Food Glorious Food

Dogs love food, no surprise there! And Labradors have a particular reputation for being food obsessed! So one of the challenges of working with a guide dog puppy is to try help the  dog develop a healthy relationship with food. So what is unhealthy? In a nourishment sense the answer is anything human or more accurately anything that isn’t the recommended dog food. Rochester is an inquisitive dog and has so far found a number of items to “taste”,  spinach, bird seed, sticks, washing powder, grass being a small selection. We have become very adept at removing items from his mouth and even more vigilant about not dropping stuff or leaving intriguing items lying around. 

“Please sir, can I have some more”?
Behaviourally we need to help Rochester not to be distracted by food.  The future working guide dog needs to be focussed on the work rather than the tempting smells and tastes around him.  There is a famous, maybe apocryphal, story of former Home Secretary David Blunkett’s dog “stealing” meat pies on the way to work, the clever bit being that he did it without breaking step! It is a funny story, but could have serious consequences  if the dog drags it’s owner across the road in pursuit of a tasty morsel. The easiest way to avoid dogs getting into this habit is to stop them ever getting started …. hence no human food.

Dogs idea of dog food

Rochester seems pretty good so far. He isn’t overly interested when we are eating our meals  and seems quite happy to sit in his box or play with his toys. So if he’s not eating all this other stuff, what is he eating? Well he is on Eukanuba large breed puppy complete food and seems very happy with it. We soften the kibbles with a bit of warm water and he has four 50g portions a day.

Mans idea of dog food!

 This week we played “guess the weight of the puppy, estimating him to be roughly equivalent to two bags of potatoes!   You have a sense that he is getting heavier; the effort of carrying him around is definitely harder! When we used more traditional methods he checked in at a healthy 5.2kg which is OK for  10 weeks.

"put me down, I'm not a fairground attraction"!



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5 responses to “Food Glorious Food

  1. Rochester – you are doing so well! Clive loves a little bit of warm water in his kibble too! Or we often put a tablespoon of organic natural yogurt in – which keeps his tummy really healthy (important for working dogs). We were given this hint by the trainers in Irish Guide Dogs – they found that by adding a little yogurt into the dry kibble – the puppies in training in the centre had fewer tummy upsets. Also, makes Clives’s poo – less smelly and firmer (which is much easier for picking up!!)

    Hope you have a good weekend,
    Clive & Murray

  2. Pingback: I Saw Sunday « Ruined for Life: Phoenix Edition

  3. Alan Fletcher

    Great blog of Rochester
    Could I use the pictures of rochester on Guide Dogs – Swindon Branch facebook page?
    Alan Fletcher
    Swindon Guide Dogs.

    • Hello Alan
      Thanks for the kind comment, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the blog. Do please use any of the pictures you like. Thank you also for the 6week picture and certificate that B forwarded onto me. I’ll me using them on a later post if that’s OK?

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