Discipline and puppies? Is there a lesson for parents? I spent Christmas in the home of one of my children. A grandson has a new German shepherd nine-week-old puppy. Although most of the duties are handled by my grandson, the entire family pitches in with the training efforts. My daughter explained that there are two approaches to training dogs (much like two popular methods of training children). One is based on positive reinforcement only. The other method uses correction and making sure the puppy knows who’s in control. The entire family committed to being consistent in their expectations.
Checking the Boundaries
Buddy is constantly checking the boundaries. “Am I allowed to chew on this basket?” “Can I nip at the leg of my master?” “Do I really have to go outside to potty?” Buddy is much like a two-year-old child – full of energy and with endless ways to defy the rules.
Child Discipline Much Like Training a Puppy
I was struck by the similarities between training a puppy and training a child. The two major approaches are similar. Puppies and children constantly test the boundaries. Consistency is crucial for both, and everyone involved in the training should be committed to that consistency.
Consistency is Key
The biggest lesson I learned watching Buddy’s training was the importance (for puppies and children) of early training. Even with all his rambunctious youthfulness, I would rather be training a young pup than a grown dog. The destruction and the puddles are smaller when the one being trained is small!
“Cute” is Hard to Discipline
As you can tell from the picture, his cuteness makes it all the more difficult to enforce discipline. But, isn’t that exactly the way we often feel about our misbehaving children when they are small?
And the ears? We’re pretty sure that won’t be corrected by discipline. Only time will correct the one-up-and-one-down look.
Thanks, Buddy, for the lessons.
What about you? Have your experiences training a pet taught you anything about rearing children?