Tillières-sur-Avre. Séverine, expert in gentle dog training

Séverine, the friend of the dogs © La Dépêche de Verneuil

Severine Gastelais-Marie as a self-employed trainer of the Watchmen of Saint-Michel in Tillières-sur-Avre (Eure). Its domain consists of a boarding house for dogs but also a place of education or activity such as an agility park available to customers.

He welcomes and cares for dogs, each with their own identity: like the Texas, four-month-old Rottweiler from Rotts de la Baronnie, or Foggia, a 12-year-old Cane Corso Italiano. He also manages his business Anne Sophie, former soldiers invested heavily and and volunteered.

His journey

Ever since she was a child, Séverine has been associated with dogs. He was attending agricultural college and initially wanted to take over the family farm or become a veterinarian.

from 2013, he started working as a breeder and dog trainer. Shortly afterwards, he set himself up and opened the guards at Saint-Michel in Tillières. It is a “professional but family breeding of Cane Corso and Beauceron”.

But “after ten years”, he withdrew his breeding activity. He said he was “upset” to see the dogs, often poorly adapting to their owner’s lifestyle and sometimes in poor condition, sold. This was particularly the case with Séverine’s relatives who adopted a dog at a show, were proven deaf and had scabies.

Today, she has “many hats” because she manages the family farm with her husband, but her main activities remain mediation and canine education.

His fights

Séverine opposes these breeders and trainers, emphasizing animal listening. Above all, we need to “understand the body language of the animal”, which means knowing what it wants to tell us and how it feels. Raising an animal “takes work” and adopting a dog is above all a responsibility and an investment in his person.

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Adopting a dog is not “like choosing a carpet”. He should not be removed because of his physical appearance but according to his conduct and his suitability in the life of the master. “Therefore, before choosing a race for her beauty, or her intellect; You have to ask for advice from a teacher ”.

Tillières dogs
Séverine takes a dog through an agility course © La Dépêche de Verneuil

Failure to consider these behaviors is the risk of losing your dog’s education ”. It urges “leaving, giving it away, or finding excuses to leave it in the SPA or, worse, to ask the veterinarian to euthanize it” which is often powerless in the face of the demands of the owners.

Puppy school

Séverine opened a “puppy school” on her land. This school consists of welcoming puppies, in order to best support their masters in their education. “It allows the puppy to thrive in different situations or scenes, to use roads, small obstacles, to understand everyday life”.

The lessons will last 1h30 with the puppies and Zabou. It’s a Visigoth spitz, one of Séverine’s dogs, that “reframes” the puppies by giving them the confidence to face obstacles. Thus, “depending on his age, he will start kindergarten, then, if I feel he is ready, he will continue in elementary school”.

This school is important for Séverine, who thinks that the dog needs to be educated from an early age so as not to adopt bad behaviors while growing up. “It should be mandatory” Séverine admits.

Dogs are not fierce

Séverine welcomes and cares for impressive dogs such as the Cane Corso Italiano or even Beaucerons and Rottweilers. He wants to change the negative image we give to big mastiffs, which are known to be more violent and more biting.

He affirmed that “there are no bad dogs, only bad masters”. According to him, small dogs can be biting and aggressive because it’s not the size of the dog that matters, it’s primarily education.

Workshops to be launched

This is why he also wants to hold workshops with young people, in schools, to raise awareness about these issues.

The femininity of this environment seems unsurprising for Séverine, above all it’s a “charisma story”: you have to know how to stand up to even the biggest dogs. And she doesn’t want to hear about animal abuse in her home. If he allows some dogs to sleep in a cage, it’s never against their will, on the contrary: he even describes one of his dogs as “gaga in his cage”.

dog in the hospital
During the annual Vernoline barbecue, Séverine and her dog meet with residents. © The Verneuil Dispatch

His actions

Séverine’s activities also focus on the mediation of animals. He would travel or bring the elderly and disabled to meet “farm animals”. Thus he can present his dogs but also rabbits, horses, peacocks, parakeets …

Orus, his cane corso, is an expert in the field. He has “great empathy” and will naturally go to those who need it. The operation is always successful because the animals have a calming effect and bring joy.

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