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12 Dog Breeds that are Picky Eaters

west highland terrier on red blanket

I have a friend who has an adorable mixed breed dog who turns up his nose at his food on a regular basis. She has a lot of strategies she uses to get him to eat. And while any dog can be finicky about food, there are some dogs breeds that are picky eaters more often than other breeds. Here are 12 breeds that make that list.

Dog Breeds That are Picky Eaters

English Cocker Spaniel

English Cocker Spaniel standing in a field of grass and weeds

Hailing from Spain, English Cocker Spaniels were moved to Britain in the 15th century for hunting. These gun dogs have the reputation of being picky eaters. Just like human babies, the diet of a puppy must have all the necessary nutrients in it. Having said that, forcing an English Cocker Spaniel to eat a specific mixture is not a good idea because this breed can be quite fussy about their diet.


Maltese sitting on floor next to window in room with blue walls.

Originating from the Mediterranean island nation of Malta, this small dog breed belongs to the Toy Group. Despite the friendly nature of this breed and it’s ability to be left at home alone, Maltese can be a little picky when it comes to food. For this reason, specific diets have been developed for them that are in accordance with their desires. Generally, it is believed that the diets with alluring patterns and tempting aromas are most successful with this finicky eater.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise laying on bed

This cute, little dog can require a lot of coaxing when it comes to mealtimes. Considering the fact that Bichons Frises are prone to allergies, owners of this breed need to add some variety in their diet. This might not go well with the canine because it simply loves the lean meat. For instance, vegetables are very beneficial for the overall health (fiber and other nutrients) of these dogs but some of them might not like this idea.  

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier on autumn colored background

As suggested by its name, this playful and well-proportioned dog originated in the United States of America. Some of these finicky eaters have a delicate digestive system which makes them prone to gas. Given their good nature, feeding them becomes an easy job once you have found suitable food. A young Boston Terrier may need 4-5 meals a day while this number reduces to 2 square meals with age. Even with this trait, Boston Terriers tend to be good low maintenance dogs for apartments.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel laying on couch

This spaniel dog hails from the United Kingdom. Having said that, Cavaliers are the 19th most popular pure-breed in the United States. Despite their blind love for food, they can become fussy eaters due to some undue encouragement. On the other extreme, they can also become greedy. Both these situations are quite catastrophic for a parent, so you must feed a healthy, balanced diet to your Cavalier.


Dachshund sitting on beach with sunset in backgroun

This short-legged, long-bodied breed comes from Germany. Owing to their stubborn nature, Dachshunds can become very picky eaters. Observations have shown that this breed can give up on their regular diet, pretty easily. Consequently, you need to show a lot of patience and grit with this hound-type breed. You may have to make the dog skip a meal or two because spoiling a Dachshund is simply not an option.  

French Bulldog

French Bulldog with head tilted sitting on leaves.

This domestic dog originated in Paris in the 1800s. Actually, it was the result of a cross between Toy Bulldogs (England) and Ratters (France). Although they have an easygoing personality, Frenchies can turn out to be picky eaters. No matter how much it worries, you should NEVER push your dog to eat. Being an intelligent breed, French Bulldogs can figure out what you are trying to do. Therefore, you need an excellent strategy to feed a fussy Frenchie.  


Greyhound standing in grass

This sight-hound was originally bred for hunting and racing, in Europe. Their popularity as a family dog got a massive boost at the beginning of the 20th century. Despite their loyal nature and even temper, Greyhounds can become finicky eaters due to stress or dietary changes. This affectionate breed is very strict about their habits. As a result, these dogs find it hard to accept a dietary change. Similarly, a lack of exercise can impact the eating schedule of this energetic dog.


Poodle standing next to river with bridge in the background

This beautiful breed hails either from France (Barbet) or Germany (water dog). Irrespective of its origin, this easy-to-train dog can also be a fussy eater. Determining the amount of food your dog needs is critical to ensure that your pet is doing fine. Once you have done that, you need to take into account the daily exercise routine of your poodle. Lastly, offering too many snacks to your dogs can also make them a picky eater.


Pekingese laying in grass

Pekingese is a Chinese dog that belongs to the class of Toy Dogs. Like many other small dogs, Pekingese are also a picky eater. Typically, these dogs tend to blackmail their owners in the hope of getting some special treats. A lot of new dog parents do fall in this trap but that is not good for the health of the dog. Most of these treats are full of carbohydrates which lead to obesity. In addition to that, it is basically a no-solution as you are spoiling your pet.


Pug portrait

Just like Pekingese, pugs were also originally bred in China. Although they are charming and quiet, they can be a little stubborn to train. Pugs are extremely clever and know how to exploit their owners. In these circumstances, it is necessary for you to maintain a solid stance as far as the meals are concerned. In extreme cases, you may have to adopt the strategy of Tough Love. This can be a little difficult (especially for new parents) but you need to stand still to your stance.   

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier standing on leaf covered ground

This Scottish breed has a unique, double coat (harsh on the outside and soft underneath). Unlike many other dogs of its size (medium-sized), West Highland White Terriers are picky eaters. They are an expensive breed to own because they need premium-quality dog food. Also known as Westies, these dogs require a lot of carbohydrates due to their active disposition. Lastly, a sufficient intake of fiber is also necessary for a balanced gut.

If your dog is a picky eater, here are some suggestions for the best tasting dog food for picky dogs.

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