If your dog won’t eat without you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show oyu a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why won’t my dog eat without me? Possible reasons why your dog won’t eat without you are that it feels vulnerable, it is being submissive, it does not like the food or it is not hungry, or previous training causing it to wait for you to tell it to eat.

There are actually a number of possible causes and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Reasons why your dog won’t eat without you

Below are some possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

Previous training

The cause might be that you or previous owners trained the dog to wait to be told to eat before eating. This would be more likely if your dog eats in the morning, when you tell it to, but it does not eat during the day when you are not around.

Nature

When eating, in the wild, it is a vulnerable moment for dogs where they are somewhat exposed to other animals that might be around. The reason why your dog does not eat without you might be that it wants you to be there to watch over it.

It is being submissive

Another possible cause is that it is being submissive. It could be the case that it is waiting for you to eat first since it sees you as the leader. This would be more likely if it stands by its food until you have interacted with it in some way.

Anxiety

Another possible cause is that it gets anxious when you are not around. This would be more likely if your dog shows signs of becoming anxious when you are leaving by doing things such as cry or pace when you are leaving.

It does not like the food or it is not hungry

Another less likely cause is that your dog does not like the food. This would be more likely if your dog only eats it when you tell it to.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been behaving that way.

If it always did it

If your dog has always waited for you to be around before eating, it would be more likely that your dog does it because it feels vulnerable when you are not around.

What is different when it does eat

It would also help to consider if your dog does eat, when you are not around, sometimes. If it does eat without you sometimes, it would help to consider what is different when it does eat. For example, if you put the food bowl in a spot where it can put its back towards the corner, it might be the case that it feels safer when eating there.

What to do about it

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

If your dog seems to be doing it due to being anxious, it would help to take measures to reduce its separation anxiety. Some ways to do so could include letting it pee before leaving it and letting it stay in a quieter room when you are not around.

Try putting its food bowl in a spot where its back is to the wall

Another thing you could try would be to put its food bowl in a different spot. It might be the case that it is willing to eat in a different location where it feels less vulnerable.

Feed it sooner

Another option would be to feed your dog earlier in the day, when you are around, so that it won’t have to go so long without eating.

Why does my dog only eat when I am in the room?

In this case, it would be more likely that your dog does it because it wants you to watch over it because it feels vulnerable eating when you are not around. Another possibility is that it does it due to previous training.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.