A tail of two tales

I’m going to tell you a story, a true story with a twist.

A woman I know was having problems that she felt were severe with her toddler. Her toddler was on the unruly side, as youngsters can be. Her girl was a hit or miss in the toilet department, she had horrific tantrums running around the house, she jumped on furniture, she didn’t like to share and she would lash out if confronted.

This poor first time mum was stabbing in the dark, she knew this was all quite normal but she was at a loss how best to combat it. She then called in professional help, help that was recommended to her by mums that had been in the same position.

The day arrived, she was so excited to find out the secrets of how to climb this exhausting hill as she loved her little girl dearly and only wanted the best for her.

Firstly the gentleman introduced himself and gave a verbal low down of his popularity, success and how he was her last hope. This lady was caught hook line and sinker, who wouldn’t be? She felt like she had the royalty of tare away youngsters in her front room, things were going to be ok she was told, results will be quick she was told and she was told to stand up and be an authority figure. “Stop giving into this behaviour”. So she sat eagerly awaiting what magic was going to be worked. Her little one came into the room, all dark eyes and mischief. She then started running around so the man grabbed her and put her on the floor holding her down, now the little girl had never experienced anything like this in her life so she wriggled, and screamed, she tried to get this man off her. She put up a good fight but was no match for the strength of this man. After a while of fight, then panic she wet herself and then realised that it was best if she lay still. When she was let up she sulked away. Mum was told that whenever she won’t listen you give her a key word then restrain her until she calms down and if you do it consistently then all you will need is the key word and your girl will know to settle down.

Mum felt a little awkward but looked to the floor where her girl now sat, all well behaved and staying still, dark eyes still the same. Oh well it’s for the best she thought to herself, lots of people recommended him and their little ones always do as they’re told so this must be right.

Next the man announced that he would help with girls unwillingness to share so he asked for her favourite thing, the mother went off and fetched it and handed it over. He laid it down, the little ones eyes lit up and she dashed over, as quickly as ABC the man covered the girl’s most prized possession and grabbed the girl by the back of her neck with the other hand and pushed her to the ground whilst using the key word. The little one didn’t struggle this time, what’s the point? He let her up and then handed her the jewel she loved, the little girl walked away again sulking.

The man went onto to explain to mum that her girl was just having a sulk and she needed to realise that these are the rules, you don’t snatch, you don’t run around unless permitted to do so, you ask for things nicely and you behave in a manner of calm at all times.

When he left the little girl was relieved and hoped she would never see him again, she didn’t. However her ordeal was far from over. She thought “phew everything can go back to normal now” she got a little excited that it was her and mum again and started running in circles and jumping on the sofa and on mum…..through her glee she heard a familiar word but didn’t take no notice, then wham! She was on the floor…..she wriggled and struggled but it was useless. Her mum was doing this too, “why” she thought?

This went on a for a few days, mum was still very uncomfortable with all this but had to admit that her girl was behaving better….but her eyes, something was missing from her eyes, they didn’t quite sparkle the same. Then one afternoon the little girl had had enough, when she heard that word come out her sweet mums mouth she just snapped, as her mum moved her to the floor she thought “not this time!” and she bit her mum so hard on the thigh her mum yelped and screamed. She kept her mouth around her mum’s leg until she tasted blood. Her mum let go and ran to the bathroom.

I’m not going to go on as I am sure that you are getting the picture. Now let me tell you, this was a mum, a puppy mum, to an adorable full of beans young Husky. Now you know that it wasn’t a child does it make the story easier to hear?

Now let’s put it all into perspective, this owner was not comfortable with what she was doing; she questioned it to herself but felt that she didn’t have any other tools to work on and also believed that this was how to train a puppy to become a “balanced” dog. She tried for 6 days to follow this “training” program but after the bite which rendered her in hospital realised that this was not right, she felt guilty for not listening to herself that something was wrong. I ask how many other 1000’s of dogs are treated this way all because a self professed know it all says its ok.

I am firstly a mother of two gorgeous boys, as I am sure you know, there is honestly no need for punishment, and I seriously mean that. You have to take time to teach them right from wrong, what is acceptable and what is not. Don’t just slam the door in their face when they make mistakes, that is after all how we learn. We are less likely to repeat dodgy doings if we already have the knowledge and skills how to behave in particular situations and around particular people. I will also add as a dog owner there are very few differences between raising a puppy and raising a child and I am more than happy to receive criticism on that. How we interact with one another and other species is a true test of our morals/ethics. Through this I choose to be teacher not a leader. Leadership is fluid my kids have taught me that. I am better at some things and other things they far out do me, I am comfortable with that. It is no different with my hounds.

This is a true tale; the outcome was a good one, when mum was taught appropriate handling (with no hands!) things settled down. She now has a full of beans, dark eyes with mischief gorgeous juvenile companion.

Thanks for reading.

a tail of two tales

The power of positivity X

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3 thoughts on “A tail of two tales

  1. you are crazy if u think that punishment is never needed in either dogs or humans. there is a difference between punishment and abuse.time outs sitting for a minute or two,etc. have never laid an angry hand on either my children or my pets. if u have the time to spend with your boys to teach them everything then you and your boys are very,very lucky. how will your boys realize the consequences of thier actions if they never are allowed to make their own mistakes in life? believe me, life will punish them whether you want it or not.

    • Thanks for your comments. At which point did I say my sons never made mistakes? They do, as I do, but do they need punished or do they learn all by themselves that whatever they did didn’t work out right?
      And indeed you are right, I’m blessed that I have been afforded the luxury of teaching my kids and being here for them. Is that not the roll of a parent?
      Now back to the dogs. Punishment is ineffective and has residual effects. Management and training are essential.

  2. Pingback: A tail of two tales | Barking Up the Right Tree

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