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Interview for DOG WHISPERER Magazing/Web Dog – MARCH 9, 2020 MEET PILAR GARRIDO (AND HER DOGS)

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Interview for Dog Whisper magazine
See it at
Instagram: @dogwhispererhq @pilargarridola

March 9, 2020|Dog Trainer Interviews
By Belinda Cai

Maria del Pilar Garrido Morales (“Pilar Garrido” for short) was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. Her family is from southern Spain, where living on a farm was a way of life. By profession, she is a dog and cat trainer and groomer, and she also fosters dogs. Pilar likes the challenge of difficult cases — ones that others shy away from — such as working with blind, scared or aggressive dogs or cats.

“During my childhood, I grew up surrounded by dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters and with all kinds of domestic animals,” Pilar says. “When I was young, my grandmother from Seville, Spain, used to own a big farm where I spent all my winter and summer vacations helping out by feeding and training animals. Since I was a child, I was always passionate about reading books on training and learning the different types of dog and cat breeds.”

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Pilar and her pets!

Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente of Spain was her idol growing up. He graduated with a degree in medicine, taught himself biology and became famous for a TV series called El Hombre y la Tierra (1974–1981). While people were trying to kill wolves, he was trying to save and relocate them. Like Felix, Pilar has helped educate people on how to handle dogs at home and with socialization.

“The key is learning to catch your pets’ mistakes at the right time and right place,” she says. “Even though I had never had any proper training nor schooling at that time, my training and action was based on natural animal exposure and instinct that I had acquired while spending lots of time on the farm during my childhood.”

In 2003, Pilar was working with maltese show dogs as a handler — that was where she got her start in professionally grooming dogs. In 2009, she moved to Los Angeles with my husband who, at the time, was in the U.S. Navy. While living Los Angeles, she got certified in dog and cat grooming and training.

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“Also, while living in Reseda, I was working at Studly Pooch Grooming Salon in Hermosa Beach,” Pilar explains. “One day, I saw a picture of Cesar Milan together with the owner of the salon. The owner mentioned to me how he ended up on one of the episodes of Dog Whisperer.”

When Cesar went to Madrid in 2010, Pilar became part of his ambassador volunteer team. Since she was in Barcelona that year, she ended up working as a volunteer on the show.

“It was a wonderful experience to finally see so many people interested in learning how to train their dogs,” she says. “Back in Los Angeles, I started working as a volunteer with Best Friends of Los Angeles in San Fernando Valley. I always believed that with new learning comes new experiences.”

Meet Pilar’s Dogs:

Cute – not only is she the mother of one of my Malteses, she is also a grandma. She is 13 years old! I got her as a Christmas present from my family, from a very respectable breeder in France. She understands instructions in Spanish and in English, along with hand signals. She is very sweet.

CUTE Dog Whisperer

Star Hollywood is the name of my second Maltese. I got him as a present from a respectable breeder and friend in California. He is a show dog and is well behaved. He likes to bark to get people’s attention. During competitions, his personality does a 360; he is the most behaved and photogenic dog. If I said to Star, “Let me take a picture,” he would pause until I said it was taken. He used to compete in international dog shows and was the champion of Gibraltar (UK) and Croatia.

Star Dog Whisperer

Bella is the third one in our family. She is five years old and is the sire (daughter) of Cute. She is the most playful and, if I am not looking around, she tends to break all rules. She is very loving and playful, although she needs to know her limit. She loves cats and likes giving kisses.

Bella Dog Whisperer

Then came Prince and Roma (10 months old) which are the ‘sire’ of Star Hollywood and Bella. They are almost identical but you can tell them apart by their unique personalities. Prince has the level of energy similar to Cute and Roma is more like her mom Bella.

Bebitos gemelos- Dog Whisperer

Different from the bunch it is my adopted dog Lady. She is a Belgian Malinois mix, and very intelligent and caring. One day while playing on the patio, she found a little bird chick on the ground. She brought it to me in her mouth, giving it to me alive and motioning for me to save her life. She is my personal bodyguard and, wherever I go, she always comes with me. She is good with other dogs but will bark the moment she does not like the behavior of other dogs. She is like a teacher instead of a fighter.

Lady Dog Whisperer

Lastly, I have Locke, the part-time tenant. Whenever my parents come to visit me, they always bring him to me for cleaning and grooming. I adopted him as a companion for my brother but my father ended up with him. He always keeps my father always on his toes.

Charran Dog Whisperer