also, think about snacks. Do you give your dog treats in other areas of the home? In order for this training to work, the dog must learn where they are allowed to eat, even small dog treats must be only given in the spot you choose.

In about 2 weeks time, with non-stop training and never giving in, your Pomeranian should be a perfect dinner companion!
Note: Odd eating habits...Refusal to eat...Finicky eaters...Wondering if a Pom is receiving the proper nutrients... Wondering is a Pom is growing at the proper rate! These are just some of the issues an owner may have. For this reason, we have created the PetPom Book (NOW IN PRINT!) for you. See what's inside.
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