Puvanes is an expert and certified dog trainer, who runs our private dog training & group dog training sessions. Having over 16 years of experience in the industry, he trains any breed from toy to guard dogs, and specialises in training working/crime dogs for human tracking, protection and bodyguard roles.
Puvanes’ career path to being a K9 dog trainer was a coincidental one - he in fact applied for a general police role but was transferred to the K9 department as a kennel man. After 2 years working in the kennel, Puvanes was so impressed with the department and has never looked back. It was then when he decided to specialise in dog training. He was given an opportunity to learn as he was given his first dog - Saracen, an Albino Shepherd. Due to its albino genes, it required a lot of maintenance and wasn't the easiest dog to train due to its stubbornness and aggression. Puvanes told us his experience with his Albino was the most difficult he has ever experienced and was even bitten on his arms by it. However, this experience has taught Puvanes to handle one of the toughest dogs around and only made him stronger mentally.
After Saracen passed away, he was given a German Shepherd, named Callan. It was aggressive but Puvanes persevered and successfully alpha trained it, changing its behaviour. This is when Puvanes’ received most of his practical experience and was doing well. Eventually, his bosses saw potential in him and purchased the first ever Belgian Shepherd in the K9 for Puvanes to handle. He named it Tab. As every breed is different (eg. fitness, behaviour and speed), Puvanes had to catch up with Tab’s abilities and mindset. This experience however gave him the opportunity to see things from a different perspective for the better in life. Since then, he's learnt to be more patient and sought to improve his fitness level.
Dog Tips and Advice from the Expert
In Puvanes’ career, the two most common “problems” with dogs are unwanted barking and escaping. He pointed out that to deal with both issues, we need to understand the dogs, their characteristics, and find out the cause of these behaviours. There are a variety of reasons for unwanted barking such as hunger and the need to relieve. Escaping on the other hand could be due to lack of exercise and socialisation, especially when they pick up new scents. As we try to understand their behaviour and why they are doing it, it becomes easier for us as pet parents to correct any unwanted behaviour and alter your dog’s routine such as walking your dog more often for example as it is beneficial to you and your dog.
Puvanes’ #1 advice for those with a “difficult” dog is, ‘prevention is better than cure’. As much as we want to offer all the freedom in the world to our dogs, he believes good behaviour starts with prevention, coupled with training. By not giving your dogs a reason to behave badly, they won't do so. For example, dogs with a shoe biting habit can be prevented by keeping all shoes away in a cabinet so you create an ideal environment for you and your dog.
The best time to start training your puppy is from its 4th month after all vaccination are administered, according to Puvanes, as it gives your puppy a good foundation. Once a dog turns 4 years old, it becomes more difficult to correct any unwanted behaviours as it has matured and gotten used to its habits, however, it is not impossible - it just requires more practice!
We use positive reinforcement for our trainings and here's a little snippet of how we conduct our group training sessions.