Want to Raise a Good Kid? Then First Train a Dog.

Recently, the news media (and the general public) has latched onto the idea that there’s not much difference between raising … Continued

Recently, the news media (and the general public) has latched onto the idea that there’s not much difference between raising kids and training a good dog. According to [The New York Times](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/fashion/22dog.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=cesar%20and%20kids&st=csed/ kid? ), parents have realized Cesar Millan’s triumvirate of dog training requirements–discipline, affection, exercise–work pretty darn good on children, too.

Which makes me want to scream, “What took you people so long?”

I grew up in a very loving household (affection) and was fortunate to have opportunities to play sports, fish, and explore (exercise). But my mother didn’t think twice about pulling out a wooden paddle and giving me a whack (discipline) when I truly deserved it. And to be honest, I’m glad she did. My backside survived just fine, and I quickly realized that it was my parents’ way or no way. A good life lesson that I like to think put me on a solid path into adulthood.

I’m not advocating that everyone go spank their children (or dogs) with a strap, but simply making the point that as a kid I knew who the bosses were. And for the record, I don’t watch Millan’s show or own his books. But his methodology seems to make sense, especially for your average dog owner.

I’ve always believed training a gun dog will make me a better dad when that time comes. Some of the lessons I’ve already learned? Obedience is the most important building block; patience (tested on a daily basis); the power of repetition; and don’t say it unless you mean it–or plan to enforce it.

How about you moms and dads out there? Take anything from your gun-dog training that translates to raising a good kid?