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simple homer
05-09-2002, 11:27 PM
I have always fed my dogs in the kitchen, where the floor is made of wood. Several of my dogs would take a mouthful of food and walk into the carpeted part of the house to eat. They would walk back and forth until all the food was gone. Why would dogs have a preference as to what type of flooring they eat their food on?
Anyone else have a dog that does this?
I don't have any dogs now, but this has happened with several dogs that I have had going back to childhood.

breaknrun
05-09-2002, 11:35 PM
If you're not in the kitchen with them, maybe they're just wanting to be near you?
I dunno, most of the dogs we've had have always eaten wherever we put their food. 2 basset hounds :) a yorkie, a toy poodle and a regular poodle. I have 2 huskies , one lays down and just shoves her face into the bowl and doesn't leave until it's all gone. The other will grab a mouthful and walk around while she chews it, all the while, bits are falling out of her mouth. At least she cleans up after herself though.

simple homer
05-09-2002, 11:52 PM
"If you're not in the kitchen with them, maybe they're just wanting to be near you? "

No, I would sit in the kitchen, and watch them go back and forth to the other room.

Khan
05-10-2002, 12:36 AM
We had a beagle once that used to take his food to eat on the carpet, but he started to eat it at the bowl at some point when he got older.

Maybe it's got something to do with how secure they feel?

Qwisp
05-10-2002, 01:17 AM
My dog would always take his first mouth of food , drop it on the carpet in the living room , and then proceed to finish the rest of his food in the kitchen. He never would eat what he dropped on the carpet, so we just chalked it up to his daily offering to the god of the living room.

Mephisto
05-10-2002, 01:46 AM
Maybe they learned that trick as a puppy, when food might be taken away from them by the other puppies? It sorta makes sense to grab your food and eat it somewhere away from the source and competition once you have it securely in your jaws. Just a thought. Or maybe it's an natural instinct based on the same idea.

Then again, maybe certain types of floor and/or carpeting feels better underpaw than others.

Or maybe your dog, like mine, who also used to exhibit this behavior, is just completely nuts. :)

ScriptAnalyst
05-10-2002, 04:16 AM
I have a cat who does pretty much the same thing. Our first theory was that she wanted to eat on the carpet in the dining area in order to be separated from our two other cats eating in the kitchen -- you know, to make sure they have no opportunity to steal her food. But it turns out she prefers to eat on the carpet even when the others aren't around. I've seen her grab a mouthful of food out of the bowl in the kitchen, carry it into the living room, then disgorge it and eat it there.

Perhaps the carpet feels like a warmer, cozier place to eat, as opposed to the cold kitchen floor tile?

Milton De La Warre
05-10-2002, 06:46 AM
I have heard that it's a Spaniel thing, particularly Cocker Spaniel. My Cocker does this and my friend's two Cockers do too. But Her Boxer just inhales the food over the bowl, and this is what most other Dogs do as well.

The Cockers will take a mouthful of food and go a few paces away from the bowl to eat it, then come back for more. After a while or when they have to compete with the Boxer, they stay close to the bowl.

My thought is that my Cocker wants to be sure not to miss any of "The Planet's Funniest Animals". It is her favorite TV show.

chique
05-10-2002, 07:26 AM
I owned an Irish setter mix once who did this.

A sub sandwich of dubious origin spent a bit too much time in my fridge, so I set it out for Jane to snack on - just opened the waxed paper and let her have at it.

She dragged the paper onto the carpet.

Scolded her and put the paper back onto the kitchen's tile.

She dragged the paper onto the carpet.

<repeat twice>

Heard the paper rustle, glanced over, and found that she had drawn the paper NEAR the carpet, STOOD on the carpet to eat, but the food itself was ON THE TILE.

Well, now, how do you scold THAT??

Next time I was at the vet I told him this story. When I told him the first 3/4 he said "Well, she was a stray. It only makes sense she'd rather eat her food on a grass-like surface."

When I told him the last bit he just shook his head and laughed, so......

nineiron
05-10-2002, 09:28 AM
Our dog does this too. She'll take a bite into her mouth, jog over to the living room and munch it down. We always thought it was sort of, "Look, I'm eating! See?"

She's also the only dog I've had who will drop about 1/2 of the dog food pieces on the carpet in various places around the room to enjoy later.

