I enjoy meeting people. I honestly believe people are one of the best resources anybody can have. So, it was a joy meeting Mr. Godwin Zibiri after a couple of online interactions. Some of the first things that struck me about Gzbiri (as he is fondly called) are his cool-headedness, even temper, humility, generosity and his ablity to say-it-as-it-is. Mr. Zibiri is a dog lover who works with Total Nigeria. We interview him about the canines in his life.
Do you consider yourself a dog breeder, dog lover or canine enthusiast?
I consider myself a dog lover and enthusiast.
When and how did you start your breeding programme?
I will not yet call my crossing of dogs breeding. You check the features in the dog you’re breeding and anticipate what you want before you bred. I am still looking for the best features before I venture into it. Presently, I am acquiring the best I find around in preparation for my breeding programme.
How many dogs do you have now? Names; Breeds; sex and ages?
6 dogs presently:
2 Rottweilers- Oscar (male) & Ninna (female);
2 GSD’s- Pluto (female) & Pablo (pedigree male);
1 Doberman- Kane and;
1 Lhasa- Nathan.
I’m hoping to get two pedigree dogs this month from Ole dogs and Mr. Dolapo. A Rottweiler and a GSD, and then the Lhasa will go.
Your perception and experience with Nigerian Vets
Vets are wonderful people, but I watch them keenly. I almost lost my Doberman during tail docking because of vet error. And presently I keep 3-4 vets at my beck and call and they all know about this. This competition in my opinion brings out their best services.
Preferred dog feed and why? That is raw, kibble, can, homemade e.t.c
I prefer kibble because it contains all the nutrients your dog needs already prepared and packaged. Cooking means trying to rack your brain about protein content, calcium etc. Sometimes I do raw and cooked bones.
Any fatalities caused by a disease outbreak?
Yes. Parvo. Lost 10 puppies and an adolescent Boerboel. 5 each of St. Bernard and Doberman.
Wow, sorry about that sir. What kind of kennels do you have? How do you maintain the kennels?
Concrete and tiles. Connected to the waste water ways.
Has breeding been rewarding for you financially and otherwise?
Like I said, I want the best and I am trying to get to a point where I can speak with anyone about quality and quantity. No reward for now. I am doing what I love and that is a way of paying myself. I count it as investment, profit will come at the fullness of time.
One breeder you admire and inspires you
I’ll prefer mentioning some. Grandiose, Ole Dogs, Bsquared Kennels, Mr. Dolapo, Ebenezer in Port Harcourt City.
How do you socialize your dogs with your children?
I do introduction at puppy stage and so far it sticks. Bring the dog into the house. They cater for the dogs in feeding and playing. After that, they just roll along. Though the children are always afraid of the Rottweilers because of size and aggression. So far I have not had any attack on the kids.
What’s your take on the dog breeding industry in Nigeria?
It’s really improving and I tell you, Nigerians can really spend money on dogs. We still have a lot of mediocres that still spoil the market. They don’t want to improve, breed lesser quality from litter to litter and are mainly interested in the money they make and are not real dog lovers. Some even deceive intending buyers with fake pedigree papers to sell runts. The good ones still maintain their standards and set out their pace while those with good intent follow suit.
Your favourite breed(s) of dog?
Rottweilers and GSD’s
3 things owning dogs has taught you
Grooming dogs and making them look appealing taught me that if you want the best from your children or family, you need to invest time, money and care. You get what you put into it. Two puppies from the same litter may turn out different after a year because of those points.
Treat each dog individually. No two dogs can be the same in terms of cycle of heat, their response to training etc. Don’t kill your children because one is doing better and listens more than the other. Having dogs has really taught me that individuals have their unique traits personal to them.
When you show love, they’ll love you in return. This has taught me that love beget love. When you don’t love your family, it reflects on them and people will see that they lack love. The same applies to your dog. When you don’t socialize, love or cuddle your dog, they become unnecessarily aggressive, bad tempered ,non-tolerant to other dogs around.
Can you leave your fortune to your dogs?
No. But I can leave enough for their care until they pass on. Not that I don’t love them enough but our culture is not mature enough to understand. They may even kill the dogs knowing such exist.
I absolutely enjoyed interviewing Mr. Godwin. Such sincere responses. My favourite part has got to be the lessons he has drawn from having, loving and keeping dogs. Can you relate? I would love to read about the lessons you have learnt from keeping dogs. Share below!