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Već dugo smo ugovarali razgovor sa Boškom Ivkovim, rođenim Novosađaninom, čovekom koji se već dvadeset i kusur godina bavi treniranjem pasa i kada su nam obaveze dozvolile, dogodio se ovaj intervju . Šta nam je zanimljivo Boško rekao o psima, pročitajte u sledećim redovima .

Koliko dugo se baviš dresurom ?

  • Psima se bavim čitav život. Prvo sam krenuo kao ljubitelj pasa, onda nastavio sa izložbama pasa, da bi sve to kulminiralo sa treningom i bavljenjem psihologijom pasa.Dresurom.

Kako si odlučio da se baviš tim poslom ?

  • Kad pogledam unazad, skoro sve moje slike iz detinjstva su sa nekim životinjama, najčešće psima. Još kao mali sam odlučio da ću se baviti nekim poslom koji ima veze sa životinjama. Naravno, roditelji su imali neku drugu ideju, pa sam završio neke druge škole. Kasnije, kad sam stasao i dobio pravo da sam odlučujem, počeo sam da gajim pse, rasne, prvo su to bili dobermani i sa njima sam isprva išao po izložbama, ali sam brzo shvatio da to nije ono što mene zaista zanima. Meni je, ustvari ,bila interesantna ta psihologija pasa i komunikacija sa njima. Tako sam odlučio da će mi to biti životno opredeljenje.

Šta je najvažnije u radu sa psima ?

  • Osnova cele priče je kontakt. Kontakt sa psom. Najvažnije je da psa navedeš da ti veruje. Da počne da veruje u tvoje dobre namere. Najvažnije je da postanete partneri. Ja to čak, ne bih nazvao dresurom. To je više partnerski odnos ili saradnja i kad postigneš pravi partnerski odnos sa psom, tada on radi sve što ti zaželiš.

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Sa kojom rasom pasa ti je najlakše da radiš ?

  • Uopšte nije vezano za rasu. Ne postoji univerzalno pravilo, suprotno uvreženim predrasudama. Jednostavno, pametan pas je pametan pas, vredan pas je vredan pas, a lenj pas je lenj pas. I tu nema nikakve filozofije.

Znači, to su predrasude da su neke rase lakše za rad, da ih je lakše dresirati i trenirati ?

  • Naravno, to su predrasude. Apsolutno. Sretao sam pse jedne rase koji su bili i vredni i lenji, poslušni i tvrdoglavi, pametni i manje pametni… Naravno, postoje neke smernice kod određenih rasa kada se rade treninzi i vežbe. Recimo, rotvajleri su izrazito snažne životinje i prilično puni sebe, pa to uvek imam na umu pri radu sa njima. Ali, meni je rotvajler koji voli da radi isto što i vredan nemački ovčar. Nema neke velike razlike.

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Jesi li radio sa mešancima ? Ima li neke razlike u odnosu na rasne pse ?

  • Naravno da sam radio. Apsolutno nema nikakve razlike u radu sa mešancima ili u radu sa psima određene rase. Rasne karakteristike su da je jazavičar – mali, a rotvajler – veliki i tu razlike prestaju. Mozak je mozak. Možeš da nađeš bernardinca koji voli da radi više nego neki nemački ovčar. Recimo, pulini koji su naša autohtona rasa sa ovih panonskih prostora, su vrlo zahvalni za rad, ali nije pravilo. Jedino što sam primetio, a za to su mi trebale godine iskustva i mogu sa sigurnošću reći da se po odnosu prema radu i vrednoći izdvajaju ovčarski psi. To je zato što oni već hiljadama godina sarađuju sa čovekom u određenoj simbiozi pri čuvanju stada, teranju krda i imaju to u genima.

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Ovim ćeš pobiti sve teorije u koje ljudi veruju. (smeh) I ja sam bio među onima koji su verovali u to kako su neke rase pogodne za rad i dresuru, a neke baš i nisu.

  • U suštini je sve jako jednostavno. Rase se razlikuju po veličini, težini, boji, dužini dlake, ali su, ustvari, svi psi vrlo slični.

Da li je istina da svaki pas ima svoju ličnost ?

