Friday, August 27, 2010

Salmon Dog Treats

I'm starting to think i should rename this blog " An Austin Doghouse "
But she's just so darned cute and fun to watch wag her tail. I'll probably stop posting dog treat recipes soon, as really they're mostly the same - mush together ingredients that are good for and tasty to your dog, bake until done. Avoid whole wheat flour, soy, sugar and salt, and you're set! Most of the bickies i make for my dog are just as tasty to me as to her, though perhaps a bit 'pungent' - it's a good rule of thumb, though to only use food ingredients you too would eat. You can use regular human cookie and cracker recipes and sub in dog ingredients, or just mix up random glops of foods that will at least adhere together and bake until firm.

Salmon Treats:
  • One can of salmon, with juice and nasty skin/bone chunks
  • Some Rye flour (could use rice or potato as well) enough to absorb the liquid
  • Brewer's yeast, about 3 Teaspoons or more (repels fleas and is generally good for you)
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder

Mush, spread on a sheet, score for easy baking, bake at 350 for 30 or so minutes. Mine ended up quite soft, i could have baked longer for crispier cookies. I'll be storing these in the freezer to avoid any molding, so that should crisp them up enough and be pleasing on bloody, missing puppy-teeth sockets.
**Tip - for easy spreading, place a sheet of saran wrap on top of the glop in the pan and mush to an even thickness - this salmon mixture will stick to any spoon or roller you may try to use.

Pocket still likes the vegetarian pumpkin treats i made her - but these ones REALLY get her attention: excellent training treats.

Speaking of training, just as an update on the goings on of the homestead: we've been raising Pocket to coexist with our chickens, and help herd them into the coop on occasion. She's now going through adolescence, and while she's the most well mannered puppy i've ever had, she has taken to chasing the chickens some when we aren't inviting it. That's no good. We want no dead chickens around here! We've found a great herding instructor north of town and may begin lessons with her - but there comes a point when you have to decide if you want your dog to be a worker or a friend. We want Pocket to be a friend, to us and all our animals. But we'd also like some help encouraging the animals to move in certain places occasionally - i hope the trainer will still consider giving us the skills we'll need to direct her movements, despite not dedicating Pocket's life to separation from all livestock until time to work them, which is the nature of a working herding dog.

In the meantime, i'm revamping my efforts to train to coexist. Pocket has a long line i attach her to in the backyard: any sign of a chicken chase is thwarted instantly and we work on calm training instead. I use the smelly yummy treats to get her focus, call the chickens to me and have her practice her sits and downs and high fives. Once calmed, she's usually fine to not chase them for a while - any raucous play and fetching happens away from the chickens to get the excitement out without involving them. A chased chicken is not a happy chicken, and they're already hot, molting and exhausted in this late summer weather.

I hope to find a balance with our dog: a friend and hiking partner foremost with some helping paws when needed. I think i have the affinity for animals and ability to communicate with Pocket clearly enough that my goals will be met - but she is a predator and i will never take her for granted around such edible pets as my girls.

Laying around in the heat. Yes, chickens do pant.
Do you have livestock or pet chickens? Do you have a family dog that interacts with your animals, if so - does it act as guardian, colleague, or predator?

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