Feeding your dog – what type is right?

When swapping the food bowl and starting dog puzzle feeding the general recommendation is to replace the food bowl and feed the dog using other items. For example:

When designing a fun feeding program it is not a case of ‘one size fits all’.  Each individual needs a program designed with their individual skill set and behaviour in mind. A poorly designed feeding program can actually make some behaviours worse.

What type of dog feeding are there?

I break down dog feeding into two categories: Active and passive.



What type of dog feeding should you use?

The excitable/impulsive dog:

What to give:

If your dog is already excited then use passive dog feeding. Great starting points include:

Build up to pairing active and passive dog feeding to help teach your dog to excite then calm. For example;

What to avoid:

Any of the active types of problem-solving, especially those that are too hard or frustrates. As the dog begins to calm, more active types of dog feeding can gradually be introduced. These activities should always be in balance with passive types of dog feeding.

The worried or apprehensive dog

The aim is to build confidence.

What to give:

Enrichment should be passive, high value and very simple to begin with. Start with a very simple food scatter using larger pieces of high-value food that are easy to find. As your dog increases in skill, begin to hide the pieces:

What to avoid:

Offering too many different types of problem-solving, or feeding that is too hard.

Also, avoid trying to help the dog too much. Allow the dog time to process and problem solve themselves before intervening.  If the dog continues to struggle then make the problem easier to solve and increase food value.

The middle of the road dog or puppy

The aim is to mentally stimulate and provide outlets for them to use their ‘skills’.

What to give:

Problem-solving should be a balance of passive and active, as well as use the individual skill set of the dog. For example, if the dog loves to dig, then meet this need by using digging pits, towel lasagnas, etc.

Revise activities to ensure it continues to meet the dog’s individual needs.

What to avoid:

The above is a guide only. For a designed feeding program for your dog please contact us.

For more dog behaviour help check out some more articles below:

My dog has no off switch

What issues are you
having with your pet?

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