Amfet
05-10-2002, 09:34 AM
As a kid i had a Lhasa Apso that would refuse food unless it was on a carpet. She started doin the take some food to the carpet thing as a puppy. As she got older (9 or so) she refused to eat food from a bowl or a any surface that was not carpet. We tried to break her of the habit by only offering her food in a bowl, and she refused for a few days, anyways we broke before she did. We ended up giving her a bathroom mat in place of a food bowl (was a mess and had to be vacuumed up daily). This dog was chalk full o quirks though so i didnt think much of it till I read this thread.
Wierd thing is my dog now (Dobbe mix) is pretty much quirk free, but she has done the food offering thing as well. Very interesting that another dog does this! I always make her come over and eat the food she drops and she knows I get upset when she does it so it is kind of a rarity now but for the first few weeks after we adopted her it was a common thing. Now unless she is voraceously feeding (occasionally she'll just scarf down a full bowl regardless of the flooing material) she does the walk over to the living room, chew a mouthfull of food, rinse repeat.

Lady Venom
05-10-2002, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by JCHeckler
I have heard that it's a Spaniel thing, particularly Cocker Spaniel. My Cocker does this and my friend's two Cockers do too. But Her Boxer just inhales the food over the bowl, and this is what most other Dogs do as well.

I have a 10 year old Boxer and he ALWAYS takes his first few mouthfuls into another room. Over the past few years we've moved a few times. Sometimes his food was in the kitchen, sometimes it was where they was carpet, regardless of the flooring, he always moved it to another room. Those little hard pieces of food HURT when you step on them in the middle of the night.

I've been told it's an instinct thing, similar to the "spin, spin, spin, FLOP" theory.

astorian
05-10-2002, 10:10 AM
My little rat-or-fox (anybody's guess) terrier mix sometimes does the same thing- take a few morsels of food from the kitchen to the living room, and eat there.

Not all dogs do this, obviously, but enough do that I suspect this practice is a holdover from behavior in the wild, millennia ago. Picture a pack of wolves eating a moose. There's a lot of competition for the best part, so a wolf who gets a choice morsel may grab it and run a short distance from the carcass, where he can eat without worrying about another member of the pack taking it away.

tiny ham
05-10-2002, 10:21 AM
We have hardwood floors, and Marge will take each bite of food to an AREA rug to eat it. She does this with everything, treats, kongs, things she steals from the laundry...

I've always wondered about it.

J

jjimm
05-10-2002, 10:33 AM
My cat also does this - but only if it's "special" food - like freshly-cooked meat. Regular cat food she keeps in the bowl. Bizarre.

Stinky
05-10-2002, 10:35 AM
The food is probably easier to pick up off carpet than a smothe floor. Just a thought. But not worth $.02.

Fear Itself
05-10-2002, 10:56 AM
My dog does this also. When I moved into my current digs, I set up her food and water in the laundry room, but I think she didn't lke eating alone. She would bring a mouthful into the living room. drop it on the carpet, then consume it. I then moved her dish into the kitchen, which is visible from, and only a few steps to, the living room. She still brings her food onto the carpet. But she always cleans up every crumb, so what's the harm?

sonicsink
05-10-2002, 12:25 PM
I always looked at it like this: the food bowl is like a snack table at a party, you go over grab a handfull/plateful of snacks, go over to a comfy chair and as your munching away listening to everyone else chat it up you're thinking to yourself "damn, this is good, im gonna get some more" so you hop back over to the snack table again and grab some more and make your way back to your comfy chair. after doing this about 2-3 times, your lazy ass just decides to stand in front of the snack table all together where you can easily mingle with whoever comes over as you shove your face full of goodies.

KXL
05-10-2002, 01:47 PM
I thought I was the only one!

I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She'll eat regular food from her bowl in the formica-floored kitchen, but takes treats (Snausages) onto the carpet to eat. WTF, little dog!

Maybe it is like wolves eating a moose. I'd love to see a pack of toy spaniels taking down a moose.

robcaro
05-10-2002, 04:05 PM
None of these dogs would like to eat at my house. We have tile all over the house. No carpets anyplace. Sorry doggies. :)

Ivar
05-10-2002, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by astorian
My little rat-or-fox (anybody's guess) terrier mix sometimes does the same thing- take a few morsels of food from the kitchen to the living room, and eat there.

Not all dogs do this, obviously, but enough do that I suspect this practice is a holdover from behavior in the wild, millennia ago. Picture a pack of wolves eating a moose. There's a lot of competition for the best part, so a wolf who gets a choice morsel may grab it and run a short distance from the carcass, where he can eat without worrying about another member of the pack taking it away.

Astorian has it correct. A wild wolf will take a big hunk of meat and then move it away from the kill to eat on its own. Domestic dogs are mimicing that behavior.

Whack-a-Mole
05-10-2002, 04:55 PM
Add me to the "Me Too" list as my dog does this as well.

She's a Shiloh Shepherd (think German Shepherd and you have 90% of the idea). Why she does this I have no clue. She does it whether I'm near or not. She also chooses different areas to go to but always carpeted (most of my place is hardwood floors).

