The Bark
Weekly Smilers 9-22-14
Smiling Dogs

Our featured smilers of the week. 

This week: Daisy, Obi, Rudy, Sebastian, and Simba.

See more smiling dogs in our gallery or share your own.

Wellness: Recipes
Homemade Chicken Jerky & Sweet Potato Chews
Homemade Chicken Jerky

Dehydrating food is all the rage these days — great for summer’s fruit, berry and vegetable bounty, and for making sumptuous, healthy treats for your dogs (not to mention yourself). While it’s possible to dehydrate food in an oven, it’s much more efficient and convenient to use a dehydrator. And making it in your own home means you don’t have to worry about contaminants or adulterated ingredients. (We hear you can also make yogurt in a dehydrator — wouldn’t your dog love that!)

Here’s a recipe for every dog’s favorite: chicken jerky. Before you start, make sure you have a very sharp knife. Also, partially frozen meat is easier to slice, and the thinner the slices, the less time they take to dry.

• 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

• Your choice of dog-friendly seasonings: parsley, rosemary, sage (preferably fresh and chopped very fine)

• Rinse the chicken breasts and remove any fat, which slows down the dehydrating process and will shorten the jerky’s shelf life.
• Slice the chicken into strips about 1/4- to 1/8-inch thick; slicing with the grain will make the jerky even chewier.
• Coat the strips with oil and seasonings.
• Place the strips on the dehydrator tray, spacing them evenly; make sure they do not touch. The drying process depends on adequate airflow between the strips.
• Put the tray in the dehydrator, turn it on and set the temperature for 140 degrees.

It will probably take between 3 and 12 hours for the strips to fully dry, depending on how thick you cut them and the exact temperature of your dehydrator. After the first hour, start checking the strips on an hourly basis. To determine the dryness level, remove one strip from the dehydrator, cut into it with a sharp knife and examine the inside. When the meat is completely dried, you won’t see any moisture and it will be the same color throughout. If it needs more time, put it back in for another hour. As it gets closer to being finished, check every half hour.

When your chicken jerky is done, store it in air-tight containers; zip-lock bags work great for this. Refrigerate the containers for an even longer shelf life.

Sweet Potato Chews
Thoroughly wash and peel sweet potatoes. Slice the sweet potato into 1/4- inch slices by cutting down the middle lengthwise.

Dehydrate at the highest setting 145-155 until done. Drying approximately 6-8 hours will leave them with a chewy texture. For crunchier treats dehydrate longer until the desired consistency. 

Weekly Smilers 9-15-14
Smiling Dogs

Our featured smilers of the week. 

This week: Asher, Beamer, Harley, Huckleberry, and Sassy.

Magazine: 2012-2014
Issue 79: Fall 2014

We’re about to usher in fall, our very favorite season, and are so relieved to bid farewell to summer’s hot, slow days. Like yours, no doubt, our dogs really do seem to perk up in the crisp autumn air. We have an especially content-rich issue for you. Among our new contributors is Sara Greenslit, DVM, who will be covering the integrative veterinary front; she leads off with an article on the “hot” topic of the gut and about its relationship to inflammatory bowel disease. Jessica Hekman, DVM, looks into the studies that examining the reliability of behavior-assessment tests, which many shelters use to make life-and-death decisions about a dog’s future. Martha Connors takes a look at current thinking on spay/neuter; while in terms of the big picture, it’s certainly the most effective way to reduce the number of homeless dogs, individual dog guardians now have other options and issues to consider.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Laurel Braitman, author of the highly recommended book Animal Madness; we talked about her investigations into commonalities in mental health issues among humans, canines and other species. Another first-time Bark contributor, Jessica Miller, looks at anxious-dog behavior and provides pointers on how to navigate life with a nervous pup, while Karen London addresses the commonly held belief that all fearful dogs have been abused (hint: not true).

Our happy cover dogs, Indie and Bogart, the Beagles, are poster pups for the successful rehoming of lab dogs, and for canine resiliency. They highlight our feature piece by Konnie LeMay reporting on the Beagle Freedom Project, a rescue group that works with the friendly, gentle dogs so commonly used as test subjects; many of the group’s charges, who have spent their lives in kennels, have never walked on grass or had any loving attention from a human.  We welcome this opportunity to showcase the work being done by many humane groups in supporting legislation that allows for rehoming of lab companion animals.

