Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Putting the Joy in Chores with Joyful Jerky

Vacuuming has never been one of my favorite chores. When we first became a two-pet family, I got one of those robot vacuums. Before long, it had died. Even with daily (and sometimes twice daily) runs, it couldn't keep up with Barley and Soth's fluff. Eventually, I did a lot of research and found a reasonably priced, highly rated pet vacuum that I've been using for several years. With the addition of Rye, though, a person walking into my house might think that I don't own a vacuum at all.

For one thing, she destroys everything, so moments after vacuuming there are bits of rope toys or clumps of stuffing. 

But she's also terrified of the vacuum. If I vacuum while she's free in the house, she hides under an end table and shakes. If I vacuum while she's in her crate, even after the vacuum has been put away for a while, she'll be in a corner of the crate shaking. It's heartbreaking. Combine that with my dislike of vacuuming to begin with, and vacuuming occasionally gets put off longer than it should

When our January Chewy.com review item came, I knew I had to vacuum. We couldn't possibly take good pictures for our review if there were little bits of toys and dog hair everywhere. Rye also wanted to dig into the package as soon as possible--even if the box was a little snow covered, so it needed to happen soon.

I may have retouched the photo to make the carpet look clean.

As soon as I saw the package of The Honest Kitchen Joyful Jerky Filets, I knew it would be great for helping Rye learn that the vacuum isn't awful.

We took a couple pictures in the empty room that didn't need vacuuming first.

Lucky for Bar and Rye, it's for good and naughty dogs!

The Joyful Jerky Filets are made with human-grade ingredients and only include beef, salt, and celery juice powder.  If you're a beef jerky fan, these definitely look like they are good enough to eat yourself! (The package does include a disclaimer on the back that while these are human quality, they are intended for your pets and not you.)

The filets come in a variety of different sizes. There were some that were as big as my hand and others that were short or skinny. Regardless of their starting size, the filets were all easy to break up into tiny pieces, which makes them perfect for training. 

Please quit making me practice going to bed and just let me eat the snacks.

It was obvious that these were high value treats because every time I pulled out the package, the dogs were bouncing around, so I knew that Rye would be willing to come out of hiding for these when the vacuum came out.

First, I took the vacuum out of the closet and set it in the living room. Then Rye and I went into the kitchen, got the package out of the fridge, and started tearing up some little bits to stick in my pocket. As we walked back out to the living room, I tossed a few pieces near the vacuum but not right on top of it to get her more used to being around the vacuum.

Then I wheeled the vacuum as far away from Rye as possible, plugged it in, and started vacuuming on the opposite side of the room. As I vacuumed, I'd toss a piece down to her end of the room periodically. Within a few minutes, she was peeking out from behind the couch to see what I was doing. 

Once I'd finished vacuuming the living room, I set up several bits in a semi-circle around the vacuum and let Rye pick them all up.

I put one on the vacuum, but she wasn't quite comfortable enough to take that one, but when I moved it to just in front of the vacuum she bravely went in for the snack. Hopefully, she'll eventually face the vacuum head-on like her sister does.

I will sit and take a picture with this monster, but I won't get too close.

These are great, high quality treats that the dogs both loved. I also loved that they were high quality, limited ingredient treats.

I only have two complaints. One is that the package recommends refrigerating the package once opened, which is probably a weird complaint. But I am definitely an out of sight, out of mind kind of person, so if the treats aren't in the drawer with all of the others or out on the counter, I'm likely to forget they exist and they won't end up in our treat pouch for class or be the treats I grab for an impromptu training session.

Also, the bag is only 3.25-oz., so with two greedy dogs it didn't last long (of course, if I forget about it in the fridge, it might last a little longer). Since we go through a lot of treats, I try to choose high quality treats that also come in high quantities, so this won't be one that is added to every order. While it won't become part of regular treat rotation, this is one all three of us loved enough that I'll absolutely be purchasing more for special occasions and training situations that require something high value. We highly recommend Joyful Jerky if you have a dog that needs a little something extra special for training or needs a little extra spoiling.

DisclaimerWe were provided with a package of The Honest Kitchen Joyful Jerky Filets from Chewy.com in exchange for our honest review, but all opinions are my own and we only share information we think is relevant and valuable to our readers. Chewy.com is not responsible for the content of this post. 


  1. Good job on the desensitizing. Vacuum Cleaner phobia is quite common. Have you heard of the Vacuum Cleaner Defense League? (google it :)

    1. Oh gosh! That is too funny (and since they now allow cats, I think Soth is definitely a member!). Barley likes to play hero with the vacuum and drops toys in its path then swoops in and grabs it at the last minute. I'll be glad if Rye one day stops shaking ;)

  2. It looks like normal jerky for humans.
    I really need to work with Ptera on her fear of the vacuum. She always hides too.

    1. I know! If I was a jerky fan, I would have been tempted to give it a try myself!

  3. Hahahaha! Great way to get some positive training in with the vacuum! We got lucky and both Dante and Ziva could care less about the vacuum, Dante will actually stand in the way and not move making me tell him to move or just vacuum under him LoL. We're trying to work on Ziva's fear of the dremel though, and we're doing baby steps right now with high value treats.

    1. Barley is very similar to Dante--unless she sees her kitty brother. Then she has to chase him because he's scared of the vacuum, so I always have to make sure everyone is in a safe spot before I pull it out of the closet! Rye is also scared of the dremel (and the Kitchen Aid mixer).

  4. What a clever training method. And idea for a blog post. :)

    BTW, I wouldn't stress about putting jerky in the fridge. On the boat, we find fewer things need refrigeration than you think. And human jerky doesn't require refrigeration. I'd wash your hands, slice the jerky in the right size, and store it in an airtight container.

    1. Thank you :) I think the refrigeration is just to keep it fresh longer--most of the jerky I've bought for my dad and brother recently also recommends refrigeration, but I think these bags are small enough and popular enough that we'd get through them before there was any chance of them going bad!

  5. My sister's boyfriend gave us some homemade treats for the dogs for Christmas (he's so sweet!). He told us there was fresh chicken in them so refrigerating them might be safer. Yup, I kept forgetting they were in there! Luckily, hubby remembered better than me.
    While no one around here is terrified of it, there is a general consensus among all of us that NO ONE likes the vacuum, least of all ME. I can't tell you how many times I've gone to add a photo to the blog and have been horrified about how dirty my floors are! I need you to show me the trick for making it look clean. :)
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Haha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had those horrified moments when looking at the floors! I use a Mac and my iphotos basic editing features has a little retouch icon and you can slightly blur things (it's probably meant for zits!) a tiny bit, so I just blurred the carpet in the spots that had visible dirt!

    2. Very creative! My hubby has a Mac but I've found the learning curve difficult, so haven't even looked at the photo software yet. I maybe better check it out! That sounds way easier than actually vacuuming before taking photos....LOL!

    3. Good luck! I don't do anything too fancy with the Mac photo software, but since all of my phone photos automatically upload to the photo program, it's easy to touch them up--and I'd much rather do that than vacuum!

  6. Being a pet owner myself, I know what it's like to deal with hair everywhere. My two year old Husky leaves hair everywhere, and he sheds like you would not believe. I too have tried everything, and my wife constantly has to vacuum and mop. We ended up giving him a special food to help curb the shedding.

    German Zollinger @ Total Clean Equip