Parenting vs. Dog Training

It is difficult being a Parent, especially since your child does not come with a manual.

Thankfully we have our parents, family, friends and our church to fall back on.  Right now I am attending a Sunday morning class for dads and dads to be.  We are going through a book called Better Dads, Stronger Sons by Rick Johnson.  He is a great writer and since I do not have a son, I will be starting his That’s my Girl: How a Father’s Love Protects and Empowers His Daughter.

Today our teacher was going over Chapter Seven, Discipline.  This is what I need to know about, how do you get your child to do what you ask and how do you teach them that if they do something they may get hurt doing it?  Well, we did not get through the whole lesson, so we will pick up where we left it next week.

One thing we did talk about, that I thought was really cool, was how so similar training a dog is to parenting your child.  An interesting fact about me I am a former dog trainer for PetSmart.  I went to training for two weeks, read some books, taught some classes and boom I was an accredited trainer.  (The picture below is my graduation day with my trainer.)

To hear the teacher compare the two I immediately agreed.  When I taught my classes I would explain to my PetParents that if you want your children to do something  you must be consistent, as if you want your dogs to do something, you MUST be consistent.  For instance, you want your dog to sit.  Start by using a small piece of food to lure your dog’s nose to point upward (toward the treat) and move the treat backwards over his head so that he naturally lowers his haunches to a sitting position. Don’t hold the treat too high or he may jump up for it.  Once your dog’s butt hits the floor say “YES” and give the treat, then say OK letting your dog know it is ok to get out of the sit.  You must do this for days to get the pattern down and make sure you get a good sit, it takes awhile, but sit is one of the easiest commands.

To teach your child to clean up you must show them the toys that are on the ground, pick it up and place them in the box.  You must show them how to do this every day AND give them praise for cleaning up, clapping, saying YAY, whatever it is make it fun.

Why do both of these work?  Have you heard of someone called B.F. Skinner?  He coined the term Operant Conditioning; a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an association is made between a behavior and a consequence for that behavior.  If your dog or child is having a behavior that is not good, look for the reward they are getting and take the reward away which would be a punishment.  Once the dog or child is not getting the reward then the behavior will stop.

What is funny is that I searched for articles about parenting and dog training and found one on Modern Dog which lead me to one at the New York Times.  This article mainly talks about Cesar Millan teaching the role of the Alpha Dog, which I agree with, however I do not agree with some of  his tactics.

Do you see any similarities in dog training and parenting?  Please let me know below.


Father of the year

Have you heard about the father in Ohio that duck taped his daughter, placed her in a dog pin and dripped water in her face?  I just read it on CNN.  The father’s lawyer stated that this was a joke that got out of hand.  The father and his 13 year old son took pictures of the so called prank and uploaded them to Facebook.  Someone sent this evidence to the authorities and he has been arrested.

Putting shaving cream in your daughter’s hand while she is sleeping and tickling her nose so she will slap her face with it is a prank, not this.  This father should spend some time in jail and be made to attend parenting classes.  This can seriously mess up his daughters emotional state and it will come back to her in the future.  This teaches his son to not respect women.

What do you think should happen to this father?

Made to Crave – Intro


According to the back of the book, yes that is how far I have gotten:


Has food become more about frustration than fulfillment? Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman’s desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen.  Auth Lysa TerKeurst personally understands the battle that women face.  In Made to Crave, she will help you:

  • Break the cycle of “Ill start again on Monday,” and feel good about yourself today.
  • Stop agonizing over numbers on the scale and make peace with your body.
  • Replace rationalizations that lead to failure with wisdom that leads to victory.
  • Reach your healthy goals and grow closer to God through the process.

This book is not a how-to manual or the latest, greatest dieting plan.  Made to Crave is a helpful companion to use alongside whatever healthy eating approach you choose–abook and Bible study to help you find the “want to” in how to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Well, I am not all excited about reading a book for women, but I am sure it will apply to me as well.  I do long for a craving, a craving for a relationship with God, yet I tend to railroad that relationship.  Due to what I have done in the past and what I struggle with in the present I find it difficult to understand that God wants a relationship with me.  Of course this is my mind saying this not my heart.  My heart tells me that God is the one that is outside looking in the distance waiting for me to come home for him to hug me and say, my son has come home.

Reading God’s word, the bible, and praying to Him is difficult because I feel unworthy to be in his presence.  Do you ever feel that way?  If you talk to my friends they will tell you that they have been telling me for years that no one is worthy to do these things.  But God loves us anyway, because we are NOT perfect.  I do not know where your insecurities lie, but for mine God is our Father, the ultimate Father and all the dads that were in my life hurt me in many different ways.  Some people have said, just get over it, they are not in your life anymore.  Yeah, they are not, however what they did have scared me deeply and I will never forget what has happened and if you are one that thinks “forgive and forget” well that is not in the bible, forgive is and I have done that and I think you should do it as well.  When you do it lifts a lot of stuff off your shoulders, however you can’t forget what happened and that is where we need to work that stuff out.

Well, back to the book, here are the table of contents:

  1. What’s Really Going on Here?
  2. Replaceing My Cravings
  3. Getting a Plan
  4. Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat before Thinking
  5. Made for More
  6. Growing Closer to God
  7. Im Not Defined by the Numbers
  8. Making Peace with the Realities of My Body
  9. But Exercise Makes Me Want to Cry (WOW, so true for me!)
  10. This Isn’t Fair!
  11. Stinkin’, Rotten, Horrible, No Good Day
  12. The Curse of the Skinny Jeans
  13. Overindulgence
  14. Emotional Emptiness
  15. The Demon in the Chips Poster
  16. Why Diets Don’t Work
  17. The Very Next Choice We Make
  18. Things Lost, Better Things Gained
  19. Live as an Overcomer

These chapters look short, so that is good for me.  Some of these chapters are looking really good.  I have tried working out before, however I have started a very difficult work out program and I have failed four times completing it, however I did not attempt to change my eating habits.  I am talking with a friend via email and he is helping me out a lot and we are going to get a workout program that is not so intense.  I will keep you abreast of the situation.

I am off to get ready for work and I will be packing my book to read the first chapter at lunch time, we will see how far I can get in 30 mins.  Thanks for reading a dugs life.


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