Advice needed regarding trainer

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Advice needed regarding trainer

Post by LovelyLaura » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:21 pm


I am hoping to be able to get some advice here - I hope I have posted this in the right place. It isn't about actually training my Charlie, but advice that I really need for how to now deal with my local day care.

The short version of Charlie's history is that he is a Tri-pawd from 10 weeks old, now 6 months, but suffers massively from isolation anxiety to the point where he can physically be left alone. So we found a great day care about 10 minutes from the house. Charlie loves going - will damn near kill himself trying to get out of the car when he knows we are there. The staff are great with him and all just love him. I heard them chatting a few weeks back about future training classes, so I put Charlies name down and forgot about with, with a lot of family things on - mainly Granda's failing health - and then we got a call to say classes were starting. I missed the first one as Granda was rushed to hospital and left poor Charlie at my friends house, and collected him 3 days later! :roll: I knew he was safe, being well fed and having the time of his life, so it allowed me to focus on Granda for those few days. But we went to week 2 and right from the word go I knew something wasn't right. I even feel ill now having to remember it all again! A guy had a GSD on a rope-choker type lead (looped over itself) and the dog was pulling like crazy, but the guy was just pure yanking on this lead. (the way I described it to my other half that night was to picture a few "lads" in an alleyway trying to "attack" a dog, by pulling and yanking at it), I was sitting in pure shock, waiting on someone, if not the trainer, to tell the man to stop! Then he walked, while still dragging this dog, into the middle and called the class to order. :cry:

I felt physically ill the entire class, but I hate confrontation and would have very low self confidence when it comes to standing up for myself or others in a situation, so I didn't say anything, nor did I leave :cry: :cry: I spend an hour watching other dog owners "train" their dogs by yanking on the leads (all on collars, Charlie was the only one who had a harness). Little terrier sized dogs literally gasping for breath and coughing like mad while being dragged around this pen/field. Then the trainer came over to Charlie and me, and rather than the say something, I just said that Charlie would fall over cuz of his 3 legs if he got pulled, and thankfully he just showed me how to hold the lead across my body and dish out treats with my "near" hand which was literally above Charlie's face.

I have no intention of going back to the training classes, and it doesn't sit right with me to be supporting a business (the day care) who knowingly employes a trainer who uses such horrid methods. But the dilema I have is that the next nearest day care to us is a 45 minute drive, and I am currently unemployed, but actively looking for work for financial reasons, so Charlie may have to go back to the day care in future. (Also for any family emergencies, as Granda is on his last few months with us). I don't want to pay the £80 for the 6 weeks of classes (we missed this week as Charlie was neutered), but I am very unsure as to how to present my case to them that I am refusing to pay for the course, but without risking them refusing to let Charlie back to the day care.

I am thinking an evidence based email - where I reference things like the various studies done on dogs who had neck issues, and 91% of them had been "yanked" as a method of correction (I think that is correct off hand), how it makes the dogs supress their concerns rather than actually overcoming them. (Kinda done like a very mini version uni essay, with the list of referneces at the end). Am I being too naive myself to think that giving them "proper" evidence will make them re-think the trainer they have hired??

The trainer also send us all an email without "hiding" our email addresses, and I would really love to send something to the other owners, who literally have no clue how damaging this so called training is for their dogs! (I know I really, really shouldn't do it, but the seem to be genuinely unaware!)

Any and all advice would be greatly welcomed!

And the sooner this industry is regulated, the better for everyone involved, humans and dogs alike!

Thanks, Laura & Charlie xx
Mamma to Charlie - a Lurcher x Collie puppy born in late Jan 2017 :D

Gotcha Day - 22nd March 2017
Tri-pawd Day - 20th April 2017

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Re: Advice needed regarding trainer

Post by Erica » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:45 pm

I would definitely tell the daycare why you won't be returning to class. There is plenty of information about why such methods are harmful, physically and psychologically, for dogs! Asking for a refund is definitely appropriate too.

Here are a couple links to at least get you started: ... dangerous/ ... ling-dogs/ ... ally-point ... lation.pdf (the study referenced in the Dog Star Daily article)
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Re: Advice needed regarding trainer

Post by JudyN » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:59 pm

I would also have a word with the trainer about sending emails that show everyone else's email address. This is NOT good practice and they should not be doing it. And for that reason, I wouldn't send emails to the other people.

If you wanted, you could simply say that you weren't happy with the training methods and you fully intend to train Charlie yourself. You don't need to justify yourself. Though of course if you do manage to make just one person convert to positive training it will be a benefit.
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Re: Advice needed regarding trainer

Post by jacksdad » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:17 am

while it would be awesome to be able to take the time to write up a well thought out and documented email why the methods of the trainer are unnecessary and actually put a dog's well being at risk....

you can also just take the option to say, I refuse to do that (what the trainer is saying you "must" do) to my dog and simply dig your heels in if you don't know all the right "papers to cite".

use phrases like, "I do not authorize you to do X to my dog" or "I choose to NOT do X to my dog, I believe it to be cruel". Note I didn't say feel, though I am sure you do feel it is cruel as do I. it has been my observation that people who use these methods on average do not tend to respond well to "feelings" base comments.

as for a refund, if you can honestly say you were not warned about the methods being used, and you do not agree to them and would not have signed up for the class had you... I don't see any reason you can't ask for refund.

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Re: Advice needed regarding trainer

Post by Tressie » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:06 am

This is a bit late, but wanted to add my 2 cents since I am new to this forum. You have a right to withdraw from any course/training. It is a paid for service and you are not compelled to remain nor pay for something you aren't happy with. It would be tricky to formally complain to the daycare since if they hired him, they likely are aware of his training methods. You don't owe anyone an explanation for withdrawing from the class. People do it all the time. You also do not have to pay for the complete course if you only attended one class. You could figure out how much each class costs by dividing the total fee by the number of classes and then pay for the one class you did attend. That is fair and reasonable and the daycare should not hold it against you in any way.

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