Dog experts in demand | Deccan Herald

Kannada movie ‘777 Charlie’, apart from other issues, also addresses behavioral issues and how training and counseling can help dogs. City experts are receiving increased inquiries after the movie was released.

CV Franklin, who runs Fetch Canine Training School on Hennur-Bagalur Road, has seen a 5% increase in training inquiries, in the last two weeks. “Pet parents want to understand their dogs better. Most people think certain breeds are super-friendly and others aggressive. We help them understand the dog’s needs better and provide training accordingly,” he says.

The school provides 27 different programs. The puppy program includes basic obedience, focus development, mental stimulation, socialisation and behavioral alteration. The adult dog program includes rehabilitation, environmental conditioning, and works with dogs with aggression, trauma or an abused past.

Lack of stimuli, rules, and boundaries, are common issues Franklin’s team has worked with. “In all our programs, we work with the pet parents too, to strike the right balance,” he adds.

K9 Gurukul, Basavanagudi, has been receiving five times the calls per week. Varun Vickraman, co-owner says, “We are getting around 10 calls every week since ‘777 Charlie’ released, compared to 2-3 per week earlier.”

Only puppies above three months (after all their vaccinations) are trained here. “We do socialisation training, where we expose the pup to other pups and pet parents. Temperament issues are sorted there,” he says.

Varun says, “Our programs follow a progressive training format. We have basic obedience training which helps in sorting out behavioral issues. It includes positive reinforcement, familiarizing the pet with his / her name, understanding its interests, handling separation anxiety and helping the dog align to its environment. ”

‘Change the environment’

Behavioural counsellors and experts unlike trainers help solve behavioral concerns of pets. They do not teach the dog command-based activities but help it live in the family’s environment in a calm manner.

Vaibhav Mungole, who runs Dogs Can Do It, is a dog behavioral consultant. “The most commonly seen problems in pets are excitement, anxiety, and aggression. These factors can be triggered by several external factors like sound, unknown people and animals,” he says.

Fear among dogs is caused by various factors. “As dogs are territorial, whatever they are exposed to regularly till six months becomes their routine. Whenever something unusual happens they are bound to react,” says Vaibhav.

One of the most challenging situations is when a dog starts biting its human family. “Sudden changes in food, environment, routine and health concerns might cause stress leading to sudden behavioral changes,” he says. In such instances, diagnosis and mitigation of the stress are most important.

All sessions are conducted at the client’s location to understand the pet’s behavior at its own territory, he adds.

Devisri Sarkar, founder of The Urban Dawg, Kothanur, is a canine behavior counsellor. “We don’t try to change the dog. We try to mold the environment the dog is in according to the dog’s nature and the lifestyle of the family,” she says.

She stresses on the importance of cognitive skills. “When we work on canine behaviour, we try to help the puppy use its cognitive skills by watching other dogs interacting with humans and dogs,” she adds.

Fun activities for mental stimulation are also suggested. “This helps build a better bond between the pet and its parent,” she shares. Understanding the pet’s body language can help one manage any possible conflicts or situations better with other dogs and humans, she adds.

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