It’s great to have acclaimed writer Susan Straight back in the magazine with her account of how an ordinary dog walk along the river turned into a too-close-for-comfort encounter with her dog’s canid cousins. Ben Spencer recalls a white-knuckle race to the vet ER with his bee-stung pup, and Ellen Cooney reveals a secret training technique she employed with her rescue dog (be sure to pick up her new novel, Mountaintop School for Dogs, one of our year’s-best lit picks).

We hope you enjoy this, our 79th issue, and stick around for many more. Explore all things dog, check out our new store, Barkgoods.com, and spread the word that The Bark is the best place to celebrate the world’s oldest friendship! On that front, we would like to thank all of our “fans” who pushed our Facebook page up to, and beyond 280,000—with your help, let’s see if that mark can be doubled by 2015!

Testing the Tests: Just how accurate are behavioral assessment tests? By Jessica Hekman, DVM
Life After the Lab: The Beagle Freedom Project helps ease retired lab Beagles into new lives. By Konnie LeMay
Spay & Neuter Quandary: Weighing the new options. By Martha Connors
Naturally Fearful: Not all “scaredy” dogs have been mistreated. By Karen B. London, PhD
The Hale Hound: Feeding your dog for life. By Kathryn Schneider
A Lesson From Pulp Fiction: Being a movie buff pays off when a pup is stung by a bee. By Ben Spencer
The Great Coyote Choir at the Santa Ana River: A surprising encounter with “other” canids. By Susan Straight
Maxine and the B-Word: Learning that life can be good. By Ellen Cooney
Howl: Letter to My Ex-Dog By Mike Foster
Jaime Wyeth: On View. By Susan Tasaki

It’s a Dog’s Life
BEHAVIOR: High Anxiety 8 ways you and your anxious dog can catch a break. By Jessica Miller
Dog Parks: Point Isabel, Calif. One of the nation’s finest and most-visited. By Mary Barnsdale
HOLISTIC MEDICINE: Gut Reaction Is your dog sluggish, withdrawn, avoiding his food bowl? Might be IBD.  By Sara Greenslit, DVM, CVA
JOURNEY: Southbound Hound Dog-tripping down the Pan-Am Highway. By Stephanie Lim
HUMANE Creating Animal Ambassadors: Children in Trinidad and Tobago share the humane message. By Twig Mowatt
ASSISTANCE Good Medicine: Reuniting sick children and their dogs.  By Katherine Barrier
AUTHOR’S NOOK Q&A with Animal Madness writer Laurel Braitman By Claudia Kawczynska
Sketchbook Pen & Ink By Wendy MacNaughton
In Conversation Nick Trout, DVM Vet, writer, advocate.

Animal Madness by Laurel Braitman, Lucky Dog by Sarah Boston, My Reading Buddy Is a Dog by Catherine Blakemore, The Rescue at Dead Dog Beach by Stephen McGarva, The Great Grisby by Mikita Brottman, Rescuing Oricito by Marty Kingsbury

Profiles of Rescue: Lesley Brog and Kona  By Jesse Freidin
Guest Editorial: Justice (and a Home) for Patty. By Shirley Zindler
Fall Tips: New season, new inspirations.
Glamming for Good: Little Darling’s Pinups for Pitbulls.
Spotted in London: Dog takes center stage
Sleep, Interrupted: Secrets for a better night’s snooze. By Eliana Osborn
Recipe: Pumpkin Treats
Play Ball! El Paso Chihuahuas take the field. By Gary Santaniello
Off the Leash, a hilarious first collection.
Smiling Dogs: Simply irresistible.
Brush Up Dental health is the happening thing.

Weekly Smilers 9-1-14
Smiling Dogs

Our featured smilers of the week. See more in our Smiling Dogs Gallery.

This week: Kate, Maddie, Mako, Porky, and Ursa.

Weekly Smilers 8-25-14
Smiling Dogs

Our featured smilers of the week. See more in our Smiling Dogs Gallery.

