Some of you may already be outraged, but the truth is that humans are just socialized primates. The difference between babies and puppies is that one of them is crying all day and at a certain moment he/she starts speaking, but in the beginnig, both of them are moving on a system of 4 limbs and are adorable. I don’t have a child because I’m only 20, and I don’t plan to have one in the foreseeable future of 10 years but I have the most loving 2 years dog, Yuri. For obvious reasons my expertise on raising human offspings is limited and I will use examples from Yuri’s upbringing, but I think the principles I’m talking about are pretty universal (more or less).

You can be the cruellest men in the world, raised in Siberian tundra, riding bears and grow a bear but when you see a puppy or a baby human your heart will melt (despite de -20 Celsius degrees outside). It is something about their innocence and inability to defend themselves that make you have faith in humanity again and hope for redemption regardless your sinful life. Still, both are little beasts and should be treated that way.

Mammals (and almost every animal on the planet) have an inborn understanding of hierarchies. Once they discover they can semi-coordinate their limbs puppies and babies will try to explore the environment and identify its limits. This may manifest socially too by defining what is allowed and what is not, it is your duty as a parent (you are the mommy/daddy of your dog too) to help him define those.

If your dog is eating the coffee table as mine tried it will not stop by magic because he realizes, dude, this is an old piece of furniture, is expensive, I have 5 different types of chewing toys I can use instead of this. No, future owners, he will not stop unless you make him. I don’t mean using force but making him understand he is not allowed to do that (kindly) and the offer an alternative. Usually, eating random things around the house happens for 2 reasons (when it comes to dogs, I don’t know about kids, those creatures eat everything) its teeth are growing or he is either bored (sometimes is both at the same time).

Furthermore, it is preferable that your child (puppy) knows some standard social rules before is introduced to other members of the species because the rules are going to be learned anyway (nicely presened by you or harsher if thaught by others). It is important for both puppies and kids to be able to interact socially because they are pack animals (humans called them tribes but is the same principles). Moreover if your companion (offspring) does something to you that you don’t like,make it stop. Usually kids try to dominate instinctually and will disobey you in general if you don’t express hierarchical dominance and secondary if you, the one that loves him the most don’t like it let alone some strangers.

Some will think that this will inhibit the true essence of the child or animal, but being part of the community means to exchange part of individuality for the membership to the club. Cooperations mean compromise and rules teaches exactly that. The secret is not to have too many restrictions because you will be a tyrant, and rebellion is a fact in this case, nor too laise-faire because you won’t help him integrate into the society. It is very important when we go for a walk in the park and I let Yuri unleash that he will stop and came when I say so in order to avoid him being hit by a child on a bicycle. Also, by allowing him to play with other dogs since he was little, he learned how to behave in larger packs. By rewarding him when he let me take his ball without being aggressive I can play with him nicely and he can also play with my nieces when they come visit without them being afraid of him.

Rules should be clear and easy to follow. If it is a complex task that is needed to be done, take time and teach it how to do it in segments. One brick on the top of another. Also, specify why they are important and reward them whenever they did the right thing. I taught Yuri how to follow instructions by dividing them into smaller steps and rewarding him with food when he followed. The same way, a child can be taught to put his toys back into their places after they use them by encouraging them and even rewarding them.

How should rules be imposed if not respected? Vigorously but kindly. You should use progressive levels: deadly look, verbal signal, pinch it a little and in extreme cases try isolations (fur humans at least is as painful as physical pain and, from my personal experience it seems dogs don’t like it either). Pay attention not to give mix signals, I often see owners rebuke their pets but at the same time confronting them on their heads or keeping them in their arms. You give mix signals, your voice says something different than your body language and your message is altered this way.

A dog needs a lot of attention and I don’t mean walking in the park and playing. No. I mean going to the vet, make sure he takes all his meds, giving him baths etc. Also, money: monthly food, pesticides, vaccines, you need consistent funds for those. Love, without giving them enough love or attention they will suffer tremendously. And these are for puppies, for humans multiply by 100. A puppy or a baby is a soul you are responsible for caring, dogs live 10–15 years but your child will outdate you and you will probably have to take care of him until 30. Don’t have a child because you have to, because you need a purpose in life or because it will fix your marriage. A child is not a magical instrument and those are problems you should fix before having a child not by having one.

Yuri

Thank you for reading.

Writer with the soul of a poet. I'm trying not to take myself too serious. Deeply grateful that I can share my thoughts & emotions with you.