T is for Treats


As you’ve read, string cheese is the high-value training treat of choice around here, used to help Leo overcome his fear of bicycles and other fast-moving objects. With a reward-based counter-conditioning program, you’re supposed to use a treat that is special to that training, and it’s supposed to be extremely high value.

At first, I tried to stick to an ancestral diet by using cooked liver, which is odorific in preparation and leaves residue on the hands during training. For a variety of reasons, string cheese works best.

When we play nose work games in the garage, I’ve been using Zuke’s because they are very fragrant and easier to handle than cooked liver. They remind me of the Train-Me treats I described in Bark and Lunge:

These treats, about the size of a pencil eraser . . . tantalized me with their aroma. I gave up eating meat almost ten years earlier, but I loved sticking my nose in a freshly opened bag of bacon-flavored Train-Mes.

A general purpose treat around here, for example, to give the pups when they come back inside from the yard, is Merrick’s Texas Hold ‘Em dehydrated lamb lung. (Some of my dog-bloggy buddies recently were given some of Merrick’s BackCounty ancestral food to review. Hey, Merrick, put me on that list!) The dehydrated lung was recommended to us by an observer to a training class, who called it Doggie Crack.

Here you see the Mia and Leo tweaking out over it. (As I took these shots, I thought of all my dog-bloggy friends who do a really good job taking pics of their dogs for product reviews, and felt like inviting one of them over… or asking to go to their house, where I imagine the natural light is fantastic and the floors are perfectly clean.)

Something that was kind of fun for Easter, we did a little egg hunt with dollar-store plastic eggs and Zuke’s mini treats. Here’s a re-enactment.

For the A to Z Challenge, I’m using all positive language in my posts. Read the story of how positive training helped my reactive dog Isis in my book, Bark and Lunge!


Join me for the Thursday Barks and Bytes Blog Hop, hosted by 2 Brown Dawgs and Heart Like a Dog.

Heart Like a Dog

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Jonesin’ for a beef marrow bone

Leo has a funny way of running around with a bone in his mouth, looking for a place to hide it, before finally giving up, and plopping down next to Mia to eat it.

Here I’ve given them each a beef center bone from Jones Natural Chews:

And now… the winner of the Jones Natural Chews Canine Christmas Crunchers stocking …

Jones Canine Christmas Cruncher


Kaitlin Jenkins of SheSpeaksBark!


BlogPaws Wordless Wednesday Blog Hop

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Y is for Yogurt

To celebrate Leo’s fourth birthday last week, we took the pups out for frozen yogurt.

I ordered a custom-made toy for Leo too, but it hasn’t arrived yet. He didn’t mind; it’s not like he knows it’s his birthday. I’m rational enough to recognize that the celebration was more for us than him. He had a good time at his party, but he enjoyed chewing on his raw meaty deer bone dinner just as much, and he gets to do that a couple of times a week.

So what if Menchie’s isn’t the most nutritious snack for dogs?

Rob wanted to bring Leo inside to pick out his own flavor, but I said, “Don’t be ridiculous. Leo can’t read.” I picked out their flavors: Fresh Coconut with a dollop of Caramel Coconut Cookie Craze. I know, it’s insane. I thought the white coconut yogurt looked too plain.

Another thing we humans do, which our dogs surely don’t give a rip about, is bake cookies and decorate them. I bought some of this Fido’s Frosting when I baked Christmas cookies last year. It’s better for dogs than Menchie’s, because there’s no added sugar, but since the cultures aren’t “active,” I’m pretty sure it’s a nutritional wash.


Recently, Alice (that’s Grandma to Leo and Mia) bought a Bake a Bone treat-maker, so we’ll be sure to ice some of those bad boys with Fido’s Frosting.

Y is for Yogurt


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Cookies! (Just one)

Just one cookie. That’s all I’ll eat. Just to taste to make sure Rob will like it.

Just one cookie. All I need is for one cookie to look remotely like the NinjaBread Men on the cookie cutter packaging.

Well, they taste good anyway. Made some for the doggies, too, and they seem to like them.

The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: One.

Dining in style

They’re here! Our Nutrish-sponsored hand-painted dog bowls from BarkWorld!

We feed our dogs a combo of raw beef, deer bones and the Pacific Stream flavor of Taste of the Wild grain-free kibble (on the advice of a holistic vet). I had no plans to change up their diet, but oh my, did they go crazy for the free sample of Nutrish Zero Grain Turkey and Potato. Leo even dug the empty package out of the trash, ran into the backyard with it, and licked it clean (then tore it up). He doesn’t do that with Taste of the Wild, and we frequently leave the empty bag lying around before we throw it away.

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Happy Carnivores

I just met a guy in a parking lot and handed him a check for $175 for 100 pounds of raw beef and organs to feed to my dogs. The meat was delivered on Saturday, as part of a chain coordinated by a raw-feeding cooperative.

I’ve been meeting people in parking lots to buy raw meat for more than four years now, although I’m not a raw-feeding purist. When Leo was a pup, a holistic vet suggested I supplement the raw meat with a grain-free kibble, to help him put on weight. We like Taste of the Wild. Sometimes Leo doesn’t feel like eating his raw beef breakfast, so I like knowing that he’ll eat his kibble dinner (fed to him in either a Dog Tornado or Aikiou paw; I alternate which dog eats out of which).

Raw meaty bones are the best for keeping doggie teeth clean, so I recently picked up 100 pounds of deer bones, hoping they’ll last nearly a year. Here are my little darlings munching away. Twinsies!