This week: Bodie, Buddy, Einstein, Mimi, and Sam.

News: Guest Posts
Learn How To Train Dogs at ClickerExpo 2015

If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming a dog trainer or are already a dog trainer looking to further your education, you won’t want to miss the world’s largest all-positive training conference: ClickerExpo 2015!

Held every year in January and March, ClickerExpo features leading-edge training seminars taught by top trainers from premier animal institutions and schools from all over the world, all brought together by training innovator and author Karen Pryor. Learn the all-positive training techniques used by top animal trainers to teach any animal almost anything. At ClickerExpo you can practice teaching your dog to retrieve (not eat!) a hot dog and watch live training sessions by the faculty.

In addition to courses focusing directly on obedience, agility, service, and behavior management and science, you’ll find a wealth of in-depth courses that apply across disciplines. Teachers and attendees listen, practice, and learn from each other for up to three days of unparalleled interaction in over 60 Sessions and Learning Labs.

ClickerExpo is coming to Portland, Oregon January 23-25, 2015 at the Red Lion Hotel and Dearborn, Michigan March 20-22, 2015 at the beautiful Adoba Hotel. For more information or to register, visit www.clickerexpo.com.

“I thought ClickerExpo was a fantastic experience to connect with other trainers with like-minded styles and to hear new ideas that people are working on.”

Weekly Smilers 8-18-14
Smiling Dogs

Our featured smilers of the week. See more in our Smiling Dogs Gallery.

This week: Buddy, Coco, Mufasa, Karla, and Kaih.

Weekly Smilers 8-11-14
Smiling Dogs

Our featured smilers of the week. See more in our Smiling Dogs Gallery.

This week: Amos, Bear, Hank, Mini, and Quenya.

Wellness: Recipes
Recipes for Dogs: Allergen-Free Dog Treats
More Recipes from "Dog Cookies"
Fennel Treats from "Dog Cookies"

Every dog deserves the occasional cookie, but some treats can trigger allergies or tummy trouble. Dog Cookies comes to the rescue with 30 easy-to-follow recipes for healthy, allergen-free treats—including vegetarian and gluten-free treats—so you can find the perfect cookie no matter your dog’s diet.


For the gluten-free Amaranth Waffles recipe, see the Summer 2011 issue of The Bark.

Fish Feasts

2 1/2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
5/8 cup potato flour
100g (4oz) fish
1/4 cup broth or water
A pinch of dried parsley
1 free-range egg

Baking time: 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven
Temperature: Fan-assisted oven 160°C, conventional oven 180°C
Makes approximately 350g (12oz) of Fish Feasts


Any type of fish can be used for this recipe, so use whichever your dog likes best.

Caution: Ensure all of the bones are removed from the fish.

  • Use a food processor or immersion blender to shred the fish into very small pieces. You can also use tinned tuna (preferably in brine rather than oil) for this recipe.
  • Mix the pureed fish with the wholegrain spelt flour, potato flour, broth and parsley, and work into a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the dough to a thickness of 3mm (1/10in), and cut into small heart shapes, or any shape you like.
  • Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place the hearts on the try. Use a fork to prick holes in them.
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, then turn off the oven, open the door and leave the biscuits to cool for one hour.

Treat tip

Regardless of which fish you use, these biscuits should not be stored for too long. Salmon, for example is quite high in fat, so there is a risk it may go rancid. Store the biscuits in an airtight container, and do not keep them for any longer than two weeks.

Fennel cookies

1 5/8 cups rice flour
3 cups rye flour
5/8 cup wholegrain spelt flakes
1 1/4 cups milk
2 free-range eggs
1-2 teaspoons of ground fennel seeds

Baking time: 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven
Temperature: Fan-assisted oven 160°C, conventional oven 180°C
Makes approximately 420g (15oz) Fennel Cookies


  • Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or hand mixer with dough hooks and process into smooth dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and leave for 30 minutes.
  • After rolling out to a thickness of approximately 3mm (1/2in), cut shapes out of the dough and prick with a fork.
  • Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper, put the cookies on the tray and bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, then allow the cookies to harden for an hour in the oven with the door slightly ajar.