I grew-up with German Shepherds and all of them wolfed their food as soon as it was in front of them. They also stood on linoleum or tile where they ate so it is more than slippery floors (I guess). Our current dog eats more like a cat by just eating now and then as the mood strikes her. I don't know if that has anything to do with it but I found it unusual compared to all my other experiences with dogs eating.

Maybe she's just a nut...

The Mermaid
05-10-2002, 04:58 PM
My dog Lou used to take one single piece of dog food out of her bowl and put it in the middle of the great room. Then she would make a big show of letting everyone know that SHE HAS A PIECE OF FOOD HERE AND IT IS HERS AND IT IS LAYING ON THE FLOOR AND SHE DOESN'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT BECAUSE SHE HAS A PIECE OF FOOD THERE.

Or something like that. The other dogs couldn't care less cause there were 3 bowls of food sitting on the floor eight feet away. It didn't matter to them but it mattered to her.

She's been dead four weeks today. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory.

Lisa Ann
05-10-2002, 05:30 PM
{{{The Mermaid}}}

My Welsh Springer X Chocolate Lab (mix) is a pig and just scarfs down his food in the kitchen in 2 seconds flat.

My methodical Chow takes the first mouthful to the livingroom, eats it piece by piece, then goes back to the kitchen to eat more kibble piece by piece until he is full.
But, he also likes to know where everyone is while he is eating. If I leave the kitchen or livingroom while he is eating, my Chow will stop and come find me.
We usually put the food up when we are not home, but when we forget, it is not my dainty eater who has a snack, rather it is the pig who chokes every bit down. I know this because the Chow always leaves some food, and the mix practically licks out the bowl(s).

Rushgeekgirl
05-10-2002, 07:35 PM
We had a beagle, Paddy, that always carried her food to the carpeted living room. Shutting her off in the kitchen resulted in such loud sorrowful moans we gave in and let her eat wherever she darn well wanted. Oddly, she'd also pick out the little bone shaped pieces and eat all of them before she ate the round and triangle pieces. Very methodical, she was.
I have had several other dogs but none of them ever exhibited this behavior. They were all male, so I just assumed it was a bitch thang.

Jackmannii
05-10-2002, 07:58 PM
It's just not possible to make as satisfying a mess in the kitchen as it is on a nice clean carpet. This works especially well with meaty, juicy bones.

KXL's Cavalier experience is close to what we had with our female Cav. Her brother, though, stays with his muzzle no more than 2 inches above the food for the entire 30 seconds it takes to chow down.

FairyChatMom
05-10-2002, 08:14 PM
Our dogs won't eat their treats on the bare floor. The border collie mutt commandeers the throw rug in front of the sink and the dalmatian will eat on the throw rug by the stove, unless she sneaks into the living room or the dining room. We had a terrier mutt who always ate his treats on the carpet - we couldn't get him to eat them on tile.

Their food dishes are in the laundry room and they mostly eat there, but the dalmatian will sometimes do the mouthful-to-the-carpet routine.

It's nice to know they're not singularly insane in their habits.

bdgr
05-10-2002, 08:35 PM
does this as well... we are soon getting rid of all the carpet in the house, so we will see...He's 1/2 staff terrier, 1/4 chow, and 1/4 husky. He looks more like a pit though, brindle, wide head, etc. Really strong willed, kind of a pain to teach.

not only does he take his food onto the carpet, if its something he hasnt had before, he rolls on it first. He does this with cashews, cockroaches, potato chips, anything he finds he thinks is food. He likes ice cubes, but only if you accidentally drop them. If you give them to him, he doesnt want them, but if you drop an ice cube, he's on it. He tries to eat tree branches and bark(we are trying to break him of this.

Ariadne
05-10-2002, 11:03 PM
I'd forgotten about this, but it was the cutest thing. We had two dogs, about ten years apart in age. The older one had a big cushion under the kitchen table, and that was his territory, and he was almost always curled up there. The food dishes were about five feet away. The younger dog would pick up a mouthful of food, and then stand right in front of the older dog's cushion (whether he was there or not) and eat, then walk back, take another mouthful, and eat that in front of the cushion, and so on. It was as though he was showing off for the older dog.

Sam Stone
05-11-2002, 03:14 AM
I think it might be a submission thing. In the wild, the dominant dog guards the food, and the submissive dogs grab it and run. If you have an agressive dog, you'll see that food guarding trait. That dog will hunch over his dish and growl or even bite anyone who comes close. Away from the food dish, he can be a gentle dog.

But the really submissive dogs display that food-stealing type of behaviour, because in their world YOU are the dominant dog.