Dog Keeps Knocking Over His Food

I have a two year old cocker spaniel who has a habit of pushing his food out of the bowl and eating it off the ground. We got him a food bowl and he puts his paw in the side and it makes it flop over spilling the food on the ground and then he eats it. He does it all the time. Why does he do that and how do I stop it?


cocker spaniel

Jitterbug from Oneonta, AL

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He is keeping the food in the bowl clean so if he doesnt finish it he can come back to it later. If he eats out of the bowl and leaves left overs, his saliva will get on other morsels and bacteria will develop. I bet he licks his paws if they look dirty hahaha. You have yourself a smart clean freak dog!

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Heck, I would just give him a plate or a cardboard box with the food (like the kind that cases of bottled water or sodas come in), rather than a bowl. Then at least you're not dealing with the frustration of a knocked over bowl.

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both of my dogs do this. i know a friends dogs that does it to. actually they dont knock the bowl over but bring the food out of the bowl, drop it on the floor then eat off the floor.

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I guess I don't understand the problem. Is it canned food? If it's dry then it's perfectly normal. My dogs take big mouthfuls of dry food & put it on the tile floor & carpet to eat it. All my dogs all my life have done it. If the bowl is in a different room than the people are then it's the social den/pack thing to bring the food into the room where the people are to eat. They crave being around other dogs & people.

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Get one of those dog bowl stands. My brother made one out of marble (he works in a marble factory so this was cheap for him). The bowls set down in the stand and they cant knock them over. A good side benefit to this is dogs are more likely to choke having to put their heads all the way down to eat. Of course you have a little dog so the stand couldnt be very tall.

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Put his food in an old angel food pan or bundt pan. Pound a stake down through the hole and bend it over so he can't tip it any more. We did this for one of our dogs, one for water and one for food.

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My dog is almost 13 and also refuses to eat out of a bowl. She picks up her food, one piece at a time, and goes to the kitchen rug to eat. If the rug is in the washer she'll take her food to the livingroom carpet!

Love & Prayers,


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Our miniature cocker spaniel who is 8 years old named Star does this same thing. It must be a trait of the cocker spaniels! She will take food out of the dish and make a little trail of the food into the dining room under the table where she likes to lay. Then she will eat one piece at a time back to her dish! It is so cute. I don't think you could break them of this habit. If she leaves some on the rug by her dish and you tell her to clean up her mess she will do it. Who knows what these dogs are thinking but there must be a reason for it. Good luck! The dog is adorable by the way.

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My dog has just recently started doing the same thing. I tried to put his food on a plate, but he nudges the plate over with his nose until he knocks it over.

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We had a Shepard who did that. We solved the problem by buying a bowl with a base on it. or try a set of bowls that rest in a metal holder. He can't tip them over.

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My dog is three months old. We have a regular bowl and he uses his paw to very purposely push over both his food and water bowls. He then eats some of the food off the floor. We put it back in the bowl and he then eats it out of the bowl or tips it over again. I dont have any answer to this problem. But he is doing it on purpose, not by mistake.

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Pets Dogs Training AdviceNovember 24, 2005
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