  • Ne samo ličnost. Psi imaju osećanja, razmišljaju. Čak bih se zapitao, čiji nivo komunikacije je veći, ljudski ili pasji ? To što mi sebe smatramo evoluitivno superiornijom rasom moglo bi se dati na razmatranje (smeh).

Kad je pravo vreme da se počne sa dresurom nekog psa ?  U kom uzrastu ?

  • Prvo, ima tu nekoliko etapa. Ako krenemo od šteneta koje ima nekoliko meseci, osnova cele priče je da se pas socijalizuje. Znači, da se nauči na suživot sa ljudima. Ako živi u gradskoj sredini, da se nauči na ulicu i opasnosti koje vrebaju na njoj. Da se nauči na kola, gomilu ljudi. Da se navikne na potencijalne probleme koji mogu da ga snađu u takvoj sredini. Zamisli, na primer, jednog seoskog psa koji se odjednom našao usred gradske vreve. On bi, verovatno, premro od straha. Zato je socijalizacija veoma bitna, jer pas kad ga dovedeš u novu sredinu, ne zna šta ga tu čeka. Ne zna kako da reaguje, nema prethodna iskustva. On prirodno nema poverenja u nešto što ne poznaje. Uz socijalizaciju idu prvi, mali koraci nekog učenja i treninga. Kako pas odrasta i te vežbe i treninzi postaju ozbiljniji i kompleksniji. Ključ je da se sa kučetom počne raditi što pre, ako može od prvog dana, takoreći.

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Da li je ikad kasno da se počne raditi sa nekim psom ?

  • Naravno da ne, ali je ipak bolje da pas bude što mlađi. Lakše je raditi sa mlađim psom, jer stariji već ima neke svoje uvrežene navike, pa moramo uporedo da ga odučavamo starim navikama i učimo novim. Uostalom, postoje i razni nivoi treninga prilagođeni uzrastu psa. Najviše volim da se bavim IPO sportom, koji je po meni, jedna od najkompleksnijih disciplina u obuci pasa, jer je to, ustvari kombinacija psihofizičkih vežbi. Za takve vežbe mi je potreban vrlo spreman i fizički pripremljen pas, jako dobrog karaktera, velike želje za radom i treba mi top jedinka. Za prosečno uvežbavanje psa koji će imati lep, razvijen odnos sa vlasnikom i koji će slušati nekoliko običnih komandi, nije mnogo važno koliko je star pas.

Sigurno kod tebe dolazi mnogo nerealnih vlasnika pasa. Kakva su tvoja iskustva sa njima ?

  • U principu ljudi smatraju za svog psa da je on najlepši, najvredniji, najpametniji a često se utvrdi da je realnost sasvim drugačija. Svaki pas ima svoje karakteristike, a neke od tih karakteristika mogu biti smetnja pri učenju i vežbanju i iako se to na delu i pokaže, vrlo je teško ljudima objasniti pravo stanje stvari i prvo što urade je da posumnjaju u moj kredibilitet i stručnost.

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Pričao si mi ranije kako je jedan vlasnik došao da mu istreniraš psa da bude oštar u borbi, odličan čuvar, a da bude „maza“ u igri sa decom i umiljat sa ostalim ukućanima. Šta si mu odgovorio ?

  • U šali sam mu rekao da mi dovede tri psa pa ću to da uspem da uradim. Jedan će biti oštar, drugi će biti čuvar, a treći umiljat. Mada, šalu na stranu, može da se potrefi jako talentovan pas da bude sve to. Vrlo je važno da ono što ja postignem u radu sa životinjom nastavi vlasnik u kasnijem odnosu sa psom, a to je često nemoguće, jer vlasnici ne žele da slušaju ili nemaju dovoljno strpljenja i ljubavi ili naprosto ne umeju. Vrlo često je bitnije objasniti vlasniku nego psu (smeh)

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Da li te je ikad ujeo pas ? Onako, zaozbiljno ?

  • Jeste, desilo mi se nekoliko puta. Ovaj posao, ustvari se mora raditi vrlo oprezno i stručno da ne bi došlo do neželjenih situacija. Ljudima moram da objasnim fizionomiju pasje vilice. Dakle, vilica psa je kao jedna pneumatska presa velikog pritiska u kojoj se nalaze zubi oštri poput žileta za brijanje. Znači, ako imaš presu oštru poput žileta, onda možeš zamisliti šta se može desiti.

