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Dog training need not involve complicated commands, says Canine behaviourist Shirin Merchant

Canine behaviourist Shirin Merchant debunks myths associated with pet training and talks about other pet-related topics ahead of her event Unleash! With Shirin Merchant in the city

pune Updated: Feb 24, 2018 22:13 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,dog training,Canine
Shirin Merchant.(HT PHOTO)

Most people think that dog training is unnecessary or cruel to dogs or because they don’t want to impose their will on dogs and avoid training their dog altogether. On Sunday, canine behaviourist Shirin Merchant intends to change this perception and more as she promises a day full of memories and activities for dogs and pet parents. Titled ‘Unleash! With Shirin Merchant’, the event aims to teach people new methods to engage their dog at home.

“People think choke chains and intimidation are required while training a dog, but a truly obedient dog is the dog that obeys because he wants to, not because he is being forced to. Harsh training methods can backfire on an owner. An animal backed into a corner will wait for his opportunity to lash out. The dog that has learnt to obey because it is pleasant to do so is a happy and obedient companion,” said Shirin.

Just as you would teach your child to behave appropriatively, adjust to society and its rules and manners, you should also teach your dogs manners. A trained dog has an easier life than its untrained counterpart, said Shirin.

Shirin added, “A well-behaved dog that is polite around guests won’t be banished to another room when they visit. A dog that walks well on a leash is a pleasure to take out and a dog that will come back when called can be given the freedom of running loose in a park.

“An untrained dog, on the other hand, can be a liability to his owner and to the society. Every year, thousands of dogs are put to sleep or abandoned by callous owners due to behaviour problems that could have been rectified with training. Training need not involve complicated commands; simple basic commands such as a recall, a ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ command is all a dog needs.”

The event will also have an interesting session Mental games, to which she shared, “Most people think physical exercise is enough for a dog, but dogs, like humans, need to get mental exercise as well. With most breeds of dogs, playing scenting games is a great way to get them to exercise their minds. Happy Tailz is India’s first company to make fun interactive toys that encourage dog’s to think and solve problems along with their pet parents. These games are great at building a bond with the pet parent, a stimulating activity for bored dogs and a great way to break the ice with a rescue dog.”

Here are some of the activities at Unleash
Agility: A fun sport for dogs and pet parents, agility is a great way to exercise your dog’s mind and body. Come and have fun with your dog jumping, crawling and twisting.

Splash pools: What better way to beat the heat for the dogs and humans than to jump into our splash pools. The shallow pools are great for any dog that loves water.

Dog Training: Join dog training experts as they teach you the nuances of dog training and you can also participate in our fun competitions where you can show off your dog’s amazing skills.

The Dog’s Mind: Exercising your dog’s mind is as important as exercising your dog’s body. Play interactive games with your dog that will help exercise your dog’s senses, mind and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Health Ring: Get your dog’s health check done, speak to veterinary experts and learn lots about how to take care of your dog by Pune’s renowned vets

Health and Nutrition: Get great advice on general health and nutrition from top experts in the field

Unleash! With Shirin Merchant

Where: Balkrishna Lawns, Mundhwa

When: February 25, 3-8pm

First Published: Feb 24, 2018 22:10 IST