My dog, an American Staffordshire Terrier Mix, is a rescue dog. We got him at about 12 weeks old after he was found with his brother in a dumpster. I adopted both and his brother seems to function fine (the one that is obese.) But the dog in question had had horrible separation anxiety that he appeared to outgrow (within the first year). We've had him for about 3 years now. We feed him 1 cup of Rachel Ray dry dog food at night and one in the morning.

The issue

He only eats in the company of my mother. I live alone, and every time I need my dog to eat, I have to drive over to my mother's house for him to eat normally out of the bowl when he's at her house, or if she comes to my house.

In my attempts to fix the problem, I've tried leaving the food down for 1/2 an hour and hoping he eats at the next feeding, or even adding chicken broth to dry food to give it some extra flavor. I don't want to enforce the behavior of hand-feeding, nor do I have the time to drive to my mother's (or quite frankly, have her drive to my house) but he does need to eat. (He has a healthy weight, thanks to my mother)

So what do I do to get him to eat either alone with me?

To clarify, I am looking to get him to eat normally in my presence and an explanation to why he only eats for my mom (other than these feeding sessions, he spends little to no time with her) This question has absolutely nothing to do with hand-feeding.

  • 2
    Is that the same dog where you reported a vet diagnosed him as obese?
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 13:23
  • 1
    Have to tried the standard “offer food for a bit, then take it away, repeat at next mealtime” more than once in a row? Did he eat the “enhanced” food?
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 13:33
  • @AllisonC no, I was really working for an explanation why he eats normally for my mother despite the fact that I am otherwise considered "his person" in that he comes to me with everything :) Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 14:12
  • @Stephie no, neither tactic worked, and also, nope, totally different dog :) i tried the “offer food for a bit, then take it away, repeat at next mealtime” trick a few times in a row and this didn't work either Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 14:12
  • 1
    Ava, “why” he eats with your mother is opinion-based (we can at best speculate), so off-topic. And your question does ask about how to make him eat, that makes it a duplicate of the linked and a handful other quite similar questions about dogs that don’t want to eat, at least at the time of closing. If you look at the answers, you will see that most of them are not focusing on hand vs. bowl, but on techniques to deal with dogs that refuse their bowl. In short, it’s pretty much going to boil down to “don’t cater to his whims” and “try an alternative dish”, but in any case, “stop fussing”.
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 13:31


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