What does ditching the bowl mean?
Meal times are a perfect opportunity to use your dogs food in more constructive ways to help with training and keep them busy in other ways.
I haven’t used a food bowl in about 15 years instead using my fav boredom buster toys to feed and entertain my dogs for an extended period. With my retrievers this went from a meal lasting 20 seconds, to 25 minutes when fed from a Kong toy. This was perfect when puppy training as was a great way of using food to create positive associations with crates and playpens, as well as to setting up mouthy pups to succeed by showing them what they can chew on and keeping them busy.
Even now, with 5 adult dogs, I don’t use a food bowl. I scatter feed them (encouraging them to sniff and find food), I use snuffle mats, I use part of their meal allowance for training new tricks or cues (instead of always using treats). I use small kongs and boredom busters to give them if I am leaving them alone for extended periods of time. Etc.
Do you use a food bowl? Have you tried not using one?