Mind your manners

THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS INDULGE on Friday, 4 April 2014

Dog Guru

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 nearby 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.

The Process

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

Palike’s all bark, no bite

DECCAN HERALD on Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The growing number of dog-bite cases has forced the civic authorities to think out of the box, and explore solutions beyond the traditional methods.

The focus is now on finding the reason for canines going berserk.
Experts point out that dogs normally do not attack unless provoked; they bite mainly to defend themselves or due to fear. According to Rakesh Shukla, the founder of Voice of Stray Dogs, heaps of garbage in public places are at the root of the problem.

“Dogs are scavengers and they eat garbage. If there is no edible garbage, dog populations will disappear,” he explains, citing analyses and data from studies.

But he points out that dog-bite cases cannot be reduced to zero in the City spread over 750 sq km, with a population of approximatively 80 lakh. The sheer numbers, 1.8 lakh strays and 1.4 lakh pet dogs, make the task of curbing their population difficult.

Amrut Sridhara Hiranya, a dog behaviourist, doesn’t want to generalise. ” Not all dogs are a nuisance. Why do people generalise? The public knowledge about sick dogs are those with rabies or scabies.

But dogs also have behavioural problems. As a responsible citizen, it is important to inform the BBMP or animal welfare organisations about abnormal behaviour of dogs in your locality, ” he said.

BBMP programme

The Palike launched animal birth control (ABC) and anti-rabies vaccination (ARV) drives in 2001. Till date, over 3.6 lakh dogs have been subjected to ABC and ARV administered on another four lakh. For the year 2010-11, ABC has been conducted on 69,141 dogs and ARV administered on 1,61,419 dogs under the programmes executed by NGOs working for the BBMP.

Dr Parvez Ahmad Piran, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry, BBMP, says at present ABC and ARV are being executed in full swing and at this rate, dog population can be controlled in the next three years.

“Executing these programmes is a Herculean task. Dogs cannot be caught easily as they hide and alert their creed about dog-catchers. Despite making huge efforts, many dogs go missing in our programmes, “he added.

Dr Piran said dogs normally do not cross their territories. But during breeding season, they do cut across territories and during one of their migration phases, there can be incidents of dog bites due to aggression. Dogs attack due to sexual aggression, maternal aggression, rabies, territorial aggression, fear and provocation.

The BBMP’s ABC and ARV take care of sexual and maternal aggression by removing the reproductive glands in the animal and ARV takes care of rabies, he explained.

Mauling toddlers

The death of two children this year, supposedly due to dog bites, could actually have been caused due to other reasons, Dr Piran said.

“Two toddlers, one in Bagalur and another in Yelahanka did not die due to dog attack. Normally, when a dog bites, there are irregular tears or laceration marks on the body which were not found on these two children. These children may have died due to other reasons, which still need to be investigated, ” he added.

Ref – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/8378569.stm

Tongues wag and tails too

Times of India on Monday, 22 July 2011

Bangalore: Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Bangalore’s dog-loving youth were eager to parade their pets at the Dog show,an intercollegiate pet competition.

Hosted by Jain University’s cultural forum,the event celebrated a dogs day and promoted awareness about canine behavioural issues.The National College Grounds was alive with chatter and wagging tails.The stalls surrounding the enclosure endorsed Karuna Animal Welfare Association of Karnataka (KAWAK) and sold dog food,accessories and even puppies! We wanted to do something different, said Akshith Manjunath,a member of the cultural forum.We invited every college in Bangalore. As an open class breed event, the entrants didn’t need to register under the Canine Club and any dog could compete.

There was even a Puppy section into which organizer, Pranav D,e ntered his 4-month-old Rottweiler, Danny. Over 50 dogs of all shapes, ages and sizes competed in three categories: Most Obedient, Best Looking and Fancy Dress, to win medals, trophies and Drools Dog Kits.

The show was also a platform to create awareness about canines with behavioural issues: Apart from rabies, dogs can develop mental disorders, said Amrut Hiranya, a behaviouralist known as the Dog Guru,and one of the judges at the show.

The recent stray-dog attacks are a result of psychologically unstable canines which havent been reported to competent authorities, Hiranya urged students to notify correction centres about such cases to save healthy dogs from being unjustly treated.

The Annual Dog Show 2011-12

This Press release from Jain University organized “The Annual Dog Show 2011-12″

The Cultural Forum of Jain University organized ” The Annual Dog Show 2011-12 ” – an event for open class breed exclusively for the beloved dogs.

Mr. Amrut Sridhara Hiranya – Canine Behaviorist, Unitec, New Zealand & Dr. Chandraiah – Veterinarian, Bangalore were the judges for the event. The Show witnessed various breeds stepping with their best paws forward.

Results:

The show was a platform to create awareness about canines with behavioral issues and event also echoed concerns about Dog Shows being considered as a fashion event.

Best Obedient Dog– Where a dog must perfectly execute a predefined set of tasks when directed to do so by his handler.

