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  • Writer's pictureCheryl @ BrightPaws

Doggy ice cream, hand touches and paddling pool fun...

Hi everyone! :)

Well that's almost the end of the summer holidays and it's back to work on Tuesday for me and my education/teaching colleagues, however that doesn't mean the dog enrichment and training stops... :)

This weekend is set to be a warm one - even here in Argyll - so I'm going to start with a wee recipe for dog ice cream... they shouldn't be left out right?! Not only is this a healthy, nutritious treat for your dog, it will help to keep them cool during the warm, sunny weather.

Strawberry and Banana dog ice cream:

You will need:

  • Around 8-10 fresh strawberries (chopped)

  • 1 ripe banana

  • 280g natural plain yogurt (low/no fat)


  • Mash the strawberries into very small pieces

  • Add in the banana and continue to mash both together

  • Stir in the yogurt and mix all ingredients until they are well combined

  • Pour the mixture into freezer safe air tight containers and freeze for a minimum of 4 hours

  • Serve to your dog whilst you treat yourself to some human ice cream ;)

  • Store in the freezer for up to 8 weeks

Give it a go and if you're brave experiment making different flavours with other SAFE ingredients for your dog!

Teaching a hand touch:

A hand touch is when the dog touches their owner/handlers hand when asked.

This is a really useful skill for dogs to have for a number of reasons including:

  • It builds confidence in interacting with human hands

  • It can assist with recall if your dog just falls short of coming right back to you

  • You can manoeuvre your dog without touching them e.g. on and off the sofa etc

  • It forms the foundation skills for target training which are transferable to other body parts like the paw and can be used for husbandry purposes e.g. vet checks or at the groomer. It also forms the basis of learning tricks if this is something you'd like to do with your dog (Luna is learning to close a door just now with her paw - this will be very handy in winter when we are too lazy to get up and do it ourselves haha!)

The steps to get there:

  • Sit or stand facing your dog - close enough that you don't have to step towards them

  • Place a small piece of food (lure) between your fingers

  • Present your hand around 15cm away from your dogs nose

  • When your dog moves towards or touches your hand with their nose, mark the behaviour with a 'yes' or 'good' and give them the piece of food (lure)

  • Repeat several times until your dog confidently touches your hand with their nose

  • Next - remove the food lure and as soon as your dog touches your hand, mark the behaviour with a 'yes' or 'good', and reward with a piece of food from the same hand your dog touched

  • Once your dog is doing this confidently add the verbal cue 'touch' as you present your hand, and mark and reward the behaviour

  • If your dog finds one stage too hard, go back a step and practise until they are confident enough to move on again :)

  • You can now use this in many situations e.g. rather than lifting your dog off the sofa, present your hand far enough away from the sofa so that your dog will have to jump off, say touch, and they will come off the sofa more easily OR if you are on a walk and call your dog back but it doesn't quite come all the way back to you, trying presenting your hand whilst saying touch, and they should come right over to you

  • REMEMBER to always mark and reward the behaviour you like so that there's an increased chance your dog will do it again and again! :)

Paddling pool fun:

If you don't already have a paddling pool for your dog, what are you waiting for?! :D

It's a very easy way of keeping your dog cool on warm days and can also be great for playing games of fetch or finding some healthy treats. Not only that, it can increase your dogs confidence in water - especially puppies! If you don't have a paddling pool, you could use a large basin or any container that can be filled with water.

Here's a couple of wee pictures of Luna enjoying her homemade doggy ice cream this afternoon!

Have a great week everyone and stay safe!

Cheryl x

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