Da li je pas stvarno čovekov najbolji prijatelj ?

  • Da , siguran sam u to. Pas se vezuje za svoj čopor i za vođu čopora, a to su najčešće porodica u kojoj živi i njegov vlasnik. Kod psa nema laži, nema prevare. On reaguje onako kako se oseća. Psi ne foliraju. Oni ono što misle to i pokazuju. To je jedna od osnovnih stvari koja je potrebna za rad sa psima. Pas ne laže, generalno, ne laže. Kad je ljut, on je ljut, kad je sretan – sretan je. I to pokazuje. Kada želi da radi – on želi da radi, kad ne želi da radi , on to i pokaže.

Nešto bih te pitao što nema dodirnih tačaka sa dresurom pasa, ali je generalno veliki problem ne samo kod nas, nego i u celom svetu, a to je problem pasa lutalica. Šta ti misliš o tome i kako bi se taj problem mogao rešiti ?

  • Ustvari, jednostavno je kad država ima para, a naša je baš i nema, zar ne? Treba prvo jako puno sredstava za prave , dobro sređene azile u kojima će raditi ljudi koji vole pse. Potrebna je jaka reklamna kampanja o udomljavanju tih lutalica. Zaštita od izbacivanja na ulicu vlasničkih pasa i kažnjavanje takvih vlasnika. A pre svega, potrebno je uraditi – sterilizaciju. Znam za odličan primer u Grčkoj, recimo. Ljudi tamo hrane lutalice u svojim kvartovima. Pokupe ih polako , grupu po grupu pasa, sterilišu i vrate na isto mesto. Vremenom se čopor proredi, jer se jednostavno, ne razmnožava. Edukacija u našoj zemlji je strahovit problem, kao i rad sa psima koji je prilično zapušten. Opet, sve se to objašnjava manjkom novca. Čitava logistika bi ipak mogla biti bolje odrađena, ali… Svest ljudi o odnosu prema psima kod nas nije dovoljno razvijena. Mora se objasniti ljudima da pas nije igračka, da je živo biće, da i on ima osećaje, karakter i da se ne može tek tako odbaciti kad vam dosadi. Ako niste spremni da se prema psu brinete kako treba, možda je bolje i da nemate psa. Ako niste spremni da se brinete i o potomstvu vašeg psa, onda je bolje odvesti ga na sterilizaciju. Poštenije je.

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Kakvo je tvoje mišljenje o Kinološkom savezu Srbije ?

  • Kinološki Savez Srbije je organizacija koja ima vrlo lepog uspeha u eksterijernom delu rada sa psima (čitaj, izložbe) i odlično je organizovan. Po mom ličnom mišljenju deo oko rada sa psima bi trebao da se unapredi i stabilizuje i podigne na malo viši nivo. Ipak, kakvo nam je okruženje Kinološki Savez nam je dobar.

Pre nekoliko godina si bio deo tima „Prijateljska šapa“. Možeš li nam objasniti o čemu se to radilo ?

  • To je bila jedna lepa ideja, koju je jedan moj dobar prijatelj, Svetozar Stevin, pokušao da sprovede u delo. Radi se o ideji da trenirani psi učestvuju u terapiji dece sa smetnjama u razvoju. Izuzetno lepa stvar, koja je u nekim zemljama u okruženju, a pogotovo na Zapadu zastupljena već dugi niz godina. Kod nas je, eto, počelo pomalo stidljivo da se razmišlja o tome. Svetozar je počeo sa tim i ja sam, u principu, učestvovao u tom projektu što sam pomagao u pripremi njegovog labradora, Lare za terapijskog psa. Već je on sa nekom decom radio, stupio u kontakt sa nekim lekarima i institucijama. U nekim terapijama je i Lara pomagala i to se pokazala kao vrlo dobra ideja. To ide polako, ali ja se nadam da će to da zaživi.

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Vlasnik si i odgajivačnice pasa. Koje rase i zašto baš te rase ?

