Hello. My name is Marion François and I am a dog trainer and a zoo therapist.
My job is to take care of dogs that cause problems for their owners. I am very good at teaching dogs amazing things. That’s why I became a dog trainer, or some might say I am a dog whisperer!
This is why, five years ago, I started my very own dog training and zootherapy service called Histoires de Chiens located in Switzerland where I live.
Then my wonderful Kumal, my oldest dog and work companion, left us abruptly this spring. This exceptional dog was at the origin of the creation of this company. That’s why I wanted to do something different to honor him…
What inspired my journey
I started my career working with horses. I went to France to do a professional baccalaureate in horse breeding. When I realized that I couldn’t stand the way most horses are treated, I had to change jobs.
My only desire was to work with animals. At the time I was lost, I didn’t know what to do with my life and to get better I adopted Kumal (a male Beauceron breed).
He was such a wonderful dog, but extremely stubborn! He was often misbehaving and it was a struggle to handle him on a day-to-day basis. It was thanks to him that I started to do my first training as a dog trainer. It did not satisfy me so I undertook a second course, then a third course and I have never really stopped training out of passion since.
Kumal ended his career by winning a number of competitions such as his title of vice champion Swiss obedience.
About the dog trainer profession
I am a behaviorist, which means that I know animal behavior well.
I work mainly with dogs. I am regularly called concerning fearful, aggressive or sick dogs.
The job of a dog trainer consists of giving pet owners techniques to better manage their animal, understanding the origin of the behavioral disorder, and helping them to modify their problematic behaviors.
The importance of intuition in this line of work
I think the most important thing is watching and listening carefully without drawing any conclusions.
Every living thing is different, and therefore cannot be compared to another case. This requires a great openness, there are a large number of techniques out there.
My knowledge also applies to horses and I have regularly helped keepers with problematic cats.
By observing and listening to animals, I have developed skills like intuitive animal communication. So I can generally intervene for any animal species.
The most common problems people have with pets
In general, as a dog trainer I tend to have two types of people I work with: people who have a puppy and want to get things right before they have problems, and people who already have an existing problem. I am happy to intervene in both cases, each problem is different.
Behaviour problems are often linked to a lack of rules in “the pack”. Some dog owners find it difficult to set limits, however it is fundamental that the animal needs its limits to know what to do and what not to do and for their safety. Other cases that I have encountered are due to traumatic circumstances that occured in the past. There are also a large number of dogs with thyroid disorders that develop behavioral problems.
In my experience, the main problems dog owners face are:
- · Inability to deal with the dog’s excitement
- · Uncontrollable barking
- · Pull on a leash
- · No reminder
- · Aggression
- · Irrational fears of people or sudden noises and other dogs
- · Protection of resources (the dog keeps his bowl or his toys)
All the above issues should be treatable.
What I like most and least about my job as a dog trainer
What gives me the most pleasure in this job as a dog trainer is seeing happy animals and confident owners.
I love to get the message across that pets want and need to be stimulated every day to be happier and healthier. Or, to see dogs and their owners come out of their difficulties and become passionate about dog training.
Through this work, I have also met some great people and I have actually increased my social circle.
What I would say is the hardest part of being a dog trainer is when in rare cases there is nothing I can do. Sometimes some people refuse to be helped or find themselves full of reasons not to do anything.
When a beloved pet dies or when the owner is suffering from deep grief, that too is very hard.
I also find it hard to understand the lack of motivation to do the job. Sometimes I see a lot of procrastination and try to motivate the keeper anyway, it doesn’t always work. I have to learn to accept it.
“Therapy for dogs”
Kumal, my wonderful companion, encountered many health problems in his life. He was given 5 years of life expectancy by the vets.
He started life with osteoarthritis, diagnosed at the age of two. Then he had to go through: heart problems, hypothyroidism, chronic lameness, a broken leg, he suffered two kinds of cancer, an operation (removal of the ear), chronic pancreatitis and gastritis…He was always sick.
When the vet told me that my dog would be paralyzed at 5 years old when he was two years of age, I categorically refused to let this happen. I set about finding someone capable of helping my dog to heal. We called on all kinds of professionals such as osteopaths, acupuncturists, physiotherapists, naturopaths… But Kumal was still sick.
