I thought I had it all pretty well organized until I became a new mommy again. In the picture with me is Velvet, a female, 4-month-old, German shepherd. We also have another dog, Thunder Sky, (same middle name as Sierra, she named him), Velvet’s brother. They arrived from Germany 2 months ago and spent 6 weeks with a trainer learning some manners before I brought them home. (Mandatory!) So far, so good. I was totally laughing with the trainers when they began to describe the plan; how important discipline is and, most of all, the power of consistency.
Be Consistent to Gain Respect
I brought my four kids along for one lesson at the facility. We listened as the trainer described the importance of ambiance and proper behavior to go along with it. “What’s ambiance?” my children asked. Exactly, I thought, as a light bulb went off in my head. “Ambiance is like a certain setting that dictates a mood” we explained. “The puppies need to know how to behave in the house, outside, when they are on a walk, when they are in the kitchen, etc. They have learned proper behavior for different places.” My kids and I exchanged looks. The trainer went on, “The puppies will test you, push the boundaries, wait for your direction, and they will not obey you if you do not correct their bad behavior. You must reward good behavior and there must be a consequence for anything done wrong. You need to be totally consistent or they will not respect you.”
Doggy Training Helped Me Feel Connected
I wondered if the trainer had children of her own. If she applied the same concept, they must be perfect!!! Then I shamelessly wondered if she would be willing to train my kids at her facility for 6 weeks….just kidding, but what an idea! I watched my kids as they listened to her. They totally got it, and I actually learned something myself. It’s so hard to always be consistent and follow through. She told me that every time you do not follow through with an animal, they think they do not have to listen and they won’t. You must read their personalities and know that they are different and respond to different things. You must know that they have good days and bad days, and make appropriate adjustments. I thought that is exactly what I should be doing with my own children. I need to pay more attention to their unspoken language. It was an incredible connection.
Becoming a Mommy Again
So, I am well into puppy training. I must admit that it is totally exhausting to be consistent and stick to a real discipline plan- kinda of like sleep training and potty training. It’s often more work to get through the hard times so that you can be free in the end.
We love Thunder and Velvet. In a weird way, our home feels even more “homey” now. There is something so down to earth about seeing the puppies cuddled up on their mats while my family chills in the living room.
I must be nuts becoming a mommy again, bringing 2 new babies home. It’s always action packed in my house. Just a few more mouths to feed! Ask me again in a few weeks.
This weekend you can meet the rest of my zoo.