If you’re a dog parent and you’re a dog owner, then you should know that responsible pet ownership in addition to positive training and more understanding of your dog’s needs can help to ensure the wellbeing of the canine member of your family.
We spoke to Paramita Das, a canine trainer and behaviorist in Kolkata to discuss ways to handle dog behavior issues as well as the increasing opportunities in the dog training bangkok area of dog training and canine behavior.
Edugraph: What exactly is the job of the dog behaviorist?
Paramita Das: Dog behaviorists help pet owners help them understand the behaviors of their pets. They also devise a system to help address and manage these issues. To do so, these professionals study the behavior patterns of dogs, observe interactions with their dogs and interpret and observe the body language of dogs in various settings.
What brought you into this field?
PD: After spending more than two decades in working in the corporate world, I wanted to pursue my love for working with dogs. I realized that in addition to my love for dogs, it’s crucial to try and understand them more as they’re an entirely different species than humans.
When I completed my initial dog trainer’s course, was determined to help pet owners guide their dogs through gentle and positive methods. My aim was to ensure that both they and their dog family members have a the best time together. After that I proceeded to complete courses regarding canine aggression and behavior and aggression.
What are your typical tasks in this profession?
My day-to-day activities consist of teaching young puppies as well as adult dogs to be good pets, and teaching dogs to play with fun and working with families who are facing difficulties with their dogs’ behaviours. I also tackle chewing and destructive behaviour, separation anxiety issues, behavior that is arouses attention, toilet training and fear-related issues, as well as problems with walking on leashes and aggression issues.
What is the most frequent challenge you’re facing?
PD: Although the majority of us believe that the dog is the root of the problem, a large portion of issues are caused by dog owners. There is a lack of understanding of the reasons why dogs behave in particular ways and how we could have contributed to that behavior. In the current hectic and busy pace of life, time as well as patience are limited. That’s among the most significant issues. When the entire family is involved in taking care of your pets in a disciplined manner, things become smoother.
Can you describe the procedures you use when working with dogs that have behaviour issues?
PD: I mostly employ techniques to help the pet family understand the reasons for their dog’s behavior problems. It’s crucial that the family get involved in obedience training so that their pet obeys them at all times and in the appropriate manner. Pet owners should have some influence over their dog’s behavior in an acceptable manner. My job is to implement a programme to strengthen the bonds between family members and their dog.
What are some common mistakes that pet owners make when interacting with their dogs?
PD: Many pet owners consider their dog to be the equivalent of a human being or toy. Dogs are living thing — distinct from other species. Humans are primates but the dogs belong to canids. Although dogs are our greatest companions, some owners should recognize that they still belong to an animal species that is different. Therefore, it’s crucial for them to know the canine species. Families must be knowledgeable about the dog breed and use that information to their advantage.
What advice would you offer to anyone who wants to bring your puppy home?
PD: Know that your dog is different species and be prepared to put in lots of effort and time. Be aware of your dog’s behaviorand teach your puppy to be a good behavior, take it for walks, play acceptable games with him/her and become involved in activities that he/she is interested in.
Prepare for financial commitments like vet bills, expenses for your dog’s illness grooming costs, boarding charges when you are away or moving. Also, it is important to establish a system of support in place in case of an emergency.
Overall, I think it is important to prepare yourself for a long-term commitment of 12-14 years to bring up a dog. We are able to pursue our personal interests and hobbies, however a dog’s needs are dependent on its human family to give him/her a great life. So, let’s not let your pet down on this.
What would be your advice to those who are young and already have a pet?
PD: Take part in your dog’s life. Try to be part of the activities that your dog actually enjoys. If you have Labradors, you can take them for a dip. If you have a Beagle or Indie go with them to play sniffing games in a park. Spend times with the pet to build an enduring bond. The time you spend together is the most important thing.
What are the possible academic and professional paths to follow if one desires to become a trainer or behaviorist?
It is possible to take PD courses available to learn the information and training required to be a professional dog behaviorist. I have attended courses run by Shirin Merchant who is one leaders in the discipline of canine behavior as well as education in India. I have also taken classes by John Rogerson, who is an internationally recognized canine trainer and behaviorist. They both Shirin and John use kinder and positive methods of training that are focused on creating a strong bond between the dog and the family.
What are the careers that one could pursue while playing with pets?
PD The world is full of possibilities in this growing field. People are becoming more conscious about the need to take the pets they love to specialists these days. Working as a vet, groomer, trainer and behaviourist are among the most popular choices. It is also possible to run a boarding centre for dogs. Working with animals and volunteering at shelters is also an option. After a proper training it is possible to become a pet nutrition consultant.