Every dog needs education. In the past only rescue dogs, army dogs and police dogs were sent to training schools, but now more and more dog owners are sending their pets to training camps to learn some manners.
Shen Chi-tung, owner of the 45-year-old Universal Police Dog Training School in Taipei County’s Sansia Township, said that having a pet is like welcoming a new family member. You have to consider everything for the pet, including food, clothing, housing, transport and other daily necessities. Not only does the animal have to be trained, but its owner also has to acquire the basic knowledge needed to keep a pet. Otherwise, the dogs become little more than a fashion accessory, to be discarded once they have gone out fashion.
Shen I-chun, a senior dog trainer, said that their school used to only train army and police dogs, but now the 20 domestic dogs receiving training at the school out-number working dogs.
Basic training consists of teaching the owner and their pet how to get along, then the dog has to learn how to sit, lie down, stand and receive orders, says Shen. More advanced courses are meant to train the animal’s strength and interaction skills, and finally the professional classes include rescue, attack and drug sniffing as well as other specialized training. Owners can choose what their dogs learn according to their own needs. The shortest dog class is five weeks, and the longest could last two years.
Trainer Shen suggests that a family dog should receive a high level training session on obedience if there are elders or young children in the family. Otherwise, a session on how to interact with humans is also helpful, such as training the dog how to defecate in a fixed place and getting used to changes in the family.
Most parks or public places forbid the presence of pets, which gives rise to complaints from a lot of owners. Shen says it’s true that Taiwan has a lot of work to do in this respect, but there are good reasons why dogs aren’t allowed in public places. Pet owners’ mentality differs quite a lot from those abroad, and owners here obviously don’t educate and manage their animal well enough, which causes problems for other people.
The very experienced Shen Chi-tung has been training dogs since he was 10 years old, and even traveled to Germany to undertake dog-training courses. He trained the police headquarters’ dogs in the past, and helped to establish the dog squads of the Special Police Headquarters.
Shen Chi-tung said that it is more difficult to teach a man than train a dog, by which he means that the mentality of people here has to be changed. The owner has to take lessons before having a dog because he has to understand the dog’s habits and consider whether he could fulfill his duties as a dog owner.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)
Pets are an inseparable part of people’s lives in the modern world. About 65 percent of US households have at least one pet. On a psychological level, pet companionship can bring better psychological wellbeing; on a biological level, our furry friends can boost human immunity. According to a report in Psychology Today, a review carried out by researchers from the UK’s University of Manchester found that the companionship of pets can result in better psychological wellbeing for people with mental health conditions. The diabetes research center of the University of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital analyzed data from over 3 million people,
Literary circles have been celebrating the legacy of late writer Eileen Chang, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday next week. Born in Shanghai, the legendary writer shot to fame in her 20s, and continued to write after moving to Hong Kong, and then the US, in the 1950s. Chang is one of the greatest female Chinese writers, and her classic works include Love in a Fallen City, The Golden Cangue, and The Red Rose and the White Rose. Many of her novels, such as Lust, Caution, were adapted into films and TV drama series. Based on Chang’s novel Aloeswood Incense
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