The parents’ questions read like this:

strong-willed kid who, outside home is great, but worst at home

snarly attitude of 10 yr old

5th grader with “attitude”, talking back at home

11 yr old sassy, thinks she is 16 yr old sister

a 5th grader very belligerent

rude and hateful at home to mom and siblings

So, I don’t want to insult anyone and I KNOW that kids are NOT dogs. But when I was reading a piece on why tiny dogs are often ill-mannered, it somehow made me think of the questions from parents of middle school kids, above. Here is how the dog article read:

“Small dogs have earned the reputation of being yappy, snappy, jealous, protective, wary of strangers and NOT great child companions… Dogs belong to canis lupus familiaris, a domesticated subspecies of the wolf…and have instincts that need to be fulfilled in order for the animal to be happy and balanced….Many behaviors we humans do not allow large dogs to get away with we find cute in small dogs….

If your little 5-pound Yorkshire Terrier decides to bark and growl at another dog while you are walking down the street, or as another dog passes by your house, it’s almost seen as cute because you see it as your tiny dog thinking they are a big dog. However, if you 120-pound Akita barks and growls at another dog, the dog is more likely to be put in their place and told to stop. The fact is, dogs should never be allowed to display dominant behaviors. Whether it be a huge or tiny dog, their pack leaders (their human owners) should tell the dogs “NO” and follow through until the dog understands this is not an acceptable behavior.

While some dogs have more of a tendency to get yappy, the yappy traits have everything to do with the way they are treated by the owner. For instance, if a dog lacks a pack leader and feels THEY are the pack leader, they may become yappy …as they try to get you to follow their commands.” (you may want to read more at  http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/articles/smalltoydogs.htm)

So, what does this have to do with our young teens? First of all, I was struck by the article stating that a dog’s needs have to be met for the dog to feel happy and balanced. When young teens have gone on a tirade, do they seem out of balance? Additionally, it has been my observation that often, what is cute at age 2 is annoying at age 7 and is illegal at age 15. In other words, sooner of later, parents have to “iron out” behaviors which will NOT BE HELPFUL to their kids. Now, the good news is that generally, mentally healthy parents rear mentally healthy kids. It’ll work out. . .

But, if taming your yappy pup is an issue at your house, tune in to my next blog for tips on re-establishing who is the “alpha” dog.