Feature: Young lady becomes 1st ever dog trainer in Gaza

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GAZA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Talia Thabit, a lady in her 20s, becomes the first-ever female dog trainer in the Gaza Strip.

From Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, Thabit has started her career when she raised guard dogs to protect her family's house.

"It's not easy to raise a dog, because you should have some knowledge on how to treat with them," Thabit told Xinhua that she faced some challenges at the beginning as she could not communicate easily with her own dogs: Oscar and Joy.

"I communicated with several foreign dog breeders and learned a lot from them," she said.

To earn more experience, she teamed up with a group of enthusiasts in the Gaza Strip where they can exchange their own ideas.

Before long, Thabit has learned how to deal with dogs and even train them on how guard, protect and detect weapons and explosions.

"I am so proud to be the first-ever female trainer in Gaza. Many dog breeders ask me now to train their dogs."

Thabit said dogs are smart and enjoy a strong relationship with their owners, noting that training them is never complicated.

"You can make a dog a monster, and you can also make it a goat," she said as she played with one of her dogs with a ball in her home garden.

One of the challenges that faced Thabit was treating her dogs when they fall sick.

"Unfortunately, my dog Oscar once fell ill and I had to treat him using human medications due to the lack of veterinary laboratories and animal drugs," she said.

Thabit pointed out that the Israeli blockade negatively affected all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip, stressing that even animals "are not safe."

The Gaza Strip has been placed under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007 after Islamic Hamas movement controlled the district.

The blockade has pushed Gaza's 2 million population deeper into poverty with unprecedented rates of unemployment.

However, Thabit expressed hope that she could get training courses abroad on how to train dogs, especially those used for police and military purposes.

Young people in Gaza prefer to raise dogs since these animals are known to loyal to their owners. Dogs are also largely used for guarding and protecting property in the coastal enclave.

The armed wing of Hamas rulers of Gaza, al-Qassam Brigades, showed its police dog unit during a military parade in 2017, which is seen a significant sign that Hamas may use these dogs in any future military conflict with Israel. Enditem

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