Sunday Snippet: Cesar Millan

“We have to use exercise, discipline and affection every day. Most of the time people share affection, affection, affection, and that creates frustration. In a powerful breed, that’s going to lead him into aggression. So exercise and discipline play a big role in balance.”

I’ve been spending this weekend puppy-sitting for a friend. As much as I love dogs, I’ve never had one of my own, so this weekend has been a fun opportunity for me. Chewie may only be a nine-week-old pup, but he is already responding to some of the guidance I’ve received through watching The Dog Whisperer on NatGeo.

In the quote above, Cesar Millan (who most people know better simply as the Dog Whisperer) reminds us that a dog’s life requires balance. Far too many pet owners get a dog, a cat, or some other furry or feathered friend, showering them with affection but not much else. Dogs especially need the structure that exercise and discipline can provide. They need a purpose to their lives.

This is clearly demonstrated by the importance of the walk. Exercise is one part of it, to be sure, but it’s also about provide our canine companions with a sense of structure and direction. Playing in the backyard is not enough. They want the walk. They want the routine. And it’s your responsibility as caregiver to provide that to them.

People need balance in their lives too and there are many lessons that even freelancers can learn from the teachings of Cesar Millan. Even though we lead rather open lifestyles, we still need a certain sense of structure, direction, and purpose, as well as exercise and affection. We need discipline too, even if it comes from within.

We need our version of the walk.