Dog Birthday Ideas: How We Celebrated Kai’s First Birthday

Dog Birthday Ideas: How We Celebrated Kai’s First Birthday

Our Goldendoodle puppy, Kai, just had his first birthday, so I found some easy dog birthday ideas to celebrate our “baby’s” special day. Here’s what we did for Kai’s first dog birthday party. It was a simple puppy party, yet special. Hopefully, these simple dog birthday ideas will inspire you to create your own dog birthday celebration. In honor of Kai’s first birthday, I created this little video review of Kai’s first year.

Homemade Dog Cookies

My first discovery when searching for easy dog birthday ideas was this dog biscuit mix from Trader Joe’s. It was a quick way to bake homemade dog biscuits for Kai’s puppy birthday party. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can also find them on Amazon. It was quick and easy, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure they turn out well.

Here’s how it worked:

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

The first step in the directions is to combine the oil with the mix. It does say that the mixture will be crumbly at first, but I discovered that it would take more oil than the recipe called for. 

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

Mix the dough

The second step is to start mixing it together by hand so that it combines into a dough that you can roll out. I simply added more oil a little bit at a time until the mixture started sticking together. My dog birthday ideas began to take shape!

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

Without overdoing it, I eventually had enough oil mixed in to be able to form it into a ball. 

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

The directions say to roll the dough out on a floured surface, but I recommend using very little flour on this step. The flour tends to make the dough fall apart again. I learned this the hard way and had to add more oil, so I wouldn’t use flour the next time. Depending on your surface, you may not even need flour for rolling out the dough. 

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

Cut out the cookies 

Finally, cut out the biscuits in whatever shape you choose using a cookie cutter. I kept the dough thick to make it easier to cut them out. I found that the dough started to fall apart when it was any thinner than this.

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

Kai was ready to eat the biscuits before they were even baked!

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

Carefully transfer each biscuit onto a baking sheet and bake according to the instructions. I checked them regularly to make sure they didn’t burn.

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

When the dog biscuits are fully baked, they will be crisp and slightly browned.

dog birthday ideas homemade dog biscuits

Next, I transferred the baked cookies to a cooling rack. 

The package directions don’t include icing, but I decided it would be a little more festive to decorate the dog cookies with some colored dog-friendly frosting. I liked this recipe from the Cake Decorist because the frosting hardens which would be less messy for Kai when eating the dog cookies.

Dog-Friendly Icing Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • food coloring (optional)
  • large bowl and whisk

Mix together the water and cornstarch,  then add the honey. Using a whisk, combine the mixture and add more water if needed. The icing might seem thin at first, but it will eventually harden. If you choose to add food coloring, make sure it contains all-natural ingredients, like this one linked here.

dog birthday ideas dog friendly icing

Add a few drops of all-natural food coloring to the icing. If you want several colors, simply divide the icing into separate bowls for each color.

dog birthday ideas dog friendly icing

Drizzle the icing over the cookies. The icing should harden within just a few minutes

dog birthday ideas dog friendly icing

Transfer the dog cookies to a pretty serving plate

When gathering your dog birthday ideas, don’t forget some cookies for the humans! I added some colorful frosted store-bought cookies for our humans. 

dog birthday ideas

Dog Birthday Party Accessories

dog birthday ideas

Your list of dog birthday ideas is not complete without party hats, plates, napkins, and accessories

I spent quite a bit of time shopping to come up with dog birthday ideas for Kai’s special day. I found his birthday crown, birthday bandana, and matching toy cake at Target. They fit his personality perfectly! If you can’t find these accessories at Target. There are several alternatives on Amazon, such as this matching set for a boy, this set for a girl, or this set for a girl or boy pup.

Puppy’s Birthday Photo

When thinking of dog birthday ideas, don’t forget to capture your celebration with a photo. Once you have your puppy’s party ensemble put together, remember to take an official birthday photo to document this special day!!

You may want to add a special background to make it look professional. I love this milestone chalkboard or a letterboard to use as a background. 

dog birthday ideas first birthday photo

Perfect Dog First Birthday Present

Dog presents are probably one of the most important items on the list of dog birthday ideas. After all, it wouldn’t be a birthday party without presents!

If your dog is turning one year old, it’s time to upgrade from all the new puppy supplies you first purchased to some grown-up dog supplies. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since we brought Kai home. He’s outgrown so much of what we first bought for him in the beginning.

