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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello DT!

I have a question (surprise surprise!) about cheese.

I've been trying different things with my puppy Zeus. He loves nose work and it's super cool to see him figure things out! I've hidden things in boxes and we just got an Amazon order of some puzzles for him to do to get treats. He did one today and my 2 year old nephew and 9 year old niece had a blast watching him figure out how to get his kibble.

Anyway, I've been trying to research other foods that I can use with him for nose work games and general big ticket items during training. I read apples were good and I keep reading about cheese. But there are so many kinds of cheese I'm wary of going out and buying a block of whatever and it not being good for him. What kind of cheese is best for dogs? And as for apples... is there a particular kind that's better than others?

Thank you!
 

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Leo, Lily, and Simon
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I like string cheese or cheddar snack sticks, mainly because if I'm going to be spitting food at them (good for keeping their attention during obedience training), it's going to be something that I would eat myself. They also come in nifty little wrappers, so you can keep them in your pockets and not get you pants yucky.

Apples are the same... what kind do YOU like to eat?
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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Something my trainer recommended was hotdogs (in moderation)...sliced thin and cooked at low temps in the oven to dry them out. You end up with wafer-thin pieces of yummy (according to the dogs) snacks.

I found this site giving a couple of different ways to fix them:

https://www.courteouscanine.com/tampa-dog-trainer-how-do-you-cook-your-dogs/

Look for low salt varieties, without onion and garlic added for flavorings.
 

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As for treats I have a dehydrator, and lately I've been thinking of asking the local butchers if they would spare any beef liver, and taking home to dehydrate it for treats.
 

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Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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Liver--definitely cooked or dried to use for any kind of treat....I gave one of mine a piece of raw liver once. She picked it up with her front teeth and as little of her lips touching it as possible, and then SPAT it across the floor.

I didn't know dogs could spit :)
 

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Leo, Lily, and Simon
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Liver--definitely cooked or dried to use for any kind of treat....I gave one of mine a piece of raw liver once. She picked it up with her front teeth and as little of her lips touching it as possible, and then SPAT it across the floor.

I didn't know dogs could spit :)
:laughing:
 
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I like to use a variety of treats each week for nosework to keep things interesting and high value. My dogs like cheese, of course...string cheese is easiest, because it's easy to cut into tiny pieces, but most cheese is just fine, depending on what your dogs like. For nosework especially I make sure my treats aren't crumbly or messy because I don't want to contaminate the search area.

I also often use cooked chicken breast the I cut into cubes, or you can go to the deli at the grocery store and ask for sliced turkey or chicken - have them cut it very thick so that you can cube it easily.

My dogs also really like "tuna fudge" which is easy to make and cheap.

Tuna Fudge for dogs:
(2) 6 oz cans undrained tuna (or salmon or mackerel)

(2) eggs

1 and1/2 cups of flour

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Mix all that greatness together, then press it into a greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Let cool. Cut into strips, then dice. Makes approximately one ton of treats. Give or take. Refrigerate or freeze treats.

I also use some "Pyramid Pan" dog treat recipes, if you want to buy one of those...you can google that. One of those pans is about $10 on Amazon and treats are super easy to make.
 

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Kidney, liver and heart can all be simmered--(I recommend that if you try kidneys do it during the summer when you can open all doors and windows--it's stinky while cooking but generally dogs love it.

I cut it into pieces small enough to cook fairly quickly--10 or 15 minutes while simmering.

I let them air dry until cool enough to handle and cut into small cubes--cover a cookie sheet with foil and spread the cubes in a single layer and bake at 250 degrees until dry. These will keep for a week in the refrigerator and for months frozen.

I used them a lot for tracking after every dog I trained learned he could easily see string cheese bits on the ground--and the Dobes all tried to become sight hounds--kidney, liver and heart bits have enough scent to be found easily with a nose but are pretty invisible in grass and on dirt for tracking.

Because they are dry and small they are also ideal for high value treat for any other training--Obedience and rally--'cause they don't slime your pockets.

The other thing that I liked was hot dogs microwaved. I quartered the hot dogs and then cut thin slices--spread a single layer on a couple of paper towels put a couple more paper towels over the hot dog pieces--microwave for 1 to 3 minutes--you have to do this tby trying various settings--because microwaves vary on how long they take to cook them. Turkey hot dogs are kind fun--they blow up into round pieces while cooking and deflate as they cool. I used them for tracking for jackpots in articles and for a variety of stuff in Rally.

For agility I make some of these treat in somewhat bigger chunks for BIG rewards for special performances.
 

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I like to make dog meatballs- beef, bison, lamb whatever I have on hand and bind them with breadcrumbs and egg so they don't crumble. I overcook them a little then let cool and cube and then air dry on a sheet pan in the fridge. If you want block cheese I like the cheap packages of swiss the best. It holds its shape nice when cut and has a little more stink than string cheese. The little smoked summer sausages in the vacuum sealed packages cut into 3 or 4 pieces are great too. Basically any of these suggestions in the thread are great high value treats and you can't go wrong.
 

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As for treats I have a dehydrator, and lately I've been thinking of asking the local butchers if they would spare any beef liver, and taking home to dehydrate it for treats.
I use duck, turkey, or chicken liver/gizzard/etc whenever the SO and I cook a bird. I usually boil it, I've found it isn't very stinky (to me) at all that way. Radar goes nuts for it. I also use whatever cheese I have on hand, hot dogs, chicken, etc. I'm pretty sure he would eat anything if you told him it was a treat.
 
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