Google+ Authentic Parenting: Doggy Training (re-run)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doggy Training (re-run)

Probably you are asking what an article about doggy training is doing on a parenting blog. Well, this isn't going to be about doggy training, really.
I read this article today, about how different birth is in the world of animal husbandry. It got me thinking... Actually, the same goes for treating and training animals. First of all, the first rule when getting any pet is to never hit or hurt it intentionally. There are probably hundreds of NGO's caring for mistreated animals. In most countries it is even illegal. Yet we would spank the stars out of our kids' bums when heaven forbid, they break something or even worse: don't listen to us! So physical punishment is out with you pets, but with your kids, well, you can do whatever you want? Really? Still not convinced spanking isn't the way to go, read on

Let's go even further: It's a known fact that when you do physically punish your dog, he might well turn vicious and act agressively toward you, your family or anyone outside his core group. What would that say about your kids being punished physically? You are wondering why they are acting up?
Modern day dog training doesn't stop there, it states you should forgo punishment altogether (or at least use it as little as imagineable). So let's put the toddler in the corner because he would rather play with his toys then listen to our story? 

When we got our dog, I asked the breeder if there was any advice he could give me, education-wise. He said that it was all well to prevent and correct undesired behaviour, but that you have to point out desired behaviour as well. (eg instead of jumping up, the dog should sit to have people greet him) The same applies to children, screaming 'NO!' all the time and not offering an alternative will soon reveal to be unsatisfactory.

In a book about dog training I recently read (Geert de Bolster - sorry it's in Dutch) a training method based on motivation and reward is portrayed, not one of correcting unwanted behaviour. Yet so many parents keep relying on punishment and thus answer to symptoms instead of searching for a cause.
De Bolster concludes his introduction stating the man/dog relationship should be one of communication, respect and trust, then why should it be otherwise between parents and their children?


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