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Molding ‘paw’fessional talents

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Canine Life Coach and National Geographic “Dog Whisperer’s” first Filipina recruit Genevieve Reyes has tips on how to turn your pet pup into a star.

Genevieve Reyes with her black-coat Retriever named Storm (Photo by Lester Ramos) /mb.com.ph

Genevieve Reyes with her black-coat Retriever named Storm (Photo by Lester Ramos)

In an interview, she said that pooches take their cue from the mood of their human, and that the method of “rewarding” dogs with treats as they are being trained are proven to reinforce their behaviour.

She added that among breeds, the Border Collie breed usually gets the “break” in show business “simply because they’re one of the smartest breeds.”

“But in general, it’s all about repetition and conditioning.”

Genevieve revealed dogs are auditioned for parts and that it’s up to the trainer on the set to see to it that the dog talents don’t get too tired or stressed at work.

“High energy dogs can work for long hours while medium to low energy dog can only work for a short time and sometimes even just for several minutes. It depend on the breed but me, personally, I suggest it should only be minutes. You can’t let them work for the entire hour continuously,” she maintained.

What’s her favourite dogs in the movies? Genevieve said it’s the St. Bernard mutt in the 1992 family comedy film “Beethoven.” She likes it that the story of the movie shows how the dog changed the lives of the characters.

“Dogs take after the owner’s energy. So if you’re an excited person then your dog will be excited as well. They easily feel each other out as dogs are meant to please humans,” she said in general of dog behavior.

Is it true you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?

A scene from the movie 'Alpha' left) and Cesar Millan (Instagram) /mb.com.ph

A scene from the movie ‘Alpha’ left) and Cesar Millan (Instagram)

“People think it’s easier to train puppies and that’s partly true. But older dogs are also trainable,” she explained. “Because they think differently compared to humans – with humans, we have a concept of the past and the future so sometimes that could be a hindrance to us learning something as the anxiety hit us. Unlike with dogs, they always think of the present. They are aware of the past but they don’t really stay there. So whenever they are learning something, they just focus on the now.”

Bulletin Entertainment interviewed Genevieve right before a special media screening for the movie “Alpha” held at Gateway Platinum Cinema. The event was in line with the launch of Araneta Center’s Pet Pals program, in which it was announced that the mall is pet friendly (within certain guidelines).

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