  • Kad sam počeo da radim sa psima , mislio sam da su svi psi isti i da je samo popularnost bitna. Kroz glavu mi je prolazilo da ako nabavim lepog psa, popularne rase, konkretno, dobermana, jer su mi se tada jako dopadali dobermani, prvenstveno zbog izgleda, da će sve to ići kao po loju i da neću imati previše problema u radu i odgajivanju pasa. Početkom devedesetih sam nabavio svog prvog dobermana, sa njim sam počeo da radim, da ga treniram, da sve dublje ulazim u njegovu psihologiju. Kako je vreme prolazilo, sve manje me je zanimalo kako pas izgleda i koje je rase, a sve više šta on može psihološki i pshički da mi u tom treningu pruži. Posle dobermana, jedno vreme sam držao nemačke ovčare i evo, već dugi niz godina imam isključivo belgijskog ovčara, Malinou. Smatram da su to vrlo ozbiljni psi i sa njima sam, ja, lično, uspeo da postignem najviši nivo treninga. I tu postoje lični afiniteti, ukusi. Nekom je neka druga rasa bolja, podesnija za rad, ali, ja sam nekako shvatio da mi Malinoa najviše odgovara.

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Mislim da su belgijski ovčari širom sveta sve popularniji i da nekako istiskuju, recimo, nemačke ovčare. I izgledom podsećaju na njih, samo su nešto sitniji. Zašto je to tako ?

  • Fizički liče, ali su psihički različiti. Ključna stvar zašto su, pogotovo na Zapadu , počeli da, grubo je reći, izbacuju nemačke ovčare iz upotrebe je taj što se nemački ovčari koriste jako dugo i jako puno su iskomercijalizovani. Pošto je bilo puno genetskih korigovanja rase došli smo do situacije da nemački ovčar ima zdravstvenih problema. Nerado ću reći, ali istina je, da gdegod se čovek igrao Boga, to nije na dobro izašlo. Napravljeni su preveliki, preteški psi, koji imaju probleme sa kukovima, laktovima, zglobovima. Jednostavno, ne mogu da nose tu kilažu. Zabluda je da je što veći pas i sa više kila – snažniji i bolji za rad. Moje iskustvo kaže da su najoptimalniji psi srednjeg rasta, od 25 – 30 kilograma, srednje snage i da se sa njima najlakše radi.

Svedoci smo hajke na pitbulove, bulterijere, staforde i slične rase. S pravom ili ne ?

  • Najviše ujeda na svetu je napravila jedna sasvim druga rasa, reći ću ti koja, ali, molim te, nemoj izneti u javnost, da me ne bi optužili vlasnici te rase da lažem ili upirem prste u nju. I to je zato što je ta rasa među najpopularnijom na svetu, jednostavno broj ujeda je proporcionalan brojem jedinki te rase. Statistika te vrste, definitivno ne otkriva ništa. Istina je da pse rase pitbul ili bulterijer nabavljaju ljudi koji hoće da pokažu kako su strašni ili mačo muškarci i javno se hvale kako imaju opasne pse. Mnogo klinaca se takođe hvali kako imaju pitbula da bi sebi dali na važnosti. Neki ih pogrešno dresiraju, neki treniraju za borbe i tu je problem. Same te rase samim svojim pishofizičkim predispozicijama nisu ništa opasnije od ostalih. Poruka ljudima koji poseduju pitbulove i staforde je da ih što bolje socijalizuju, da okrenu njihovu prirodu pozitivnim stvarima. Što više se družite i igrajte s njima i pokažite svetu njihovu lepšu stranu.

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Da li si ikad odustao od dresure nekog psa ? Da li si ikad rekao sebi : „E, ne mogu više, dosta mi je svega, ovog psa neću ništa naučiti“ ?

  • Da, naravno. Dešavalo se , ne jako često, ali… Probaću da slikovito opišem kako dresura jednog psa izgleda. Zamisli jedan ravan put na kojem je u dnu slike početak, a na vrhu slike cilj. E, dresura je taj put, ali prepun različitih prepreka, rupa na putu, iskakanja, krivina i drugih smetnji. Kad komuniciraš sa čovekom imaš zajednički jezik i ti ga pitaš, a on odgovori. To je izuzetno kompleksna stvar. Kad komuniciraš sa psom ti moraš da izazoveš reakciju kod njega koju ne razumeš svaki put. Ili on ne razume tebe šta bi ti tačno hteo od njega. Jedino što je sigurno, a to sam ranije već rekao, pas ne laže. Ti onda moraš da iskoristiš tu njegovu iskrenost i da mu objasniš da je najbolje za njega baš to što ti od njega želiš.

