Homemade Dog Treats

One of our subscribers, Kris Porto, sent me this recipe. You might want to try it… just remember that any use of food during dog training should be used as a motivator, not as a bribe.

It should be used to improve working attitude, or to get your dog to understand a new exercise that may have had a stressful association.

Kris writes: “I’m mom to two Boston Terriers and one Doberman. The Doberman and one of the Bostons are rescues (and I’ve worked with Doberman Rescue for five years). My other Boston was a present from my boyfriend, and we brought her home at 9 weeks old. We began puppy kindergarten at 10 weeks.

“Hot Rod Haley” got the first leg of her CD at six months. She is very finicky and too darn smart for her own good. As you can imagine, obedience training with an oft-reluctant Boston is an experience all its own. I wanted to share with you Haley’s favorite recipe for motivation food!

I have yet to meet a dog who wouldn’t belly-crawl all the way to the moon for these. For some reason, they fall all over themselves trying to win one of these treats. In fact, when they see me get the blender out, I have three pairs of eyes and one huge puddle of drool in the kitchen for the next 30 minutes! Even my Persian cat will sit and beg for these!

Haley’s Favorite Liver Treats!

1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix 1 egg 1 pound beef liver Garlic Brewer’s yeast (optional) Parmesan Cheese Jelly roll pan In blender or food processor, liquefy liver. You may need to add a bit of water to it, especially if it is not fresh. Pour muffin mix into mixing bowl, add liver, egg, 1 tablespoon of Garlic and 1 tablespoon of brewer’s yeast (if desired). Mix well. Spray a jelly roll pan with Pam and spread batter into pan evenly. It should be the consistency of pancake mix.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Bake according to directions on box. Allow to cool (this part is torture) and cut into bite-sized squares. I portion it into snack size ziplock bags and freeze them, so they’re ready for class or training sessions. I don’t use them every time, so the specialness won’t wear off. You must keep these treats refrigerated or they’ll mold!”


A Few Words On Heartworm Prevention

I received this e-mail from Karen Yamamoto, a client and subscriber. Karen and her husband Todd own a beautiful mix breed dog named “Allie.”

Karen writes: “Adam… Saw this in the news today. Thought you might be interested.

Monday July 12, 11:31 am Eastern Time FDA OKs Pfizer heartworm drug for cats, dogs WASHINGTON, July 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a Pfizer (NYSE:PFE – news) Inc. drug that is the first topical drug to prevent heartworm in dogs and cats at least six weeks old.

The drug, called Revolution, can be applied topically once a month to prevent heartworm and fight fleas and other parasites, the FDA said in a statement.

In clinical trials, Revolution was safe and effective with minimal side effects, the FDA said. The length of treatment varies based on the type of infection, the FDA said. The drug, known generically as selamectin, must be prescribed by a veterinarian.”


A Good Tip For Dogs With Itchy Skin

Now that summer is in full swing, many dogs are experiencing dry skin and excessive itchiness.

I know that my dog, “Forbes,” certainly has been! Of course, the first thing you’ll want to rule out is fleas. But barring fleas, I’ve found that the best way to alleviate itching is to:

Splash approximately 2 Tablespoons of either vegetable oil or canola oil in your dog’s food.

The additional fat will give your dog’s coat a soft, shiny look and will help alleviate dry skin and itching.

You can also try an over-the-counter product you can get at most pet stores called, “Lipiderm,” which works pretty much the same, but costs a bit more.


Food Treats For Dog Training

One of the things I stumbled on this week was Kraft Natural Cheese “Cubes”… the ‘mild cheddar’ variety. You can buy these at any grocery store. They come in packages of 50 cubes, and usually cost approximately $2.49.

I’m finding that even finicky dogs love these things! You may be thinking, “Big deal! Some thing new to feed your dog!” — Which is just the attitude I would expect from a Rottweiler owner, or anyone else who owns a dog with a strong food drive!

But when you have a dog that is generally NOT food motivated… and then you find something like this that DOES motivate your dog… you’ve just picked up a new tool that can make a world of difference in your dog’s training. But before you start incorporating food into your training, you might want to review “The Truth About Using Food In Your Training.”

