Elwin Bone
Elwin Chewing on Her Bone

The first year of your pup’s life is VITAL to the health of your American Dirus puppy. You pup has gone from a 1.5 lbs. bundle of joy to 18 lbs at 8 weeks old. Your puppy is far from fully developing all of the cells and organs necessary to push him through to the age of 20, which is our goal. So when your puppy arrives, it is imperative that you give the nutrition your puppy needs to grow into the healthiest dog on this planet.

What food is best for American Dirus dogs?

Nature's diet is always the best. Dogs are carnivores. Do not believe the hype that some spread around that dogs are omnivores. It is true that the domestication process has allowed dogs to evolve the capability to enjoy human scraps, but dogs remain canids. They may be able to tolerate more grains/vegetables in their diet, but they aren't as healthy. If you want to feed the very best diet for your dog, then a whole prey raw diet is the very best option.

How to Raw Feed Your Dog

That being said, most families find feeding their dog raw food both inconvenient and expensive. If that is the case for you, I always recommend feeding as close to whole prey raw as your budget will allow.

Find a good quality kibble. The first two ingredients should be meat. NO wheat or corn. Brown rice is okay. We feed Taste of the Wild High Prairie puppy formula.

Taste of the Wild - High Prairie puppy
Taste of the Wild High Prairie puppy formula

All kibble adds artificial nutrients. They cook the ingredients at such a high heat that much of the nutrition has been cooked out. For that reason, the manufacturers need to artificially put them back in. Feeding straight kibble every day for years can also become bland and boring for your dog. Therefore, we recommend getting back to nature as much as possible.

Here is a way to feed kibble with added nutrients to help your puppy grow healthy and strong.

Six weeks: 8-10 lb puppy (3 cups)


7 am - 1 1/2 cup

11 am - 1/2 cup

3  pm - 1/2 cup

7 pm- 1/4 cup

10 pm - 1/4 cup

Eight weeks: (2 mo) 10-15 lb puppy (4 cups)

ADD RICE to meat above

7 am - 2 cups

12 noon - 1/2 cup

5 pm- 1 cup

10 pm- 1/2 cup

Ten weeks old: 15-20 lb pup (5 cups)

MORE MEATS AND BONES (slightly cooked whole chicken)

7am- 3 cups

1 pm- 1 cup

7 pm- 1 cup

10 pm- treat

Twelve weeks old: (3 mo) 20-30 lbs pup (6 cups)

7am- 4 cups

1 pm- 1 cup

8 pm- 1 cup

Five mo. - twelve months old: (8 cups)

7 am - 4 cups (1/4 whole chicken slightly cooked)

4 pm - 4 cups

1 hour before bedtime (treat)

Two years and older: (8 cups)

7 am - 4 cups (1/4 whole chicken slightly cooked)

4 pm - 4 cups

MEAT:  When meat is used as a ration, it is completely digested and assimilated.  The result is a small stool. Most dogs will eat grass and this provides roughage.  This roughage removes anything within the intestines that may be blocking or coating it.   Sometimes grass may bring out worms as they get caught up in it.   Grass eating is a dogs instinctive method of preventing auto intoxication or poisoning

Wild canines do eat fruit such as pears, apples and grapes off vines or that have fallen off the trees.

Liver: is a good feed for dogs as an occasional meal. Liver is a laxative when given to dogs who are not used to it.

Beef Heart:  Great

Tripe:  Excellent for puppies and grown dogs.

Lamb or Mutton:  Great change from beef.

Bones:  Do not over cook them. Give as many as they will eat.

Bones of birds: Do not cook. If not cooked, there is no problem with splintering. If cooked they can splinter causing cuts in the esophagus as the dog swallows.  

How do I know how much to feed?

When feeding your new puppy, or any puppy/dog, start with a set amount. I would say a good rule of thumb is 4 cups. Your puppy in the evening when he gets fed, might get many, many cups for him, his sisters, brothers, mom, etc. With you, it is just you and him!

