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12 Month Old

Training & Development12 Month Old Puppy

Happy Barkday to Me!!!

1 year old dog in birthday hat

Congratulations you and your puppy have made it through the first year of puppyhood. This is often thought of as the most challenging year of a dog’s life, and we want to assure you that all of the hard work and affection you put in is going to pay off for years to come!


So what’s next? You might be asking. My furbaby is full grown, or just about there, and he/she still acts like a goofy toddler flopping all over the house and yard. The puppy silliness and excitement lasts well into the adult years. Your pup still has a lot of energy that needs to be used up with lots of exercise, mental stimulation, and training. So keep it up! Your pup will start to mellow out more and more each year. After about 7 years old, your pup will enter the Senior years and you will notice a considerable slowdown.

Is Your Pup a Barker?A Few Tips to Stop Puppy Yappers, Barkers and Howlers

If your pup is a barker, then you already know how difficult it can be to stop the yapping madness. Incessant dog barking is one of the toughest challenges to tackle, but it can be done.

1 year old black and white puppy

Dogs bark for a number of reasons, from fear and protection to a greeting, to simple excitement. All forms of barking are your pup’s attempt to communicate with you, so it is important to never get mad at your baby for yapping. Raising your voice or scolding your pup will only worsen the situation. Instead, try one of these two recommendations to curb the chatter:

Desensitize Cues

If your puppy barks for specific reasons that you can put your finger on, then desensitizing those cues may be the easiest way to stem the behavior. To start, identify what that stimulus is. For example, some common ones are people wearing hats, riding a skateboard or bike, or even the mailman. Your puppy is simply not used to these encounters and needs to be further introduced. The key is to introduce slowly with lots of treats. Get a friend or family member to help you role play.

Let’s take the example of riding a bike. With your puppy on leash, have the biker ride about 100 feet away. This shouldn’t upset your pup. Make sure he sees the biker and treat him for acknowledging the situation and not barking at it. Treat well. Have the biker approach slowly and continue to treat. If your pup starts barking, have the biker move further away until the barking stops. Continue this back and forth, praising and treating handsomely as the biker approaches. Repeat this process daily until the barking stops completely.

Divert Attention

This one is particularly helpful if your dog will bark at things randomly when you are out in public, or if someone is passing by the house. If you need to get your pup to stop, try to ask your pup for a complete opposite behavior and praise him for giving it to you. It is hard for your pup to bark and also respond to a command like shake, lie down or turn in a circle. The incompatible behavior will take him out of the barking frenzy. The key to diverting your pup's attention is two-fold:

  • Make sure your puppy is a master at whatever the command is. Practice it every day so when he is distracted by the passerby he will still respond.

  • Load the reward. Make sure your pup knows that when he gives you the response you are looking for he is rewarded like a king (or queen).

A Quick Note

When tackling a challenging behavior that is ingrained in your pup, such as barking, aggression, jumping up, etc. You will need to practice in several short lessons over a long period of time. These learnings won’t be fully realized for your pup the first time, but with a lot of practice, and patience, you will see results over time. We promise!

And Finally...A Birthday Cake Recipe For Your Dog!

Have a puppy party to celebrate your pup and your great puppy-parenting! This is a big deal! Invite the pack and indulge in peanut butter, bacon and all the delicacies puppy's love. You can get great puppy party ideas including puppy themed decor and recipes on our pinterest page. Here is a doggy birthday cake recipe to get you started! Have fun and get creative!

Dog Cake Ingredients

  • 1 egg

  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter 1/4 cup cooking oil

  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup of honey

  • 1 cup shredded carrots

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Edible Dog Frosting Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of yogurt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter

  • Carob chips and shredded carrots or small bone shaped biscuits for decoration

Dog Birthday Cake Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Grease up your pan of choice or use cupcake liners.

  2. Combine the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla, and honey in a large bowl; blend well. Stir in the carrots and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour and baking soda and fold into the carrot mixture. Spoon cake batter into prepared pan.

  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  4. Frost and decorate!

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