Spreading the culture about the dogs is the goal of all dog trainer. I met Pear a few months ago and I was kidnapped by the enthusiasm that she is putting into her work in a country that is just beginning now
“I love dogs”, when Michele Caricato asked me how I became a dog trainer, I answered, same as every time when other people ask me. It seems very simple and natural for a dog trainer. But I could have never imagined this 10 years ago.
The story started when I was a child. Like most Chinese children, I grew up in a small village with my grandma. Dogs are quite common in the country side, but, strangely, lots of children there including me were afraid of dogs. We were told by grandparents that dogs will bite and how we should protect ourselves when we met the dogs. So if I saw a dog on my way I walked away as soon as possible. I would immediately turned around and make me far away from the dog. This situation lasted until 2006. I started to work in Guangzhou, and I had a friend who had 3 dogs. When I visited him the first time, 3 dogs run to me and jumped on me, I was freaking out, but because that was their home and I had no place where I could escape I forced myself to calm down. Then I realized that they didn’t try to bite me, but they were licking me and after half an hour they were already cuddling up on my leg. I think my dog-fear was cured and transformed into dog-love at that moment.
2011, I finally got my first dog in my life. I was running a hostel in a beautiful place in Guilin, southwest of China and I needed a dog to stay in the hostel with me. He was supposed to be just a guard dog because I was busy and I never considered to keep a city pet dog not having enough time to accompany it. Still, I knew nothing about dog at the time. However, because the puppy was too adorable, I took him everywhere with me, walking on the street, shopping with me, going to the country side in the bicycle basket with me, I gave my best to him, it turned out that he got perfect socialization by my way. Until he was 6 months old, he was perfect and every hostel guest loved him so much. People around asked me how I trained him, I truly had no idea, I was actually troubled by his chicken-hunting problem and he didn’t know any of those “tricks a dog should know” like shaking hand. Because this was a good dog for the people around and a stupid dog for my eyes, I decided to study the DOG world, to know more about my best friend.
2012, while I was still working again as a journalist, I started to follow a training. I went to work with my first instructor for one hour everyday. After half year, I quit my job and went to his pet school everyday. He had over 10 dogs in the school and everyday he asked me to train some of them independently. As the training went, problems popped out, more and more things that I couldn’t explain, neither did my instructor. So I looked for more sources, other trainer’s courses, workshops, books, researches. Meanwhile, I founded Good Dog Training Center乖乖狗幼儿园in Guangzhou, I write a blog about dog training almost everyday, I volunteer in a local shelter, help the dogs there…
It is a little difficult when most of people in your area equal dog trainer to animal trainer in the circus, or dog training as trick training, but as dog trainer, when you work right, you get your reward. Thanks to my three important instructors (Wangbing from China, John Rogerson from England, Papa Bear/Wangyuzhi from Taiwan), they help me a lot. I feel very happy when I learn something new from teachers or books, when I see the changes within owners and their dogs. These beautiful things are my reinforcement, they encourage me to keep going. When you can advance with the colleagues around the world, you get even more reinforced. That is how I feel when I study with John, Papa Bear, and any new trainer I meet and follow. You can imagine how good I feel that I met Michele and other outstanding dog trainers in Italy this summer. We communicated a lot about dog training, dogs in China and in Italy. We did work together. Thanks to them, I made experiences that really opened my eyes. I very appreciate for these opportunities. Mark Zuckerberg said “connect the world”, in my opinion, dog training world should be also more connected.
Even though pet’s social status in China is still in dispute, more and more owners deeply care about their beloved dog’s welfare. We may be a little behind the developed countries, but we are working hard to move on and connect with the world.