Bear and I started tracking a few weeks ago and the method we’ve been using requires food drops along a track in the beginning to help the dog learn to find the human scent along a track.
I learned early on that kibble doesn’t work as Bear spent his time digging kibble out of the tall prairie grass and dense creeping cedar. I discovered that a larger reward works well and have been using a bit of meat, cheese, sausage, freeze dried liver etc. The only bad thing about this is that I could easily drop a cup and a half of sausage in one day’s training. I know Bear doesn’t get every single piece along the track but somehow, I don’t see this much sausage, cheese or steak being healthy for him over the long term. I have made liver loaf in the past but I would also be concerned about Bear eating that much rich food in a day.
I pondered this for a few days and then I finally had an epiphany – I could try and make training loaf out of Smack dog food. It’s wholesome, nutritious and balanced formula is ideal for training and while I know that cooking may affect the nutritional value of the food, I feel much better about Bear eating 2 cups of Smack loaf a day over the long term, or at least until we start fading the food drops completely. Read on for the recipe and instructions.
Here we go…
In a blender or food processor combine 1 cup Smack formula of your choice and ¾ cup of water.
Blend/process the mixture for 1 minute. Your mixture should the the same consistency as a very thick smoothie.
Pour your Smack smoothie into a covered container (or a bowl covered with plastic wrap) and place it in your refrigerator at overnight to rehydrate.
In the morning, or when you get home from work the next evening, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 175 degrees Celsius).
Transfer your re-hydrated Smack into a medium sized bowl. It should now be the consistency of cookie dough.
Add two eggs and mix well.
Mix in ½ cup tapioca flour to create a thicker batter.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes then, without removing your snack, turn the oven off and LEAVE your deliciousness in the oven for an hour.
Take the loaf out of the oven and remove it from the pan to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, you can cut your loaf into whatever shape suits you best. I like smallish (1/2 inch) cubes for tracking but 1/2 inch slices may be more appropriate for conformation bait.
Store in a sealed container in your fridge for up to 2 days or else store in your freezer and take out what you need on a daily basis for training.
Have a dog-friendly recipe you’d like us to feature? Send us your recipe and we’d be please to share it!