Having just returned from a cross-country trip with two young children and a dog, I am struck by the similarities between the species. Biting. Grabbing. Not coming when called. Of course, I’ve been a dog trainer for twenty years but a mom for only five, so most of the biting, grabbing and ignoring was done by my kids, not my dog. But with a little mindful parenting and an ounce of understanding, they’ll grow up just fine. I’m not worried.
During the trip, my son encountered a huge, old-fashioned vacuum cleaner sucking up dust in the loudest possible way. Scared and blinking back big baby tears, he looked for his parents. Mom and dad took calm control and he returned — a little warily, but okay — to his play. Calm begets calm… just like puppies. Not a dramatic rescue; just a simple, secure grounding was all it took.
Puppies and untrained dogs crave the same things young children do: structure, a confident grown-up, and routine direction. Calm, loving reassurance goes a long way.
My final observation about travel: it’s good to get home. Nothing reassures dogs and children quite so well as full bellies, favorite toys, and a snug and familiar blanket.