View Full Version : Another newbie cattle dog question....

07-14-2009, 03:02 AM
So Bindi is about 32 lbs (or was when I got her) and she's looking a little, uhhh, ROUND around the middle.

Greg thinks I feed her too much.

Is 3 cups of puppy kibble a day too much?

Her eating is erratic. Somedays she eats everything she sees, other days she nibbles. It doesn't seem to phase her any.

I just started filling the bowl in the morning and seeing whats left at night.....

07-14-2009, 06:43 AM
I would say to also be careful on the "recommended" feeding - I find they usually recommend more than what your dog needs (perhaps because they want you to use it up quicker and buy more dog food?)...I know that our dogs would terribly obese if I fed them as much as is recommended on the package. It also depends on your dog's metabolism - if they are couch potato type dogs they don't need as much. If they are hard-working, active dogs, they may need more. Cut back a bit and then watch that waistline for a couple of months. You can also cut back your kibble by half, and add canned pumpkin (NOT the pie filling) - they like it, it's good fiber, and helps them feel full without all the calories.

07-14-2009, 07:30 AM
a few things to take into consideration...

1.) how old is Bindi?

2.) What is her activity level?

3.) What are you using to measure your 'cups"? I have actually had pet owners tell me that they feed their 25 pound-over weight lab "only 2 cups of food a day" and then proceed to explain that their measuring cup is the 7-11 Big GULP cup! that is actually a total of 64 ounces, which is NOT 2 cups! (16 ounces)

Why are you free-feeding? (putting down a full bowl of food in the morning? Refilling it whenever it looks low?)
did you ever leave a piece of bread out on the counter then forget it & go to work? coming back 8 hours later, the bread is like a crouton? well, this happens to your dog's food as well. it gets stale. and who wants to eat stale food? sure, a dog will, but they don't prefer to. get hungry enough, you'll eat just about anything. (worse yet is mixing dry & can food, then leaving it out. worse than leaving milk in a bowl of cereal!)

1. dogs thrive of structure-incorporate this into your training time, put the food down and leave it down, (ask for a SIT! then release her to eat)
leave the food down only for about 10-15 minutes or so. if Bindi didn't eat it all...pick it up and no more food until next feeding.

2.this helps establish you as the one who distributes the life-giving food...elevates your status in Bindi's eyes, & helps her gain respect for you.

food is intended to be stored in a dark, airtight container, (not the original bag once it is opened!) and to be eaten quickly. food left out becomes wasted, unappealing, attracts bugs, and conditions your dog to be disinterested in food. (it's ALWAYS there, what's so exciting about that? why should THAT motivate any dog?)

I prefer the higher protein diets for malnourished dogs...it is more easily converted into muscle mass and not just...mass...

I also begin weaning young dogs off puppy food at about 12-18 months. Why do I wait so long? Because the puppies internal organs, brain, and liver are still growing even if the outside of the dog ssems to stop growing. I mix the diet half/half with adult food from the age of 1 year to about 2.

oh-and lastly-what brand are you feeding? just like people, different brands (like different fast foods) are healthier choices for dogs than others...

Purina Puppy Chow vs. Wolf Cub by Solid Gold ...


07-14-2009, 08:26 AM
3 cups seems a bit high to me. Pawsom is 30 pounds and eats 1.5 cups a day sometimes a little less. But that does depend on what kind of food you are feeding. If you are feeding one with more fillers or grain in it, then you might need to feed more to get the appropriate amount of nutrients. Pawsom eats grain-free Honest Kitchen or sometimes grain-free kibble/canned. She eats three times daily (1/2 cup each meal) to stop acid reflux in the morning.


07-14-2009, 09:23 AM
My 32lb, 20" tall at the shoulder, 8mo moderately active boy gets 2 cups of a high quality kibble per day, split into two feedings, and I am very happy with his weight, as is my vet. 3 cups sounds like a lot to me, but each dog is an individual, so ymmv.

07-14-2009, 09:49 AM
3 cups does seem like a lot for such a small dog. Lucy is 42lbs and gets between 1-1.5 cups of grain-free kibble twice a day (I'll throw an extra 1/2 cup on days she's super active). She runs 5 km each day, plus gets a romp in the park with her friends and a chuck-it session in the evenings. I'd probably feed her a little less if she wasn't so active.

