dog walker

‘Train your baby like a dog’- yay or nay

Wow it all kicked off this week. Thousands of sensitive snowflakes signed a petition calling for channel 4 to cancel ‘ Train your baby like a dog’ programme before it aired on Tuesday night.

Jo Rosie Haffenden, a animal Behaviourist believes we should apply dog training reward techniques to our kids. To be honest, I have never heard of her until the programme, I was like ‘who’s she’ but I did like her straight talking direct approach. I was googling her and stalking her on social media and Youtube throughout the show, like you do. I found out she has written many books on Dog yoga and ‘Teach my dog to do that’, in my eyes definitely someone to listen to.

Jo had to firstly deal with 3 year old, Greydon , prone to having tantrums, being aggressive and attention seeking. Her thoughts were rewarding good behaviour instead of punishing bad and gave him something to focus on.

I have a 5 year old, Scarlett that is showing signs of autism, if her doctor and her school got their fingers out I could have a diagnosis by now, but anyway full disclosure here. I am guilty of constantly telling her off I sometimes forget to praise her when she does something right. As a dog walker, I find it very easy, almost second nature to praise my dog Finn and client’s dogs I say ‘yes’ ‘good’ because I know I need to do that in order to show them good behaviour I want. If Finn does a spin or doesn’t bark at that mobility scooter that has gone by I want to reward that behaviour because he will more likely do it again. For me, this shows that positive reinforcement can be used for all species.

The second problem was 14 months old, Dulcie from Croydon woo woo! Sorry had to do that I spent some time figuring out where in croydon. Dulcie hates bath time and finds it hard to settle. Jo’s solution was give her more of a choice at dinner instead of chips. At bath time, she’s uses clicker and white chocolate buttons which I think had everyone’s knickers in a twist. Some described it as ‘unethical’ and ‘dehumanising for children’. Just rewards for good behaviour, confidence building and hugs instead of leaving the baby to cry it out. Is that really so awful?

Jo- Rosie wasn’t acting as a child psychologist or even claiming to be. These methods were common sense and showed how dog training methods could be used to solve the problems. It certainty didnt deserve the petition before the show aired. Channel 4 spokesman defended the documentary ‘ explores a new approach to childcare, grounded in positive science- based motivational techniques that are used widely by parenting coaches and animal behaviour experts’.

Jo-Rosie said ‘if everyone parented their child the same way we’re training our dogs, we’d end up with more confident, compassionate and curious human beings’. I couldn’t agree more.

If you haven’t seen it yet, where have you been? I i imagine you can catch it on 4 on demand.

If you want your dog to join Pawtastic’s very own positive enforcer then visit

I’m off to put a lead on it

Harriet x

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