Lucky’s Dehydrated and Delicious Training Treats
“If dogs ruled the world, the Canine Café would be open 24 hours a day.” —Cesar Millan
Our canine companions just love their grub and they’re not exactly choosey. Your food, their food, garbage, grass, poop — you name it they’ll eat it, or at least swallow it whole and then barf it up all over the carpet.
But when it comes to command training our beloved four-legged eating machines, they can get mighty picky. Sit, stay, fetch or any of the other basic commands deserve four-star cuisine, at least in their eyes, and regular kibble is just not gonna cut it.
My recent rescue, Lucky, had suffered a bit of neglect and was rightfully skittish of all two-legged beings. Quick as a fox in snatching up food lures, my training treat budget was going through the roof and the actual training was going nowhere.
I needed to find an inexpensive reward that was small enough to fit in my hand, but tasty enough to get an enthusiastic response from Miss Lucky. Many trainers use hot dogs as training treats, but I was reluctant to throw bites of raw hot dog all over the carpeting. A dry treat would require less hand washing and have a longer shelf life. So for Fit Bottomed Pets Week over on FBG, I set out to find the perfect homemade training treat.
With no dehydrator in sight, I turned to the only tool I had at my disposal: my oven. I put the oven on low, cut up some nitrate-free, all-beef franks and a few hours later, much to Lucky’s delight, the whole house smelled like a ballpark and I had created the perfect high-value training treat.
Lucky’s Dehydrated and Delicious Training Treats Recipe
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and slice two or three hotdogs into ¼ inch slices. Then, cut each slice into four pieces.
Toss them on a ungreased metal oven tray with a rim. Place in the oven and bake for 2 ½ hours, shaking the pan ever so often so the bites dry out evenly. Your hotdog treats might still feel a bit spongy, but they will harden a bit more as they cool.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Positive reinforcement, in my opinion, is the only way to train your pet. All living things, including us humans, repeat behaviors that are rewarding! Train your dog with patience, love and a lot of good training treats!
Do you have an inexpensive, but irresistible training treat? —Karen