Train Them While They Are Young

Our weekly family puppy training class at PetSmart with Daisy fills the hour with giggles and playfulness.   It may be fun but it is a serious business.

Now 15 weeks, our black Labrador puppy has doubled in size with multiplying energy levels. When overly wound up, Daisy nips to initiate play.  These playful “bites” can quickly become unpleasant.  Often Benjamin, the smallest Weber at 5, is the target of Daisy’s nipping.

The PetSmart staff emphasizes the importance of training for all pets, but particularly for larger breeds.  Breaking bad habits and building new ones is critical for safety and the long term positive relationship with your pet.

But as humans, are we really that different?

Last weekend I participated in a panel at a K4J (Kids for Jesus) information meeting.  K4J is a virtue building program for kids aged 3 years through 8th grade.  I shared with the parents the research that the most impact with kids in developing virtue comes between 3 years and 8th grade. The earlier the better.

Our oldest, Ian, has been with K4J since age three.  With 6th grade and middle school around the corner, I feel gratitude for the investment we make in developing virtue in him using the K4J tool.  Despite sharing my stubborn choleric temperament and fighting spirit, Ian still is malleable and remembers virtue.

Just as I hope Daisy will be when she is 90 pounds as a result of our dedication to her training.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip:  Make sure you are forming your children or people you are mentoring in virtue.