In brief, you’ll want to incorporate food in your training as a motivator, rather than a bribe.

In other words, to:

1.) Get your dog to understand a new exercise faster, during the ‘learning phase’ of training.

2.) To reduce stress, like when introducing new obstacles during agility training.

3.) To perk up working attitude in a dog that looks droopy when he does exercises. (I’d incorporate the ball drive, too… if the dog’s ball drive is stronger than his food drive).


Rattlesnake Proofing Your Dog

A news article appeared in the Daily News, yesterday (4/21/99). I thought it was an interesting story and points out the importance of snake-proofing your dog, as you never know when you might get caught in this type of situation.

Here are a few of the points from the article:

NEWS: Woman escapes snakes in park By Troy Anderson, Daily News Staff Writer “GLENDALE —

Lisa Herron was considering renaming her dog Lucky after they jogged into a ravine of rattlesnakes Tuesday at Brand Park and fortunately escaped. One of three rattlesnakes they startled by jumping into a washed out ravine along a trail in the park rose up and bit her dog Bubba’s collar, wrapping itself around the 120-pound Rottweiler’s left leg, Herron said. “I kicked the snake off him and drug him up the hill,” she said.

“There was a snake above us and two below us and we couldn’t go anywhere.” Using her cellular telephone, she called her best friend at the Arden Animal Hospital, who summoned authorities during a three-way conference call. Glendale park maintenance workers and fire personnel rescued Herron from the den of snakes.

Herron and her dog were not injured. ” The article goes on to say that later, “At the Arden Animal Hospital, the veterinarian could not find a snake bite on the dog, although his fur was covered with venom, Herron said. ” COVERED WITH VENOM! That’s a pretty lucky dog!

Now, if you and your dog happens to get ambushed by a pit of rattlesnakes, there’s probably not much you can do. But in most cases, a dog that gets bit by a snake simply happens to come across one and thinks it’s a play toy. And this is where good training can save your dog’s life.

In most cases, your dog will be scampering through the bushes or wandering around the yard and YIKES! There’s a snake! Even worse if it’s a Rattler. And if your dog isn’t trained to RUN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION when he sees a snake, then there’s a good chance he’s going to get bitten.

How to Snake-proof your dog

The hands-down best way to snake-proof your dog is to pick up your Yellow Pages telephone directory. Look for a local company that provides hunting dog training services because hunting dog trainers are very often in the type of terrain where they’re running into rattlesnakes, copper heads and water moccasins.

So this type of training is a standard part of any good hunting dog training program. Usually, hunting dog training companies will sponsor snake-proofing sessions that you can attend with your dog. In half a day (and usually at a cost of around $70) your dog will be trained to avoid snakes.

But if you can’t find a company that does snake-proofing sessions, here’s what you can do on your own: What type of snake to train with? You don’t need to use a venomous snake to effectively snake-proof your dog. However, you should plan on obtaining several different species of snakes. When dogs learn, it’s situational… meaning that the dog thinks the lesson may be specific to only one particular thing. And when snake proofing your dog, you don’t want to take the chance that your dog will only avoid ONE type of snake.

Use an electronic collar, set on the highest level

I recommend either the Dogtra, Sportdog, Innotek or Tri-Tronics Electronic collar. These are safe and well engineered collars that have been used for decades by literally thousands of dog trainers, and are endorsed by hundreds of veterinarians.

Put the e-collar on your dog at least FOUR hours before you go out to do the training exercise. You don’t want him to become collar smart and associate the e-collar with the exercise.

The reason we’re using the electronic collar for this exercise is that:

1.) You need the dog to associate the NEGATIVE with the snake… not with you. That way, even if the dog stumbles onto a snake when you’re not with him, he’ll still avoid the snake.

2.) We’re aiming to create absolute avoidance to the snake. The best way to create avoidance is to create a strong negative association. And the best way to do this safely (and with EXACT timing) is with the electronic collar.

Teaching avoidance to the SIGHT of the snake

Place the snake in an area you’ve boxed in with sticks or 2 X 4’s and wait for the snake to slow down and stop moving. Now, introduce the dog into the area where the snake is (upwind from the snake) and let him wear a 30 foot long line, so that you can guide the dog back to you if necessary.

