When Ngabo Faradji 30, was recruited by KK Security- a security company in 2010, he was disappointed that his supervisor oriented him in the canine unit.
Little did he know that he is starting a career that will help him earn a living the day he would chose to start his own business.
The following year, his company sent him on eighteen month training in Kenya, to learn dog training skills.
A dog, he said, is the best animal you can trust because when trained it is very obedient, loyal, friendly & follows instructions.
After the training, he returned to the company to earn Rwf 50,000 a month, but his empathy for dogs pushed him to resign five months later and started saving abandoned and stray street puppies.
“There were a lot of dogs and puppies everywhere on Kigali streets, and I decided to start picking them, training them and gave them out to people for rearing,” Ngabo told KT Press.
Ngabo did not have enough funds to feed puppies, but fortunately he met Anna Klenia, a German national who invited him to train her dog and later on, helped him connect more clients from her friends’ circles.
“Klenia paid a Russian national to give me more training and found clients for me; some of them had undisciplined dogs but I managed to change their attitude,” he said.
Since then, Ngabo became a professional dog trainer earning Rwf 60,000 a month for every single dog he trains. Currently, he is training 30 dogs at his Kibagabaga home in Gasabo district.
With two staff, he walks the dogs and then takes them to a listening session.
“I train them in English, French or Swahili! Training a dog in Kinyarwanda can be hard as dogs understand more in syllables,” he said.
“That’s why their names are even very short.”
Ngabo has since more than 300 dogs from streets and found people who could adopt them.
Rukundo, a client whose dogs were trained by Ngabo, admits that his dog was stubborn but it has now changed.
“When I tell Max ‘stop’ he immediately stops, and when I say ‘come’ he does come”, Rukundo said.
Rukundo says that the love for his dog increased when it started welcoming him home after a long day at office stressed in the evening.
“Every morning, he comes to say greet me.”
According to Ngabo, every dog aged between 3 months and 1 year old is trainable, and the training takes around three months.
At one year and beyond, a dog can also be trained, but this will take 6 months or above.
Ngabo however, says it all depends on budget of the dog owner-within a week, he said, I can give a dog basic skills.
Currently, Ngabo is earning Rwf 600,000 from training dogs and has partners in United States.
Ngabo once came across WAG volunteers a non-government organisation founded by an American woman, Frances Klinck in 2013, to rescue abandoned and abused puppies, brings them back to health, gets them vaccinated, and puts them up for adoption.