Male Dog – Veerabadra; Guardian – Madhurima

Best Looking Dog– The best looking breed which engrossed the judges as well as the audience.

Male Dog – Champy; Guardian – Satish

Female Dog – Nicy; Guardian – Deepu

Fancy Dress Dog– The dog which is dressed in the creative attire will be chosen as the winner.

Male Dog – Craphy; Guardian – Minkpin

Best Dog of the Show– An overall performance by the canines.

Male Dog – Firza; Guardian- Sathish

Female Dog – Jasi; Guardian – Sathish

Dog training classes… for pettiquettes

Dogs and Pups magazine on Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012

You have undoubtedly experienced frustration with your best buddy, from time to time. And, even though you know it’s not always your dog’s fault, blame is easy to cast when your emotion runs high. Behavioural problem with our canine companions is considered to be a common trouble faced by almost every dog owner.

The dog’s mind…

All dogs have evolved from wolves. The dog’s mind is filled with the hierarchy in pack system. The dog will always obey the leader of the pack in which the trainer normally turns to be the leader. Hence it’s very important for the owners to train their dogs.

It is for reasons like these, Dog Training for Owners emphasises on training you too. Being your dog’s best friend, you are the best person to teach him because, believe it or not, he wants to please you, and looks at you for guidance. Working closely with your canine companion also strengthens the bond between two of you, which makes communication with him much easier. Before you know it, blame will become a thing of the past.

Dog training for owners

The key to success in any dog training programme begins with the owner of the dog. Dog Training for Owners knows that each dog is different. Not only do dogs vary in breed, size and age, they are unique individuals with different personalities, energy levels, likes and dislikes, so on…

Obedience training – a must

Obedience training is very important in dogs. Dog training classes is not only aimed at dogs alone but also lay emphasis on teaching the owner or handler. The dog handler should use the techniques taught as often as possible. If the dog does not obey, he must reinforce his techniques. The dogs and their handlers learn more about each other when they attend the classes together.

What dog training classes teach

The dog training classes teach them how to work in synchronisation with each other. Dog training classes are considered important because it helps the dog socialise with fellow dogs and the people around. Otherwise, a dog would be barking mad every time the neighbour comes to your door.

The six basic instructions are heel, sit, stay, recall, down and close. These instructions are enough to get a dog under control when he is agitated to do something. Hyperactive dogs need these instructions, to prevent themselves from turning the house upside down. Dog training classes lay stress on use of positive training.

Remember, a well-trained pooch implies a happy and well-behaved pooch and a proud pet parent as well.

Housebreaking solution at hand

We get several complaints from the owners that their pup relieves in their absence or in a secluded spot when no one’s watching. Here’s how to handle this situation

  • Start toilet training as soon as your pup reaches home.
  • Take the pup to the designated place after he wakes up from sleep or after food.
  • Whenever your pup is doing his job at the wrong place, say a loud ‘NO’.
  • Take the pup to where he should do it.
  • Timing is very important; there is no use in pointing at the pee later.
  • Give him a treat if he does his business at the right place. A treat may be anything easily available – a piece of biscuit. Remember treat goes into the mouth while the pup is peeing, not before or later.
  • Do not use that particular treat for anything else.
  • Be patient and positive. On a continuous practice, the pup understands that if he dirties inside, he gets a ?NO?. But if he goes outside to pee, he gets a treat. The whole thing looks very simple but needs patience and practice.

(Amrut Sridhara Hiranya is a canine behaviourist trained at UnitecAuckland, New Zealand. He runs Dog GuruKull in Bengaluru).

Admissions Open at Dog School

Citybuzz on Sunday 23, January 2011
A residential school for dogs has just opened its doors in Bengaluru, but it’s not just dogs they teach, reports Sonali Desai

If you have been wondering how to deal with your dog’s cranky behavior, this school offers to train it. The school also trains you to handle dogs.

Amrut S Hiranya, who recently came to India from New Zealand after studying canine behaviour, says, “It’s not just the dog that needs to be trained, it’s the owner who needs to learn how to handle it.”

His interest came from childhood, when he used to sit across his school compound and observe street dogs; this eventually helped him earn pocket money when he started selling puppies.

“India does not have such a course. I wanted to study more about how dogs behave. That’s why I took up training as my profession,” Amrut says.

Amrut offers behaviour consultation, obedience training, dog therapies and owner training. He charges Rs 15,000 for the package. He teaches dog behaviour to MBBS students and others. He also facilitates puppy sales, stud service, boarding, and pet grooming.

“Dogs observe everything in the house and identify the master. They follow their master if they are instructed properly. It is important to make some time for the dog. Here in India, we have no idea what we are doing with our dogs. We feed them rice, milk and chocolates, which are not good for canines,” he says. After a pup crosses four months, milk is like water in its diet, just a hydrating agent.