Grown-Up Dog Supplies

To make this list of dog birthday ideas complete, I’ve linked some gift ideas below. For pups who are turning one, this list is a good start in transitioning your one-year-old pup to some upgraded dog supplies:

Personalized dog blanket

Personalized dog bed

Quality leather dog leash

Elevated dog bowls

Silent silicone personalized dog tag

Stylish bandanas

I hope you have as much fun as I did celebrating your pup’s memorable day!


As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn fees paid by Amazon from qualifying purchases.

Goldendoodle Grooming Tips: At Home Trims Between Appointments

Goldendoodle Grooming Tips: At Home Trims Between Appointments

When I was searching for the best Goldendoodle grooming tips that I could use at home, my local groomer had all the answers. Before I owned a Goldendoodle, I had no idea how important grooming is to keep them happy and healthy.

Professional grooming is gets expensive. I learned that taking a few steps at home helps to prolong the time in between grooming appointments. Plus, when you bring a dog with severe matting to a groomer, it will be more costly.

Goldendoodles are popular for their hypoallergenic and low shedding coats, but they require a lot of grooming and maintenance. If you neglect regular brushing and trimming, your Goldendoodle will end up with a tangled, matted coat.

With the right tools and techniques, some simple touch-ups at home will keep your doodle looking his best between grooms. 

In this article, I share the best Goldendoodle grooming tips I learned from my groomer. I talk more about at-home grooming of my F1B Goldendoodle, Kai, here on this video.

Best Goldendoodle Grooming Tips To Prevent Matting 

One of the most important Goldendoodle grooming tips is this: consistent brushing. If you do this one thing everyday, you’ll prevent the dreaded shave down. That’s why I give Kai little trims and brush him consistently in between grooming appointments. Keep in mind, this does not replace a professional groomer. It just helps keep him clean and healthy before his next groom.

If you decide to try out any of these tools, make sure you take it slow and take lots of breaks. When using scissors on your dog, safety is the most important!!

Brushing a Goldendoodle takes time. I combine regular brushing at home with professional grooming every six weeks or so. I do basic brushing and simple trimming at home.  Kai also visits a groomer for complete bathing, nail trimming, and enhancing the overall shape of the haircut.

Whether you prefer a teddy bear haircut or a poodle style, a groomer will provide the proper care that you can’t do at home.

How To Avoid Shaving Your Goldendoodle

Regular brushing is the most important step you can take to prevent matting in your Goldendoodle. When I asked professional groomers for their best Goldendoodle grooming tips, they all said the same thing: Regular brushing three to four times a week.

A groomer can’t avoid shaving a severely matted coat. So make sure you start brushing your puppy at an early age to get him comfortable with it. 

Just before Kai’s first trip to the groomer, I noticed he had a lot of matting behind his ears and on his belly. I didn’t understand just how important it is to start early brushing a Goldendoodle puppy on a regular basis. The mats developed quickly.

It was impossible for the groomer to detangle him, so he had to shave those areas. He had to cut his hair pretty close which made him look more like a poodle. I wanted to keep his puppy look with a teddy bear haircut, so I was disappointed.

When discussing Goldendoodle grooming tips, groomers emphasize that matting is actually painful to dogs. To make matters worse, mats are almost impossible to brush out.

I learned the hard way that you can’t skip regular brushing.

Brushing needs to become part of your daily routine as a Goldendoodle owner. 

Both Kai and Zuma are F1B Goldendoodles and have teddy bear haircuts.

Goldendoodle Grooming Tools To Keep At Home

Professional Goldendoodle grooming tips may sound complicated, but it’s not as hard as you might think. All you need is to have the right tools and supplies to give your dog simple trims before your next appointment.  Dog grooming supplies can be really expensive. I searched Amazon and found more affordable versions of the tools professional dog groomers use.

It’s important to have the right grooming tools at home. This helps properly maintain a doodle at home in between visits to the groomer.

The Best Brush For Goldendoodles

My groomer explained why Goldendoodles develop matted spots and recommended the best brush for Goldendoodles. This is a very specific type of dog slicker brush that has helped me put these Goldendoodle grooming tips into practice. It has made all the difference!

This brush has long, angled pins which allow you to penetrate to the base of the coat. Otherwise, you end up just brushing over the surface.

The Chris Christensen pro version is the top choice of the pros, but I opted for the more affordable one.

Kai is an F1b Goldendoodle and has a soft, fluffy coat. It’s more on the curly side than Zuma’s wavy coat. We used the brush on both Kai and Zuma, and it worked great for both of them.

