Dog’s love this! I’ve used it in training and when working with rescue dogs. This recipe is both extremely economical and very high value. I bake a dish of this, cut it into six bars, place five in a Ziploc bag in the freezer, and place one in a baggie in the fridge (where it will last short of a week).
If you don’t have a 9″ x 9″ baking dish, you can just flatten it out on a pizza pan. You may have to adjust the cook time. Whatever you use, make sure you grease it well. I made the mistake of not doing that once…just once.
It’s important to remember that this recipe is for *training treats*, not *meals*. Too often, I see people give really big treats to their dogs. Not only is that unnecessary, but it can also lead to weight problems. If you go through a lot of treats during training, make sure to skim a bit off the top of their daily allowance.
When you want to encourage a dog to continue to perform a behavior, you want to “reinforce” that behavior. That means giving them something they like. This could be a variety of things, such as food, play, access to something desirable, or attention.
Among the options, food is the most efficient. Not only is it a primal desire, but it is also quick. A pea-sized pinch of this “Irresistible Puppy Cake” goes a long way. A couple of chews, and gulp, and you’re on to the next task.
Did you notice I said “pea-sized pinch”? That’s all you need. It’s just a taste. If you give your dog huge pieces as a reward, you’re just adding calories to their waistlines. Please try to keep your dog at a healthy weight to help avoid health-related issues. We want to keep her or him around for as long as we can.
When checking your dog’s weight, the short version is that you want to see a good tummy tuck underneath, and when you run your hands along your dog’s ribs you can feel only a thin layer of fat. I have added a weight chart to my online dog-training library here. Also in the library, I have added an article with a formula to help you count calories here. (Feel free to peruse. I continually add to it. You can even search for topics of interest.)
In this case, the good thing is liver. Liver is excellent for dogs. However, if a dog gets too much liver, she or he can run the danger of Vitamin A overload. So, don’t give your dog a whole cake. This brings us back to “this is for *training treats*, not *meals*”. Here is a nice article that explains the benefits of liver. (Note: This “Irresistible Puppy Cake” has approximately 8 oz of liver in it.)
The simplest version is this: When your dog does something you like, pinch off a pea-sized bit of Puppy Cake and give it to her or him. If you get in the habit of doing that, you will start down the right path.
I believe the most important thing to ask about when looking for a trainer is training methods. Many trainers take an aggressive, punitive approach to training. I do not. I am a modern, science-based dog trainer. My methods are force free and pain free. I do not use intimidation, fear, pain, or violence to motivate a dog. There simply isn’t any need to. If you want to know more about why I do what I do, I’ve written about it here. For more about how to find a science-based, force-free trainer, here is an article I wrote to help you out.
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