Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Kid Whisperer

So my brother recently alerted me to this recent NY Times piece about parents using techniques they learn from TV host Cesar Millan on their children. If you aren't familiar with Cesar, he's the man behind the mega popular National Geographic show "Dog Whisperer." So as you can see, the tips he's teaching on the tube aren't necessarily appropriate for junior.

A year before we became parents, we took in my 12-year-old border collie/lab mix Spaz. He had been at my parents house his whole life, and they were getting fed up with him. (Ya see, he was named "Spaz" for a reason.) Since my wife and I were devoted "Dog Whisperer" viewers, we figured we could practice Cesar's way (discipline, exercise, affection) to get Spaz to a more "balanced" place when he moved in with us. And lo and behold, after a couple months, the dog that had been a terror for over a decade became a well-adjusted pet. (Of course, his advanced age probably had something to do with it, too). Sometimes I wonder if our success in helping Spaz convinced us we could be good parents. So fast forward a couple years, and we actually had a toddler in the house who, while she isn't chasing her tail and barking at the neighbors, can give "old, crazy Spaz"a run for his money.

We sometimes joke about using some of Cesar's tricks (a la this excellent spoof courtesy of South Park) but didn't realize there were parents out there who actually practiced it. Are these the same parents who put their toddlers on leashes too? Coz taking dogs on walks (with a specially modified leash) is like the major takeaway from each DW episode.

I wonder, does it work the other way? Like, if my dog has an accident on the rug, can I put him on the naughty step a la Supernanny?


mico santos said...

Nice post


Lisa Pedersen said...

Thanks for this. I thought maybe we where the only ones. "Good girl, good girl, now go to Daddy... GOOD GIRL, here's a cookie."