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Do you parent your dogs like your parents did with you?

Due to nature or nurture, or some blend of them both, many of us adopt the qualities of our parents. Sure, we’ll often look like them—share the same eye colour or nose—but our similarities go far beyond our physical appearances into qualities that we often overlook. When I consider it, everything from the way I speak to the way I fold my laundry has been influenced by my parents to some degree. The other day, it dawned on me that even the parenting style that I use with my dogs resembles the way my parents raised me, which I find super interesting, but also pretty strange!

I was at a wiener dog festival last weekend and we entered Koa for the races. It wasn’t until after I was done cheering, with Koa panting beside me, that I realized how much my competitive spirit comes out with my dogs! The funniest part is that my parents had the exact same competitive spirit raising me! Back when I used to dance, my parents were always there to cheer and support me on the stage, and their exhilaration when I saw them afterwards was always so heartwarming. I think of how all these moments conditioned my competitive nature, which would explain why I am the most enthusiastic cheerer to ever walk this earth when it comes to my dogs. No doubt, this probably also says something about what my nature will be like as a parent.

Take a moment to reflect on your own parenting style with your dogs. Does it look a lot like how your parents parented you (as mine surely does), or do you have just the slightest hints of your parents’ parenting styles mixed into your own. Reflect thoughtfully. We sometimes become so used to our own nature that it feels like the most ordinary thing, until we consider how unique our behaviours are compared to other dog owners, and from where these special qualities originate.

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