Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Garage Project Mashbone Treats


Hey! I originally got sent the Mashbone treats from Garage Project a few months ago, but the next day while I was at work, Diego decided to do his own review. He grabbed the packet off my dresser where I had left them and completely demolished everything, leaving no crumbs behind or even much packaging for that matter. I took this as a sign that he must of enjoyed himself even though I personally didn't get to see them for myself. I was upset about this because I had really wanted to write a review on the treats as they are different to anything we have reviewed before. Thankfully, when checking out the new Smackbang store in Wellington, I noticed they had some for sale so took the opportunity to pick up another pack.


Garage Project is a small brewery in Wellington, New Zealand focusing on craft beer. They are well known here and provide some of the most delicious craft beers if you are that way inclined. They decided to actually do something with the 'junk' that comes from making beer instead of just throwing it out. They took the spent mash byproduct from the brewing process, which is both high in protein and fibre, and mixed it with New Zealand grass-fed beef to create what is now know as Mashbone Brew Bites. Working with both vet specialists and food technologists from Massey University they developed and refined the recipe to make it both healthy for your dog but also good for our economy and environment by using locally sourced ingredients. There are no fillers, or preservatives in this product and you can be content in your purchase knowing you are helping locals as well as the planet.

I would describe these treats as a cracker. They are thin, dense and cut into perfect rectangles giving them a cracker appearance. They are a good size treat for just giving to your dog, but would definitely need to be broken up to be used as a training treat. For $11 you get a 90g resealable bag of treats. I love the design of their logo, very clever and a lot like their Garage Project beer branding. Otherwise, their packaging isn't much to write about, just a plain bag with a resealable tab at the top.


The treat itself isn't strong smelling, just a musty, savoury scent if you put it close to your nose. It does leave this same smell on your fingers, but in the world of dog treats, this is the least smelly treat I have dealt with in a while. Breaking the treat into halves or quarters is easy, just a quick snap. To go any smaller than that is a mission. It requires quite a lot of finger strength, and the right positioning to crack it. I also have a slightly longer thumb nail which I have to push into it to try and coax it into snapping. This means it is hard to use as a training treat for Diego. As he is just below knee height he does need quite a little sized treat to be used effectively in training. To get one of these treats to be the right size is quite difficult and also would need to be done before training starts, you couldn't do it during a session.

The other problem with using these as a training treat is the crunch to them. They are super crunchy! For Diego to get through even a little piece requires a lot of chewing before swallowing. This would mean I couldn't overload him with these treats when learning a new move as he would be constantly chewing. A bigger dog may have less of a problem with this, but as always I do need to point out what I have found with Diego.

I am now in a predicament to when I would use these treats. They are not smelly enough to use for walks where he needs something to take his mind away from any distractions, they are too crunchy and hard to break for training, and they are the wrong shape and texture for a Kong. This is a predicament I find myself in a lot with different treats as those are my main three uses for treats. I don't ever just hand Diego a treat for him to enjoy because I already have to try and limit his treats each day from the above. I have to admit I did use this packet for trick training, but on tricks Diego already knew well and could deal with the chewing throughout. I know other people use treats for other purposes so may find more use out of these treats than I did.


Now, to the actual important part, what did Diego think. Diego isn't a super fussy dog, he is half staffy after all so will gobble nearly everything. He did enjoy these treats, and as I am typing this review with the bag in front of me he keeps crawling closer and closer. At this current moment his head is now resting on the laptop while his eyes gaze lovingly at the bag. He did perform all his repertoire of tricks for them, and they kept his attention during a whole training session. Which doesn't sound like an achievement but generally half way through a training session he will run off to get a ball instead.


This was a hard review to write. I always want to be open minded, and honest with you all. I really wanted to love these treats as I love the whole concept around the brand and it's morals. Unfortunately the actual treat did fall short for me, and although Diego did enjoy them, he wouldn't go crazy for them. I don't want to put anyone off buying them though, because it's not a hate for me. I actually do like them, they just don't suit my needs at this stage. If you have a use for this kind of treat, then please go out and buy them and tell me what you and your dog thinks. If you are more into trick training, or need a very smelly, enticing treat, than I would probably look elsewhere.

Has anyone tried them already? Please tell me what your thoughts were! I would love to know.