Teaching Master Dog Handling Courses in India

I am writing from India.  Today I started teaching my third Master Dog Handling Class which is being presented by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Vets Beyond Borders, Global Wildlife Resources, Jeevashram,  the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and the Municipal Corporation of Gurgoan.  Through this program, the humane and compassionate principles taught by Global Wildlife Resources will become a national standard for the country of India.

This is my fourth trip to India and I am honored to be teaching my unique form of compassionate dog handling to over 50 dog handlers from across India as part of Phase 1. For Phase 2, each student has promised to teach 20 more handlers over the next year so 1,000 dog handlers will be taught this compassionate form of dog handling which teaches not to fight the dog, to look at yourself first to calm the dog, and to use the Y pole.  To help them teach in Phase 2, Global Wildlife Resources and Vets Beyond Borders will be producing a training video with DVDs for each day.  The foundation language will be in English, but the students will be able to choose several languages of India.  Eventually this training video will also be available in Chinese and Spanish.   I will keep you posted.

Some dog handlers in my India courses, especially those of municipal corporations, arrive without knowing any compassion for the dogs.  They have been told to catch as many dogs as possible and are often paid by the dog.  Some have used metal tongs to grab the dogs or the loop and pole method without being aware that dogs have feelings and feel pain just as we do.

Here they are meeting fellow students who are skilled at catching and handling dogs in a compassionate way and they are learning about nets and the sack method.  They are also understanding how compassion makes their work easier and safer and by the fifth day I see them caring for the dog and petting the dog as they handle it.  It is quite remarkable.

Other dog handlers in my India courses have been catching dogs for years, but have never touched a dog.  They have used nets or loop and pole and have transported them in the nets or quickly dumped them in the truck.  Here they are learning how to scruff to control the dog in a humane way. They are learning about the leash wrap and how to use hobbles.  By learning confidence in touching and handling the dog, they also learn confidence in the net.  But most important, they learn how to calm the dog by being calm and how to make the dog easier to handle by being kind to it.

I must prepare for tomorrow’s class, but I will share about these classes later.

To see photos of my teaching here in India, visit our Global Wildlife Resources Flickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/global_wildlife_resources/

Dr. Mark

7 Responses

  1. I had the pleasure of working with two dog handlers sent from Vets Beyond Borders for a rabies vaccination campaign in the Tibetan refugee camp in Mainpat, India last month. They were remarkable for their patience, gentleness, and skill.

    • Dr. Levy,
      We are having dog handlers from VBB Sikkim in each class to assist with my teaching since they indeed show the qualities you describe. It is an honor to have you comment on this blog. Thank you. Dr. Mark

  2. Thank you for helping teach people how to show more compassion to their fellow life forms on this earth.

  3. Hello.

    I was a student from the first batch of the course. Four of us from Blue Cross of India , chennai , India did the course together.

    Mark was a a wonderful teacher and his calm , relaxed and assertive energy helped me a lot during the practical classes.

    The three main points i learnt are.

    1. It is not how many dogs you catch but how you catch the dog.

    2. The importance of staying calm , relaxed and body language.

    3. How to use the Y pole and its benefits.

    I will indebted to god forever for having given me the opportunity to learn from a great teacher like Dr. Mark Johnson.

  4. I was a participant in the third phase of Mark’s training on Humane Animal Handling in Delhi, India. I found his training method, philosophy and techniques to be wonderfully sensitive and very harmonious …his style of teaching is as calm, assertive and compassionate as his techniques are. I think that is what made it a truly overwhelming experience.

    There were people who came in for the training and on day one a few of us were wondering if they were really capable of changing their previously harsh methods of capturing dogs. Everyday one saw a change in them and everyday one saw Marks message come to life through them….”everyone wants to be compassionate”.

    Thanks Mark for the wonderful training we are very lucky to have had it. May you have much success in spreading your message far and wide. If there is ever any way in which we can help let us know.


    • Anusheh,
      Thank you for your comments on the class. It was such a pleasure and honor to have you attend. Your participation clearly improved the class, not only by helping my own translator but also by conveying with such clarity the challenging concepts with things with combining compassion with dominance. I look forward to staying in touch. Dr. Mark.

  5. Thanks Mark for your kind words 🙂 I look forward to staying in touch too. Will email you soon and will also be sending the manual as soon as its done.

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