Next, wait for the dog to go up and investigate the snake… and as he gets close and puts his head down to investigate, stimulate the dog with your electronic collar on the high setting. The dog will jump back away from the snake and most likely won’t want anything else to do with it. Repeat this exercise in four or five different settings with as many different types of non-dangerous snakes as you can obtain.

Teaching avoidance to the SCENT of the snake

The next step is to repeat this exercise by starting with the dog DOWN-WIND of the snake. Except that this time, the snake should be hidden under some brush so that the dog cannot easily see it. Wait for the dog to sniff the area, and when the dog has ventured too close for comfort to the snake, and you see that he’s picked up the scent, THAT’S when you should stimulate him with the e-collar.

If instead, you see that the dog picks up the scent of the snake, and immediately TURNS AWAY… then praise your dog, as he’s made a decision and it was the right decision. Again, repeat this exercise in four or five different places. You should try to be as creative as possible in hiding the snakes.

Teaching avoidance to the SOUND of a rattlesnake

To teach your dog avoidance to the sound of a rattlesnake, you’re going to need to obtain a tape recording of an actual rattler.

There are two ways to do this:

1.) Goto Bayou Bob’s page at http://www.wf.net/~snake/rattlesn.htm Click on the picture of the rattlesnake and you’ll be able to download the sound of a real rattler in .wav format. Get a 1/8″ jack and cable from Radio Shack and connect one end to your tape recorder and the other end to the sound card in the back of your computer. Set your media player on repeat, and record 20 minutes worth of the rattlesnake sound.

2.) Pick up a copy of Field & Stream or the Retriever Journal at the magazine rack of your local Barnes & Noble Bookseller. Order a pre-recorded tape of a rattlesnake from one of the hunting dog supply companies that advertise in the back of these magazines. Next, hide your tape recorder with the snake, the same way you did when teaching your dog avoidance to the scent of the snake. If the dog moves to investigate the sound, you’ll need to correct him with the e-collar. If he moves to avoid it, then praise.

As you can see… it’s not really that difficult to teach your dog to avoid snakes. It just requires A LOT of time and preparation. This is why I recommend you contact a hunting dog training company and pay the $70 to let them hassle with all of the props to train your dog to avoid snakes. If done correctly, your dog may never go near a snake again. In most cases, it is recommended that you repeat the training process at least once a year.


A Diet of Good Dog Food and Good Exercise

To stay fit and healthy and happy and strong, a dog needs good exercise and good food just as humans do.

They’re an important part of our families, and they rely on us understanding their needs, as they cannot talk to us.

Fortunately, dogs are a bit more resilient than humans but they still do need regular exercise and good food.

One of the benefits of owning a dog is the fact that in many cases, knowing that they need exercise is a good reason for us to get out and exercise as well.

So you could say that owning a dog actually keeps humans healthier.

Certainly a well-trained dog keeps us a lot happier.

There are many benefits that can be gained from owning a dog but you only get as much out of them as you put into them.

Good training, good shelter, good food, fresh water, regular exercise and a happy home are all that a dog needs to be content.

Just as the wrong foods can be very detrimental to the health of humans, the same goes for the health of dogs.

We have already discussed some of the nutritional requirements in an earlier newsletter and in the next newsletter we will be looking at some items that can be quite dangerous to dogs such as chocolate.

Until then, feed your dog premium pet food and fresh meat and make sure you get out and take them for a walk or run.

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

Be Aware of Changes In Your Dog

One of the best things you can do for your dog besides regular exercise, good food, water and shelter, is to be aware of any changes that it might exhibit in all aspects of it’s life.

Particularly as dogs get older they might seem like they are just not interested in exercise any longer but this might be due to the fact that they are suffering from pain of some form or another. Many older dogs suffer from arthritis and this can be very painful.

There are all sorts of remedies that can help your dog from natural remedies to ones that your local vet might prescribe. Our beloved pets cannot talk to us and they can only hope that we are aware of their conditions by knowing what they are usually like and noticing any behavioral changes.

Even if a normally quiet dog starts whining or barking more often they might be trying to give you a signal that something is not quite right in their life. A regular checkup at the Vet is a good solution to ensure that your dog is always in optimal health and that includes their mental state.