It does depend a lot on what kind of food you give your dog. I do consider what the package recommends, but it's best to start with the low end of the range they offer and monitor your dog. Maybe ask your vet what he/she thinks? Try your best not to let your dog get overweight - it's so hard to reverse it. Good luck with Bindi! :)

07-14-2009, 10:30 AM
I have found that Cattle Dogs tend towards pudge and actually need less food to keep up their weight than other dogs of similar size and activity. Could just be me, especially since my other breed is said to burn "calories" as in plural just blinking LOL But here, Blitz, same age and close to same activity in terms of excercise as one of my Mals Kwick (though Kwick moves more in general), and with Blitz I would guess about 4 inches shorter, Kwick eats at minimum triple what Blitz gets to maintain their weights... Some of that can be explained by the general intensity of motion and greater height of Kwick, but I don't think all LOL

07-14-2009, 12:24 PM
I think 3 cups is too much these dogs unless they are truly "working"...Mickey weighs 55lb and eats about 6-8oz of dry in the morning and about 4oz of a natural/orgaic/holistic canned food (I buy many different brands) with another 6oz of dry mixed in for dinner...any more than that and he would bulge at his sides.

07-14-2009, 12:56 PM
How old is your dog? If she's looking a bit round then you might want to back off to 2 3/4 cups or 2 1/2 cups a day. I always take our guys down slowly so they don't feel they're losing any food. Do you have just the one dog? If you do usually they're pretty good about self regulating. If she keeps chowing down you might want to start dishing it out twice a day. :)

When Indy was younger I didn't feed him more than 2 cups twice a day. We finally settled in at 1 3/4 cups twice per day. He was real skinny though as a pup & has a high metabolism. I should note Indy is also a mix, that could have something to do with the high metabolism. :naughty: This winter the vet said Indy was getting too fat so we've backed his food down to 1 1/2 cups twice a day.:) He's doing fine on the new amount. :biggrin2:

07-14-2009, 01:22 PM
I can't add much to what has already been said- it all depends on the quality of food & the activity level of the dog. But I would stop the free-feeding. Not good for the dog and attracts bugs.
I'm not a fan of the timed meals- putting the food down for so many minutes, then taking it away. I feed my dogs in their crates- they have 2hrs to eat and nap. They are fed twice per day. 1 cup of grain free kibble mixed with meat (raw or cooked) cottage cheese or yogurt. Feeding in this manner allows me to have complete control of what and how much they eat, while letting them relax while they eat and nap after. My dogs are not true AKC ACDs, so their metabolism may be different, but I don't think free feeding is good for any breed. I would also be cautious about recommendations from a vet- they often try to sell Science Diet or whatever product they carry- most are totally against more natural feeding, which has proven to be much more healthier for dogs. I still feed kibble (not confident enough yet to go totally natural) But if you are going to feed kibble, try the grain free. I never read the feeding amounts on the bag- I make my own decisions depending on how active the dog is. I could never understand how they could give feeding guidelines, not knowing the activity level or metabolism of individual dogs. I constantly change- feeding more or less as needed.

Chew Toy
07-14-2009, 08:50 PM
Am I the only one who allows free feeding? Maddy Jo doesn't get all hyped about food and never really has. I use one food bowl for both dogs and they nibble at it all day, unless I put treats in it like carrots and peas then all kibble gets nosed out to the floor whilst the treats are eaten. No food aggression issues between the two either.....

07-14-2009, 09:28 PM
We used to free feed 3 dogs and didn't have major issues. 3 did create more problems though in the food hierarchy for us. The reason we don't do that now is because Molly had been on her own for so long by the time Chance came around we didn't want to rock the boat. Otherwise we'd be free feeding too. :biggrin2:

07-14-2009, 09:36 PM
I don't free feed because Allen would have all 3 dogs' food gone in 10 seconds flat. And oddly enough, while he is the chow-hound, Rody Jane, who could care less about food - is possessive when anyone gets near hers, even if she doesn't want it! So - they all get fed in their crates. No fuss, no muss.

