19 Jun | Posted by K-9 Coach | no comments |
Each year, at Father’s Day, I reflect for a bit about my son and our relationship. I wonder how I am doing as a dad. Am I loving enough, yet stern enough for him to know the rules and the consequences for breaking them? Am I supportive, but not enabling? Do I help make him feel safe, secure, like he belongs? Am I building his self-confidence, strength and individuality, but not nurturing narcissism? Am I understanding, yet still hold him accountable? Do I lead by example?
As dads, we sometimes share these thoughts and concerns with each other. These are not generally serious, planned conversations, but, rather, impromptu comments or questions mixed in casually with our shared hobbies: sports, music, camping trips, etc…. I recently hung out with a friend whose children are all grown and have kids of their own. I casually asked how they were doing. He shared with me how son #1’s kids were all doing well and how son #2’s kids were all over the place. He said “If you want to know how good you’re doing at it, just look at your dog. Son 1’s (name withheld for privacy) dog is great. He listens, stays out from under your feet, plays with everyone. He’s good. My other son’s dog is a mess – always under your feet, always jumping on people, doesn’t listen when you call his name, runs off, uses the bathroom in the house. He’s a wreck!”
I am not sure that I completely agree with my friend’s assessment, but I do find it interesting. Kids and dogs are certainly not the same! But, they are a lot alike. They both look to you for guidance. They’re dependent on you for their welfare. They seek your approval and affection. They thrive with consistency and predictability. They repeat behaviors that you reward them for.
WARNING – I am not in any position to provide advice for people and their children. However, I can give you a few tips for your pups. If my friend is right, maybe these tips can help in more ways than one.
K-9 Dog Dad Tips for Success….
I hope that the above K-9 points help put into perspective some of the simple things we need to keep in mind to help us be successful pet parents. If you believe as my friend, then I hope the above gives you some insight. Finally, us dads need to stick together. So, whether you’re the dad to a four-legged or two-legged child, thank you and I hope that you have a great Father’s Day!
–Jarrette Burckhalter, Dad and Director of Marketing & Operations for K-9 Coach