I’ve been brushing Kai a few times a week. Now that he’s more accustomed to it, he seems to like it.

Helpful Dog Grooming Maintenance Tools

A good detangling spray can help work out any early signs of matting or tangling. I like this one from BioSilk because I’ve used the human version on my own hair for years.

I love it! Not only does it help with detangling, but BioSilk adds shine and smells so good.

My groomer also recommends a large steel tooth comb to help with preventing tangles as the hair grows. 

Thoroughly Wash and Dry Your Goldendoodle

One of the best Goldendoodle grooming tips I’ve learned is that It’s extremely important to dry and brush your Goldendoodle after getting wet!! Otherwise, you’ll be dealing with matting before you know it. So take the time to wash and dry your doodle after trips to the beach or other water-related activities.

When bathing, use a quality dog shampoo. I highly recommend this shampoo that is specific for curly or wavy coats. It helps minimize tangling and gives the hair an added lift.

Avoid using human shampoos on dogs. They don’t have the same pH balance that dogs need and can could cause skin irritation.

Here’s what Kai looked like after a beach day a few weeks ago. 


To prevent matting, we make sure to wash, dry, and brush Kai after beach days.

We gave him a bath and dried him as soon as we got home to avoid matting. His coat is still in great condition.

This deshedding tool is a cult favorite for many types of shedding dogs and is wildly popular. For F1 Goldendoodles or doodles with a coat similar to a Golden Retriever or Labrador, it may work well.

Different Types of Goldendoodles Have Different Types of Coats

If you’re not sure which type of Goldendoodle you have, you can read about the different variations here. However, deshedding tools do not work on wavy or curly non-shedding doodles. De-shedders do not get to the base of the hair to prevent matting.

If you have a shedding dog, use a de-matting tool when necessary to remove stubborn matted areas. This tool works well for thicker coats, and this de-matting set provides three different types of tools that you can use together depending on the area and type of coat.

Be careful when using deshedding or dematting tools. They usually contain a razor blade or sharp edge. Work slowly and carefully to protect your dog from injury. 

A dry shampoo comes in handy for freshening up and eliminating odors when a full bath isn’t necessary. I like Begley’s and BioSilk.

How To Put These Goldendoodle Grooming Tips Into Action: 

Goldendoodle Grooming Routine

How To Get a Teddy Bear Haircut For Your Goldendoodle

If you want your Goldendoodle to have a teddy bear haircut, you’ll want to be specific in describing what you want to the groomer. It’s a good idea to bring a picture so they know exactly what you have in mind.

For the teddy bear look, here’s what the professionals say you should ask for:

  • Shave a small notch between the eyes

  • Trim short around the ears and eyes

  • Trim around the muzzle with curved scissors

  • Blend around the face and ears

  • Shave evenly about one and a half to two inches in length all over the body

  • Trim the feet round

  • A long tail that is feathered and tapered towards the end

Kai is the ultimate teddy bear dog!

The Best Trimming Tools For Goldendoodles

To keep up the teddy bear haircut for a Goldendoodle, you can carefully trim your dog’s face if you have the right tools. First, you’ll need a pair of rounded grooming scissors to safely trim around the eyes and nose. The curved shape is important for trimming around the muzzle. It will help achieve a uniform look, and the rounded ends are safer around the eyes.

Keep in mind that even though there are no dangerous sharp ends, you still need to be very careful when using scissors. You  don’t want to accidentally hurt your dog.

Think Safety First When Trimming Your Dog At Home

Be extra careful to not cut the skin when trimming the ears. Make sure you check how long the hair extends past the end of the ear so that you don’t cut too close and clip the skin!

You’ll also need some thinning shears to blend the blunt hair on the head and face after you cut it. Using thinning shears around the face helps create that teddy bear look.

Consistency is key! With the right grooming tools and a regular brushing routine, taking care of your Goldendoodle’s coat should be an easy process. The main thing is to find a balance that works for you and keeps your pup happy, healthy, and beautiful.

Essential Tools for Goldendoodle Grooming

Preparing for a new Goldendoodle puppy? Check out my list of 15 essential items I used for Kai.

As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn fees paid by Amazon from qualifying purchases.



My Ultimate Work From Home Amazon Gift Guide

My Ultimate Work From Home Amazon Gift Guide

Home Office Upgrades, Gadgets, WFH Clothing, Brain Food, and Ways to Keep the Pup Busy

I’ve worked from home for most of my career. I’ve learned a few things about staying on track while working from home.

