Advice: Pets also need discipline


I didn’t grow up with pets, so having my daughter’s dogs Mila and Gypsy Rose in my home has been an adjustment.

On my 13th birthday I was bitten by a dog and, after that incident, it took me years to relax around animals.

Mila is a sweet and loyal Chihuahua whose soulful eyes and calm demeanor make her easy to love.

Gypsy Rose on the other hand is mischievous. Her antics keep us on our toes and make us laugh. Her spunky personality is what makes her so cute and lovable.

My sons accuse me of getting soft in my old age because I allowed my daughter to have these dogs and I deprived them of having pets when they were growing up.

My husband, however, is the culprit for these little dogs. He gave the Chihuahua to my daughter when she was in high school and showed up with the Yorkie two years later for Valentine’s Day.

To say my daughter loves her dogs and that they love her is an understatement. Once she is home, the dogs will ignore everyone except her.

They sleep with her and whenever she is watching television they sit on her lap.

I have grown to love the dogs, but don’t pet them as much as everyone else, but I do take care of them. I feed and bathe them, and take them outside or to the Veterinarian when my daughter can’t.

Since I am home most of the day, the girls follow me around the house. When I am working in my office, they lay down on the rug in front of my desk. When I am cooking they keep me company in the kitchen.

Mila and Gypsy are very obedient when they are with me, but they walk all over my daughter.

The other night she let the dogs out and Gypsy Rose refused to come in. For 10 minutes my daughter called out to Gypsy in a sweet voice.

I got up from the sofa, stood in the back porch, and in a firm voice said, “Gypsy Rose get in here now.” Gypsy ran in immediately.

Disciplining dogs is very similar to children. If you use the same tone of voice for everything, your children will not know when you are upset.

You don’t have to yell at your children, but you do need to be firm.

I lovingly discipline the dogs the most. And whenever we get home from a trip they are so excited to see me and howl and run around my feet until I give them a proper greeting.

The little stinkers miss me, which goes to show that disciplining your children is not going to keep them from loving you.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or on Instagram at mlsalcines. You can also contact her on her blog