Ever find someone cool on Instagram and go down the rabbit hole? Meet @EricandCaprithepup
By Melissa Gill
@OTS Staff: By day, you are …
@EricandCaprithepup: I’m a photographer, filmmaker and a part time dog trainer.
OTS Staff: By night, you are …
Eric Ita: A classical pianist, guitarist and living-room musician.
OTS Staff: Wow! That’s amazing.
OTS Staff: How many years on Insta?
Eric Ita: I technically had an old Instagram account that I deleted during the pandemic, but altogether I’d say from 2013-14, so roughly 7 years.
OTS Staff: What was your first post?
Eric Ita: I believe I decided to go to Cape Town, South Africa, and while I was at the airport, I had my friend take a photo of me before I went to check-in.
OTS Staff: How was your trip?
Eric Ita: Lots of learning. My buddy T.J. was working on a TV show and I just went to hang out but through our adventures, I really learned a lot about Southern Africa, it’s differences in comparison to West Africa, which is where I’m from, and there were some eye opening realizations about the topic of race and how different it is from the American perspective.
OTS Staff: What was an eye-opening realization you experienced that you wish others understood about the topic of race and how different it is from the American perspective?
OTS Staff: Top post? And why do you think it broke the internet?
Eric Ita: My most popular post is on Tiktok actually and it’s been viewed by 10.8 million people there. I posted it on my Instagram page and 1.3 million people watched it there, but it was also shared by popular accounts so it’s been viewed altogether by at least 20 million people. I think it was so predictive. People weren’t used to seeing a Dog behaviorist who looked like me, it was regarding how to end a dog’s jumping, which is a real issue for most dog owners, and it felt like watching a snake charmer if the dog was a stubborn Cobra.
OTS Staff: Wow! I watched the video and want to try this technique with my own pup. Your videos are so helpful and your pups are adorable😍 What inspired you to start dog training?
Eric Ita: Haha, I hope it works! The truth is all dogs, just like humans, are different. They learn the same way we all learn, but the specifics vary depending on the temperament, will power, etc. If it doesn’t, I can always offer other suggestions! When I got my first dog, I was fascinated by a trainer named Eric R. Letendre. First, because he was my namesake, but mostly because I never really liked dogs up until then. His books and lessons made me rethink everything I disliked and got me curious about how to get my dog to bring me a bottle of water from the fridge :))
OTS Staff: That is so inspiring! I need to read some of his books, ASAP! Haha. I would love to see my dog do something so impressive! 💜 Why do think some people find it challenging to train their dogs?
Eric Ita: You can watch my videos if you want easily digestible content too <3 – I think most people don’t realize the level of commitment involved in getting a dog to be truly balanced. We’re used to humanizing non human species, at least in the western world. I saw two golden doodle pups in a doggie stroller the other day, and I almost lost my mind. Dogs didn’t have problems in the wild. We’re the ones who caused them to develop issues like Separation anxiety. Most people just try to give them a “humanized” version of love, but the love they actually need is structure, rules and boundaries.
OTS Staff: Absolutely! Your videos are fantastic. We love them 💜 I think that’s such a great point. It really shifts perspectives on the relationships people share with their dogs.
Eric Ita: I always say – it’s about them feeling gratitude, rather than entitlement. A dog that waits for permission to jump on the couch, or one that simply just jumps up because they feel like it.
OTS Staff: I love that! Between photography, dog training, music and your other projects, how do you juggle it all?
OTS Staff: Mental health is so important! I’m happy that you found a way to manage your heavy to-do list💜
OTS Staff: Fave follow on Insta?
Eric Ita: Who I follow or who follows me?
OTS Staff: Both! 😊
Eric Ita: My favourite person to follow is @iamdulo. He makes voice over content and it’s truly hilarious. He takes popular videos and adds a bit of west african humor to them, and honestly, when you watch it, you forget it’s not the animals or people speaking. lol. You should check it out.
Eric Ita: As far as who follows me, I recently got a follow from John Barrowman,
@johnscotbarrowman-who played Malcom Merlin on my favourite action TV show, “ARROW.” That was really exciting for me but @Jaymesv and his hubby @Jonathanbennett (known for “Mean Girls”) are my favourite, I even took photos and videos for them for people magazine. I know I just mentioned three gays haha. They make great content, what can I say.
OTS Staff: So cool! Their content is fantastic 💜
OTS Staff: Sounds like it can be overwhelming at times to receive so many responses. I like how you use both platforms. Like a TikTok video is a quick summary and an Instagram post can be a chapter.
OTS Staff: Who’s in your DMs?
Eric Ita: My new BFF <3
OTS Staff: 💜 💜 💜
Eric Ita: Okay, in the beginning, I had some girls sending me (fun) videos and photos, and I think they quickly realized I’m not that kind of guy, I’m more of a “FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY” kinda page, so that all stopped. John Barrowman did send me a couple of nice messages, some football players, even Willa Fitzgerald, the actress, but all about dogs really!
OTS Staff: Greatest wish for 2021?
Eric Ita: Greatest wish for 2021, I don’t know what I need to do, but I need to settle down soon, haha.
OTS Staff: Tag a bestie!
Eric Ita: And of course my new bestie, @offthestrip <3
OTS Staff: Thank you so much!