I eventually looked for energy specialists. Everything I did was not working, and strangely, a sort of internal voice inside of me was telling me that the energy should flow through me to Kumal.
After a personal journey at the beginning with personal development, then gradually with mindfulness meditation, I have broadened my state of consciousness enough to undertake the training to become an energetician. Combined with my gift for communicating with animals, I soon felt able to help my brave Kumal.
Stone therapy came naturally throughout our journey. Kumal asked for stones to relieve himself regularly. I even developed a solid stone necklace system for him. I hope that all animals can benefit from the energy of stones after I developed this technique.
Eventually, Kumal died at the age of 13.5, his back failed. We have succeeded with the help of the purest energies, Archangels, plants and all that life has offered us through all these difficulties.
I would like to thank my osteopath-veterinarian Nadine who gave me great support and guidance. We have worked together for years for all kinds of animals in difficulty.
Kumal was well surrounded, and he gave me the greatest gift: reconnecting with my own inner potential and gaining confidence in myself and in life!
My dog Kumal also helped people in suffering or with disabilities
I always have in me the desire to help other people. But first I had to start by helping myself, and I found that the dog was the ideal animal for getting better on a daily basis. My brother also experienced the same thing, everyone around him saw him evolve after adopting his dog.
With Kumal and my two other shepherds from Beauce, we visited medical establishments to help people who are suffering or disabled.
Being a dog trainer and pet therapist, my dogs can do things that people would call “exceptional”. I can therefore offer very precise work for all kinds of pathologies. For example, a child with autism who has communication problems may communicate with a dog in other ways. My dogs communicate by gestural signals, but also by sounds in case the person is motor disabled or mute.
Imagine for a person with a disability how it might feel if the dog does at their request: back, roll, crawl, turn, jump or sing. It gives him an extraordinary feeling, joy and self-confidence!
I think the potential of Pet Therapy is limitless, but it takes a lot of discipline, good training techniques and endless preparation time for the animal. Too often I see sessions called Zootherapy which consists of stroking the animal. I think that that’s too bad. Unfortunately, for the moment, I have not been able to develop this project as I wanted, I am on partial unemployment in this sector, since the Covid 19 pandemic, but I still hope to be able to develop this project one day with horses too!
Discovering the Bios Urn Pets®
Five years ago, a friend wanted to develop a funeral service dedicated to pets. I was helping her develop her business and she asked me for my opinion on choosing the pet urns.
She was the one who told me about Bios Urn Pets ®, the biodegradable tree urns for pets, and already back then I thought it was a wonderful idea.
So I naturally wanted my Kumal to rest in peace by my side in another form, as a tree.
What I liked about the Bios Urn ® was that I could plant any plant species whether it was seeds or a plant.
Today Kumal is growing as a yucca tree
The Yucca symbolically represents: restarting, fidelity, protection and purity. Everyone called Kumal the quiet strength. He was so sweet and so kind, loyal and brave to the very end!
I found it to be the plant that best represented him in his character. And it’s a strong plant.
I placed “Kumy the Yucca” in my living room next to the window so I see it every day and I water it with joy. My two other dogs like to lie down next to the Yucca when they nap in the afternoons.
I also made a small shrine in memory of Kumal with some of his belongings and mostly stone candles and flowers. There will soon be a portrait of him drawn by a friend.
My advice for anyone reading this who has problems with their pet
I suggest that you keep searching for a therapy that works that feels right for you. And above all, keep hope, even when times are tough. For every problem there is a solution, but sometimes you have to look a little bit longer to find it. Contacting a dog trainer is of course one option among many.
Why not ask Archangel Ariel (animal specialist) for help, you would be surprised at the results!
As long as there is love there is hope and if you’ve ever tried everything you can always contact me through my website below.
A big thank you to Marion from Histoires de Chiens in Switzerland for sharing her unique story with us and her journey to becoming a dog trainer. We are always very interested to hear the different stories of people who work with animals and who support the Bios Urn Pets idea. We wish Marion all the very best for the future!
So what do you think of Marion’s job as a dog coach and of her Bios testimonial? Have you ever hired a dog trainer for your pet?
Leave us your comments below. We would love to know your personal experience.
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