Several weeks ago,The Honest Kitchen sent us samples of their pure haddock dog treats, Quickies, to review. So, I need to start off this blog post by apologizing for how long it took for me to write this post! (Astute blog readers will notice the blog looks a bit different. That’s because WP 4.0 broke it, and my backup didn’t contain the layout files… let’s just say the last month has been a bit of a challenge.)
Back to the treats!
I’m a THK diehard, but I have to be honest – I never had any desire to purchase Quickies. Why? Because so many companies make single ingredient dog treats. And Quickies are kind of pricey. What could possibly make them better than all of those other treats?
My Verdict: Quickies Dog Treats are Awesome!
I was blown away. Seriously. These are the best dog treats I’ve tried this year. (And I go through approximately 5 pounds of treats a week at Spring Forth Dog Academy, so let’s just say I have my hands on a lot of treats.)
They remind me of candy for dogs, except they’re super healthy because they contain only one ingredient. They’re compressed into little heart shapes, making them almost the size and consistency of a piece of kibble.
This means you can use them in the Treat and Train (aka Manners Minder) remote dog treat dispenser! There are very few grain-free, low-ingredient treats that are compatible with this device, so this is a big deal for me. Continue reading →
Strata is my six-year-old Shetland Sheepdog. He’s earned his MACH and a USDAA Performance Tournament Master title, and has competed at two AKC Nationals as well as International Team Tryouts last year. So, he’s a pretty experienced competition dog.
I originally wanted to teach Strata a running contact using Silvia Trkman’s method, but after a couple of months realized that I did not have enough access to equipment to pull it off. (At the time, I was traveling 45 minutes each way to do ring rentals.)
Begrudgingly, I started teaching him two-on two-off for the dogwalk and teeter. He already had a pretty consistent running A-frame, so I didn’t need to change that.
Our first contact training problem had nothing to do with the end position. Strata is afraid of heights, and it took a lot of work to get him over his fear of the middle plank of the dogwalk. (Yes, really. Here’s a video of him trotting across the dogwalk in an Open Standard run. And this was an improvement over where he had been for some time!)
Do you have trouble finding great training treats for your dog? In today’s post, I share which dog treats work best for my three dogs in training.
Strata’s Favorite Dog Treats
Strata is by far the easiest dog to find treats for. He will eat almost anything with a smile on his face and song in his heart. He wasn’t always this way! As a young puppy, he was so picky and I was always offering him new things. Once he hit about 8 months old, his “sheltie stomach” kicked in and he started eating anything and everything, including fruits and veggies!
Strata has some food sensitivities, so anything with feathers (not just “conventional poultry” but also duck, ostrich, etc.) is out. Previously, we thought his sensitivities included beef, but recently we’ve reintroduced it without a problem. We generally stick to the protein sources of fish, lamb, and pork for his dog treats.
Wondering why the blog went quiet for a little while? I was a busy bee getting ready for the 2014 AKC National Agility Championship in Harrisburg, PA!
We started the journey to AKC Agility Nationals by trialing for a few weekends leading up to the big event. I know some handlers feel better if they focus on training, but I feel that my dogs and I do better the more we compete. So compete we did.
The weekend before the NAC, we showed at the LEAP AKC agility trial in Tolland, CT. This was our first opportunity this year to trial on a surface other than rubber mats, which was nice for a change. The facility in Tolland has field turf, which really lets the dogs dig in and run as fast as they can.
It’s March! Time to start getting excited about Nationals! Time for my agility “season” to begin in earnest! Time for it to stop snowing already! (Mother Nature? Are you there? It’s me, Catsie…)
Well, I don’t have any control over the weather, but I have some degree of control over the start of my agility season and my level of excitement about Nationals, which is nearing “through-the-roof” levels for those keeping track at home.
With three weekends of local trials before The Big Event, my focus with Strata is on laying down solid runs with him to make sure we are on the same page.
Last weekend I attended my first agility trial in three months! I took a much-needed break over the holiday season to give the dogs time off and tackle some training projects, most of which are unrelated to agility. I don’t like entering trials in the winter anyway, due to the unpredictable weather up here, but I wanted to squeeze one trial as a test to see what skills we need to refresh before our main “trial season,” March through October.
I put together this quick video of Strata and Spark working on some jump sequences at the barn before teaching my Competition level class at Crossbones. With a bit of luck, this will be my last iPad video production. I ordered a GoPro camera the other day and I’ve got my fingers crossed that it will arrive before I do any more sequencing at the barn.
The video shows Strata’s first time back at 18″ after taking a couple months off, then resuming training at 16″. And Spark, well, everything is new to him, being such a babydog. (He’s a year and a half old.) I trimmed out the beginning of the video when he insisted on cutting behind me to the wrong tunnel entrance about six times. He’s also started vocalizing a bit while he runs… uh oh… he better not become one of those “barkenstein” shelties!