am I barking up the wrong tree?

Someone told me that I can’t compare training my puppy with teaching their child. 

What I want to know is why?

When our kids go off to kindergarten they are told to sit and stay, and if they behave themselves, someone will give them a cookie.  How is that really all that different than teaching my puppy to sit and stay, giving him a treat when he does?  Are we not trying to accomplish basically the same thing here?  I am trying to mentor my puppy to become a better citizen.  I am trying to ensure that when I take him into a social situation he behaves appropriately.  And I can almost guarantee that my puppy will behave in a far more civilized manner in a group setting than many of the pre-schoolers I taught more than a decade ago. 

Now, I’m not suggesting that your child should be treated like a dog.

What I am actually saying is that perhaps my dog should be treated more like a child.  He is a living, breathing, creature who loves his family unconditionally, and often gets little respect for his devotion.

Before you think I may have gone off the deep end, I’m not suggesting that my puppy (no matter how loveable he may be) can be directly compared to a human child.  He is a dog.  I do understand that.  But just because he is a dog doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deserve to be treated with kindness and fairness. 

This brings me to the point I was trying to make.

I read an article the other day about Michael Vick.  The city of Dallas, Texas had apparently given him the key to the city—something that would have never occurred if the lives he had taken had been human.   I don’t think he should be so easily forgiven for the horrible crimes he committed.  Having paid for his crimes with prison doesn’t make them any less heinous in my book.  He certainly doesn’t deserve to be celebrated by an entire city. 

Enough of my rant.  I’m certain I’m not alone in my sentiments. 

Back to my dog.

He is currently doing very well in school—a star pupil, in fact—he graduates in just three weeks.  He may not be one of my children, but he does love me unconditionally.  And that is good enough for me.

Until the next time…I’ll be stocking up on doggy treats for the last few weeks of training!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on February 13, 2011 .