4 Steps for Training Picky Puppies to Eat Their Food

labrador puppy

4 Steps for Training Picky Puppies to Eat Their Food

Every dog is different when it comes to food. While most dogs usually don’t have a problem with what you serve, a few special pups won’t be as excited to eat what’s in front of them. But like most behaviors, this is something that you can change in your furry friend through training. Here are a couple of valuable techniques that might help with your puppy.

4 Ways to Teach Picky Puppies to Finish their Food

1. Set the Environment

Puppies need to be trained to get used to their food bowls when it’s time to eat. Determine where you want them to eat and set a time frame of when they should eat. Setting a pattern like this will get them used to the idea of a feeding time and sets boundaries on when and where eating takes place.  

2. Serve High-Value Food and Go From There

Picky eaters may not be excited about kibble if they’re not particularly interested in it. But because it is one of the most affordable and healthy food options, it is essential to make it palatable. One trick is to give them some high-value food, such as hotdogs or meat after they finish eating. It’s almost like rewarding a child with dessert after finishing their greens.

3. Associate Feeding Time with Something Positive

Dogs respond to positive reinforcement, which you can take advantage of in their training. If they enjoy walking or playing in the backyard, you can allow them to do so as long as they finish their meal. That way, they would know that their reward after a nutritious helping of kibble brings a walk in the park after.

4. Don’t Overdo these Techniques

There is a fine line between teaching your dog through positive reinforcement and spoiling them. Don’t let them get so accustomed to the idea that they will receive good treats with every bowl every time they eat. You don’t need to be strict with feeding time and location to the point that they would not eat anywhere else or would start to complain if their food is a little late. 

And if you can keep the routine up of playing fetch before dinner, you can’t have them think this is mandatory. These tips are meant to slowly fade once your dog has started to respond to their food more often.  


Dogs are very intelligent creatures, but they do have bad habits or tendencies that can be trained out of them. As a responsible pet owner, getting them to eat regularly is the right thing to do, even if they don’t respond to it at first. Most dog food available is formulated to sustain them and keep them healthy, so having them get used to it will serve them better in the long run, even if it’s not as delicious as fresh pieces of meat. 

For more tips on puppy training, visit the Dog Obedience Training blog for more expert resources. Our platform provides informative and helpful tips on how you can train your little fur friends as puppies, plus advice on how to teach old dogs new tricks. Check out our latest resources today!

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