If you’re a dog parent is the case, then you need to know that responsible ownership along with positive training and greater understanding of the dog can be a big help in the direction of ensuring the health and well-being for the dog in your family.
We spoke with Paramita Das, who is a dog trainer and behaviorist from Kolkata to discuss the best way to address problems with dog behavior and the growing opportunities in the dog training bangkok field of dog behavior and canine behavior.
What exactly is the role of dog behaviorists?
Paramita Das: Dog behaviorists assist pet owners help them understand the issues with their dogs. They also develop a program that helps address and manage these issues. To achieve this, these professionals study the behavior patterns of dogs, observe interactions among dogs and owners, and interpret and observe the body language of dogs in various settings.
How did you get into this field?
PD: After spending more than two decades in the corporate world I wanted to follow my passion of doing work with animals. I realized that aside from loving dogs, it’s essential to get to know them more as they’re a completely different species from humans.
Once I completed my first canine trainer’s training course, I wanted to help pet parents train their dogs using friendly and gentle methods. My goal was to ensure that both the dog and its dog family members have a an enjoyable life. After that, I went on to study courses on aggression and canine behavior as well.
What are your day-to-day activities in this job?
My daily responsibilities involve training puppies and adult dogs to be great companions, training dogs to play and have fun as well as working with families that are experiencing behavior issues with their dogs. I also work with chewing and destructive behaviour and separation anxiety issues. attention-seeking behaviour, toilet practice anxiety issues, fear, aggression and leash walking issues.
What’s the most challenging issue you’re faced with?
PD: While a majority of people think that dogs are responsible for the issue, a lot of issues primarily stem from the pet owners themselves. There is a lack of understanding of why dogs behave an esthetic way and the ways we might have contributed to that behavior. In the present hectic and hectic pace of life, both time or patience is a bit low. This is among the major difficulties. Once the family members are invested in managing the pets they love in a structured manner, things will go more smoothly.
Do you have a list of the methods you follow while working with a dog with behaviour issues?
PD: I generally follow techniques to help the pet’s owner understand the dog’s behavior is due to behaviour problems. It is essential that the entire family participate in obedience training to ensure that their pet obeys them in a variety of situations and in acceptable ways. Pet owners must have some influence over their dog’s behavior in an appropriate way. My job is to implement an intervention program to strengthen relationships between dogs and family members.
What are the most common mistakes that pet owners make when engaging with their dogs?
Many pet owners treat their dogs as a human being or a toy. A dog is a living being — and a distinct species. Human beings are primates, but dogs are canids. Although dogs are our best friends, some pet parents must acknowledge that they still belong to an entirely different species. So, it’s important for them to understand the dog’s species. Families must know all they can about the breed of their dogs and utilize that knowledge positively.
What advice would you offer to anyone considering bringing your puppy back to the home?
PD: Know that the dog is a distinct species and be prepared to put in lots of effort and time. Be aware of your dog’s behavior– teach the puppy acceptable behavior, take him/her for walks, play appropriate games with him/her , and be involved in activities that he/she is interested in.
Prepare yourself for financial obligations like vet bills, expenses in the event that your dog is sick grooming costs or boarding costs while you’re away, relocation costs. It is also important to have the right support system for any emergencies.
Overall, I believe you must be prepared to commit for a commitment that lasts 12-14 years to bring the dog to a good home. We are able to pursue our passions and hobbies, but a dog’s life is dependent on its human family to provide a wonderful life. Let’s not disappoint your pet on that.
What would be your advice to children who already have a pet?
PD: Be involved with your dog’s daily routine. Try to be part of the activities that your dog truly enjoys. If you have Labradors, take them for a dip. If you have an Beagle or Indie then take them out for sniffing games in a park. Spend quality time with your pet to build relationships that last. Your time spent together is all that is important.
What are the academic and professional routes to take if someone desires to become a trainer or behaviorist?
It is possible to take PD courses available in order to obtain the knowledge and skills required to become an experienced dog behaviorist. I have pursued courses conducted by Shirin Merchant who is among the pioneers in the discipline of canine behavior as well as training in India. I have also taken classes of John Rogerson, who is an internationally-renowned dog trainer and behaviorist. They both Shirin and John utilize gentle and positive methods of training that are focused on creating a strong bond between the dog and its family.
What are the possible career paths one can choose to pursue while working with dogs?
PD: There are a lot of opportunities available in this booming field. People are becoming more aware about the necessity of taking the pets they love to specialists these days. As a vet groomer, trainer, and behaviorist are among the most frequently used choices. You can also run a boarding centre for dogs. Working with animals and volunteering at shelters is another option. With appropriate training you could also be a pet nutrition consultant.