DIY: Pug Cake Pops

Pug Cake PopsHere are the goodies you’ll need to make 16 Pug Pops:
4 cups crumbled chocolate cake
1/3 cup buttercream frosting
2 tablespoons peanut butter
White candy wafers
Chocolate candy wafers, reserve 16 wafers for decorating
Medium heatproof bowl, plus two smaller heatproof bowls
Wax paper
Baking sheet
16 lollipop sticks
Cake pop stand
8 Tootsie Rolls
16 black sunflower seeds
32 sugar eyes with black edible ink pen
Pastel confetti sprinkles
Candy Bones
Toothpicks

 Here’s a link to the full instructions for making basic cake pops if you need more help.Cake Balls

  • Stir peanut butter and buttercream until mixed together and then incorporate into chocolate cake crumbs until completely combined.
  • Roll the mixture into 16 balls and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet. Let the rolled cake balls rest for about 30 minutes and then place in the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up. When firm, transfer them to the fridge to remain chilled (not frozen) for dipping.

Dipping Pops

  • Melt chocolate wafers with vanilla wafers. Start with vanilla and add a few chocolate wafers at a time until you achieve a lighter shade of brown. (Note: You can use peanut butter candy wafers instead of mixing chocolate and vanilla.)
  • When ready to dip, remove a cake ball from the fridge. Dip the end of a lollipop stick in the melted candy wafers and then into the cake ball and dip.
  • Make sure the cake ball is completely coated and tap off any excess.
  • Before the coating sets, place a chocolate candy wafer on the front – towards the bottom half of the pop. Hold in place until the coating dries and place in a cake pop stand until you’re ready to decorate.

DecorationsWe’re using Tootsie Rolls for ears, confetti sprinkles for tongues, sunflower seeds for noses and sugar eyes for the eyes. But you already guessed that one.

Pug Faces

  • With the candy wafer already in position on the pop, dip a toothpick in melted chocolate and swirl two large dots on the front of the pop in position for eyes. Then gently press the sugar eyes right on top so that the chocolate surrounds the eyes.
  • Dot on coating in position for the nose and tongue and then attach a sunflower seed and pink confetti sprinkle and let dry.

Decorating PugsThen finish the mouth. Use a toothpick dipped in melted chocolate candy wafers to apply coating on top of the already attached wafer … under the sunflower seed nose and down around the sides of the tongue. Make sure to overlap the confetti sprinkle so it looks like a sweet little tongue is sticking out.

Tootsie RollsNow for the ears. Cut a tootsie roll candy in four equal parts and hand shape into rounded triangles for ears. Note: microwave the candy for 3-4 seconds to make it easier to shape. Don’t overheat.

Pug Cake Pop

  • Use more melted chocolate to attach the ears and add finishing details to the mouth.
  • Draw big black pupils on the eyes with the edible ink pen. Feel free to stop here, but if you want to add a few more details, then keep going with me.

Pug Pops

  • Draw on eyebrows with a toothpick dipped in the melted lighter brown candy coating. Then dot tiny dark chocolate freckles on each cheek.
  • And most important, add a little sparkle to the eyes by dotting on melted white candy wafers.

Adorable!

But let’s dress these doggies up a bit more…

Candy Bones… with candy bones because they make the super cutest bow ties.

Pug Cake Pops

Enjoy!

(Via: Bakerella)

Scent Games with your Dog – Training You Can Do At Home

The weather in Toronto can be described in one word: SHIT!

Toronto, ON - 7 Day Forecast - Environment Canada

 

That pretty much sums up the past 3 weeks, and apparently the next few more. This cold weather has been as hard on the dogs, as it has for me. Keeping them warm, and as comfortable as possible, while getting their exercise in can be a challenge. The younger dogs, especially, need a lot more activity than the older ones. During the freezing temperatures, more time is spent inside, working their brain! This is just as exhausting, if not more, than physical exercise. You’d be surprised!

With Duke entering my life full time, as my forever dog, I quickly noticed his incredible sense of scent. Dobermans’ are known working dogs, and have a very keen sense of smell.

Your average dog’s nose is tens of thousands of times as sensitive to odors as yours.

Dogs’ sense of smell overpowers our own by orders of magnitude—it’s 10,000 to 100,000 times as acute, scientists say. Dogs can detect some odours in parts per trillion.

What does that mean in terms we might understand?
According to the book, Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz, a dog-cognition researcher at Barnard College, while we might notice if our coffee has had a teaspoon of sugar added to it, a dog could detect a teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water, or two Olympic-sized pools worth. Another dog scientist compared their ability to catching a whiff of one rotten apple in two million barrels.

Experts have reported incredible true stories about the acuteness of dogs’ sense of smell. There’s the drug-sniffing dog that “found” a plastic container packed with 35 pounds of marijuana submerged in gasoline within a gas tank.

There’s the black lab stray from the streets of Seattle that can detect floating orca scat from up to a mile away across the rough waters of Puget Sound. Read about it!

Here are a couple fun and easy games you can play with your dog, to get you and your dog introduced to scent detention.

 

All of these games stress reliance on his nose, not his eyesight.

 

To avoid confusing your dog, trainers recommend you choose one word which indicates food or dog toys (I’ve started using “SEEK”), and a completely different word for objects with human scent or people themselves (I use “FIND IT”). By doing this, the dog is always clear about WHAT he’s looking for with his nose and will not confuse food scents with human scent. One of the most common problems with using food to teach scent discrimination or tracking is that you must ultimately teach the dog that the food is not what you really meant at all!

Now for the games!

 

PICK A HAND
This is the simplest of all games.
1. With food or a toy in only one hand, present both closed hands to the dog.
2. Ask him, “Which one?”

You may improve upon this game by insisting he touch with a paw or scratch lightly at the correct hand before receiving his treat, or simply have his nose bump your hand.
If he gets it wrong, show him the correct hand but DO NOT give the treat. Just try again.

Add lots of dramatic flair to this – dogs love a good show.

LIGHTS OUT
This one is great fun for the dog.
1. Show your dog a treat (preferably crunchy) or his favorite toy
2. then place it out of his sight but easily accessible in a dark room.
3. Tell him to SEEK – follow him in to listen for his success which you will praise enthusiastically.

Obviously, the rewards for the dog are multiple – he gets a treat or finds his toy plus a very happy dog parent.   If using a toy, be sure to reward his find with some play before starting again.

When multiple treats or toys are used, this particular game helps to build persistence and trust in the handler. The dog may initially find only 2 out of 3 treats, but he quickly discovers that persistence in searching when you give the SEEK command pays off. He learns to believe you – there really is another one there!

You can increase the difficulty of LIGHTS OUT by hiding the cookies in less accessible places (like in a shoe, or placed on a low shelf.) This can be practiced outdoors as well as in your car, or a parking lot or anywhere else- be creative!

String Art Dachshunds by Mr & Mrs Morgan

0000000Mr & Mrs Morgan is a design studio based in Valencia, Spain focused on creating short runs, limited editions and unique pieces.  Recently they created these playful string art Dachshunds that can be displayed in various ways (see below for inspiration).

Available from: ¡Ay, Qué Bonito! (Oh, how pretty!)

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    DIY and create your own string art doggie!     Check out this video - Making of... by Mr & Mrs Morgan.
DIY and create your own string art doggie!
Check out this video – Making of… by Mr & Mrs Morgan.