When you are known as the Pinoy Dog Whisperer (after original Dog Whisperer, renowned Mexican-American dog behaviorist Cesar Milan), you have to make sure you live up to the hype. And Lestre Zapanta, who earned the moniker from veteran broadcaster Jessica Soho when she did a segment on him, does the title proud.
MASTERFUL, FIRST CLASS
For more than a decade, the dog trainer has successfully helped thousands of pet owners discipline their unruly and aggressive pooches. Even Cesar Milan is impressed, calling him “masterful” and “first class.”
“Lestre, you have a great track record in transforming dogs,” he told his Filipino counterpart, who was one of three Pinoy dog trainers to participate in the second season of the reality show search Cesar Recruit: Asia.
“TRAINING ISN’T JUST ABOUT READING A DOG’S BODY LANGUAGE, MEETING A DOG AT ITS LEVEL, AND TREATING IT AS AN EQUAL—IT’S ABOUT READING THE OWNER, TOO. I NEED TO FIND OUT IF YOU ARE THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM.” Lestre Zapanta
I’nca, Lestre’s 7-yearold Doberman (and one of 22 dogs he owns) is proof of his gift of getting dogs to be on their best behavior. At the shoot for this story, she followed his every order—from balancing a treat on the tip of her nose before eating it on his command, to walking close by him then running toward him despite distractions around her.
I’nca is so well trained, she appeared alongside Janice de Belen and Bembol Roco in the award-winning 2016 film Ringgo: The Dog Shooter.
“The cats love her,” says Lestre of I’nca, who wears a perennial smile on her face as she allows strangers to stroke her on the head. “This morning, there were four cats on top of her. Sometimes they use her as a scratching post but she doesn’t mind.”
TRAINING DOGS— AND THEIR OWNERS
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