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Posted at: Nov 8, 2017, 12:02 AM; last updated: Nov 8, 2017, 12:02 AM (IST)CAREER HOTLINE

Dog trainer’s work profile

Pervin Malhotra

Q.I am an insurance agent by profession, but I absolutely adore dogs (we have four of them at home). People say that I have a way with animals. I would like to take up dog training as a second vocation. Is this a good option? — Umesh Paliwal

A.Every dog has its day and canines in India have never had it so good. Today pet boutiques and exclusive parlours cater to every whim and fancy of the pampered pooch that's become an intrinsic part of the dog lover's family. Consequently, the need for skilled trainers who can work independently or with pet boutiques has also gone up in India. To become a successful dog trainer you must love working with animals (which you do), understand the animal's psyche and of course possess loads of patience. There are no formal courses on how to train dogs except those offered by the Army so civilian dog trainers learn on the job or apprentice with an experienced trainer. Yet others, pick up the tricks of the trade by working with the police or BSF dog squad.

However, be prepared for occupational hazards like taming the recalcitrant Rottweiler or a particularly unmanageable, puppy whose bite may, in fact, be dangerous. Pets are trained for two main purposes, guarding and discipline. 

Dog trainers are also hired for training pets to participate in dog shows, TV commercials and films. If you're philanthropically inclined, you can also offer your services to train dogs to be guides for the blind and senior citizens (There are already some breeding and training schools for guide dogs in some of the leading metros).

Then, you can also specialise in handling problem dogs - somewhere between a dog trainer and a pet therapist or psychiatrist, in which case you'll be working with the dog as well as its 'adopted family'. 

In the wild, dogs live in packs. When showered with excess of attention and love, they instinctively assume that they're the leader of the pack. Which is when the trouble starts - disobedience and aggressiveness and jealousy are common symptoms that need to be dealt with.

Experienced dog trainers charge hefty fees. The training usually lasts for three months with 4-5 visits per week. Many trainers prefer to freelance — advertising their services online, on pet forums or through word-of-mouth via vets and pet clinics.

Scope in Army for women

Q.I am a Class XII student of NIOS in a village school in HP. I am very keen to serve in the armed forces. Is there any way I can join after Class XII, or do I have to wait till I complete my graduation? — Anisha Rajput

A.In a bold and major step towards breaking the gender barrier, the Indian Army is now looking at inducting women Jawans also. The process will be kick-started with the recruitment of about 800 women into the military police corps. While the Military Police does not undertake frontline combat work, its work is to keep police cantonments and army establishments secure, prevent breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintain movement of soldiers and logistics during peace and war, handle prisoners of war and extend aid to civil police whenever  required. Women's inclusion in the Corps of Military Police will also help in investigating allegations of gender specific crimes.  Currently, women are allowed in select areas such as officers in the medical, legal, educational, signals and engineering wings of the Army. 

As part of this path-breaking move, roughly 52 women will be inducted annually as Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and Jawans.

Currently the armed forces have a strength of around 3,500 women officers, all of whom are in non-combat  roles. However, things are changing. India's first batch of female Indian Air Force pilots is completing the last leg of training in readiness for flying war planes.

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