Congratulations, a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY is in order for your pup! At 12 months, your pooch is officially a “teenager,” and you’ve made it through what’s considered the most challenging year of a dog’s life. Sure, there have been many ups and downs, but we’re sure you wouldn’t change that for the world!
So, what can you expect from a 12-month-old puppy, and what kind of training is best for this age? Today we’ll discuss dog training at 12 months, along with a few other things you should know.
Much like a human teenager deals with hormonal changes, your dog has some changes going on too. This can cause behavior problems to once again appear. The best way to cope through this stage is with lots of patience and yummy treats, with a little positive reinforcement on the side.
Also keep in mind that this is just a phase. Since your dog is a pack animal by nature, it’s necessary that he pushes boundaries to learn his place. Daily walks tend to be a problem around this age, so it’s necessary to continue teaching the concepts “come” and “stay.”
Surviving this stage with your puppy will be hard. You may see lots of bad behavior, so remember to remain calm and in control. Consistency is key.
Now that your dog is almost fully grown physically, it’s a great time to start teaching agility exercises and active sports. Of course, this will depend on what breed of dog you have, there are things you can do with virtually any size dog.
For example, if you have a dog that’s high energy consider playing sports such as fly ball or Frisbee. Getting your dog as active as possible will help expend extra energy that may instead be spent chewing up your furniture or digging holes.
The best thing you can do is keep trying activities until you find one that interests you dog. Also, if you haven’t attended any obedience classes, this is a great age. This is especially true if you have a large breed because by now your dog is massive in stature. It can get dangerous if large dogs aren’t properly trained; they are a lot to handle.
You may simply find that you have a performer on your hands. Some dogs just love to do tricks in exchange for treats. So, if you’ve mastered all basic skills, move on to more advanced ones such as play dead, roll over, crawl, “sit pretty”, fetch the newspaper, put trash in the wastebasket, etc.
The internet is full of homemade dog cake recipes, and if you’re lucky there may even be a dog bakery near your home. In any case, there’s no better way to celebrate your dog surpassing his first full year of life than with a birthday cake.
There’s a delicious recipe called Spoiled Dog Cake that’s not only tasty but healthy as well. It combines ingredients such as oil, baking soda, vegetable oil, pumpkin, peanut butter, and applesauce to create a cake that even you can eat! Spoiler alert - it doesn’t have sugar, so if you do decide to eat a slice, it won’t be sweet.
You can go as far as you’d like with presentation. In fact, many people like to ice the cake using a yogurt and peanut butter mixture. Feel free to decorate using your dog’s favorite bones or treats.