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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We Just picked up our standard puppy on Saturday. It was a nine hour round trip journey.
Breeder advised she “free feeds” her puppies. Puts food out in the morning and they eat on it throughout the day whenever they get hungry.

When I got I’m home, I let him relax for a bit then fed him dinner. Food the breeder sent, dry kibble, same thing he ate at her place. He ate fine, about 3/4 of what I’d offered him.

Sunday morning he wouldn’t eat. He’d take the kibble in his mouth, spit out, pick it up, spit it out. He was heavily whining, not only while he was eating, just walking around whining. Not as bad when I was petting him. I figured it was anxiety/new place/missing his litter mates.
Sunday evening, he ate just a little, and only if I hand fed him, still whining nonstop.
This morning he wouldn’t eat. Still whining, unless he was touching me. He started positioning himself to where he was right up against me. I left his food in his crate hoping he’d eat while I was away. He didn’t.
I came home at lunch, finally broke down and offered him a slice of turkey. He acted like he had trouble chewing it. Picked it up, spit it out. He ate a slice of cheese. It did take him a bit. Then I offered him about 1/2 can of wet puppy food. He ate it.
This evening I offered him the dry kibble mixed with canned food and little warm water. He ate maybe 1/2 cups, but just didn’t seem interested. He’s not whining as much.
His poop and pee are fine. Poop is firm and normal color. He’s pooped three or four times since Saturday night.

He had a post purchase vet visit today.
He’s 14 week and weighs 27#, so he’s obviously been eating at the breeders home.
The vet gave him a good once over, checked his mouth, gums, tongue and teeth and saw nothing wrong. Colors good, no broken teeth, no abrasions of any kind. He did not whine at the vets office.

She thinks it’s just anxiety and said to give him a couple days to get settled in.

I’m not accustomed to puppies not eating. I’ve always had German shepherd puppies who ate everything.

I know all puppies are different and he seems to be a very sensitive boy.
Has anyone else been through this? I just feel so bad, like he’s going to starve to death.

ETA: I discovered tonight that he will chew on a dehydrated trachea chew.... if I hold it for him. ??‍♀ So I guess that rules out teeth problems?
 

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Congratulations on your new puppy! It's very likely he will NOT starve. Poodles are notoriously picky eaters, and also quite sensitive. Arriving at a new home after soooo much excitement is really the perfect poodle storm.

As long as his poop's fine and he's not vomiting, I probably wouldn't mess with his food just yet. That would just be ANOTHER new thing for him to cope with.

I did lots of hand-feeding at that age. In fact, it's recommended by Dr. Ian Dunbar to feed puppies solely by hand or hollow chew toy, which can help build a bond, satisfy their work instincts, and teach them to self-soothe.

Others would recommend that you employ the "Lift the bowl up after 30 minutes" approach. Some even say five minutes!

Other common advice is, "When he's hungry he'll eat."

Which method you choose is really up to you, but I do recommend choosing one and being consistent with it. Puppies do best with reliable routines.

Just be sure a) he's drinking with no issue and b) you're feeding a high-quality nourishing food (ideally for large breed puppies), and regularly weigh him to ensure he's growing. This is especially good to do at your vet's office, with lots of praise and treats, so he learns it's not a scary place. Our vet has the scale right in the waiting room so we can just pop in and out.
 

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That sounds miserable! I would be worried too. Did the vet say if you should come back if it continues?

Are you feeding the same food as the breeder? My girl had a terribly sensitive stomach as a puppy to different/new foods. I took mine home at 12 weeks, and she was happy enough to eat, but I did give her lots of small meals through the day, and (at the breeder's suggestion) supplemented with a bit of goat's milk for the first week.

Personally - I would worry about hypoglycemia, and feed a little bit of wet food a few times a day since he'll eat that. But I'd also leave kibble out for him to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Would you recommend leaving a little kibble in his crate? In a kong? He hasn’t shown interest in his Kong, yet?
 

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She thinks it’s just anxiety and said to give him a couple days to get settled in.
I think this is wise advice, and good call taking him to the vet to be checked out.

I haven't had a puppy in forever, but I adopted a rescue dog a few years back that wouldn't eat and was vomiting the first few days. This was after transitioning from a very stable foster home where she was eating just fine. She is now a chowhound, so it must have just been anxiety due to the transition.

I would suggest sticking to the current food and giving him some time to adjust. It could be free feeding is the way to go for now. I would put food in the dish and maybe in the Kong as well, as he might develop an interest in the Kong.
 

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When I brought my standard puppy home, at 10 weeks, he barely ate anything. It took a week for him to get close to normal amounts of food. He wouldn't even eat any treats, until I hit on little bits of cheese after a few days.
I just kept consistent with offering food three times a day, taking up whatever he didn't eat after 10 minutes or so. I did try soaking his kibble in warm water, and also hand fed at least one meal a day.
After the first week, it was like he turned a corner. He became much more playful, he ate normal amounts, and we started some basic grooming and attention work using cheese.
It certainly wasn't a lasting thing, now he is a very eager eater (and makes sure I know if his meals are too late lol), eats anything from apples and cucumber to Cheerios and all kinds of actual dog treats. Doesn't like milk bones though, lol. He has good taste ?.
 

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Would you recommend leaving a little kibble in his crate? In a kong? He hasn’t shown interest in his Kong, yet?
If you've decided to continue free-feeding then yes, I'd give him access to kibble during all daylight hours. But that could make housebreaking a challenge, as you won't know when he's got a full belly.

Personally, I'd pick a reputable puppy guide, read it front to back, and just focus on consistency right now. My favourite, which I re-read with each dog: https://www.dogstardaily.com/files/downloads/AFTER_You_Get_Your_Puppy.pdf

If a consistent routine doesn't have him eating better after a week, I'd have him re-checked by the vet and, with their blessing, probably transition to a different food.

What's he currently eating? And has he been de-wormed?

Peggy came to us with a bag of Diamond Naturals, which she would only pick at and then vomit. I put her on straight boiled white chicken for a day or two (which she devoured and didn't throw up) and then slowly added in a new brand of kibble, one I trusted from previous dogs, until she was back to just kibble.

I did this after only a couple of days as she was quite underweight and not keeping any of the Diamond Naturals down. I also paired her new kibble with a good canine probiotic for a few months.
 

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Diva did the exact same thing with food, picking it up and dropping it and didn’t eat a thing, when she first came here. She was so stressed. It changed after about 3 days when I offered her the food she came with, she would eat and also offered her the puppy food we use and she ate the lot! It didn’t upset her stomach luckily but I was more happy she ate something, she still wouldn’t eat the breeders food after that despite it being a very high quality food.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
He ate a little better this morning. What he didn’t eat last night, I put in the fridge, reheated it this morning and offered it again. He ate maybe a cup.
I did leave a kong with him today but no actual dry kibble (other than what’s mixed with the canned food in his Kong.)
I can’t free feed like the breeder did, because we have three other dogs. One is a German Shepherd who would eat you out of house and home, from sun up to sun down, if given the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
He has been dewormed.
The breeder fed TLC. She sent us home with a sample.
 

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Your pup sounds a lot like Lily when she first came home. She definitely did not starve, but we did soak her kibble. Javelin didn't have a chance to be so picky since I did mostly feed him from my hands when he was new in our home. That is a really helpful bonding method since they really look at you as the source of all important things.
 

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I'm happy to hear he had a bit of an appetite this morning.

To prevent the growth of bacteria, I'd be careful to toss all food not eaten at the end of the day, and thoroughly wash all Kongs. We run ours through the dishwasher to sterilize.
 
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