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Shoshone just got diagnosed with lumbar-sacral disease, she's got arthritis in her very last vertebrae so bad that it's pinching the nerves there. It's the end of her running after the ball, ever. She spent last week in a LOT of pain, she's a very stoic dog, so I know that she was really hurting when she wouldn't walk, period.


She's much better, this morning she gave me her customary 'woo woo woowhen are we going to the park?' for the first time in 8 days or so.


Our problem is, without ball fetching, she won't be getting any hard exercise, and she can only walk about 10 minutes or so before she starts to hurt. So, we get to train.


Treats are the only reward, now, that will mean anything to her. Can't throw the ball or use a tug toy, and she went nuts for those.


What do you all use for low cal stuff? We don't want a happy, plump dog. She doesn't have any use for veggies, will eat a dried cherry or cranberry, but they're pretty high in sugar. And any stationary tricks/behaviors that I can use with her would also be helpful.




Ruth n the BC3

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Ah, poor doggie!

I do some chicken training treats you might want to try. They're a little labor intensive to make, but if you make a ton at a time it's not too bad.

What I do is take boneless, skinless chicken breasts and stick them in the freezer until they're "soft frozen".....in other words, they're icy but not frozen solid. Then I take a really sharp knife and slice them into paper thin "chips" (you can't slice them thin enough if you don't soft freeze the chicken first).

Then I layer the chips on a broiling pan (spray with cooking spray or they'll stick) and bake them really slowly (225 degrees) so that they dehydrate and get really crispy(you could probably use a dehydrator if you've got one).

They end up looking like this:



They're really low calorie and low fat, they're easy to break into smaller pieces, and both my dogs (and the cat) go nuts over them.

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Pet Botanics (found 'em at Petsmart) makes some low cal treats: Salmon /Duck/ Chicken

My guys love them.

Might be worth taking a gander at.

Our USDA Beagle handlers use them, as their guys are a bit more inclined to put on weight (food rewarded).

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I know you said she doesn't like veggies, but I've found green peas and canned pumpkin motivating for many non-veggie dogs.


I also like making "trail mix" from assorted kibbles, cheerios, and a few high value jerky or meat based treats (if you use hot dogs or cheese, you'll need to refrigerate the mix). The cereal and kibble absorb the odor of the high value treats so they become higher value themselves, but aren't as high in calories.

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Rather than using treats, you could use her regular meals for training. Or, cut her meals in half and feed half as a meal and use half for training. That way she's not getting so many extra calories.
Actually, a few people have pointed me down this path, and it's working.

Suka's not treat-driven, unless they stink. What I've done is started making up her meals the night before - All the day's meals. Instead of the full measure, I've been measuring out most of the day's food, and filling in the calorie gap with some highly 'fragrant' treats - polish sausage and hotdog bits, dusted with garlic powder and just a touch of grated cheese. I store the whole thing in a bag overnight, and in the morning, all the kibble is nice and stinky, and makes for a very popular training treat without changing her calorie intake at all. In fact, I'd guess that she's eating pretty much half, maybe more, of her daily intake in the form of stinkykibble training treats.



I might try sprinkling tuna water on it at some point, but right now the current mix works fine.

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Cheerios with wet cat food juice poured over them

Oh my! Bear used to work for plain Cheerios. Best not tell him there's a deluxe version. So do you pour the WCFJ on the cheerios and then bake them? Or do you just them straight up and soggy?

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