Back a few years ago, during my stint as a moderately successful stand up comedian, I had a 'bit' about children being much like dogs in their behaviour. I would muse, my audience enthralled as I romped across the stage like a commanding Where's Wally at a Ben Sherman fashion parade, that there a many obvious similarities between a child and a dog and the way they are treated by thier parent/owner. I would then observe comedicly (its an art...don't try it at home kids!) that you toilet train and immunize them at young age, you talk down to them in silly voices, both can be walked on a leash and you shouldn't keep them in a hot car....particularly at the casino.
As you can see from the above piece of writing, I was promptly contacted by the Australian Mint and asked if I would sell them that joke to be melted down, as they were running short on gold stocks. And that Kids, is how I came to own a hovercraft at age 26. Impressive huh?
But the real reason I push the keyboards today, is that this insight was more than mere comic fodder. It has proven to be an actual, applicable concept that could revolutionize approaches to parenting. I call it the Purebred Ultimate Parent (PUP) Technique TM.
In developing the PUP system I have taken my simple understanding and experience of canine behavior from my roles as dog owner, show judge and freelance dog whisperer and applied it to raising my son. I first saw the potential of this method when questioning why parents complain of changing a soiled nappy of their child, yet will happily scoop a handful of steaming excrement from behind Uran the Labradoodle
down at the park. That insight helped opened the gate for my conceptual chihuahua to the dog park of my mind. I remembered my all-time favourite YouTube video
and knew that I was onto something.
I saw PUP could be applied to scenarios such as eating; my son, much like a Labrador, will eat anything put in front of him or others, even if dropped on the floor. In entertainment; a simple ball can be turned into hours of fun by fetching and returning until the point of exhaustion. In bedding; a few blankets and a secure run is all that is required. In commands; simple hand gestures and changes of tone can imply all that is needed. In activity; a daily walk is a must and they'll always welcome a visit to the park and the opportunity to sniff the bottoms of their friends. In bathing; a regular wash keeps the fleas at bay. In diet; a balance between meat and veg, soft and dry is best plus the occasional egg to keep the coat glossy. In cafes; a constant source of attention from passersby and perky waitresses. In disease; a susceptibility to kennel cough from sharing closed environments with others. In socializing; comparing bloodlines and breeders amongst other owner's will be a constant source of gossip. In celebration; can be easily spooked by the presence of fireworks.
I believe PUP is a simple outlook that can provide parents, and those yet to be, with a tangible framework for raising children for the difficult first 4 years. Then once they are no longer Pups, you simply send them to kinder and let the Government approved education system turn them into Wolves. If a Dog is truly Man's best Friend, then a Kid is simply Man's best. PUP is the best chance, besides de-sexing, of you keeping them from becoming a stray. But always get them micro-chipped just in case...especially the Girl ones.