“Obedience” sounds awful in the context of parenting, doesn’t it?
At least, to the North American ear it does. We want our kids to be free to discover themselves, to think for themselves, to feel loved and valued.
“Obedience” makes us think of stern 1950s style fathers holding belts in a threatening manner, or Von Trapp family style repression of all things joyful.
You vill obey me and you vill be miserable about it!
But in dog training, obedience is pretty standard. Everyone wants an obedient dog.
In fact, stern dog trainers like Cesar Millan have built multi-million dollar businesses around teaching people to physically and mentally dominate their dogs.
I have always wondered why people seem to value letting their kids act like drunken yahoos, but then worship a dog trainer who often kicks, strangles and otherwise bullies dogs into submission.
Be assured that when I talk about obedience, I’m not thinking of applying any of that crap to our children.
I wouldn’t even apply that to a dog.
Obedience is not about cowing the spirit out of someone.
It isn’t about using special choking equipment or punishing them for simply doing what comes naturally to them.
Reasonable dog trainers mean this when they talk of obedience training:
Much happier. Still obedient.
- Setting high but reasonable expectations.
- Maintaining firm but loving boundaries.
- Rewarding appropriate behaviour.
- NOT rewarding inappropriate behaviour.
Not only can obedience be achieved without any whistles, forced marching, or grim frowns, but it should be achieved if you want your toddler to become a tolerable human being who wins the Nobel Prize and can afford a really swanky old age home for you some day.
Three Reasons Why Obedience Can Change Your
Puppy’s Toddler’s Life