My Australian Shepherd Poe and I have a dog show tomorrow and the next day. We do obedience competition, and he’s working on his Companion Dog title. He only needs to qualify, or get a passing score on all the exercises, one more time to earn his title. With Poe though, it’s definitely not a sure thing–he has been known to win a first place ribbon, and he’s also been known to blow it in spectacular fashion. He is very smart but also very scattered, more so than any dog I’ve ever had or showed–though his personality is so quirky, and so much fun, that I wouldn’t trade him for the best competition dog in the country.
Even though he’s a bit unfocused, Poe does love his food. He loves just about everything, and he really, really loves these homemade dog treats. I’m making up a big batch of them to take with us tomorrow; win or lose, he will get some after we finish the show, because he is a good boy and he tries hard.
This recipe makes a bunch of little treats, and it’s a good thing. I run through a lot of them in training, and the making of them, while not difficult, is pure misery for the dogs and for Larry, for different reasons. While they are baking, the chicken liver and the garlic powder combine to pack quite an olfactory punch. Larry hates the smell so much that I don’t have the heart to subject him to it often. The dogs just haunt the kitchen and drool a lot. They don’t mind the smell. At all.
15 Minute Dog Treats
1 carton chicken livers, with their liquid (approximately 1 lb.)
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 Tablespoon garlic powder [note: the American Veterinary Medicine Association has placed garlic on its toxic list. My dogs do not have a problem with it, and I would think that the amounts in this recipe are safe. Many people feel that the health benefits of garlic outweigh the possible risks. If this concerns you, you can easily leave out the garlic.]
Preheat oven to 400. Cover a jelly roll pan with foil and spray with Pam. Don’t skip this, because it will stick like you won’t believe. This may have happened to me once.
In a blender, liquefy the chicken livers with their liquid; add the egg and mix. Pour this mixture into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well, then spread onto the prepared pan. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Immediately remove from the oven and cut into desired sizes. A pizza roller is good for this. After they cool, these treats can be frozen in ziploc bags. The dogs will eat them frozen–they don’t care.