If you’re a dog parent, then you must know that responsible dog ownership as well as positive training and greater understanding of the dog can go a long way 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 behaviorist and trainer in Kolkata to discuss ways to address dog behavior issues and growing opportunities in the dog training bangkok area of dog training as well as canine behavior.
What exactly is it that is the task of a dog behaviorist?
Paramita Das: Dog behaviorists work with pet owners to aid them in understanding the behavior issues of their pets. They also devise a system to address and control these issues. In order to do this, these professionals analyze the behaviors of dogs, observe interactions between dogs and their owners, as well as interpret and analyze the dog’s body language in different situations.
How did you get into this field?
PD: After more than two decades in the world of work I wanted to follow my passion of doing work with animals. I realized that besides loving dogs, it’s vital to try and understand them more as they’re a completely different species from humans.
After I completed my first dog trainer’s course, wanted to help pet parents train their dogs using friendly and gentle methods. My goal was to ensure that both they and their canine family members can have wonderful lives. Then I decided to attend classes on aggression and canine behavior and aggression.
What are your typical tasks in your job?
My daily responsibilities involve training puppies and adult dogs to be excellent pet companions, teaching dogs to play and have fun and working with families who are facing difficulties with their dogs’ behaviours. I also work with chewing and destructive behavior as well as separation anxiety issues. behavior that is arouses attention, toilet training and fear-related issues, as well as leash walking issues and aggression issues.
What’s the biggest challenge that you’re confronted with?
PD: While most humans believe that the dog is the problem, a lot of issues are caused by pets owners. There is no knowledge about why dogs behave in particular ways and how we may have contributed towards that behavior. In today’s busy and hectic pace of life, our time as well as patience are low. This is one of the main challenges. Once the family has invested in working with animals in a planned manner, the process becomes more smooth.
Can you describe the procedures you employ when dealing with a dog that has behavior issues?
PD: I primarily follow techniques to help the pet family understand the reasons for their dog’s behaviors issues. It is essential that the family get involved in obedience training to ensure that their pet obeys them at all times and behaves in a way that is acceptable. Pet owners need to have some control over their dog’s behaviour in an acceptable manner. My task is to establish a programme to strengthen the bonds between the family members and their dog.
What are the common mistakes that pet owners make when playing with their dogs?
A lot of pet owners regard their dog as humans or a toy. Dogs are living being , and a distinct species. Human beings are primates but the dogs belong to canids. While dogs are best friends, some dog owners must recognize that they still belong to a different species. So, it’s important to them to be aware of the canine species. Families must be knowledgeable about the breed of their dog and apply that knowledge to their advantage.
What would you advise someone who is to bring your puppy back to the home?
PD: Understand that your dog is a different species , and you must be prepared to put in a lot 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 part of activities he/she enjoys.
Prepare for financial commitments like vet bills, expenses in case your dog gets sick, grooming charges and boarding fees during your absence or moving. Also, you should put an emergency plan for an emergency.
Overall, I think you must be prepared for a long-term commitment of 12 to 14 years bringing the dog to a good home. We may pursue our passions and hobbies, but a dog is dependent on its human family to ensure a happy life. Let’s not disappoint your pet with this.
What would be your advice to young people who already own a pet?
Participate in the daily life of your dog. Be a part of the activities your dog is truly passionate about. If you own Labradors, go for a swim. If you have an Beagle or Indie then take them out for scent-based games at the park. Spend times with the pet to build relationships that last. Spending time with your pet is all that matters.
What are the possible academic and professional routes to take if someone is interested in becoming a dog behaviorist or trainer?
In the field of dog behavior, there are courses which can be pursued to learn the information and skills required to become a professional dog behaviorist. I have taken courses taught by Shirin Merchant who is one the pioneers in the field of canine behavior and behavior training within India. I have also taken classes of John Rogerson, who is an internationally renowned trainer of dogs and behaviorist. The two trainers Shirin and John use kinder and positive training techniques that concentrate on building a strong bond between the dog and its family.
What are the possible career paths one can choose to pursue while playing with pets?
PD The world is full of opportunities available in this booming field. More and more people are aware about the need to take animals to specialists these days. Working as a vet, groomer, trainer and behaviourist are a few of the most frequently used options. It is also possible to run an animal boarding facility. Animal rescue and working at shelters is another option. With the right training, you can also become a pet nutritionist.