Dog trainer Annika Mies from Weetzen loves animals

Weetzen. He has lived in Cape Town, Barcelona and near Washington, but also in Wolfsburg, Hanover and Saarstedt. But the most beautiful place is in Ronnenberg. “I feel more comfortable here. I like this rural area. After two months in Sarstedt, I knew I wanted to return to Ronnenberg,” says Annika Mies. The young woman also likes the area because of her dogs. These are not the only animals in the household of Weetzenerin, who works for the SyMeHu dog school in Hanover (human-dog symbiosis) and has been a permanent member of the team there for two years.

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It started as a child

It goes without saying that the 30-year-old has a big heart for animals. This love started as a child. He just felt sorry for the animals that were used in the circus for show purposes or that were dead on the street. “I immediately cried,” she recalls. And since then she has always felt responsible for the creatures: “Even when I’m abroad, I like to take care of animals.”

Mies has plenty of experience abroad, though she didn’t live in South Africa, Spain or the US to turn to animals full-time. “I worked there in business, but then I realized that animals are actually my job,” says the current dog trainer, who has taken in and placed many dogs from animal welfare organizations. Exciting experiences abroad also included encounters with free-roaming lions in Africa. “Of course there was a guide who knew how lions react to people – and why they don’t attack you, depending on how you behave.” This interesting experience is also part of her daily job. With dogs.

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Dogs always want to communicate

“I think it’s important to bring this knowledge to people so they can be more involved with animals,” says the Wolfsburg native. He explains that dogs, for example, communicated constantly. “Maybe the dog once had a bad experience with bicycles,” says Mies. He gives an example: If the animal had an accident earlier with a corresponding road user, it is normal for the dog to react differently and be afraid when its owner leads it in front of a large bicycle parking lot. And he wanted to communicate that rejection.

At the dog school there are group classes with up to four human and animal participants. However, the specialty is individual training. “There’s also fun and games. But the focus is on body language, what the dog wants and what might happen – and why the animal might show aggressive behaviour.”

Big animal lover: Annika Mies works as a dog trainer.

After locking, the pet is annoying

And when you talk to an expert like Mies, you can’t avoid a hot topic: Corona and animals. Recently, headlines have been piling up nationally about animals being abandoned or rehomed – because the coronavirus is easing and travel is possible again. Then many owners are suddenly disturbed by the animal that was important to them during the lockdowns of the last two years.

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The woman from Weetzen can confirm this. “At the beginning of the Corona period, there was a huge rush on our puppy training classes. Because people were at home, they had time for their animals.” Now, on the other hand, there are other anomalies, also in families of which the pet is still a part. “Change is stressful, especially for young dogs. Before, they were used to someone always being home. Now they are on their own for an entire working day. And then you’re surprised when they break up the apartment when you’re not there.”

Leap into planned self-employment

Mies has accumulated a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience. Now he wants to take the next step. “The behavior of dogs and cats is not enough. There are often health problems due to poor nutrition,” says the expert, who wants to open her own business in Weetzen at the end of the year and offer nutritional advice for these four-legged friends. He already has the first investigations. Those interested can already contact her at (0176) 41119266. She has completed the relevant additional training. “It was very extensive. You spend weeks studying how the heart and liver work, for example.”

But Mies will continue her work at SyMeHu – Ilka Schumacher is the owner of the dog school in the eastern part of Hanover. Despite being self-employed at the same time, this still fits the time. After all, her heart is big enough for animals.

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