Parenting Your Dog At The Right Age

There would be significantly less poorly behaved dogs in the world if people treated their dogs like toddlers.

“Whaaa? Omg is this trainer saying to anthropomorphize dogs?!”

No. Dogs and humans are different. The mental and emotional capacity that dogs have is extremely different than a human. The way they communicate, process information and biological needs are different.

I’m saying that the principles and fundamentals of rearing a child are extremely similar to proper owning and caretaking of a dog.

Some of you may read this and go, “oh yeah, well my dog is my baby so I’m doing that.”

Again, not what I’m saying. Raising a dog isn’t like having a baby, it’s like having a toddler.

A baby is helpless and does not have high enough cognitive functioning for choices or self caretaking. A toddler has decision making power, capacity to understand consequences and make choices.

A toddler requires supervision. You wouldn’t allow a toddler with a handful of permanent markers to freely run around the house and then be SHOCKED when they draw all over the walls.

A toddler requires structure. When it’s time to eat, take a nap, go to bed, brush teeth, take a bath.

A toddler requires boundaries. They don’t have unlimited free access to go out the front door whenever they please, to go into all rooms of the house and rummage through closets and drawers. They start to move to their own bed and their own room because the relationship dynamic changes.

A toddler starts to understand that certain actions have consequences and as a parent we hold them accountable for actions.

So the problem wasn’t that you should parent your dog, the problem was that you chose the wrong age for your dog to be when you started to parent.

Choose the toddler age. Not a baby.

(Again. Not anthropomorphizing. I want you to take away the fundamentals and the principles and similarities between the two).