We’ve raised several puppies who were obsessed with food. These were dogs whose bodies would stiffen and eyes would stare fixedly at the tiniest scrap of anything that could possible be eaten; and who would settle for the unimaginably inedible. Steve and I tend to think of these dogs as the Serious Chowhounds, and we’ve been wondering if Kyndall would become one of them.
Like many puppies, she began her life with us seeming not terribly interested in her thrice-daily cups of kibble. She would eat part of a cup, then turn away, the very antithesis of Chowhound behavior. This has stopped. Now she seems happy to eat every meal. In the mornings, she races alongside us to the big metal can in which we store the dog food; often she yodels happy encouragements as we scoop. At times, she literally leaps in the air on our way back to Steve’s office (where we feed her and Tucker.) I’ve tried to capture images of her doing this but so far have failed. (It’s hard to do while carrying the dog bowls.)
Her attitude toward food treats is more ambivalent. When we try to entice her into Dressing using pieces of kibble or even Milk Bones, she disdains us. But for something more extraordinary — a bit of pepperoni or prosciutto, for example — she’ll race from a distance and scarf it down as happily as passionately as any of our Chowhounds.
We don’t know how she’ll progress, and I’m not sure what I’m hoping for. Too much fervor for foodables can lead to bad behavior, as it did the other day when Kyndall, to our horror, put her paws on one of our counters, knocked off the cake pan that I had prepared for baking, and gave its floured surface a couple of quick licks.
On the other hand, dogs who love their treats tend to be easier to train. Consider these images captured by Kat Greaney and posted on her Facebook page (she’s raising Kyndall’s sister Kihei).
Astounded, I asked how she got the dogs to do this, and she cited the power of treats (and “dogs willing to do anything for them.”) It’s enough to make me want a true Chowhound.