Blog Child Raising

Dogs Can Teach Us Tricks

Schatzi, our first professionally trained protection dog, from Germany.

Since 2005 we’ve had German Shepherds trained for the personal protection of our family. The training requires their obedience which results in their devotion to our family.

Our first German Shepherd, Schatzi, had an excellent nose. The kids would put her on a stay command, and then run and hide. Once hidden they would shout her release command, and she would sniff over the acre plus until she found each of them. What a fun version of Hide and Go Seek! It was made possible by her skill and obedience.

Isobel was our next dog. We are her second owners, and early in her life she was exposed to laser lights. Her unusual and obsessed interest in lights greatly, and even adversely, affects her life.

Then there’s Lulu. Lulu is amazing. She is the specific pet of our daughter, Eva, who has tirelessly nurtured and worked with her since she was a puppy, teaching her some great tricks.

We hired a dog trainer to assist with Lulu’s protection training. In turn, he has brought other trainers to see and work with Lulu. Lulu is very intelligent, but even more importantly she has learned to obey Eva. Because of this, she is devoted to Eva and her protection.

Isobel, our 2nd German Shepherd. She is also trained for personal protection.

The dog trainer does a good job too. He has worked with dogs for many years and he understands them. Here’s something he posted:

I see a lot of dogs who have too much freedom and because they have too much freedom, with random and sometimes predictable (could also be unpredictable) stimuli all around them, they can never learn how to focus on anything. They can’t learn the calmness of being still and to enjoy the mind that goes with being still.

To live in our homes, dogs needs to learn a language that allows them to understand how to do different things. Some of those things include being still for an extended period of time. When you can ask your dog to be still, and he does it, you can calm him down whenever you want.

Substitute the word “children” for dogs, and you have words of wisdom for training your children!

It’s true. Many children have too much “freedom”, too much stimuli and they aren’t learning to focus on anything. They can’t learn the calmness of being still and having freedom in their mind…freedom from fear and freedom for thought and creativity.

Lulu is FULL of energy and LOVES protection work.

I put “freedom” in quotes because the too much “freedom” isn’t really freedom at all, it becomes obsessive bondage. Compare Schatzi’s hours of play and fun with the children, and Isobel’s tiresome, all-consuming chasing and snapping at flickers of light in the yard. She wants to be near us, but she can never relax. She was ill-trained in her upbringing.  We all pity her.

Lulu has learned the pleasure of obedience. Of course, sometimes she needs a gentle reminder to obey. Sometimes she has to sit still when she’d rather go chase a ball. But when it’s time to chase the ball, she enjoys it all the more because she has submitted when called to rest before resuming her play.

Directing our children and requiring their attention and obedience is good for them. It makes them better people and better equipped to live in this world and pursue noble activities.

Training a child is work. It requires consistency, understanding, wisdom and love. The child whose parents persist in this task is blessed. Both the parents and society have cause to rejoice.

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