Every dog has its day, especially at the Stanley Plaza Paws by the Sea 2014

By junior reporters, compiled by John Kang

Dogs are always excited to take part in the fun, so just imagine how many happy canines there were at Stanley Plaza, where even the smallest puppies got in on the action

By junior reporters, compiled by John Kang |

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Dog lovers have fun with their canine friends during the pet extravaganza.

National Dog Week is celebrated in the last week of September, and Stanley Plaza mall celebrated it for the fourth consecutive year with the largest outdoor pet extravaganza in Hong Kong - Paws by the Sea 2014. This year's theme was "Doggie Hero", and featured workshops, game booths, and a Guinness World Record attempt. Young Post's junior reporters were invited to join the fun, and this is what they thought ...

Good doggy, bad doggy

You wouldn't dump your best friend in the middle of nowhere just because he bit someone, so why would you abandon your dog for doing something that comes naturally?

Unfortunately, even with a nickname like "man's best friend", dogs are still discarded because of bad behaviour.

Eric Ko, a certified dog trainer, says that this is because dogs are spoilt, and misbehave just like children will if they are pampered too much.

"This is the owner's fault," Ko said. "You see many owners in Hong Kong treating their pets like princes and princesses."

Dogs need the time and patience to learn from their mistakes and fix their bad behaviour.

"Every child is given the opportunity to go to school and develop," said Ko. "And so should dogs." Training is important for dogs, because it is only through discipline that they will learn how to behave.

When you are training dogs, because of their shorter attention span, each training session shouldn't last more than 15 minutes, with a maximum of three sessions a day. If you try to train them longer, they might lose focus and forget everything you've taught them.

Pet owners nowadays will often not discipline their dogs because they think it's too harsh for their beloved, precious pets. As a result, the bad behaviour will only get worse.

Wendy Ki and Minnie Yip

Talking - and listening - to your dog

"Communicating with animals is like Skyping," animal communicator and therapist Rosina Arquati explained as she sat comfortably on the ground with legs crossed and sandals off. Like Skype, communicating with animals requires mutual connection, but most people only have access to a "one-way connection". We've lost that "sense", which enables animals to sense a coming storm or their owners' thoughts and emotions.

"But like an iPhone app," Arquati said, using another tech metaphor, "you can install that app again through meditation and most importantly, loving animals."

Arquati believes that Hong Kong's attitude towards animals has changed a lot since she first arrived here 37 years ago. Back then the only pets she saw were the village dogs, which were more like guard dogs, and there were only about 30 vets on the island.

"And now," she said, gesturing around her, "people treat their pets as if they were their own children … [and] there are 300 to 400 vets in Hong Kong." Even if people can't communicate perfectly with their pets, there is a greater level of understanding between humans and animals.

Annette Kim

That's a lot of temptation

3... 2 ... 1 ... Yay! The shouts echoed around the Stanley Plaza Amphitheatre for the grand finale of Paws by the Sea 2014: the Guinness World Record attempt for the "most dogs balancing a treat on the nose".

All dogs and their owners were assigned a seat and each received a pack of dog treats. The dogs had to balance a treat on their nose for 10 seconds.

Everyone looked at their dogs confidently and eagerly. When the clock started, the amphitheatre was silent. I bit my lips and held my breath, watching the dogs trying to balance their treat.

Some of them failed, but the owners still had a great time with their furry friends. I could really feel the connection between the dogs and their families. When they looked into each other's eyes, you could see that they trusted each other and tried their best to break the Guinness World Record together.

It was a really good event because everybody could join in instead of just sitting there watching the others perform on stage.

I hope it can be continued next year so it can keep bringing lots of fun to canine friends and dog lovers.

Rachel Lau