Tag Archives: Adam Katz


Hippiness rules the parenting gurus and most dog owners. Usual parent advice Keep the kids happy, praise only, never punish.*

Dog dressed like hippie

My  second favorite dog trainer, Adam Katz, doeth protest. (Husband is my favorite dog trainer for those of you not in the know.

Parenting advice and thoughts about hippiness

You can read Adam’s post here:


For those too pressed for time to read what he has to say, here are two quotes that address his main complaints:

 … (the) entire hippie attitude of, “Just give warm fuzzies” when the dog does something right and ignore bad behavior is one that didn’t work for the children of the hippie-generation and it doesn’t work for their dogs, either.

,,, (the hippie approach) is ‘force free.’ Can you dig it?” No, I can’t.  What you’re really saying is that you’re not willing to make your dog do anything.  You’re giving all of the power to an animal with a three year-old’s intellect and the physical attributes to kill a person.

His article made me think of my neighbors and their dogs.  Too many are being lead by their dogs, pulled here and there as the dog wants.  Watching these dog lovers being jerked around pains me.

Those of you that have followed my meanderings may recall that just two years ago we adopted Pumpkin now known as Punky. As  Pumpkin he  was dearly loved, and given up for adoption because one the family had developed an allergy to dog dandruff.  Very quickly, we discovered that Punky had been disciplined by being picked up and held by his owner.   Being held kept him happy.

When not in your arms he barked,  became aggressive at all the wrong times, but the biggest problem for me was that you could not walk him on a leash.  I am an aging crone with balance problems and a dog who pulls, as the Punk did, all too quickly can make me kiss the ground.

Fortunately, heeling and loose leash training took very little effort once I started using a choke collar.  The Punk  is a little dog, so I used this type of collar:

Picture of a pinch collor

It is designed to use a bit of pain, negative reinforcement, or that word made dirty by the hippies – punishment.  And I suspect that what Adam finds most irritating is that  most dog owners of today think any choke collar is abusive in much the same way all punishments are classified as abuse by too many  dispensing parent advice.

Adam is not above suggesting  harsher choke collars for larger more aggressive dogs.  As far as I am concerned he is on the right track.

“The Praise, Don’t Punish” movement started with  the misapplication of Parent Effectiveness Training (PET); the heart of PET suggests parents neither praise of punish, but instead focus on natural consequences.  That approach works best with a teen-agers who has been taught right from wrong beginning with the first temper tantrum and continuing until the teens are reached.

The young child bases ideas about right or wrong on the thought that “Might Makes Right.” That is why parents are big and children  small, at least until the teen years come.  Nature’s way of assuring children learned to survive in the real world.

All parents use their might teach the child what not to do.  Don’t think you do? Think again.  Think about the behaviors you do not tolerate.   Punky was carefully potty trained.  He has never once messed in our house.

Need another example?

A hippie like friend of ours was loosey goosey on rules with one exception. That exception? wearing a seat belt.  Always amazed me that her kids who were a handful otherwise, calmly and quietly snapped on their seat belts whenever they got into a car.

If you think for a minute or two, you will realize you have taught and expected you child to follow the rules that are dearest to your heart.  Those rules have been consistently rewarded when obeyed and punished when broken.

Parenting tips

Tip one: Punishment is not a dirty word; it is not abuse; ; punishment is a teaching tool, nothing more., nothing less.

Tip two:  All children are eager to please, eager to get along which  is why praise works.  Not praising is a punishment, so never assume you do not punish your child.

Tip three: Consult seasoned dog trainers who know the proper balance when it comes to balancing praise and reward. Many offer sounder advice than some parenting gurus.


Most manners are based on practicing kindness, so make your children mind theirs..  You will be strengthening their Emotional Intelligence and assuring they have a better shot at the good life.

For all you do to spread my Emotional Fitness Tips, thank you.


Articles and links of interest

* This post was inspired byt World Press’ Daily Prompt : Click over to your favorite blog, and pick out the 4th and 14th words (that aren’t “the” or “an”). Drop them into this phrase: “_____ is the new _____.”   There’s your post title. Now write!

And so I wrote.