Pooja Sathe, adores dogs and she says there is nothing better than spending the weekend bonding with your pet. Preferably far away from the hustle bustle of city to the greenery in Lonavala, Manor, Karjat, Kashid or Kelve!
Pooja, a professional dog trainer runs Crazy K9 Campers in Mumbai, an initiative formed for pet dogs and owners to provide them with unique opportunities to spend quality time together, through weekend pet camps.
‘My pet lab Jazz has always been my inspiration. He has been my motivation behind starting weekend pet camps under Crazy K9 Campers. I used to take him to most of our trips, treks etc. During these trips, I liked taking like minded pet owners along with me as it can give the pets complete freedom to do stuff which they actually like & socialise as well.”
Apart from organising camps, Pooja also trains pets at their own homes. Her clients include friendly Labradors to alert German Shepherds, brilliant Beagles to fancy Poodles But her favourites are Indian Mutts.
Since her childhood Pooja, has been an animal lover & wanted to have dogs of her own. Never did she think that she would take up a career as a Dog Trainer, until after graduation, she began training under Shirin Merchant of K9 Can Care in Mumbai.
Later, she trained from Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour & Training in UK. She has also learnt Agility – a dog sport from Apex Agility Center in LA. “When I started in 2005, it was difficult to prove myself in the male dominated field of dog training. Also when I started Crazy K9 Campers it was not so easy to get pet friendly locations for conducting our activities,” she informs.
Job of a Dog trainer involves guiding pet owners about understanding their pet & help them communicate with them better, teaching animal commands & solving their behavioural problems.
One needs to have patience, dedication, persistence & good communication skills with people in order to pursue this profession. And a love for dogs! One can start working as an assistant to a senior trainer, volunteer in dog shows or animal NGOs to get first-hand experience with animals. “Doing a professional training course will help to actually understand the behaviour & then learn how to train pets,” she states.
There are many opportunities in this field. You can opt to be pet dog trainer, behaviour counsellor or conduct training courses for new pet parents, train pets for dog shows etc.
There are many institutes & clubs offering training courses abroad. One can select according to one’s preference such as obedience training, agility, search & rescue, guide dog training etc.
According to her the industry is rapidly growing & there are very few genuine & professional trainers available. So if you love animals & seriously want to work with them, one should definitely take this up as a career.
– Babita Balan