9 week old obsessed with food

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Newlab, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Newlab

    Newlab Registered Users

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    I’m guessing this is completely normal because I know how much labs love their food, but does anyone have any training tips for a young puppy that’s completely obsessed with food?

    Even just after he’s been fed my 9 week old seems constantly desperate for food. He wanders around the kitchen and barks repeatedly anywhere we’ve been either preparing his or our food. He also barks repeatedly at his food bowl. As I’m writing this he’s been barking for most of the past 20/25 minutes. We’ve been trying click for quiet but doesn’t seem to be making any difference (might just be that we need to keep at this and it will work eventually?) I’ve also tried to teach him to wait for food by having a bit of kibble in my fist, waiting for him to stop biting/trying to get it and then rewarding him for stepping away - but he just doesn’t stop biting (at least not in the 5 minutes I could handle him biting my hand for).

    You’d think we were starving him, but he has plenty of food and is a healthy weight. I’m just at a loss for what to try next and wanted to check I’m not doing something wrong!
     
  2. J.D

    J.D Registered Users

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    As the bowl seems to be the trigger use all of his allowance in training so you move away from set meal times. Difficult if you are raw feeding but even then it could be put in Kongs.
     
  3. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Just ignore the barking. It will stop. And be happy you have such a food motivated puppy. I would gladly trade you my un-food motivated GSP pup today (if you know me, you'll know I am hardcore into developing good food motivation, so I've been sent my nemesis from hell here) :eek:

    Don't just put the food down for free though - train with it. There's so much to be training a pup, it's just a waste of food to be giving it for free....
     
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  4. Newlab

    Newlab Registered Users

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    Thank you very much for the tips! We have been using some for training but from the sounds of it no where near enough! We’ve tried kongs and a rolling ball that drops treats out today and very little barking so far!
     
  5. McGuillicuddy

    McGuillicuddy Registered Users

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    I'm just a single lab owner and not an experienced trainer like Jo, but based on that limited experience I agree with Jo that high food motivation is a blessing, not a curse. Our lab is pretty great but there have been occasions where other motivators trumped food. For example, when trying to get him to walk with a loose leash as a pup it was not possible to use food to influence behaviour. He was SO desperate to get the the next fire hydrant/pole/tree/whatever on our walk to smell it. Food rewards had no impact and often he ignored them completely. You could tell treats were not helping shape his behaviour AT ALL in that situation. Since he is not big enough to pull me (i.e. I can easily stop him at any time) I shifted to using his desire to forge ahead to the next smell as the reward. It hasn't been a smashing success but he's certainly improved with time and maturity. I think higher food motivation would have made this an easier process.
     

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