Da li ti se dešavalo da pogrešno proceniš nekog psa ?

  • Naravno. Puno puta. I u pozitivnom i u negativnom smislu. Nekad sam očekivao lagani rad, a ispadao je hod po mukama, a nekad je sve na kraju bivalo mnogo lakše nego što sam očekivao. Zbog toga i volim ovaj posao. (smeh) Recimo, najviše sam pogrešio kod svog psa, kojeg sam prodao još kad je bio štene, ali sam ga posle godinu dana vratio, platio mnogo više, ali mi uopšte nije žao. To je moj sadašnji pas, Abu.

Šta bi poručio vlasnicima pasa ?

  • Prvo bih poručio ljudima koji još nisu vlasnici pasa. Razmislite dobro, da li želite psa i da li možete dobro da se brinete o psu. Pas je još jedno „dete“ u kući, član porodice. Pas nije igračka ! Potrebno je puno posla oko njega, jako puno vremena iziskuje bavljenje psom. Vlasnicima uvek preporučujem, pre svega, socijalizaciju, redovnu šetnju, neku vrstu treninga…Pas je socijalna životinja, biće koje živi u čoporu i nikako je ne treba izopštavati i vezivati za lanac u dnu dvorišta.

Da li ti neko pomaže u radu sa psima ili radiš isključivo sam ? Imaš li možda tim koji ti pomaže ?

  • Najčešće radim sam, ali ponekad treniram sa mojim kinološkim prijateljima. Nekad mi pomažu i sami vlasnici pasa, jer ima i vlasnika koji hoće da aktivno učestvuju u treniranju svog psa.

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Šta radiš trenutno ? Nešto specijalno, možda ili rutinski treninzi ?

  •   Trenutno bih izdvojio ovaj poslednji projekat u kojem učestvujem u saradnji sa Daliborom Tasićem, vlasnikom odgajivačnice rase “Cane Corso” – “Empire Of Wisdom“. Tu zajedno pripremamo i treniramo pse za kompaniju iz Engleske, “Protection Dogs Worldwide” koja je vlasništvo našeg prijatelja Leedora Borlanta.

I za kraj, kakvi su ti planovi za budućnost ?

  • Voleo bih da postanem svetski šampion u IPO-u (smeh) !

Hvala ti na razgovoru, Boško !

  • Hvala i tebi !

Boška Ivkova možete kontaktirati preko Fejsbuk profila : https://www.facebook.com/bosko.ivkov ili na telefon 069 / 1954-540


 

Boško Ivkov, a dog’s psychologist (interview)

For a long time we have been trying to arrange this dialogue with Boško Ivkov, born in Novi Sad, a man who is for more than twenty years training dogs and when our comitments allowed us, this interview happened. What interesting he had to say about dogs, you can read in the next lines.

For how long have you been training dogs?

  • I am dealing with dogs my entire life. I started as dogs fancier, than continued with dog shows, until it all culminated with training and psychology.

How did you decide to do this as your job?

  • When I look back almost all my childhood photos are with some animals, most often dogs. As a little boy I’ve decided that my job will have something to do with animals. My parents, of course, had different ideas, so I’ve finished some other schools. Later, when I grew up and aquired the right to decide for myself, I’ve started to breed dogs, dobermans at first. With them I went to the shows, but I’ve realized fast that’s not what I want to do. To me the psychology and communication with dogs was interesting. That’s how I’ve decided that that will be my life commitment.

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What is the most important in working with dogs?

  • The base of the whole story is the contact. The contact with the dog. The most important is to make dog trust you. To trust your good intentions. The most important for the two of you is to become partners. I wouldn’t even call it a training. It’s more of the partnership or cooperation and when you achieve that kind of relationship, then the dog does what you want.

With what breed is it the easiest for you to work with?

