Rwanda establishes public training school for dogs
London, Oct. 28, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Going to school has always been associated with human beings in Rwanda and education is not the only thing that people get from an educational institution but other life skills too.
Dogs, too, need education and other skills like discipline to carry out several tasks that they are assigned to.
Although a lot of households in the country own dogs, there was no special school dedicated to training dogs on how best to behave and familiarize with the society until two young conservationists Eric Gahamanyi and Simon Katimba started a new dog school early this month in Kagarama, Kicukiro District.
Dubbed Sibemba Kennels Academy, the school provides services ranging from basic and advanced obedience training, dog training, problem-solving and advice, home training, hydro bathing services, dog materials, newborn puppy and pet introduction education, dog selling, Veterinary services for dogs, as well as dog photoshoots.
A dog jumps during training at the dog school in Kicukiro, a Kigali suburb. / Craish Bahizi
Sibemba Kennels is an institution where people can take their dogs to acquire professional training on values and behaviours towards a better relationship with human society.
The duo’s idea to establish a dog school was inspired by their passion for dogs. Gahamanyi has always had a dog from a young age while his friend Katimba, is a dog trainer having attended a series of training especially training dogs obedience, security and sniffing.
“Our life has been dedicated to dogs. Dogs are part of the family and you need to make sure they are trained well to adapt to living at home without causing any problem and ensure security at home,” says Gahamanyi.
“I love dogs and my friend Katimba has what it takes to get dogs trained to ensure they have a good relationship with the community,” he adds.
Gahamanyi trains all types of dogs. Pictured is a German Shepherd.
Gahamanyi reveals the school has all the necessary dog accessories and educational materials to successfully train dogs.
Before opening a school for dogs, Gahamanyi and Katimba used to help whoever needed assistance to train dogs at their homes, in and out of Kigali.
Driven by their passion for dogs, they started training dogs especially puppies, and transform them into domestic dogs ready to provide security backup to the community but they later broadened the idea into a big project of starting a dog school.
“Having realised that a lot of dogs in Kigali end up on the streets and, in the end, become a problem to the community, we decided to establish a dog school where dogs can be nurtured with behavioural education,” he said.
Dogs play at the school compound in Kicukiro.
The school is currently training 12 dogs belonging to individuals from in Kigali, with the second intake slated to start in November. The school fees for one-month training is Rwf 100,000 per dog.
The dog owner takes the dog to school every morning and takes it back home after class in the evening.
Every month clients are briefed by the school on how best they can treat and communicate with their dogs in line with the training provided.
The school operates from Monday to Friday while over the weekend, trainers attend to appointments and provide assistance to clients whose dogs have acquired strange behaviours which are too hard for them to control.
Gahamanyi says it is very easy to identify a dog that has been properly trained and it is more evident from their reactions and their behaviours in society.
“With a trained dog, you are assured of security at home and it can’t attack other family members unless someone tries to enter the home compound in a strange way,” he says.
Gahamanyi looks on as his ‘students’ play around.
The school may be new with a small ‘student’ population but Gahamanyi believes that as more Rwandans take up dogs as pets and for security purposes then more people will bring dogs for training and in turn create employment for people.
“The main reason we are doing this is a passion because we have been living life with dogs for all our life. However, we feel that very soon this will be a viable business which will create employment for many Rwandans.”
The duo’s main target is to improve the education of dogs not only in Rwanda, but in Africa, and ensure their level of education matches that of European and American dogs.
The school, which opened this month, has 10 dogs that are being trained.
However, it can only be achieved as long people understand the importance of having a trained dog in their homes.
“We need people to trust the standard and quality of education offered at our school so their dogs can get proper training and, sooner or later, we are sure they will get to know the value of this school.”
“Education of a dog is the same as that of children. It is the dog’s right to get an education, meet other dogs, exercise and socialise with other dogs. It also has the right to have fun,” he added.