Dietary fibre may promote satiety and reduce energy consumption per gram of food. Associated with feeding management, dietary fibre may contribute to reduce anxiety in dogs submitted to food restriction to lose weight. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the food intake and the behaviour of dogs fed diets without soya hulls (0SH) or with soya hulls (16SH) once (1×) or twice (2×) daily. Eight adult Beagle dogs, with 11·3 (se 1·6) kg body weight (BW), 4·1 (se 0·1) years of age and body condition score between 4 and 7, were distributed in 4 × 4 Latin square design (n 8/treatment, 5 d/period) in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement (0SH v. 16SH; 1× v. 2×). Food allowance was 50 % in excess of the daily metabolisable energy (ME) requirements; food residues were weighed. The behavioural test consisted in continuously observations for 24 h, using the scanning sampling technique (observations every 10 min). General behaviours, such as sleeping, barking, standing and others were recorded. Food intake in g/kg BW0·75 per d of 0SH and 16SH was not different (P > 0·05). However, dogs fed the 0SH diet presented higher (P > 0·05) energy intake (kJ/kg BW0·75 per d; P < 0·05) compared with those fed the 16SH diet. Dogs fed 2× daily had higher intake, both in g and in kJ, compared with those fed 1 × , independently of diet. There was no interaction between diets and feeding frequency (P > 0·05). No behavioural differences were observed (P > 0·05). The diet containing 16SH, despite reducing ME intake, did not restrict food intake (in g). Dogs fed 1× per d had lower food intake, possibly due to gastric capacity limitation.