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Thursday, 7 May 2009

Destructive diet?

I have an SBT Boxer cross dog who is around 18 months old. When we first got him, he suffered from separation anxiety in the form of destructive behaviour.
We attended a couple of training sessions with him where he generally was hard to control although we did make some progress with him. One of the trainers suggested that we change his diet to one with less protein in and after consulting a friend who has SBT crosses too, we changed him to Cobby Dog.
This change initially seemed good and much to our pleasure the destructive behaviour stopped, however after a couple of months, our dog had lost weight and I felt I had to return him back to the meat and buscuits he was on previously, he has now put the weight back on, but much to our dismay the destructive behaviour has returned.
I am convinced that the return of the destructive behaviour is due to the food we are giving him. Would you possibly be able to give me some advice as to a dog food that is low protein and not going to let my dog loose weight?
As a further note, we have just got a puppy who is a GSD Border Collie cross and we have continued to feed her the James Wellbeloved puppy food she was on, but I would rather feed her the same as our older dog when she is old enough.
I really do hope you can help me, my home and belongings are being destroyed!
Verity Brown


  1. Feed a lower protein diet, but more of it so the weight balances out?

    I'm afraid I haven't heard of Cobby Dog, but good ones are Wainwrights, Nature diet, Natures Menu etc for wet food, or Burns, Nature diet or James Well beloved for dry food.

    I would also carry on taking him to the obedience classes as it may be due to that.

  2. Hi Verity,

    Some people might think that mere protein can't be responsible for a change in behaviour like that, but believe me - it can!

    I changed my first dog's diet to Bakers dry food, which had very high protein & added colourants & within a few days she became hyperactive. In the evenings especially she was jumpy & nervous. When I rang the rescue centre for advice they asked me if I had changed her diet & if so to change it back to something with no more than about 10% protein. I did that & within days she was back to her former calm (ish) self.

    My current Staffie has Naturediet twice a day & loves it. It has low protein & a high ratio of meat. It is a wet food so more natural. I think it's as close as you can get to a natural diet without going the whole hog & feeding raw. they do a puppy variety too of course.

    Also if I was you I'd carry on with the training classes.

    Good luck.

  3. Burns dry complete foods can often help with behaviour problems. We also have a team of advisors so you are not on your own and relying wholly on trial and error. John Burns

  4. Hi Chapstaff

    I think you are getting a little confused trying to compare the protein values of a dry food (Bakers) with a wet food (Naturediet). Naturediet is actually quite a high protein food. With a wet food you have to take the amount of moisture into consideration.
    My pack of Naturediet says it contains 10% protein, and 75% moisture. In order to compare like with like we have to take account of the moisture content. Subtract that 75% from the 100% that consitutes the product, and you are left with 25 as a dry weight. Your 10 as a proportion of 25 is actually 40 - which means the Naturediet contains about 40% protein.

    It's a good choice of food and obviously suits your dog!