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Friday 5th June 2020

Controversial C4 show Train Your Baby Like A Dog a hit with viewers despite petition calling for ban

Channel 4's controversial documentary Train Your Baby Like a Dog appeared to be a hit with viewers despite a huge petition calling for it to be banned.

The programme saw animal behaviourist Jo-Rosie Haffenden discuss applying her methods to parenting.

She explored how a greater emphasis on rewards for positive actions - instead of punishments for bad behaviour - can increase the chances of an infant becoming a caring, compassionate human being.

Jo-Rosie is an animal behaviourist (Credit: Channel 4)

Read more: Disgruntled viewers turn against 'gimmicky' Channel 4 series Secret Teacher

But a petition calling for Channel 4 to cancel the programme was signed by thousands of people, with leading child psychotherapists admitting the show had them "deeply concerned".

In a Huffington Post report, the chief executive of The Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP), Dr Nick Waggett, said: "The suggestion that parents train or treat their babies like dogs is very disturbing. It de-humanises vulnerable infants and could be acted on by parents in ways that might lead them to inadvertently harm their children.

"Frontline psychotherapists and social workers are unfortunately more than familiar with the outcomes for children who have genuinely been treated like dogs."

Most viewers appeared to support the methods (Credit: Channel 4)

But on Twitter, many viewers came out in support of the programme.

One said: "I am a big supporter of this method used and I think that we treat dogs more kindly then we do children, so this is a very good idea indeed."

From scared, unhappy children to kids feeling safe and happy and loved.

Another tweeted: "#trainyourbabylikeadog actually found it very interesting, the techniques were reviewed by psychology professionals to ensure no mental or physical harm. And it clearly worked."

A third said: "#trainyourbabylikeadog great program. From scared, unhappy children to kids feeling safe and happy and loved..."

"I watched the #trainyourbabylikeadog program and I honestly didn't see anything to make me think this was not a reasonable way to correct behaviours you're not happy with in your children. #trainyourbabylikeadog," wrote a fourth.

Not everyone was comfortable with the concept of applying animal training techniques to parenting, as one viewer tweeted: "#trainyourbabylikeadog I don't know where to start with how wrong and disturbing that program was. Please don't."

And someone else said: "Jesus Christ! This is mental! If you think you should train child like a dog, then why don't you go around telling your friends to sit or play. Would you talk to your husband like a owner or something? What has this world come to... #trainyourbabylikeadog

The star of the show, Jo-Rosie Haffenden, was on This Morning earlier this week to talk about Train Your Baby Like A Dog.

Jo-Rosie explained her methods on This Morning (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Viewers hail 'utterly fantastic' Kathy Burke after 'brilliant' Channel 4 doc

Chatting with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, she explained how to train kids using a clicker - a method that uses a click sound to tell a dog they have done something right.

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