If your dogs are anything like mine they don’t readily approve of treats. Well, Kaya is certainly pickier than Merle. Merle will eat just about anything (including plastic on occasion) and is very food motivated. Kaya on the other hand (despite one puppy-hood incident of stealing a woman’s burrito right out of her mouth) has become the kind of dog that will saunter up to you at the dinner table whilst you are eating, gently slip her head under your elbow and place her nose on the table with the hope that something will magically come close enough for her to nab it. Nevertheless, in attempt to fix the “glitches” in my dogs public behavior I have been seeking out recipes for treats to help get them motivated. The goal is to focus their attention on me, food, and behaving, not chasing after people, cars, or all around being disobedient. So far the most successful treat I have found is a modified version of a lovely carob cookie recipe I found here at the Doggy Dessert Chef. My dogs are on a pretty strict grain free diet (so these are great), and since Kaya loves the smell of chocolate, the carob is a nice, safe substitute that she seems to love. I have, however, added a few items to her recipe to up the “super” quotient, namely, two teaspoons of smooth peanut butter and 3-4 pieces of uncooked bacon (the bacon will cook during baking). I also decided to make use of the pastry bag technique (with the help of a trusty, cheap plastic bag ), to make them more brownie-like buttons than cookies, which makes them easier to use for quick treating purposes.
As of today, Merle and Kaya are loving the treats and their recall is improving rapidly. An encounter with a neighbor on a dirt bike, a young child, and a passing car went by on our walk today without a hitch. The dogs accepted treats from the neighbor, and they even ignored the car in favor of the treats. Success!