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I have a dog mix, Jack Russel Terrier / Chihuahua, about 3 years old. I feed her meal which is a mix of kibble and can on her plate in the evening. I have begun to notice that she will only eat it if its me that sets her plate down. However when someone else in my family does it she leaves the plate there.

I assume this is a routine issue with her but I find it fascinating that she would go with hunger over a different plate setter.

I also assume the only way to correct this behavior is to go through a week of someone else other than me feeding her.

Anyone else see this behavior? Normal? I have had dogs before and this is the first I have seen of it.

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Some people deliberately train their dogs not to take food from strangers. Sounds like yours made that decision herself. Either that, or she's holding out in case this sucker can be guilt-tripped into giving her something tastier...

Of course you don't want to let the dog set the rules. You're the pack leader, or should be.

I'm sure there is a standard training regimen for this, but coming at it from a behavior mod point of view I'd suggest breaking the message down into steps:

Feed with other people present.

Prepare the food, hand it to someone else, and have them set it down.

Have them prepare and serve while you supervise.

Have them prepare and serve while you are in the next room.

Try it in your absence.

You may have to do this with several different people before the dog generalizes from "this person is OK" to "people are OK."

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You can't let her go a week without eating. Feed from you every other day but a normal serving. If she gets too thin then plan B.

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  • Ah. Never said I was going to starve her. Just said I would have someone else feed her for a week. Thanks for feedback though.
    – fraygos
    Jan 7 '17 at 20:18
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    But if she refuses food from someone else for a full week that would starve he.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 7 '17 at 20:20

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