INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDER OF THE “ANIMAL WELFARE CENTRE”
As a continuation of the post from some weeks ago where PomPomDog travelled to Paris and we introduced you the “Animal Welfare Centre” (post that you can read here), we have an interview with Patricia Rerolle, the Founder of the “Welfare Animal Centre” in today’s post.
With many years in dog training, in countries such as U.S.A., Canada and Belgium, Patricia Rerolle has also created the first “Puppy School” in Paris, France.
Thanks to her kindness, PomPomDog attended a behaviour animal class and even a puppy’s party, and she granted us her precious time to ask her some questions. In this interview, she tells us about the services that the “Animal Welfare Centre” offers, especially to our Pomeranians.
- Could you explain us how was your entrance into the animal world and the “Animal Welfare Centre” creation?
The “Animal Welfare Centre” was created in 2011. In fact, I wanted a working place where we could propose all the necessary services for cats and dogs, but having into account the “welfare” notion, because this idea is unfortunately a little bit forgotten in France.
- How is it working day by day with animals? Is it as rewarding as it seems?
I am very fond of animals, so that’s very pleasing because we help them and we try to improve their mental condition – for example, there was a female puppy in the puppy party who was terrified and we needed to get her out from there because remaining was worst for her. We’re going to work for her to be good and live as normal as possible.
- The idea of creating a “Puppy School” is fantastic and you, the “Animal Welfare Centre”, are the first in having a “Puppy School” in Paris.
Yes, it’s the first “Puppy School” in Paris that is enclosed and therefore, safe. We also organize a puppy party, where puppies meet. I watch the puppies; I don’t want that they attack or that they feel too nervous, I want them to learn that contact with the others is nice.
- I’ve seen during the puppy’s party that you have separated them according to their excitement level.
Yes, according to their excitement or shyness level. The important thing it’s not the size, but rather the temperament – for example, the boxer puppy with three months, in the beginning I thought she wasn’t shy and that’s why I let her with the bigger breeds’ puppies, but then I saw that she wasn’t having fun, so I put her in other place with smaller breeds’ puppies. The main thing is that it was a good and pleasant experience for the puppies.
- If a young or and adult dog has never had the opportunity to attend a training school when it was a puppy, is it too late to carry it to training classes?
No, we can bring it up and educate it always. The dog learns during all its life.
- Will these classes be successful on the behaviour of our dog?
They will be always successful, no doubt.
- Even though the Pomeranians have a long life expectancy, they show inherent illness to their breed like the “patella luxation” or the “hip luxation”. What offers the “Animal Welfare Centre” to soothe them in these cases?
I work with a veterinarian who does physiotherapy. For example, the Centre has a treadmill and the veterinarian can advise that the dog to regularly exercise in the treadmill. I also work in collaboration with an osteopath, who comes regularly and analyzes the exercises in the treadmill too but always under the vet’s prescription.
- Talking about the Pomeranians’ weakness, how can we tackle their excessive dependency towards their owners or their nervousness with strangers?
That has to be worked on. I use the clicker a lot. You always have to work to each dog’s rhythm, with no hurry. You have to teach it as soon as possible the pleasure of being alone, the loneliness. And then, you also have to teach it that strangers are not necessarily a danger. I do lot of prevention work to educate them and the owner, once they’re adults, doesn’t have to live in hell.
- Sometimes some behavioral problems come from owners, who spoil their dogs in excess, above all in the case of small dogs, like Pomeranians. This “Puppies’ School” could be an “Owners’ School” too couldn’t it?
Yes, I advice the owners because dogs’ learning goes through owners. In fact, I often have to convince the owner, since I have already convinced the dog : )
- What are the “Solidary Happy Hours” conferences?
I invite different experts, usually vets, in order to give a talk lasting for about one hour and a half about different topics in relation with cats and dogs for the purpose of spreading the good practices, convincing the participants that the power’s hierarchy, that is to say, the dominant dog, etc. are completely outdated ideas. They rather transmit aggressiveness. We have a perfect panel of experts, and as I’ve already said, it includes lots of veterinarians.
- Dogs are in general hungry all the time and that can lead to overweight problems and, in the case of Pomeranians, be harmful to their extremities, since they are given to this kind of health problems, as we have pointed out previously. Does the “Animal Welfare Centre” offer a service or nutrition classes to help us to take care of our dear greedy mate?
Nutrition classes depend on the veterinarian. However, we can help dogs to exercise more and help owners to control a little bit its mate’s appetite.
- To conclude, lots of our “dogs-readers” are dogs living in big cities and, like their owners, they are stressed. How can the “Animal Welfare Centre” help them to be calmer and more relaxed? – Regarding that, I’ve seen that the “Welfare Animal Centre” provides treatments like shiatsu.
I work with Isabelle Le Gentil, who practices shiatsu with horses, cats and dogs. And I must note that she achieves very good results, especially with frightened dogs. I try to use different tools: the clicker, shiatsu, relaxing massages, medicinal plants under veterinary supervision, all with the aim of trying to improve the animal welfare.
We also have an employee here in the Centre, who practices the “touch-turn” technique, which totally improves the emotional condition of the dog in an incredible way. I have a specialist in feline behaviour too.
In short, I use different tools with different specialists. I have a complete professional team, which tries to solve the problem, improve the animal welfare and make that the dogs’ owners feel happy, too.
PomPomDog wants to thank Patricia Rerolle once again for opening us the “Animal Welfare Centre” and for sharing all her knowledge and experience with us. It’s always a pleasure to learn from an expert and loves animals so much.