If you’re a dog-parent is the case, then you need to know that responsible ownership along with positive training and greater understanding go a long way in ensuring the well-being of the canine member of your family.
We spoke to Paramita Das, who is a dog trainer and behaviorist in Kolkata to discuss ways to tackle dog behavior issues as well as the increasing opportunities in the dog training bangkok area of dog training as well as canine behavior.
What exactly is the role of the dog behaviorist?
Paramita Das Dog behaviorists collaborate with pet owners to aid them in understanding the behavior issues of their dogs. They also develop a program that helps address and manage the issues. To achieve this, these experts analyze the behaviour patterns of dogs, watch the interactions with their dogs as well as interpret and analyze the dog’s body language in various situations.
What brought you into this field?
PD: After over two decades in the world of work I was determined to pursue my love of doing work with animals. I realized that, in addition to loving dogs, it’s vital to learn to understand them more as they’re totally different from humans.
Once I completed my first canine trainer’s training course, I decided to help pet parents teach their dogs to be more positive and kinder methods. My goal was to ensure that they as well as their canine family members can have an enjoyable life. Then I proceeded to attend classes about canine aggression and behaviour as well.
What are your day-to-day activities within this field?
My daily responsibilities consist of teaching young puppies as well as adult dogs to be excellent pet companions, teaching dogs to play games as well as working with families that are experiencing difficulties with their dogs’ behaviours. I also address chewing and destructive behaviour, separation anxiety issues, toilet training fears, problems with walking on leashes and aggression issues.
What is the most frequent challenge you face?
PD: While most humans believe that dogs are responsible for the issue, a lot of the issues stem from pets owners. There is no knowledge about why dogs behave the way they do and how humans may have contributed to this behavior. In today’s hectic and bustling lifestyle, time and tolerance levels can be low. That’s one of the biggest issues. Once the family has invested in taking care of their pets in a planned manner, things become smoother.
Are you able to describe the strategies you use when working with dogs that have problems with behavior?
PD: I generally follow techniques to help the pet’s owner understand that their dog has behavior problems. It is essential that the family members be involved in obedience classes so that their pet obeys them in various situations and in the appropriate manner. Pet owners should be able to exert some influence over their dog’s behavior in a positive manner. My role is to create a programme to strengthen the bonds between the pets and their families.
What are the most frequent mistakes pet owners make while playing with their dogs?
Many pet owners treat their dogs as a human being or a toy. Dogs are living being — and a distinct species. Human beings are primates, while dogs are canids. Even though dogs are our most beloved companions, some pet owners must recognize that they belong to an animal species that is different. It is therefore crucial to them to be aware of the dog’s species. Families should know everything about the breed of their dog and use that information to their advantage.
What would you advise someone planning to bring an animal to their home?
PD: Be aware that the dog is a different species and be prepared to invest a lot of effort and time. Be aware of your dog’s behavioreducate your puppy on acceptable manners, take him/her out for walks, play appropriate games with him/her , and be part of activities he/she enjoys.
Prepare for financial commitments like vet bills, expenses in case your dog gets sick, grooming charges as well as boarding fees while you’re away and relocation costs. Also, you should put a support system in place in case of any emergencies.
Overall, I think you need to be prepared for a long-term commitment of 12-14 years of raising dogs. We can pursue our individual interests and hobbies but a dog’s life is dependent on its human family to ensure a happy life. We must not let our pet down in this.
What advice do you have to young people who already have a pet?
PD: Take part in the life of your dog. Be a part of the things that your dog truly enjoys. If you have Labradors, take them for a dip. If you have an Beagle or Indie, take him/her for scent-based games in the park. Spend moments with your dog in order to create an enduring bond. Your time spent together is all that matters.
What are the possible academic and professional options for someone who would like to become a dog trainer and behaviorist?
It is possible to take PD courses available to gain the knowledge and skills required to become an experienced dog behaviorist. I have taken courses taught by Shirin Merchant who is among those pioneering in the field of canine behavior and instruction in India. I also have taken courses with John Rogerson, who is an internationally renowned trainer of dogs and behaviorist. The two trainers Shirin and John utilize positive and gentle training techniques that concentrate on building a strong relationship between the dog and his/her family.
What are the possible career paths one can choose to pursue while being with dogs?
PD It is clear that there are plenty of opportunities in this growing field. People are becoming more conscious about the necessity of taking the pets they love to specialists nowadays. The roles of a vet groomer, trainer and behaviourist are a few of the most common options. It is also possible to run the boarding center for dogs. Animal rescue and working at shelters is another option. If you are trained properly, you can also become a pet nutritionist.