“Egg, buttermilk, curd and 300 gm of meat every day is very good for a dog’s health,” he says. He also recommends three hours of walking.For those who think the dog should look adorable, here is a piece of advice from Amrut:?Let them be the way they are. Wash them once in five months and every second day brush its coat. This helps reduce hair fall and make its hair shine.” You can spend just Rs 300 a month on your dog’s diet, but you should know what you are feeding it.

Prashanth Varadaraja, a module lead at Mind Tree and owner of a golden retriever, had problems with its aggressive behavior. “I took obedience training for my dog when it was four-and-a-half months old because it used to annoy everyone in the family with its impulsive behaviour. It never obeyed my orders and created problems when I took it for walks. A friend told me about Amrut and I approached him for training,” he told City Buzz. Prashanth says he understands the dog better now. The dog is now 11 months old.

If you plan to buy a dog, Amrut can suggest what breed is best for you. If you want a dog to guard your house, for example, a labrador is a bad choice. “Such mistakes can be avoided if people consult me,” he said. Amrut has trained around 15-16 dogs so far. He is now working with a group of army men who want to help epileptic patients.

Dogs are trained to observe changes in the patient and signal an imminent attack. The patient then relaxes and prepares to face the seizure. “Dogs can detect cancer through their sense of smell,” says Amrut.

You can visit Amrut‘s website www.dogguru.in or call him on 9964222211 .

Show to raise funds for underdogs

DHNS on July 23, 2012

Young dog lovers and students from the Youth Canine Welfare Association conducted a dog show on Sunday to raise money, to provide stray dogs a decent life.

The dog show, held at the National College Grounds, was witness to nearly 60 dogs of various breeds. Different contests such as Best Obedient Dog, Best Junior and Best Fancy Dress were held. The proceeds will help street dogs.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, association member Pranav said that the aim is to rescue dogs and rehabilitate them rather than simply using sterilisation as a method.

The Association also aims to educate the public on dog behaviour. Rescued street dogs will be trained by <strong style=”color:red; font-size:medium;”>Amrut Sridhara</strong>, a canine behaviourist, in sniffing and tracking. The Association hopes that the training will help make the animals useful for official purposes.

During the contest one pet was costumed as a Hawaiian girl while another was dressed in fancy beads. Many dogs also performed tricks, including shaking hands with the public and balancing on two legs. Winning pets received certificates. Stalls were also set up to sell pet accessories.

Strays can sniff out bombs too

Sruthy Susan Ullas, TNN on July 29, 2012

BANGALORE : If you happen to see a mongrel at the end of a leash sniffing for bombs next time you visit a mall, don’t be taken aback. Even as the city is debating the ethics of culling stray dogs, a group of animal lovers plans to train dogs for various purposes.

The Youth Canine Welfare Association, a group of 30 college students, and Great Indian Dog Project Association, a group of working professionals, have given a proposal to the BBMP to allow them to rehabilitate dogs in its shelters.

The plan to train these dogs for bomb detection, therapy, seizure warning and guard duty. “We like to believe that stray dogs are inferior. We need to prove it’s wrong. Instead of letting these dogs die, we can give them a better life where they can earn for themselves,” said Pranav Dinakar, a final-year BCom student, Jain University.

“We don’t need Labradors to trace bombs. We can use strays too. Stray dogs have additional advantages — they have greater resistance. Having lived on the streets they can withstand extreme weather, hunger, pollution and tough situations,” said canine behaviourist Amrut Sridhara Hiranya.

Training strays is like training other breeds, say experts. “If Labrador is for sniffing and Doberman for guarding, stray dogs have a bit of everything. The selection process would be tedious but training them would be easy,” he said.

“We met with BBMP and gave this suggestion. We’re yet to get a concrete answer,” said Jaysal Jagadish, who runs a web-designing company. “Once dogs are trained for specific purposes, we can give them for adoption appropriately. For example, there can be malls or old age homes which can adopt them as per their needs,” he added.

“Trained stray dogs can be champions for others. For instance, when people watch them on duty in a mall, they may want to adopt strays,” said Amrut.

These organizations have also pitched an idea to train street dogs which chase vehicles and animals. “This can be done with the help of residents. If a resident lets us know who the pack leader is (mostly the one who starts barking first), we can train him and put him back on the streets.”

Association formed to save stray dogs

THE HINDU on July 30, 2012

Five youth who chose to take the responsibility of saving stray dogs, that has become a matter of concern for citizens and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) alike, on Sunday, launched “Youth Canine Welfare Association”, on the sidelines of a dog show at the Basavanagudi National College Grounds here.

They said the association will rescue dogs with the help of the BBMP and other shelter houses, train them and ready them for adoption.

They will be assisted by Amrut S. Hiranya, dog “behaviourist” and trainer.

Pranav Dinakar, president of the association, said that they have tied up with the Great Indian Dog Project Association (TGIDPA) which will help them with information on stray dogs.

Manasi Jaysal, Chief Coordinator, TGIDPA, said that there was lack of differentiation between the terms, “stray dogs” and “Indian breeds”, among the people.