Our Shikoku is an extremely finicky eater. Is this normal for the breed?
  • Our Shikoku Koya initially liked eating his kibble/moist food mixture when he was a pup. He eventually became disinterested in it and refused to touch it unless he had no other options in which case he'd eventually pick away at it. Even when we tried varying the types of kibble and canned food, he'd initially like it, then the next time he tried it he didn't want it anymore. We then tried raw food, buying a sample pack of different food pucks. He loved all of them--he would still graze on it as he definitely doesn't live for food, but he ate the turkey, chicken, bison and salmon. So we went and bought a huge variety pack for our freezer, and lo and behold he then didn't want any of them, possibly because he'd had them before. The only food he consistently likes is 'senior' dry kibble that the black lab across the property eats, but I'm pretty sure that has very little of what he needs in his diet (he's just over 5 months).

    Has anyone else experienced this or found a food that their Shikoku absolutely loves? Do other people find their Shikoku doesn't really care that much about food?
  • Enough people have a problem with it that I wrote a blog post about it.
  • Thank you for that, very good information there. We're keeping an eye out for any digestive issues/blockages. He passed a stool today that looked normal & healthy, but I'll take a closer look the next time. He burns a ton of energy as he lives on a farm and runs around most of the day, but he's definitely exposed to the possibility of eating who-knows-what when he's out there.
  • KajaKaja
    Posts: 216
    Yar. Kaja is in the picky eater club.

    Honestly? Timed feeding is a really big helper. When they are starving they will learn that food in front of their face is food they want to eat. And if it's gone after 15 minutes or something until lunch or dinner, they realize food isn't up for grabs just ANY old time.

    I do that. I also employ other methods. You know how when you eat a lot, you get hungry more/continue eating a lot because your stomach expands? I do that with Kaja. If I notice she's gotten to be really picky and too thin, I will fatten her up with rice and chicken and broth and raw foods. Just to make her stomach bigger. And then I'll start giving her more tame raw foods/kibble, and lo and behold, she isn't so picky anymore.

    As the above implies, I switch up her food often so she doesn't get too bored + I like to think it encourages an iron stomach.

    That being said? The food they will want most, of course, is another dog's food. Cause it's THEIR'S so it must be better ;)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 3017
    Shiba seem to be picky with food too. Luckily Saya loves food and eats anything given eagerly. Coarse I have to monitor and make sure she doesn't eat too much don't want a chunky shiba. lol

    I like TheWalrus blog post some good info.

    I do make bone broth dogs like it as a nice treat. I usually use pork bones, chicken feet, chicken backs, beef ribs and any left over bone that is too hard or sharp for the dogs. The broth is so flavorful..

    I also make broth for myself too great for using on soups. I freeze for later and for dogs I feed their bone broth in ice cube trays. Once fully frozen I add to ziplock bag and freeze more till all of the broth is frozen. makes it easy to take just one or two out to thaw on the kibble or just in bowl.
    Nicole, 7year old Bella(Boxer), and 7year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • ImanIman
    Posts: 37
    I won't say Koharu is a picky eater, but she's a definite grazing dog who eats when she feels like it. I don't give her timed feedings because I was getting a bit tired of cleaning up bile... I measure out the day's ration every morning and she'll free feed from her breakfast meal, usually finishing it by the afternoon, and then she'll get her dinner portion and maybe finish it but more often than not, she'll leave a quarter to a half of it.

    I can get her excited about her food when I've mixed things in - usually I do this if we need her to eat quickly or if she's been a good dog that day haha. Once we poured bacon drippings over her kibble, which is probably super unhealthy... But because she's a grazer, if she's not feeling hungry, she'll even leave the exciting food, like she did with the bacon kibble. I've noticed that she loves to eat sample packs of kibble too, so variety really helps! My typical mix ins come from dinner scraps (like the bones and head from filleting a fish will turn into broth and fish meat), so it also isn't a lot of special work or extra cost.

    She's a healthy size/weight so far and almost seems a little chunky (I'm still waiting for her to develop a more pronounced tuck!) so I've been going with this feeding routine since it seems to work.
  • emi802emi802
    Posts: 296
    One of my three shikoku is a picky eater. Our breeder actually warned us about this when we first got him. She would catch him eating out of the adult bowls when his bowl was still had food in it. He's a dog that likes variety. :(

    When he was young, anything we fed him, he would be bored of within a week and just completely stop eating. We tried all sorts of things--rotating kibbles, rotating freeze dried + kibble, rotating pre-packaged raw meals, rotating homemade raw, and home cooked meals. None of it lasted very long.

    Fortunately, after 3 years, he's finally become a bit less picky. I think the addition of two dogs has pushed him to want to eat more too--mild competition? We managed to do freeze dried + kibble for a few months. Recently, the freeze dried started giving them stomach aches, so we cut down on it. Amazingly, he's consistently eating plain kibble right now and has been for quite a few weeks. Hopefully, this keeps up..... but I don't want to get my hopes too high :p
  • emi802emi802
    Posts: 296
    @TheWalrus Do you know how long your boar soup keeps for? Do you freeze any of it? Or do you have so many dogs that it never lasts that long? :)
  • I make extremely large batches, let it cool, then pour into pet bottles and jars and freeze them. I don't know how long the soup would last, but I usually go through a 2 liter bottle in a week or so.
  • AjaxAjax
    Posts: 123
    Am I the only one with an un-picky glutton who would get fat if we let him? Dry kibble (especially if it belongs to another dog), canned, raw... It's all on the menu. He's not a big fan of large whole fish, but occasionally I'll give him one and after about 10-15 minutes he'll dig in. Ajax not eating is an accurate indicator that he is sick.
  • emi802emi802
    Posts: 296
    @Ajax our other two are like that. They were kind of fat at one point because we kept letting them eat katsu's leftovers @_@ There was a period of time we readjusted their meal sizes to account for them eating the leftovers.....
    Post edited by emi802 at 2017-09-14 19:48:49

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