If you’re a dog owner it is important to understand that responsible dog ownership as well as positive training and greater understanding go a long way to ensure the wellbeing for the dog in your family.
We spoke with Paramita Das, a canine trainer and behaviorist in Kolkata for a discussion on how to handle problems with dog behavior and the growing opportunities in the dog training bangkok area of dog training as well as canine behavior.
What exactly is the job of a dog behaviorist?
Paramita Das Dog behaviorists collaborate with pet owners to assist them in understanding the issues with their pets. They also devise a system to assist in addressing and managing such issues. To do so, these experts analyze the behaviour patterns of dogs, watch the interactions with their dogs and then interpret and watch the body language of dogs in different situations.
How did you become involved in this field?
PD: After more than two decades working in the world of work, I wanted to pursue my passion of doing work with animals. I realized that in addition to my love for dogs, it’s vital to learn to understand them more as they’re an entirely different species than humans.
When I completed my initial canine trainer’s course, I determined to assist pet owners teach their dogs to be more friendly and gentle methods. My goal was to make sure that both they and their canine family members can have a great life together. After that I continued to take classes on canine behaviour and aggression as well.
What are your daily activities in this job?
My daily activities include teaching puppies and adult dogs to be excellent pets, and teaching dogs to play with fun helping families with behavior issues with their dogs. I also deal with chewing and destructive behavior and separation anxiety issues. the need for attention, toilet training fears, leash walking issues and aggression issues.
What’s the most common challenge you’re faced with?
PD: While most humans think that dogs are responsible for the issue, a lot of issues are caused by dog owners. There is an absence of understanding as to the reasons why dogs behave in a certain way and how we might have contributed to the behavior. In the current hectic and busy pace of life, time and tolerance levels can be a bit low. This is one of the main problems. When the entire family is involved in managing your pets in a disciplined manner, things will go more smoothly.
Are you able to describe the strategies you use when working with a dog with behavioral issues?
PD: I primarily use techniques to assist the pet’s owners understand why their dog is exhibiting behaviour problems. It is essential that the family members be involved in obedience classes so that their dog is able to obey them at all times and in a manner that is acceptable. Pet owners need to have some control on their dog’s behavior an appropriate way. My task is to establish a programme to strengthen the bonds between pet owners and their family members.
What are some common errors pet owners make interacting with their dogs?
PD: Many pet owners consider their dog to be the equivalent of a human being or toy. Dogs are living creature — distinct from other species. Human beings are primates, but dog breeds are called canids. While dogs are most beloved companions, some pet owners need to recognize that they belong to an entirely different species. It is therefore crucial for them to understand the canine species. Families must be knowledgeable about the dog breed and apply that knowledge to their advantage.
What advice would you offer to someone who is to bring the puppy at home?
PD: Be aware that the dog is a different animal and that you need to put in lots of effort and time. Learn more about your dog –and teach your puppy to be a good behaviour, take him/her on walks, play games with him/her and become part of the activities that your dog is enjoying.
Prepare for financial obligations like vet bills, expenses in case your dog gets sick, grooming charges or boarding costs when you are away or moving. Also, you should put a support system to be in place in the event of any emergencies.
Overall, I think you need to be prepared for a commitment for 12-14 years of raising up a dog. We are able to pursue our passions and hobbies, but a dog is dependent on his family members to give him/her a great life. So, let’s not let your pet down in that.
What is your suggestion to children who already own a pet?
Participate with your dog’s daily routine. Do your best to participate in the activities that your dog actually enjoys. If you own a Labrador, take him/her for a dip. If you own a Beagle or Indie go with them to play scent-based games in the park. Spend quality moments with your dog to build a strong relationship. Spending time with your pet is all that matters.
What are the possible academic and professional paths to follow if one is interested in becoming a dog trainer or behaviorist?
The PD: There are courses that can be taken to acquire the skills and experience required to become an experienced dog behaviorist. I have pursued courses conducted by Shirin Merchant who is one leaders in the area of canine behavior and behavior training within India. I have also completed courses taught by John Rogerson, who is an internationally renowned trainer of dogs and behaviorist. The two trainers Shirin and John utilize positive and gentle training methods that focus on creating a strong bond between the dog and the family.
What are the careers one can choose to pursue while playing with pets?
PD It is clear that there are plenty of possibilities in this growing field. The public is becoming more aware about the necessity to take the pets they love to specialists today. Working as a vet, groomer, trainer, and behaviorist are some of the most popular choices. There is also the possibility of running an animal boarding house. Working with animals and volunteering at a shelter is another option. After a proper training you could also be an expert in pet nutrition.