In this article, I share my favorite Amazon products that help make the WFH life easier, more comfortable, and productive. (I also shared this list on my YouTube Channel here.)

I’m sharing this because…

  • You may know someone who is new to working from home and might like some cool stuff that will help them adapt to the WFH lifestyle.
  • You might be looking for some new discoveries for your own home office or to improve your WFH routine.
  • It’s always better if you can find ideas recommended by an actual person. 
  • Shopping on Amazon is just easy.  

Upgrades for the Home Office 

My working environment has a big impact on my productivity. If I’m not comfortable or I don’t have the proper set-up, I’ll end up distracted and frustrated.

So I’d like to start with some ideas to enhance any work from home office, whether it’s an entire room or just a corner of an apartment.

Stand Up Desk

Everyone has their own desk preference, but I’d like to talk about stand-up desks. Some people love them, and some people don’t like the idea of standing while working at all.

But, what if you could have both?

I just purchased this stand-up desk that raises and lowers with the push of a button. I love that it allows you to stand, but that you can also quickly and easily lower it to sit down whenever you need to. I highly recommend it!

AIMEZO Electric Height Adjustable Home Office Standing Desk

LED Desk Lamp

A new desk lamp can make all the difference in your ability to focus on your work. Plus LED desk lamps are better for your eyes which helps reduce eye strain.

I love that this LED desk lamp has a touch control so you can change it to different color modes and brightness levels. If I’m working at night, I can adjust it to the perfect brightness. The different color combinations allow you to set it to your unique preferences.

LED Eye-Caring Dimmable Office Lamp with USB Charging Port, Touch Control

Multi-Use Desk Pad

I love that this large desk pad doubles as a mouse pad and that it comes in so many different colors. Plus, it’s waterproof so it protects your desk from accidental spills.

Non-Slip Desk Blotter/Mousepad Desk Writing Pad

Gadgets That Help Neck Pain Relief

I am constantly looking for ways to relieve neck and back pain from sitting at a computer all day while working from home.

Here are a few things that I’ve found to work well for me.

Massage Gun

For me, a massage gun is practically a necessity. Warning: this massage gun is not for the weak-minded, but it works!! If you have a kink, it will work it out!! It’s intense!! I also find it to be helpful to use on my sore muscles after workouts.

Massage Gun for Athletes Deep Tissue Percussion Fascia Massager for Soreness Relief

Foam Roller

Rolling out my back every morning and every evening helps keep things in alignment after sitting in front of a computer all day.

I have a habit of rounding my shoulders over, and this pressure point foam roller helps me straighten up and work out the knots in my back and shoulders. 

Medium Density Deep Tissue Myofascial Trigger Point Foam Rolle

Brain Food

Let’s be honest. There are a lot of distractions when working from home. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your mind focused and your brain at peak performance.

Here’s a list of some ways to feed the brain.

The Proper Caffeine

Electric Gooseneck Kettle with 5 Temperature Presets

When it comes to brain fuel, coffee is first on the list – obviously. Some people prefer tea. Some people like both.

This electric gooseneck kettle is perfect for heating water for tea or for making pour-over coffee. I love that it has temperature presets so that you don’t burn your coffee or teas. I also love that it automatically keeps the water at the same temperature for one hour.

Ceramic Single Serve Pour Over Coffee Dripper

I literally use this ceramic single-serve pour-over coffee dripper every single morning. I love how individual cups keep me from wasting coffee. It’s so easy to use. You simply add a paper cone filter and place it on top of your mug.

It’s everything you need for a perfect tasting cup of coffee.

Breville Barista Pro Espresso Machine

If you’d rather go pro and make your favorite espressos, lattes, or cappuccinos at home, this is an awesome espresso machine. Full disclosure: I don’t own this personally, but one of my best friends has one. I’ve used it on multiple occasions. It makes coffee drinks exactly like what you would have at a coffee house. Plus, it’s just fun to use.

Death Wish Coffee Gift Pack

I’m a huge fan of strong coffee. I love the taste, and it gives me energy and focus. Death Wish Coffee is super strong without bitterness.

This gift pack is a great deal and provides two types of roasts. Even if you don’t think you like strong coffee, you may change your mind after trying this one.

