Since Josie has come back into our lives, I've started to remember all of the dog training that we did with her back when she was a puppy. Actually, dog training was more about training us than about training her. Our amazing trainer, Tracy Ann, was much like the Dog Whisperer; she taught us all about how to become the leaders of our little family pack. I knew that getting Josie a few years before we had kids would certainly teach Luke and me a lot about responsibility. What I didn’t count on was how much the process of training her would influence our parenting style. So, here are the top 10 dog training tips that we use regularly with Hailey:
10) Both parents must participate and be on the same page when it comes to discipline.
9) Adults must exert themselves as the leaders in the family. For dogs, that means eating first, walking through doorways first, and otherwise setting the tone for proper behavior. For Hailey, it means not letting her dictate her way all the time.
8) Use "no" only when necessary or it will become meaningless.
7) Use distraction or incompatible commands to control undesirable behavior.
6) A calm parent = a calm dog/baby
5) Do not positively reinforce negative behaviors like laughing when she bites or making a game out of hitting people.
4) Practice what you preach. Don't be aggressive toward the dog if you don't want the dog to be aggressive toward you.
3) Socialize, socialize, socialize. A well socialized dog/baby makes for a calmer dog/baby when out in public.
2) Exercise both the mind and body to ensure proper sleep and eating habits.
1) Heap on as much love and positive reinforcement as you can.
In Hailey news, we are taking a few steps from time to time, but no actual walking yet. Her favorite word at the moment is doggy, which sounds a little like Dada, but clearly has a long eeeee on the end.
We were in Nashville last weekend celebrating her first birthday (a little early). The pictures of the cake debacle are hysterical so I will try to get them up in the next couple days. While we were there, I did come to the frightening realization that she weighs more than her friend Corbin who is 5 months older than she is. She’s so solid, and those thighs are killer!