In the footsteps of a dog trainer
Posted Thursday, July 19 2012 at 18:41
It’s Monday afternoon and Dr Steven Ndurumo is playing out in the garden with over 10 puppies that are clamouring for his attention.
The resident KK Canine Centre veterinarian has always loved dogs and spends almost all his time with them, including at his home where he has his own.
As a dog doctor and trainer, he ensures that the security company has a good breed of security dogs, which are trained to international standards and that they are healthy.
When we visited the centre last week, he showed us two of the sniffer dogs that he’s been training, one a Labrador and another a BoerBoer, which are ideal for sniffing explosives, he says.
These dogs do not come on cheap; both their worth and to hire them out. The centre has over 400 dogs, each valued at about Sh100,000 and, says Ndurumo.
“The cost of hiring a sniffer dog ranges from Sh5, 000 to Sh6, 000 per hour depending on the task at hand. We keep BoerBoer, Rottweiler, German Shepherds, Malinois, Labrador, Great Dane, wire-haired German pointer and their cross breeds,” explains Ndurumo.
The KK centre has several sections; for socialisation of the dogs, kennels for working dogs and a breeding camp.
However, dogs are no longer only used for security only. They have become housemates living in the house and sometimes jumping into bed with the owners.
The demand for these dogs has seen an increase in the number of people breeding them in the country, especially the foreign breeds.
A change in lifestyle and social influence has seen more and more indigenous Kenyans buying pet dogs to keep them company or for the children to play with.
Many are emulating celebrity trends in the West where these famous individuals take their pet dogs wherever they go, even on holiday abroad. And this trend is slowly picking up in Kenya where a walk around the malls on the weekend will show many young women or couples walking or driving around with their poodles.
Part of the family
One such lover of dogs is Sue Taylor, chief executive of the East African Kennel Club, who acquired her first dog in 1963. Today, she lives with 19 of them in her house.
“I live with my dogs in the house, they live peacefully with everyone in the house,” says Taylor.”
Four (dogs) sleep in bedroom with me, two sleep in kitchen and others have their bedroom which they share,” she said.
Taylor says most pet dogs in Kenya are cross breeds because it’s difficult to get pure breeds. She has a Labrador, Rottweiler and a few other breeds, but none of them is pure breed.