DIY Homemade Treats

Beef Liver Cake

  The base of this is beef sausage mince, but you could change this for a good quality chicken mince (not pet mince, as it contains finely ground bone & too much fat) or finely ground lamb mince.  If your dog is allergic to wheat then substitute the flour with rolled oats. Instead of liver, use a couple of cans of sardines.  Change whatever you like but just make sure you keep the mince, eggs & flour (or oats) as this is what holds it all together.

For this you will need:

2 whole eggs
200 g Beef Liver
1 cup wholemeal flour
A good handful each of parsley & mint (use any other herbs, but NOT onion)
1 teaspoon of crushed garlic paste
Put all the above ingredients into a food processor & process well, then add it to 500 grams of finely ground sausage mince in a bowl & mix well.

Spread into a slice tray & bake in oven @ 180, until well cooked.  Allow it to cool completely & refrigerate well, before cutting it into tiny pieces for treats. Store it in the freezer for months.

Salmon, Sardine or Mackeral Cookies

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
2 eggs
1 can mackerel including the juice/water
about 30 mls vegetable oil

I put the whole lot into the food processer then spread thinly over 2 scone trays & baked at 160 for about 35 minutes. Allowed to cool, then chopped some into bickie size & the rest into small treat size. Dogs say they are good .  Bindi offered all sorts of tricks for me while watching me cut them up.

Prime 100 Single Protein Rolls
After years of fiddling around making my own treats I finally discovered these very healthy dog rolls which are now available  in Pet Stores.  I cut them up into approx. 1cm squares.  I have tried the Chicken, the Salmon & the Roo.  Out of all of them I like the Roo as it is easy to handle & doesn't crumble at all.  Cut it all up & put it into zip bags in the freezer. Simple, healthy & convenient

 A Bit About Treats

Treats come in many different shapes, forms & nutritional value.  Soft treats are most valuable for training things such as "loose lead walking" as you can treat the dog while continuing to walk & the dog can  consume it quickly & then get on with the job of hanging out for another.  If you use hard treats for this, the dog will most probably stop to chew it & by the time he has done this, he may have lost his concentration on you & the whole reason, for why he was rewarded.  It is also handy to have some commercially dried treats on hand as well, as these, you can always have in your pocket, so you never miss an opportunity to treat your dog for good behaviour, focusing or a lovely recall. Be careful of dried liver treats as these, even in small amounts, can give your dog (not all dogs) sloppy poos.

Depending on what you are training, use low value treats for a good job & use high value treats for a really good job & when training something new. The treats in the picture above is one which I make for training my dogs & they consider it "high value".  It is also good for delivering as a "slow treat" as you can take a few pieces & break them up in front of the dog (he will be looking at you & salvinating in anticipation), delivering it to him over about 30 seconds.  We call this "silver service" compared to a quick treat which is likened to "take away". A low value treat, would be something of lesser value, like a good kibble or piece of a commercial dog cookie.

 Home-made Liver Treats

 Slice some beef liver thinly (about 1cm) & place on cake racks with trays underneath to catch any drips.  Bake in a slow oven for a couple of hours until cooked, dry & leathery to touch.  Cut into small pieces.  Warning....This will stink your kitchen out for a few hours, but the dogs will think they are in heaven.

Other Home-Made Treat Ideas

For other treats I use the following, chopped into tiny pieces & kept in the freezer till needed:-

Boiled Lamb or Beef Hearts  Keep the water to pour over their kibble
Boiled Beef Liver as above makes good stock
Left over bar-B-qued sausage or steak (no onion)
Baked Dinners - when I do a baked dinner for the family I will sometimes
bake two pieces of beef, one for us & the other to cut up for treats
Buy a Bar-B-Q'd Chicken from the supermarket & cut into small pieces. 
The dogs go wild for this, but don't give them too much as it
tends to be a bit salty 

Mix the treats up to keep it interesting. Remember when you are training something new & your dog does something sensational eg a beautiful, uncued drop on the pause table or moves smoothly into a fabulous 2on/2off position on a contact, or a lovely recall,  give them the SLOOOOOOOW Treat Reward, or as some call it, the "Silver Service Treat" This is when you deliver the treat slowly over about 30 seconds all the time praising your dog & letting him know how happy you are.

There are some little meat-bally things you can buy in the pet section of
the supermarket, called "Chunkers" - they are pre-cooked.  These are just the right size for treats you may wish to "throw" so that your dog moves on ahead of you, maybe at the end of a line of jumps or at the end of the weave poles.  In these situations you really want your dog to move forward, not to turn his head & shoulders to look back at you for a treat.  You can also use cubes of low fat cheese.


 VIP Lamb Chunkers Fried in Vegetable Oil with Garlic


As mentioned before, commercially produced dehydrated treats are very handy to just pop in your pocket, so when you go walking, you will always have something that you can reward things, like a really good recall or fabulous focus. I recommend the lovely  goodies made by Loyalty Pet Treats.  They are 100 % Australian & contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.  Many of their treats are fish or chicken based & can also be used as a meal topper.
 They have a great online store Loyalty Pet Treats 
& are a major supporter of the Coffs Harbour Dog Club.


 My guys just love the dehydrated minnow, which I top their meal with every second night.