The Right Snacks

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds

Dark chocolate and nuts are proven brain foods. So why not put them together? These dark chocolate covered almonds are my favorite for a quick pick up in the afternoon.

So satisfying!! If you don’t happen to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, you can get them on Amazon. (Unfortunately, they’re more expensive on Amazon.) 

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Power Berries: Acai, Pomegranate, Cranberry and Blueberry

Power berries covered in dark chocolate? Yes, please.

This is an indulgent, yet brain fueling snack! I’m pretty sure if you combine dark chocolate with just about anything it would be good.

These Trader Joe’s dark chocolate-covered berries are amazing! Again, if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, this variety pack of three on Amazon would make a great gift.

Comfortable Clothing That Makes You Feel Like You’re Getting Dressed 

When working from home, I like to feel like I’m getting dressed for the day. This habit gives me a work mindset rather than a lounging around the house mindset.

I have my “uniform” of comfortable things I wear every day that help me feel productive.

Cardigan Sweaters

It might be tempting to wear a robe when working from home, but the right cardigan can be just as cozy without being SO loungy. I like wearing cardigans because they can make a t-shirt look more dressed up.  I can put one on when it’s chilly in the house and take it off if I need to.

Lightweight Wool Blend Cardigan That Comes In A Variety of Colors

I don’t usually like wearing anything with wool because I feel like it’s too hot. This wool-blend cardigan is on the thinner side. I like that it provides warmth without being too heavy. I like the pockets, the longer length, and the open style which makes it easy to take on and off.

Cozy Cardigan That Feels Like A Barefoot Dreams Robe

This sweater feels like you’re wrapping up in a cozy Barefoot Dreams robe. But it’s a fraction of the cost. It’s so soft and comes in thirty-one different colors. I’m tempted to buy a few more. It’s a great way to get the feel of wearing a robe without looking like you just got out of bed.

Barefoot Dreams Dupe Leopard Print Cardigan 

This button cardigan is a more affordable dupe of the popular Barefoot Dreams leopard print cardigan. It’s super soft and cozy. And, if you’re not a leopard print kind of person, it comes in several other colors. 

Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Light Island Wrap

While the dupes are great options, sometimes you just have to go with the real thing.

I’ve been wearing this Barefoot Dreams Wrap for the last five years. I still love wearing it! It always looks good and is still in perfect condition.

I have this sweater in the taupe color like in the picture below. Even though it’s more expensive, I think I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth by how much I still wear it. Simply the best!

The Right Pants

I’m always in search of comfortable pants that still make me feel pulled together. While I do like to wear joggers and leggings, I don’t want to wear them every single day. 

Sanctuary Runway Leggings

When it comes to pants, I like to buy quality because they’re more flattering. They’re just more comfortable. I bought these pants in three different colors at Anthropologie, but they also have them on Amazon. I absolutely love wearing them because they make me feel very put together. They’re more like regular pants or jeggings, because they are a substantial weight with real pockets in the back. Because of the stretch, they’re not restrictive or tight feeling at all.

Buttery Soft High Waisted Fitted Joggers

While I love my Lululemon joggers, these high waisted fitted joggers are a great alternative at a fraction of the cost! So comfortable. I like that they’re not as tight as workout leggings, but not as loose as typical joggers.

The Right Shoes

For the cooler months, anything fur-lined on my feet is the right call. I like slip-on style shoes instead of anything that laces up. Sometimes only my tried and true Ugg Slippers will do, but there are other days when I want to wear actual shoes.

Fur Lined Mules

I love that these fur-lined mules are essentially dressed up slippers. They’re perfect for when you want to look a little more dressed up than wearing slippers.

Ugg Slippers

A work from home gift guide would not be complete without mentioning Ugg Slippers. I can’t remember a time when I have not worn them. They’re hands-down my favorite thing to put on my feet when I’m at home.

I love this leopard print pair.

SeaVees Mid Top Sneakers

I’m a California beach girl at heart, so I love the SeaVees brand. These casual shoes are kind of like high top sneakers, but not really. They meet my slip-on requirement, and they’re great for my dog walking breaks outside.

Things to Keep The Doggo Busy While Working From Home

My Goldendoodle puppy needs to stay occupied when I’m busy. I’m always looking for puppy supplies to keep him happy and satisfied. This is not always an easy task because he loves attention!!

