We regularly go to training with Ani and have noticed that she isn't very food motivated. Therefore we use toys a lot, but that's hard sometimes, because she gets so excited, that she distract other dogs in class that might be reactive. Also, we just recently passed the Canine Good Citizen test. Now we have the opportunity to attend advanced classes which ask a lot more of her, so rewards have to be of higher value!
I had kept the organs from our recent Thanksgiving turkey and froze them, because we are soon starting to feed her raw food instead of kibble. However, you should be able to find simple organs, like liver, at the meat counter in your regular grocery store.
Step 1: Ingredients
The list could be much longer if you customize it to your dogs own taste, but the basic ones are:
- Organ (cooked)
Here is what else I added:
- Parsley (it was about to go bad)
- Turmeric powder (GREAT stuff for you and your dog, google it!)
Step 2: Mixing It All Up
For this I used a food processor and I think that's your best bet anyway. Anything else just won't give you the consistency that you'd want.
I threw together:
4c Flour (in hindsight, I should have done less, like 2c)
Handful of Parsley
1Tbsp Turmeric Powder (be careful, it stains!!!)
The reason I say I should have done less flower, is that I think the liver got kind of drowned by it and also my processor wasn't big enough, so I had to do two separate doughs.
Let the machine do its thing and when it's all well combined, check if it's too moist or too dry. In that case, either add more banana (too dry) or more flower (too moist). You're looking for something similar to cookie dough.
Step 3: Taste Test
This whole ordeal is for our Queens and Kings, so you might as well let her/him try it before you go through it all and it being a bust (done that before!).
Step 4: Rolling It Out
After a successful taste testing, I preheated the oven to 300F and prepared a baking sheet by lightly sprinkling some flour on it and then rolling out the dough very thinly - ¼" sounds about right. I then used a pizza cutter to make a checker pattern. It's all very approximate, but each piece is abut the size of a fingernail. Some are a little bigger than others.
The purpose for these treats in my case were/are for quick training rewards, so you can't have big chunky cookies. If you, however, just want regular dog cookies, then don't roll the dough as thinly and use regular cookie cutters.
Now it's time to put the "raw" treats into the oven for about 10-15 minutes depending on what you're looking for in crunchiness and obviously how thinly you rolled your dough. Just keep an eye on them and remember that they will harden a little bit after they've cooled down.
Step 5: After Baking
Once the treats are done in the oven, pull them out and let them sit. Then, with the help of a cooking spatula, remove them from your tray and start separating pieces that might have not fallen apart on their own. Next, make your dog miserable for a cute photoshoot...
I keep the treats in a big container in the freezer and only pull out what I need for training. Whatever is left, I put back in.
Overall, these are human grade treats, so if you want to try one, I "dare" you! ;)
There are a lot of cool contest going on right now you guys should check out!