“Don’t Bully Me or My Bully” is a program designed to teach children the skills needed to be excellent and successful Junior Handlers of bully dogs in addition to skills that will help them in everyday life as well.
The instructors for the program, Hannah Ancajas Aba and Dima Yam, bring years of training and handling knowledge to the table. They are well versed in canine psychology and the understanding of animal behavior, which they combine with practical teaching skills.
The Junior Handler program, which kicked off last month, was started by Animalville Breeders’ Hakim Brimah, Cortez Haron, Hayward Hadley and Alton Banks, in collaboration with Ernest Johnson of “No Malice Bullies.”
The “Don’t Bully Me or My Bully” program is completely free for children ages 6-14 and is held at Razzmatazz Family Fun Center, located at 3900 South Ashland Avenue.
N’DIGO recently caught up with Hakim Brimah to discuss the program.
N’DIGO: Did you always have a love for dogs or did you have to learn to love them?
Hakim Brimah: I have always had a love for dogs. My father introduced me to dogs when I was seven years old and the relationship has been ongoing ever since.
What was the genesis of the Bully Dog Junior Handling Program?
Me growing up in Chicago and the last seven years seeing young guys I knew growing up that were under 23 from our area getting killed due to the violence in Chicago. When I was growing up, we had things to do like the YMCA and the Hyde Park neighborhood club.
I feel this generation doesn’t have as many options as we had. The American Bully has changed my life and introduced me to people all around the world. So I felt if I could get one child to fall for these dogs like I have, then it’s a success.
Why do you think it’s important to give kids a chance to learn early on how to bond with bully dogs?
It teaches the kids about discipline and to respect life. This child is now responsible for this dog’s life and well being.
What do you hope participants in the program will take away from it?
A new love for the American Bully, new friends and a new skill, which is dog handling.
Tell us about Animalville Breeders.
Animalville Breeders is a kennel that I started in Chicago in 2007. I met my partner Cortez Haron around 2008. We specialize in breeding quality, healthy American Bullies and show-quality American Bullies. Cortez and I started on the South Side of Chicago 10 plus years ago. Now we have other members that we call family. Our other partners are Abel Terrazas (Chicago), Alton Banks (Nevada), Hayward Hadley (Michigan), and Brandon Banks (New Orleans).
What’s the most common misconception you find that people have regarding dogs?
That some breed of dogs are naturally aggressive. My personal belief is a dog is only what the owner puts into the dog. If you put in positive things then you will get positive results. If you put in negative things then you get negative results…much like your children.
What are three of your favorite breeds?
American Bully, Rottweiler, and Tibetan Mastiff
Best advice to aspiring handlers?
Take your time, listen, learn, and you will get to see the world!
Favorite quote or affirmation?
Our company motto – “Animalville: Bringing Back The Bull.”
What’s next for Hakim Brimah and Animalville Breeders?
Personally, I’m looking forward to continual growth as a man, husband, and friend. We at Animalville have grown so much. We have dogs we have produced placed all over the world with their happy families. We have Animalville dogs in Aruba, Australia, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada, Philippines, Peru and all over the United States.
We are excited to announce we now have added French Bulldogs to our breeding program. We also host dog shows. We hosted the first-ever ABKC American Bully confirmation show in Chicago in 2016. We helped bring the ABKC annual national Bully show to Chicago in 2017 and this year Animalville Breeders and No Malice Bullies are hosting our second ABKC show in Chicago on April 21st at the Chicago Indoor Sports Arena.
(For more information on Hakim and Animalville Breeders, visit www.animalvillebreeders.com.)