  • It’s not attached to the breed at all. There’s no universal rule, on the contrary to what is generally believed. Simply a smart dog is a smart dog, an agile dog is an agile dog and lazy dog is a lazy dog. And there’s no philosophy to it.

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So these are make beliefs that some breeds are easier to work with, that they are easier to train?

  • Of course, these are prejudices. Absolutely. I’ve met dogs of the same breed who were and agile and lazy, obeying and stubborn, smart and less smart…. Of course there are some guidelines with certain dogs when trainings and practises are concerned. For example, Rottweilers are very strong animals and presumptious too, so I always have that in mind when working with them. But to me, a Rottweiler which likes to work is the same as an agile German sheppard. There’s no big difference.

Have you been working with curs? Is there any difference working with curs comparing to breed dogs?

  • Of course I worked. Absolutely no difference in working with curs or dogs of certain race. Breed characteristics are that Dachshund is – small and Rotweiler is – big and all differences stop here. The brain is the brain. You can find a Bernard dog who likes to work more than some German Sheppard.Let’s say, Puli dogs which are indigenous for this Pannonia land, are very good to work with, but it’s not a rule. The only thing I’ve noticed and I needed years of experience for that, is (and I can say that with certainity) that shepherd dogs are distinguished by their dilligence and their relationship towards work. That is because they cooperate with men for thousands of years in a certain symbiosis when keeping and driving the herd. It’s in their genes.

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With this statement you will vindicate all theories in which people trust. (laugh) I was one of those as well, who trusted that some breeds are easier to work with than others.

  • Basically it’s all very simple. Breeds are different by their size, weight, colour, fur, but actually, all dogs are very similar.

Is it true that every dog has its own personality?

  • Not only personality. Dogs have feelings, they think. I would even ask myself whose level of communication is higher, of humans or dogs? The fact we consider ourselves to be superior rase could go under consideration. (laughter)

When is the right time to start with dog training? At what age?

  • Firstly, there is a couple of stages. If we start with the puppy which is a couple of months old, the base of the whole story is to get the dog socialized. Meaning, to learn to live with people. If it lives in the city environment, to learn of dangers on the street. To become familiar with cars, crowds. To get used to potential problems which it can get into in an environment like that. Imagine, for example, one country dog which found itself in the middle of the city noise. It would probably die of fright. That is why socialization is so important, because dog, when you get it into the new environment doesn’t know what to expect. Doesn’t know how to react, has no previous experience. It naturally doesn’t trust something it doesn’t know. With each socialization goes the small step of learning and training. How the dog grows those excersises and trainings become more serious and complex. The key is to start working with a puppy as soon as possible, if it’s possible from the first day, so to speak.

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Is it ever late to start working with a dog?

  • Of course not, but it’s always better if a dog is younger. It’s easier to work with a younger dog, because older one has its own already established habits, so we have to at the same time to get it disaccustomed to old habits and get it used to new ones. After all, there are different levels of training matched to a dog’s age. I favour the most the I.P.O. sport, which is by me, one of the most complex disciplines in a dog training, because it is, actually a combo of psycho – physical excersises. For that I need very well prepared dog, physically strong, with a very good character and strong will for work, the top specimen. For the average training of a dog, which will have a nice, developed relationship with the owner and obey a few regular commands, the age doesn’t matter.

I’m sure a lot of unrealistic dog owners come to see you. What yre your experiences with them?

  • Generally people consider their dog to be the most beautiful, dilligent, smart and very often I determine that reality is different alltogether. Every dog has its own characteristics and some of them can be the obstacle in learning and excersising and if it’s shown at work it’s very hard to explain to people the real situation and first thing they do is to doubt my credibility and competence.

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You told me before how one owner came and asked of you to train his dog to be sharp in fight, excellent guard dog and at the same time to be a coddle in playing with kids and sweet with the rest of the household. What have you replied to him?

  • I told him jokingly to bring three dogs and I’ll get it done. One will be sharp, second will be a guard dog and third a coddle. Although, to put joking aside, there can be a very talented dog which can be all that. It’s very important that what I acomplish with the dog, the owner continues to practise in their later relationship and that is often impossible, because owners don’t want to listen, or they don’t have enough patience and love, or they simply don’t know how. Very often is much more important to explain to the dog owner, than to the dog itself. (laughter)

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Did a dog ever bite you? Seriously?

