Pumpkin Peanut Butter Puppy Cake Recipe

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (natural, lower-sugar varieties are better)
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix) [pumpkin sold for pets is the best kind to use]
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • moist treats if desired

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree

Directions:

Mix all cake ingredients together (I wait to add the moist treats last). Bake in a small greased or floured pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool.

While cooling mix frosting ingredients. If necessary refrigerate in a covered or sealed container until cake is cool enough.

Frost completely cooled cake and decorate as desired!

How To Train Item Retrieval

training

What is it?

Item retrieval is a very important task for many service dogs and service dogs in training.

Some dogs are trained to pickup any item their handler points at with a laser pointer. I personally don’t like this option because if the pointer is forgotten or the batteries die it could become problematic getting the dog to retrieve the desired item.

Others train the items name such as phone, keys or meds. This is what I prefer to do as well as train auto retrieves for anything I drop.

What is it used for?

For me personally I use this task when I am too dizzy to bend over or don’t feel well enough to get up. Others might use it for the same reason or when bending over could prove dangerous. Dogs can also be taught to retrieve weight appropriate items from lower shelves for the same reason. Someone in a wheelchair might use the task for items needed but not in their chair.

How I trained it.*

From the beginning I trained Anakin the moment he came home. Now at only 9 months old he is solid in his retrievals and will pick up almost anything I ask him to. The following is how I did it.

  • It all started with play
    • When Anakin and I would play fetch I’d say “bring me the toy!” and when he did it was a party. We’d continue until he was done and we call it quits. For this play time I only used one toy and this toy never came out unless we were building this foundation play. We played like this for a solid two weeks before even trying to move on.
    • During this play time I didn’t offer any treats since food was a high distraction for him back then.
  • I asked randomly at odd times
    • After the two weeks or so I brought out the toy but asked him for other things he knew such as sit, down or stand. Once we did a few things I’d ask him to “bring me the toy” and when he did it was party time with treats. I only did this once because I wanted him to succeed. Another two weeks went by doing this at random times.
  • Introduced weird objects
    • After yet another two weeks (we’re up to 4 weeks now) and he was solid in bringing his toy I started to ask him for other objects I knew he could pick up. From there it was smooth transition into other things. At six weeks training this I introduced names to certain objects (ex. keys, remote, meds, wallet).

A word of caution for those teaching a puppy.

If you are like me and starting your puppy early the teething stage might be a hiccup in your training plan. Their teeth might be too painful and sensitive for this training. Keep that in mind during teething time and training this.

It took about six weeks of patience and positive association but it all paid off. Now he picks up just about anything and any object he’s unsure of will happen with some coaxing. In retrospect the six week time frame might’ve been a little long for him but I wanted him to be happy and confident in what I was asking.


Disclaimer: these steps are what worked for me and my dogs. A different technique might work for you. Don’t be afraid to play around and mold a technique to what works for your pup. The basic outline I used on Anakin, a 12 week old puppy at the time and Willow who was over a year at the time.

How Faking a Service Dogs Hurts Legitimate Handlers

Fido

Fido

It’s the weekend, your time for running errands. You’ll be out all day, the same as during the week, and Fido just stares at you. Fido knows you’re leaving again and it breaks your heart. After all, Fido will be left all alone. Again.

You feel bad, even sorry, for leaving your best friend. I mean look at that face? How could anyone resist, especially not you.

You think, ‘what’s the harm?’ and together you and Fido head for the car where your “service dog” vest you bought online waits in the glove box. Fido dances, butt wiggling, with excitement. Once the vest is on you two head off to your local Walmart or grocery to get some shopping done.

Where’s the harm in spending some time together?

Once at the store you two head into together. Fido at the end of its leash says hello to anyone and everyone. Oh, but wait! There’s some delectable meats Fido must sniff and lick. Isn’t Fido just the cutest?


While Fido maybe cute, your Fido belongs at home.

Service dogs are highly trained, specifically to mitigate their handler’s disability. The training these dogs undergo takes years and most aren’t up to the job.

A fake service dog may do any (or all) of the following:

  • bark
  • growl
  • bight or snap at a person
  • sniff/lick/eat produce
  • relieve themselves
  • destroy merchandise
  • lose self control
  • ignore their handler
  • say hello to everyone
  • rear up on people
  • be aggressive towards a real service dog

Management and employees see this behavior, from your vested fake service dog with its ID, and automatically assign this behavior to any dog in a service dog vest. This behavior is obviously unacceptable since no one wants to eat or prepare food a dog just finished licking. Management approaches you and you proudly produce your “service dog ID” that came with your vest. Disgruntled, management leaves you alone.

Now enter me, a woman who needs her service dog in order to live a normal life, with my service dog. A manager confronts me, demanding proof of my disability or “ID” for my dog. I, being the educated handler that I am, raise a brow and inform them of certain aspects of the law. Once I’m finished I candidly point out that my dog never moved from my side, ignored everyone around him, including that other fake Fido over there.

Fake service dogs create access issues for legitimate handlers. Why? Their poor behavior reflects badly on all dogs in a service dog vest.

A true service dog will do none of the bullet points above. They will behave appropriately (above any pet dog) and help their handler as they are trained to do.

Please leave your precious baby at home. After all, public places are sensory overload for dogs not trained to handle the chaos that is the public. Often times pets become overwhelmed in such an environment and may act out of character (such as showing aggression or trying to run away). This is unfair to your dog since they are going through undue stress and anxiety in such a bustling place.