I’ve also had to learn how to handle his occasional barking and chewing, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world! One of my favorite things about working from home is that I can have @ThatDoodKai by my side to keep me company throughout the day. Kai has an important role in my home office routine

Here are a few things to keep the puppers busy:

Kong Interactive Treat Dispensing Toy

The Buster Cube Activity Toy

The Tug A Jug Dispenser

I’m always looking for new ideas for my work at home life. I’d love to know some of your work from home tips to try out.

What are some ways you enhance your work from home life?


Please note there are some referral links included here but know that I haven’t recommended anything that I haven’t personally used. Some of these items were purchased at full price, some were bought on sale, and some I received as gifts from family or friends.

As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn fees paid by Amazon from qualifying purchases.

Expert Tips on How To Stop Dog Barking

Expert Tips on How To Stop Dog Barking

I’ve been researching expert tips to stop dog barking because my Goldendoodle puppy, Kai, has started a bad habit of barking out our front window. So I decided to turn to dog training experts to give me the best advice on stopping unwanted dog barking.

To summarize everything I learned I created this video along with my summary below. After trying many techniques, I found a few that were especially helpful. So I wanted to share them here.

Because Kai is only six months old, I know I have time to address this problem early before this barking issue turns into a major problem. The habit started because Kai gets very excited by things that go on outside of our window on the street. I know this is a natural behavior because he wants to alert us.

After my research, I learned there are many causes of dog barking. There are many approaches to solving the problem of unwanted barking. They all take time and consistency, so we’re still in process.  I feel much better knowing I have a plan to follow. 

So, here’s a summary of what I’ve been doing to help solve Kai’s barking.

Alert Barking and How To Stop It

When the doorbell rings or when the postal carrier is approaching, it’s normal that your dog wants to alert you that someone is there. Dogs’ ears are so sensitive that even a small noise can make them want to alert you. But this can become a nuisance if you can’t get it to stop.

One of the best tips I learned is that it helps if you reassure your dog by checking out what may be going on. When he sees that you’re protecting the area too, he’ll feel safer and won’t feel like he has to constantly alert you. 

Give Your Pup A Smaller Area to Control Barking

You also may need to make your dog’s world a little smaller, so that there aren’t as many distractions that lead to barking. For example, I blocked off the area by our front window, so that Kai can’t sit there looking for something to bark at.

By blocking his access to that area, it prevents those fits where he starts barking at a jogger coming by. This at least limits some of that behavior. Providing a safe and secure space gives him the space to relax and remain calm.

The “Leave-It” Command

However, in order to minimize or eventually eliminate these kinds of outbursts, it’s also important to let him get used to  people walking by the house. Anticipating barking before it starts can be one of the most effective ways to train your dog to stop barking.

Here’s what I learned to do: When I see someone is walking by the house, I will have treats ready in hand. As soon as Kai’s ears perk up, and he looks like he’s about to bark, I’ll give him a treat and say, “Leave it.”

I’ll keep giving him a treat and say, “Leave it” until the person is out of sight.

This works because it’s almost impossible for him to bark when he’s smelling or eating. It also reinforces the positive behavior of being quiet. I do the same thing while we’re out walking on the leash.

Using the “leave it” command allows me to intervene early. I get his attention on me before he starts barking and acting up. It takes work, but he’s getting better.

Working with Kai in this way has put me in a much better position to work on other behavior issues in the future. I’ve found it to work really well!

It will take a lot of repetition until he consistently learns good behavior whenever he sees these triggers. I know it won’t solve everything, but I feel like it’s helped so much.

He’s still young, so hopefully he’ll grow out of this unwanted behavior as he becomes more socialized. It made me feel better to know that extreme barking with a young, unsocialized dog is common. 

The Best Time to Correct Unwanted Barking Is Before It Happens

It’s important to understand that the best time to correct unwanted barking is right before it occurs. I’ve learned some of the signs Kai shows before he starts to bark.

Before he barks is the best time to intervene, encourage him to look at me, and reward him when he complies. It just takes being patient and consistent.

I also make sure I use an enticing reward. This makes it easier to get his attention on me. Having a variety of treats keeps Kai interested. Deli meat, especially bologna, works very well.

The goal is to teach him to be quiet for just a split-second.  It’s important to reward any amount of effort. I don’t expect too much. Just enough to catch him in a good behavior.

Since Kai already knows how to sit, I tell him to sit with the treat in my hand over his head. This gets the focus off of whatever is going on and onto me. 

Does Your Dog Get A Reward From Barking?

A dog might bark because he’s learned that he gets a reward for barking. This is known as demand barking.

