Two canine counselors in the city tell us about their unique approach to analysing pets
Dog psychologist Amrut Sridhara Hiranya fell in love with dogs soon after he started selling them for pocket money through a breeder he knew when he was at Bishop Cotton’s Boys School back in ‘98. As a teenager, he kept a stray dog in his balcony for three weeks without his mum’s consent. “She got so upset, I left my house and spent a night at a near by park. Later, we gave it to People For Animals,” he recalls. Hiranya now owns a company called Dog Guru, a name he is also known by, given to him by a city-based news channel. “They created a show similar to the Dog Whisperer hosted by Cesar Millan,” he tells us about the series that started in January, 2012.
Hiranya’s style is unique. Unlike Vishwanath, Hiranya trains newbies with the help of his pack of dogs. A method similar to that of Dog Whisperer Millan, he uses calm, assertive energy and teaches dog owners to establish their role as pack leaders. He introduces the trainee dog to his English mastiff Shiney, who in turn, places the trainee correctly in the pack hierarchy. “This method is unlike reward-based training, where the behaviour of the dog is directly related to the treat,” he says. Apart from things like obedience, behaviour and owner training, Hiranya also does dog therapy and trains pets for security and narcotics and explosive detection.
Rs. 15,000 per month with food and accommodation. Details: dogguru.in
If you want a dog for security purposes, a timid one is preferable to a playful one.
Dogs can also suffer from lactose intolerance, so avoid giving them dairy products. I suggest dog food and raw meat as a staple diet.
City-based telecom engineer-turned-full-time canine counselor, Anand Vishwanath started studying doggie behaviour out of necessity. With a large number of dogs of various shapes, sizes and temperaments in his household, there would often be clashes, ending up in full blown fights. It was becoming imperative to bring in some sort of discipline. “I started reading up on canine psychology and was fascinated how dogs comprehend things, often very similar to how we react, and sometimes completely different.”
In order to work more proficiently with his own pets, he took a course under a well renowned canine behaviourist from the UK, John Rogerson (2011) and founded a firm called Anvis Inc – India’s first integrated pet management company. The group has services like pet grooming, foster homes, pet-setting and breeding, emergency services, as well as services like dog walking, training and pet relocation. Positive reinforcement, where the dog is rewarded every time it does something right, is key to his methodology. Vishwanath is always surrounded by his four dogs Ebby, Ally, Bianca and Prada — all boxers. But his favourite, he tells us, is Ebby who has borne the brunt of all his canine behaviour experiments!
Rs. 1,000 onwards. Details: anvisinc.com
Know your pet: Keep in mind the personal lifestyle of your family and the temperament, energy levels and grooming requirements before choosing your pet.
Invest time and energy: Give your pet the time he/she deserves. Chewing, excessive barking, pacing, self mutilation and aggression are all signs of a bored dog.
Indidog: They are hardy, healthy and low maintenance as are wire-haired Dachshunds. Their shedding is minimum, and they have a good temperament
Summer tips for pets: Spray the underbelly, paws, and face with water to help keep them cool. Avoid taking them out during the afternoon and keep lots of drinking water easily accessible to the pet.