07-14-2009, 09:38 PM
Oh my goodness. I cannot imagine how rotund Pawsom would be if I free fed. She'd eat herself sick!


07-14-2009, 10:54 PM
Yikes! I'm clearly over-feeding my dog.

I feed her Wellness puppy kibble.

I just got her weaned off canned food, thats all they fed her at the shelter and for a while she wouldn't eat the kibble unless it was totally mashed up with canned food.I fed her that much because I thought that was the suggested portion on the bag for a dog her size. She is 8months.

She does get a fair amout of exercise with me, and especially with the other dogs at the dog park that are her new best friends. They run and run and run and run and run and fetch and run. It's awesome. Yet, I can't feel her ribs anymore.....So, down to 2 cups of kibble? How do we all feel about peanut butter and cheese? What about leftover bones from steaks?

07-14-2009, 11:20 PM
Emma eats 2 cups a day and angus usually get alittle more but he is picky and thin all the time.
I have been told to never feed cooked bones to dogs because they splinter. cheese is a fat food.. I have problems with cheese myself.:biggrin2:
try veges and see if she will eat them.

07-15-2009, 01:14 AM
Take and start switch over to adult food. Mix 1/4 adult to 3/4 puppy. Gradually, add more adult food every few days. Within 2 weeks you should be over to the adult food. Try adding green beans for a filler and cut back on the kibble. You will see the weight drop off.

Keep up the exercise. If you are worried about her eating her meals at one sitting, here's a trick we use where I use to work. Start out by putting the food down for 10 minutes. If the dog doesn't eat it all pick it up and use it for dinner. Same thing at dinner time. It won't take long for her to catch on and eat her meals in one sitting and not throughout the day.

This also helps if your dog isn't feeling well. You will know if they are eating or not. By free feeding you really can't judge their eating. Good luck.

07-15-2009, 03:17 AM
I'd skip the cheese and peanut butter until you could feel her ribs again. If she doesn't like veggies (mine don't) try pumpkin and yogurt. Both mine think those are the yummiest treats ever. Freeze them into a Kong with some of her kibble or even a small amount of wet food. Instant awesome treat that will keep her busy and not be many calories.

You also might find that putting a tablespoon of pumpkin in her food makes her eat it when it's feeding time. I agree with skipping the free feeding thing- it has definitely told me quickly when one of mine was feeling 'off'. I also put salmon oil on my two's food. It's good for their joints and coats and they think it's the best treat ever.

07-15-2009, 08:56 AM
What about leftover bones from steaks?

Never feed a dog cooked bones! Sure, it could be fine 9/10 times, but there is a chance of the bone splintering and causing severe problems. I buy chicken necks in bulk and freeze them in little baggies. Lucy gets one as a treat once or twice a week - I give it to her frozen and she loves mowing down on her chickennecksicle :naughty: Just make sure they are raw.

Another treat she goes nuts for is liver. I buy calfs liver (it's cheap) and hack it up into little bits with tongs and scissors (so I don't have to touch it), then put it in a low temp. oven for about 2 hours. It kind of dehydrates and keeps for at least a couple of weeks (if it sticks around that long!) It's a fairly low cal way for her to get a really high value treat. Lucy hates veggies or else I'd feed those, so see if your pup likes carrots...my labs used to go nuts over them.

07-15-2009, 09:27 AM
Cattle Dogs, like most working breeds (Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Labs) are genetically made to literally go all day long on very little to eat. In horse terms they are "easy keepers" Monitoring how much you feed and NOT free feeding is the best way to go. If she doesnt eat when you put it down, or within 15 minutes...take it up. She will learn quickly that she eats or doesnt!
Obesity in all pets is an epidemic and causes the same problems it does in humans. Diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and so on.
SKIP cheese, peanut butter, etc. Carrots make a nice snack (reg Milkbones are very high in fat) and there are plenty of low cal pre made snacks available. Keep these to a minimum, too.

07-15-2009, 10:57 AM
most working breeds (Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, Labs) are genetically made to literally go all day long on very little to eat.

Someone forgot to tell this to the Malinois LOL