For example, he may be in the habit of dropping a ball in front of you and barking until you throw the ball. Over time, he’s learned that when he barks, he gets that attention.

One of the best ways to discourage this type of barking is to turn your back and ignore your dog. Eventually, he will learn that he won’t get that attention.

Instead of picking up the ball and throwing it, you would just hold on to the ball and walk away. At first, he will bark again. As soon as there is any silence at all, you can throw the ball.

He will eventually learn that when he stops barking, he’ll get the ball. When he starts to bark, he won’t get the attention. It takes patience and practice, but it works.

The “Quiet” Command

Another useful tip I learned is to teach the “Quiet” command. This is similar to the “Leave-It” command.

Here’s how it works:

If your dog barks when the doorbell rings, you pick a word such as “quiet”. You’ll say this word every time the doorbell rings. Then before you answer the door, you say “quiet” and hold out a treat in your hand in front of his nose.

Because dogs can’t bark and smell at the same time, he’ll automatically stop barking. When the treat comes after you say the word “quiet”, he will eventually associate being quiet with the treat. 

Control Barking With Plenty of Mental and Physical Exercise 

Preventing boredom with regular exercise and playtime will go a long way in getting barking under control.

Dogs are a lot like children. If you don’t keep them busy and active, they’ll find a way to fill the boredom. Create a plan to make sure your dog gets the exercise and stimulation he needs.

Leash walking, chasing a ball, playing tug-of-war with a toy, or active play with other dogs lead to a better behaved and well-adjusted dog. Dogs do well when they have a daily routine. Decide who will be in charge of the activities, and for how long. 

I highly recommend all of these expert tips for controlling dog barking. Kai has been responding well to all of them, and I hope they help your dog too. 

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Working From Home Tips from a Writer: Hire Your Dog

Working From Home Tips from a Writer: Hire Your Dog

Dogs with a Job, Kai the Goldendoodle


If you work from home like me, you need all the help you can get! Whether you’re working from home temporarily due to the pandemic, or you work from home permanently, having extra help can mean the difference between success and failure.

In this article, I’d like to recognize my employee of the month: my personal assistant, Kai. He’s an absolute superstar.

Don’t even think about recruiting him because he’s 100% loyal to me. You’ll be inspired by his many accomplishments at such a young age. He’s well on his way to a bright future with a promising career ahead of him.

Here’s why:

1. Strong Time Management Skills

First, Kai keeps me on schedule. I typically have several projects I’m working on at the same time. I rely on him to keep me on track so that I can meet my deadlines.

He has a special tone in his bark that startles me at just the right time.

His bark works especially well when I’m on the phone. Since I can’t hear a thing, it urges me to hang up at the earliest opportunity.  

2. Effective Organizational Skills

Second, Kai can manage just about anything. He can also assess a situation in record time.

His keen sense of smell and ability to hear every sound on earth make him ready to respond in a split second. He sits up, takes notice, and barks whenever he feels it’s time to regroup.

In addition, he’s great at delegating anything that does not include a treat, a toy, or head pats.

3. Ability to Prioritize

Kai has a big picture perspective. He also has an acute attention to detail.

He knows how important a clean office is to productivity. That’s why empties the trashcans frequently. He keeps the wastebasket tipped over and picks up stray tissues regularly. 

4. Excellent Proofreader

As a busy writer, I rely on Kai for a second set of eyes to catch any typos, spelling, or grammar mistakes.

He has an uncanny ability to notice things I would never see on my own. 

5. Efficient Office Manager

Finally, I don’t what I would do without Kai’s expertise as an office manager.

One of his duties is to open the mail promptly. He doesn’t let one envelope get away.

He even takes the extra step of double-checking all pieces of mail that are in the trashcan, just to make sure we haven’t overlooked something important.

Kai has so many other strengths that are almost too numerous to mention. Here are just a few:

  • Security Guard – alerts me to any and all potential intruders.
  • Therapist –  provides cuddles and hugs at just the right time.
  • Cheerleader – tail wags to brighten my day.
  • Team builder – plays fetch during breaks.
  • Personal trainer – motivates me to take frequent walks.

Overall, I would say Kai is an invaluable employee. He’s making great progress as my personal assistant.

As my only employee, I predict he will be the recipient of many other company awards in the future. Thanks so much for your hard work Kai!

I love you and appreciate you!

As a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn fees paid by Amazon from qualifying purchases.

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