  • Yes, it happened a few times. You have to do this job very carefully and professionally to avoid unwanted consequences. I have to explain to people the physiognomy of dog’s jaw. So the dog’s jaw is like pneumatic press with high preassure in which there a re teeth as sharp as a shaving razor. So if you have a press as sharp as a shaving razor, imagine what can happen.

Is a dog really the best man’s friend?

  • Yes, I’m sure of it. The dog gets attached to its pack and to the pack’s leader and that is, the most often, the family it lives in and its owner. There is no lie or fraud with the dog. It reacts how it feels. Dogs don’t assume the appearance. They show what they think. That’s one of the essential things you need in working with dogs. Dog doesn’t lie, generally doesn’t lie. When it’s angry- it’s angry, when it’s happy-it’s happy. And it shows you. When it wants to work- it shows, when it doesn’t want to work- it shows that as well.

 

I would ask you something that doesn’t really have anything to do with the dog training, but it is a generally big problem, not only here, but in the entire world, and it’s the problem with stray dogs. What do you think, how could this problem be solved?

  • As a matter of fact, it’s simple when a country doesn’t have money and our doesn’t really have any, does it? First of all you need a lot of resources for real, well managed shelters in which the people who love dogs will work. You need a strong commercial campagne about hosting stray dogs. Protection from throwing owned dogs out on the street and fining owners like that. And before all, it is necessary to sterilize those dogs. I know about an excellent example in Greece. People feed stray dogs in their district. They slowly gather them, group by group, sterilize them and take back to the same spot. In time the pack thins, because it simply doesn’t proliferate. Education in our country is a terrible problem, as well as the work with dogs, which is at the loose end. Again, you can explain all that with the lack of money. The whole logistics could be done better, but… The awareness of people about how to treat dogs is not at a high level. You have to explain to people that dog is not a toy, that it is a living being, that it also has feelings, character and that you can’t just throw it away when you get bored. If you’re not ready to take care of the dog the way you should, it may be better not to have a dog. If you’re not ready to take care of the offspring of your dog, it’s better to sterilize it. It’s more fair.

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What is your opinion about the Kennel Club of Serbia?

  • Kennel Club of Serbia is an organization which has a lot of success in the exterior part of working with dogs (read the exhibitions) and it’s well organized. In my personal opinion, a part of working with dogs should be improved, stabilized and elevated to a bit higher level. However, considering the environment we are in, the Kennel Club is good.

A few years ago you were a part of the team „The Friendly Paw“. Can you explain what was that about?

  • It was a good idea, which one good friend of mine, Svetozar Stevin, had tried to put into practice. It is an idea to put the trained dogs in a therapy of children with disability. Extraordinary beautiful thing, which is in some countries of the region and especially the Western countries represented for a long time now. In our country it’s a bit shy beginning of thinking about that. Svetozar had started with it and I was a part of that project in a way that I had helped prepare his labrador dog Lare to be a therapy dog. He had already started working with some children, he got connected with some doctors and institutions. It’s developing slowly, but I hope it will come to life.

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You are the owner of a Dog Kennel as well. Which breeds and why those breeds?

  • When I started working with dogs, I thought that all dogs are the same and that only popularity matters. It went through my head that if I get a beautiful dog, of popular breed, to be precise, a Dobermann, because I liked them at the time very much, before all because of their look, that all will go smoothly and that I won’t have much trouble with working and breeding dogs. At the beginning of the nineties I got my first Dobermann, I started working with him, train him, to get deeper and deper into his psychology. How time went by, I had less and less interest in how the dog looks and which breed it is and more what can it give me psychologically during the training. After Dobermann I had German Shepherds for a while and now I only have Belgian Shepherds, Malinou. I consider them to be very serious dogs and with them I have, personally achieved the highest level of training. And here you have the personal affinities and tastes. To someone else the other breed is better, easier to work with, but I have somehow realized that Malinoa suits me the best.

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I think that Belgian Shepherds are more and more popular throughout the world and that they are, let’s say, crowding out the German Shepherds. The Belgian Shepherds remind us by their looks of German Shepherds, only they’re a bit smaller. Why is that?

