feeding pup and dog together

by brandon
(cape town south africa)

i got a puppy three months old an two year german shepherd

the problem i have is that i brought their bowls out for the first time to feed them as puppy was in the garage, so i put their bowls far apart so when puppy was done he went to the other dog to eat his food. so when he came closer the shepherd did nothing, but puppy was growling.

how can i feed him with out growling?

Hi Brandon
Food guarding is pretty common and your pup may have been used to having to fight for his food, or guard it from siblings or other dogs. If that’s the case then his natural reaction right now is to get as much food as he can for himself.

Your German Shepherd is used to eating his food in peace and not having to fight off another dog, so he is behaving in a less combative way.

Feeding two dogs together is often problematic, but normally the older dog will correct the pup if he gets too close to his dish, or tries to steal his food, and the pup will respect that. However, if both dogs are used to guarding their food or are food-aggressive it can end up in a fight. If that happens I would suggest that you feed them separately rather risk one or other of them getting hurt.

But as your older dog seems un-threatened by the pup you could try putting the pup in an exercise pen or a gated area close to the GSD when you feed them simultaneously. That way they can be near each other and see each other, but the pup can’t try to steal the other dogs food. Given time and practice you will most likely be able to eventually remove the pen/gate and they should eat together amicably.

A similar answer would be to set up a baby-gate in the doorway between two rooms and feed one dog in each room but within sight of each other.

Hope this helps. Best of luck with your dogs

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