Portion Feeding Vs Free Feeding
So I know exactly what you’re thinking, what is portion feeding? Free feeding? What’s the difference?
- Portion Feeding: Measuring out your dog’s food intake and only leaving it out for a certain amount of time typically about 15-20 minutes
- Free feeding is simply filling the bowl and allowing your dogs to eat as they please throughout the day. Also known as grazing.
Great, so how does this affect you and your dog?
First, remember the fact that all dogs are at least 98.8% wolf so we must think about the wolf psychology and how this affects your domesticated pups. In the wild when a pack successfully takes down a kill they only have about 15-20 minutes to eat before a larger predator catches whiff of the kill. For most of our arctic wolves they are usually avoiding bears coming to take what remains of their kill.
With that said it is better for dogs of all ages to portion feed so that you set yourself up for success by getting your dogs on a consistent schedule and reinforce your role as pack leaders by showing you are in control of resources. This will also help to combat dogs becoming aggressive over their food.
Even better, portion feeing helps with potty training! When you’re portion feeding you have a better idea of your dogs elimination schedule because you know the exact time they had their last meal, which preps you for their next elimination.
A few things to keep in mind for the worried owners in the back who have fallen into the lie that dogs are picky eaters. HANDLERS CREATE PICKY EATERS. Dogs do not have the ability to starve themselves so when your dog becomes adamant about not eating give it a few days and their attitude will change. In all my years of training I have never had a dog go longer than 2 days without eating before giving in.
Overall, to help satisfy your dogs wolf brain and to help set you up for success instilling your rules and boundaries, portion feeding is the way to go!