Older dogs can become depressed because they are no longer getting the required stimulation mentally and a depressed dog will suffer just as a human can do in similar circumstances. If your dog starts to eat more or less food than normal this could be another sign that there is a problem and also if they gain or lose weight they could be suffering from some health problems.

Always be aware of their behavior and it will ensure that your dog has a happy and long life.

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

Cost Efficient High Quality Dog Food

In an earlier newsletter I talked about allergies and how many of these are related to the food that your dog eats. This is due to all the filler, colors and preservatives that the dog food manufacturers put into the processed dog foods that are sold through the stores.

There is a solution if you have a dog that has food allergies and it is not only a cost effective way to feed your dog but it can also add to the quality of your dogs health. Creating your own dog food and dog treats might be the best solution for your dog’s allergies.

Even if your dog doesn’t have food allergies you can often see an improvement in the health of a dog by changing to homemade treats that don’t have all the harmful additives of the dog food you will buy over the counter. You will also have full control over the ingredients that you use for your food preparation and you can eliminate any foods that you already know your dog is allergic to.

If you are still unsure of the food that your dog might be allergic to you can add and delete the various different foods until you eliminate those that cause negative reactions and only use food that your dog is comfortable eating.

While it might be difficult determining exactly what is in the dog food that you buy from the store you will always know exactly what your dog is eating if you prepare the food yourself. You can create the food fresh and in the quantities that you require rather than rely on the portions that are determined by the manufacturers.

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

Dangerous Foods For Your Dog

Many people are unaware that some of the foods that we eat on regular basis can be deadly to your dog.

A piece of chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Even a small piece of chocolate is dangerous. Anything containing caffeine can have a similar effect and be as dangerous as chocolate, and that includes coffee grounds, tea, and tea bags.

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure and even a single serving of raisins can kill your dog. Excessive salt intake can also cause kidney problems. Onions can cause anemia by destroying red blood cells while tomatoes can cause tremors and heart arrhythmias. Tomato plants are particularly toxic to dogs. Avocados are also highly toxic and can cause breathing difficulty and fluid accumulation around the abdomen chest and heart.

When giving your dog bones ensure that they are raw as cooked bones can splinter and damage their internal organs. Excessive fat can cause pancreatitis, so it is not wise to feed your dog a diet of fatty foods. Fried foods also fall into this category and are not good to retain maximum health in your dog.

Certain nuts, such as Macadamia nuts and walnuts can cause weakness and muscle tremors. Peanut butter however is generally okay provided you use the salt and sugar free peanut butter as sugar can encourage cancer growth. The core and pits of fruits such as Apple’s cherries and peaches contain cyanide, which is poisonous to dogs and can kill them within 24-hours without warning.

If in doubt, always refrain from feeding your dog foods that we are eating assuming that they will be okay. What is safe for humans can kill your dog within hours.

Please note: This article is from a contributor. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those of Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only.

Does Your Dog Eat Too Much?

How much food does your dog really need? Along with the general population of people, dogs are also suffering from obesity from eating the wrong food and eating too much food.

It is relatively easy to control the amount of food your dog is eating and it is essential that you gauge its weight on a regular basis to ensure that it doesn’t get obese. Dogs can suffer from many different ailments due to obesity including diabetes.

There are an increasing number of dogs suffering from this disease and in most cases this could have been avoided through the correct nutrition and monitoring the amount of food the dog has been eating. Having a dog with diabetes will necessitate the injection of insulin or in some cases taking of pills to assist in the maintenance of the correct sugar levels in their blood.

Obviously this involves additional expense and inconvenience and there is also a danger that should the insulin level be incorrect your pet could die. It makes sense then that your dog should only eat what is good for it and in quantities that won’t result in it developing health problems later in life.

Working dogs will need more food for the energy that they will expend in the course of the day but a dog that lays around the house all day and doesn’t get any exercise will not need to eat the same portions of food. You should weigh your dog on a regular basis and see whether it is gaining or losing weight and adjust the amount of food it is eating accordingly.  

Please note: This article is from a contributor. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those of Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only.