Max simply won’t eat in the presence of others. If I’m in the kitchen, he stands by his food dish and eyes me carefully. Until I exit the room, he won’t chow down.
If the cat wanders into his space, Max temporarily gives up on dinner. He walks away. Some of his food becomes a feast for the feline. His rule of life is clear. There’s no need to invite trouble.
It’s possible a miserable puppyhood accounts for Max’s solo approach to his dog dish. He was surrendered to the Northern California Rescue Society when he was two-years-old.
Before I adopted him, Max lived with five large dogs. My guess is the other dogs frightened little Max. They didn’t welcome him to share the food any more than Rudolf was invited to play reindeer games.
Max resolved his food issues without professional assistance. He trained me to place his full dish on the floor and then promptly leave the room.
After each meal, he finds me, leans in, and thumps his tail, as if to say thank you.