  • They look alike on the outside, but on the inside they are completely different. The key reason why they’ve started, to say it roughly, to push out the German Shepherds out of the use is because the German Shepherds have been around for too long and they’re very commercialized. Because there were many genetic corrections done on this breed, we’ve come to the situation where German Shepherds have many health issues. I will say, reluctantly but truthfully, that wherever a man played god, it didn’t come out well. They were made too big, too heavy, dogs which have troubles with hips, elbows, ankles. Simply, they can’t carry that weight. It is a misconception that the bigger and heavier the dog- the stronger and easier to work with. My experience says that the optimal dog is a medium size, 25-30 killograms, medium strength. They’re the easiest to work with.

We’re witnessing the attack on pitbulls, bullterriers, staffords and similar breeds. Rightfully or not?

  • The most bites in the world made one totally different breed, I’ll tell you which, but please don’t take it to the public, so that I don’t be accused by owners of that breed to be a liar or to point fingers at it. That is because that is the most popular breed in the world, simply the number of bites is proportional to the number of dogs. Statistics of that kind definitly doesn’t reveal anything. The truth is that the breeds like pitbulls or bullterriers get people who want to show how scary they are or macho men and they publically brag how they have dangerous dogs.  Many kids also brag how they have a pitbull to get on their importance. Some of them train them poorly, some train them for fights and there is a problem. The breed itself doesn’t have any physical, or psychological predispostion to be more dangerous than others. The message to the people who have pitbulls or stafords is to socialize them as much as they can, to turn their nature to positive things. Spend as much time as possible with them and play with them and show to the world their beautiful side.

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Have you ever given up on training some dog? Have you ever told yourself: “I can’t do this anymore, I’ve had enough, I’m not going to teach this dog anything?“

  • Yes, of course. It happened, not very often, but… I’ll try to visualy explain how the trining of one dog looks like. Imagine one straight road where at the bottom of the picture is the beginning and at the top a goal. The training is that road, but filled with different obstacles, holes in the road, bumps, curves and other nuisances. When you’re communicating with a man you use a common language and you ask a question and he answers. It’s remarkably complex thing. When you’re communicating with a dog you have to cause a reaction which you don’t understand each time. Or it doesn’t understand what you want of it. The only thing that is certain, which I’ve said before, is that a dog doesn’t lie. You have to use the dog’s honesty and explain that what you’re asking of it is the best thing for it.

Did it happen to you to misjudge the dog?

  • Of course. Many timkes. In a negative and positive way. Sometimes I’ve expected an easy work and it turned out to be a suffering walk and sometimes it turned out much easier than I’ve expected. That’s why I love this job (laughter) Let’s say, I made a biggest mistake with my own dog. I’ve sold him as a puppy and then after a year I bought it back, payed much more for him, but I was not sorry at all. That’s my present dog, Abu.

What is your message for dog owners?

  • Firstly, I have a message for people who don’t own a dog yet. Think carefully, do you really want a dog and can you take a good care of the dog. The dog is another child in the house, a member of a family. The dog is not a toy! A lot of work needs to be done around it, it takes a lot of time. To the owners I always recommend the socialization, regular walk, some kind of training… The dog is a social animal, a creature which lives in a pack and you shouldn’t make it a lowner and tie it to a chain at the bottom of the yard.

Does anyone help you in working with dogs, or you work by yourself? Do you have a team that helps?

  • I most often work alone, but sometimes i do trainings with my friends from Kennel Club. Sometimes the owners themselves help, because there are owners who want to actively participate in the dog training.

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What are you doing at the moment? Something special, or just routine trainings?

  •   At the moment I would like to point out the latest project I work on in a cooperation with Dalibor Tasić, the owner of a breeding kennell for “Cane Corso” breed – “Empire Of Wisdom“. There we prepare and train together dogs for an English company “Protection Dogs Worldwide” which is the ownership of our friend Leedora Borlanta.

And for the end, what are your plans for the future?

  • I would like to become a world champion in IPO (laughter)!

Thank you for the talk, Boško !

  • Thank you, too!

You can contact Boško Ivkov at his Facebook profile https://www.facebook.com/bosko.ivkov or at his phone number ++381691954540