Chinese Dogs Being Trained and Pampered
Here's some good news about dogs in China!
After all the recent uproar over the Chinese government's treatment of dogs, wouldn't it be interesting if it was the petlover's who instituted the next cultural revolution in China? Just a thought...
Obedient pooches-for a price
By Miao Qing (China Daily)
The dogs of Wuxi must be very naughty indeed.
Business is booming at a recently opened, 3,000 yuan ($375) per month obedience school in this city in East China's Jiangsu Province.
Since it accepted its first student in October, the Happy Dog obedience school has trained 17 canines, eight of which have already graduated.
Zhu Min, the school's president, said local demand for dog obedience training had exceeded his expectations.
"Many people have come to my school to make reservations for their dogs. But we have only been able to help a few dogs because we only have a few trainers," said Zhu.
Pet dogs are increasingly common in many cities across China, and their number is reportedly on the rise. And more and more city dwellers appear willing to lavish big money on man's best friend.
Deluxe doghouses and fragrant baths are just two of the luxuries being heaped on China's pet pooch population.
Obedience schools are the latest treat for well-heeled dogs, and several such schools have recently opened their doors in big cities like Beijing and Shanghai.
"Many dog owners do not know how to tame their pets properly and sometimes spoil them too much, which adds to the difficulty training them," Zhu told China Daily.
He added that most of his students were so badly behaved that their owners could no longer tolerate them. A woman surnamed Ding who recently sent her Labrador to the Happy Dog complained her pet had cultivated such annoying habits as urinating everywhere and barking through the night.
But not all the dogs at the Happy Dog are such hard cases. Some people have invested in the future good manners of their puppies by bringing them to Zhu's school.
He described such early interventions as "a good trend" because it is easier to train puppies than mature dogs.
Despite its popularity, the Happy Dog's tuition fees, which are far higher than the local per capita average monthly income of less than 2,000 yuan ($250), have inspired some criticism. Training a dog to stop attacking people costs 3,000-5000 yuan ($375-625), while a course aimed at preventing pooches from relieving themselves on the floor costs 2,000 yuan ($250).
"This kind of training is luxurious, and most dog owners in the city cannot afford the fees," said a local citizen surnamed Geng. "It is a bit ironic that it costs as much to send a dog to school as it does to send our children."
Zhu conceded that the cost is high, but said it is reasonable because the kind of training available at Happy Dog requires a lot of effort and time from trainers. And such professionals are scarce in this country.
"Our training system is one person to one dog, which is very different from the normal class-based method," he said.
A dog owner surnamed Wang said he appreciated Zhu's school. He said dogs bring their owners much pleasure, but can cause problems for other people if they are not well-behaved.
"If a dog owner fails to teach his dog to behave, why not have it trained at a dogs' school?" the dog owner said.