So, decide how often you will feed him. If you feel that he would be better suited eating 3 times a day, great! Take that 4 cups, divide it by 3 and offer a third at each meal. Watch what he eats in 10 minutes. If he eats it all, (THIS IS ONLY ON A 3 TIME A DAY FEEDING!), offer the other third for lunch and again at dinner. IF AT DINNER he looks at you for more and has devoured his food; offer him 1/2 or 1 cup more. Did he finish it fast and is he looking for more? Offer him another cup. What you are getting is a baseline. So, do this for 3 to 5 days, then take an average of what he ate during each day and this is your starting point for the 3 meals.

Now, how do you know when to increase or decrease? If you find that after dinner (same as above) at any given time he wants more, offer him more the same as before and re-adjust your average.

For those feeding 1 time per day as I do when they are 8 weeks and older, start with 4 cups. How much did they eat in one sitting? Do this for 3-5 days and get your average. Make that your baseline and again, if he is finishing it all in a few minutes and looking for more, get a new average.

Your puppy will have 3 significant growth spurts in his first year. Sometimes 4. These are at 12-16 weeks (so 3 to 4 months), 6-7 months, and again around 8-10 months. During these spurts, you will see increase and DECREASE in your puppies eating. Sometimes you will feel like you have to entice him to even eat a kibble! And because he is growing in spurts, you will see him grow lean and long, and tall and thin and then blossom out into the soon to be Dire Wolf that he will end up being between 1.5 and 3 years of age depending on the line he is from.

We know that this can be a scary situation sometimes! I get a lot of calls asking what to do and will it be okay. Yes, it will be okay. If your dog is active, acting normal, not lethargic and not in pain, but he just isn't interested in his food, he is fine. He can go a day and sometimes ours go 3 without eating! Or, eating significantly less than normal. If you have questions, or need to see if it's normal you can always call us.

Always, always, if you feel that there is something wrong, turn to your vet if you do not feel that we have helped you to understand or given you what you feel is a calming/good answer. We breed for a living and the health and well being of our dogs comes FIRST over anything. This is why Lois created this breed. We want you to always feel confident in coming to us, but the time the dog leaves our hands, he is your responsibility. We can guide you, but you must do what is right.

~Lois Schwarz 1-1-2010~

Do not free feed. It might be most convenient for you, but it is horrible for the dog. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Free fed dogs are more prone to being overweight.
  2. You can't know if your dog has lost its appetite, a key component in knowing if your dog is sick.
  3. Keeping food out can be unsanitary. You’re inviting insects, rodents, bacteria, and who knows what else into your home when food is readily available.
  4. Dogs that are free fed are less motivated in training with food rewards.
  5. Free feeding makes the dog become less dependent on you. (i.e. more independent)

Our dogs need to grow 100 lbs in one year and they need to eat to take in the nutrients they need. Here is what I do:

I first feed kibbles of a good quality. The first two ingredients should be meat. NO wheat or corn. Brown rice is okay. We feed Taste of the Wild High Prairie puppy formula.

You want to feed your puppy all the kibble it wants to eat. When the pup leaves the dish without any distractions, he is done. Remember how much he ate.

Take the bowl away and now add your additives. Add a blender mixture of about 1 tablespoon of this gravy over the kibbles and mix it in. Let him eat.. when he is done, pick the dish up, now...

Add the chopped up meat and mix that into the gravy and pour this over the kibbles. Because some dogs pick the meat out, I will put the meat in the blended gravy and mix it in the kibbles. The gravy is made out of (eggs,Lanatone, vitamins, bone meal, alfalfa, wheat germ, cottage cheese, and/or yogurt)

Yes, I want the dog to gorge. It is all right for our dogs to gorge. It is what canines do. They are not human and they do not do things like we do. As he gets older he can stop gorging but as a puppy, they gorge and eat all they can till their bellies are popping. Then they sleep.

When the pup gets up, he will have to go outside and he will poop a lot. About 30 min later, he may need to potty again. One hour later he may go again. Then, he will sleep.

Feed your puppy three times a day when you first get him, then two times a day. Continue twice a day for a whole year, then you can go once a day. Once a day, a dog/canine, will gorge the meat. They may pick berries, grapes, rotten apples, grubs, dirt, and water from streams, but when they attack an animal for meat, they gorge, then sleep.

They are most active in cool weather and at night. During the heat of the day, they sleep.

Think like a canne, remember he comes from many thousands of years off the Dire Wolves' ancestral tree.

So, most of all, I FEED my puppies. I MAKE them eat, then I feed them again...