Now, at the vet visit a couple of weeks ago, in addition to finding out about the elbow dysplasia, we were also told that he was about 3lbs overweight and the food we were giving him was too high protein, so we switched to a lower calorie one. We started to mix it in with old dog food so he would get used to it, and it was going well. He devoured it, he seemed to really like it, all was good. Then he would take two bites of it and stop eating and leave it. And sometimes go back and look at it like he was hungry, but he wouldn't eat any of it. We thought maybe he just wanted the new dog food because he liked it better, so we stopped adding the old dog food, but that didn't help. And he wasn't having stomach issues and he seemed super excited when we put the food down, he just wouldn't eat it, so we didn't think it was a case of not liking the dog food. So, we were a bit baffled.
The only thing I noticed was that he ate out of the middle of the bowl, but left the sides of it. And if you picked up the food and shook it around, he would do the same thing, eat the middle and leave the sides. And I've noticed in the past that he always tucks his ears way back when he was eating, so they wouldn't touch the wall the bowl was next to. So, I thought, 'maybe he can't get the food on the sides because his ears have to touch the wall?'. I brought the dish out to the living room and put it in the middle of the carpet. He ate all of it right away. We put the dish in the middle of the kitchen last night, he ate all of it right away. He literally could not bring himself to eat his own food because his ears might touch the wall.
You'd think this would have been a problem previously, but we fed him out of a ball he rolled around the kitchen for a long time, in hopes of working off some of his puppy energy, so he wasn't near the wall then. When he grew out of that, we used a bowl, but the high protein diet covered less volume in the dish than the new diet, which takes up more space, and he didn't have to reach into the sides to get it. It's just this new food that he has to dig for, and he just can't bring himself to do it. Poor little guy.
I'm going to work on desensitizing his ears to touch, which will also probably help with getting his leash on, because I've suspected part of that problem is he's worried someone/the leash/collar will touch his ears.
In other, happier news, we've had a problem where the dog gate to the kitchen closes on itself randomly, blocking him off from going in or out, even if it's unlatched to let him. It doesn't latch, it just closes to sit flush with the latch and look closed. Rather than us having to come rescue him all the time, I've been teaching him how to push the gate open with his nose, and he's mastered it now. Even when he wants to go into the kitchen, where he has to nudge the gate to knock it against the latch so it will bounce back open enough for him to get his nose in there to open it. He's so pleased with himself, it's adorable.
He is a baffling, delightful little fellow and I love him. This entry was crossposted on Dreamwidth (https://awanderingbard.dreamwidth.org/316321.html). Replies are welcome in any location.