There is a new service in Setúbal that helps you better understand your pet
Maria Dias is responsible for K&S Behavior, a project that helps owners to deal with the behavior of dogs.
Maria Dias, 37, was born in France but has been in Portugal since she was 13. She lived in Guimarães until she was 26 until she decided to come to Lisbon in search of job opportunities. As she didn’t want to disconnect from French, she wanted to work in places that would allow her to speak this language. It did not take her long to return to her country of origin. She started out in a call center still in Portugal and, in 2019, she returned to France to join the National Bank of Paris.
What she did not expect was that a global pandemic would arise, which would make her stay at home with her cat and dog in France, while her husband resided in Portugal. They were seven months apart. “I decided to start dedicating myself to something extra that would help me occupy my mind and get through this difficult phase”, she tells NiS.
He has always loved animals and often wondered why his animals behaved in certain ways, such as why they weren’t sociable when, in fact, he had had other dogs that exhibited the opposite behavior.
With this thought in mind, Maria Dias wanted to invest in training. She first attended a course at a European training center in France, in which she successfully obtained her first certificate and then went back to attend a one-year course at that centre.
In the meantime, he returned to Portugal and returned to work in the area of telecommunications, and at the same time, he attended a second online course while he was practicing for free with dogs of people who needed help in the behavioral area to gain experience and launch himself in the area if he saw that he was getting results. . “As impressive as it may be, the results were there. With that certainty, I decided to give up everything in my life to do what I really like.”
He created the website, Facebook and Instagram pages, and started the K&S Behavior project, in which he provides canine education, behavioral therapy, pet sitting and dog walker services. In the canine education program, the dog’s learning and obedience is developed, and this service is for any age. Although in older dogs it may take longer, but it is entirely possible.
As for behavioral therapy, it is, for example, dogs with separation anxiety, aggression, among other problems. There are several exercises to help animals in this regard. In pet sitting, the service consists of taking care of the animals while the owners are on vacation, or simply don’t have that possibility for some time. Finally, the dogwalker is a service in which Maria Dias is available to walk the dogs, if the owner is not available.
One of the key ideas that Maria Dias wants to convey is that her work is not just about animals. “80 percent of my work is with people and the remaining 20 percent is dedicated to the dog,” he says. The idea is to demonstrate the techniques so that the owner is autonomous and can do them alone. “My main objective is that the owner, in my absence, can work with the dog and know what to do in any kind of situation”, he explains.
Behavioral therapy is also dedicated to cats, although there are not so many problems of this kind in these felines. Usually, one of the great difficulties with cats is anxiety when they go through the change of territory or aggression. “You can control it,” he says.
One of the goals of the K&S Behavior project is to save as many dogs and cats as possible from abandonment and euthanasia, and the biggest cause of this is humans, simply because, at times, they do not understand the behavior of animals. “A dog needs to complement his instincts, to explore, to smell, to socialize. If, for some reason, we deprive them of this, they will develop behavioral problems”, explains Maria.
To prevent animals from developing some kind of problematic behavior, it is necessary to understand them and respect their needs. Otherwise, they can develop trauma and frustration. “When we go to get an animal, we cannot think that it has to adapt to us because it is completely the opposite. We have the ability to think and understand things, they don’t”, he reinforces.
In her services, Maria Dias works with the positive method, that is, whenever the dog performs a good behavior there is a reward. When he has a bad behavior, the non-permissive method is applied through sanctions, such as making an uncomfortable noise so that the dog associates that sound with something he should not do. “These are not painful sanctions, not least because I am completely anti-violence,” she says. You should never attack the animal for bad behavior.
Maria Dias performs her services by zone. The Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal is the reference point and from there 15 kilometers is zone one, from 16 kilometers to 30 kilometers is zone two, and from 31 kilometers to 40 kilometers is zone three. The price changes depending on the trips that are always at home. To get in touch with Maria Dias, you can consult the K&S Behavior page where you can find timetables and contact information.