Friday, July 31, 2009

Techniques of a twerp whisperer

Well, judging by the email I received yesterday, I can see that many of you feared for our lives and/or sanity. The good news is that the kiddos finally got out of the house and made their way to Pump it Up for several hours of controlled and, most importantly, tiring chaos. All in all, the kiddos, had a pretty good day. There was no bloodshed and we were all pretty effective at nabbing any questionable behavior in the bud. I think this may be the key.

We have to catch them before they reach the "red zone." Those of you that are Cesar Milan fans will know exactly what I mean but, for you others, here is the gist of it. When you are walking a dog and he starts going nuts barking and trying to get to another dog, it is very difficult (at that moment) to get them to calm down. For the most part you are left trying to hold on for dear life. However, had you tried to correct the behavior the moment the dog showed any inkling of interest in the other dog you would be much more successful. In other words, you have to correct the behaviour before the excitement level rises so high that they can't calm down.

I know this may sound strange but it is absolutely true. If I have seen it once in dogs, I have seen it a thousand times. You just have to catch them before they get out of control. If you can do that. You can be successful. You can achieve the holy grail of good and consistent dog behavior.

The problem with this method is correcting the behaviour early enough. You have to be on your toes. You have to pay attention. There is a limited window and timing is critical for success. This, too, seems to be an issue with the kiddos and very clearly my problem. They never register on my radar until they are out of control. However, when we catch them a bit earlier, we seem to achieve regular success.

The trick is not letting life get in the way of our parenting. That is not always easy.

However, that is what purpose is all about. What is really important?

No comments: