It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Training = Results

Indie is walking on a nice, loose leash about 70 – 80% of the time now, and has completely ceased with the Squirrel Dance.

Anna is now allowed to Let Go of the Stroller at certain points in our walks.

Indie will sit when adults walk through the door, or up and down the front steps, and wait to be invited before she proceeds. She’s not 100% yet, but she’s making steady progress.

Timmy, Anna, and Emily can spend a convivial 30 minutes in a coffee shop, staying in their chairs, chattering happily, and nary a flicker of tantrum or whining from any of them.

Indie comes when she’s called a little over half the time. We’re still working on this one.

Noah comes when he’s called about… oh… 5% of the time. We’re definitely still working on this one. I’m sure the leash is the reason the dog is doing better, but I guess I can’t… no, huh? Definitely not? Okay.

Want to have a kid? Train a puppy first. If you could live with one for six months to a year to try out this whole “nurturing” schtick, that would be helpful — but that’s NOT ETHICAL AND CRUEL TO PUPPIES, so I DON’T REALLY MEAN IT. But if you could? If, at the end of that time you have adjusted to the limits on your freedom, and if the puppy will sit when it’s told, stay there, come when it’s called and walk on a nice loose leash (not tugging your arm out of its socket), you’re ready for the greater challenge of a child. (Greater challenge. Puppies are not babies. Babies are way harder.)

But those puppy-training skills? They are transferrable!

Clear expectations.
Reinforcement — positive, negative, intermittent.

Puppies, toddlers, teens… Makes no difference. All the same skill set.

And for all? High expectations — reasonable, but high — consistency of response, and practice, practice, practice.

That’s why none of my toddlers bark, and the dog rarely whines.

October 22, 2008 Posted by | behavioural stuff, Developmental stuff, manners, outings, socializing, the dog | , , , , | 5 Comments