I was very, very, very familiar with this business. I believe the original owners/trainers retired and their children took over. The really bad reputation the business had for harsh training was aimed at the original owners., although it has lingered around the children.
During the almost six years that I did temperament testing for the humane society in Boise, we could almost always tell a Scotch Pines dog by their fear of "doing the wrong thing". They were obedient, but in a very robotic way.
Often owners would include their "graduation" certificate from the training class when they surrendered the dog. Looking at paperwork was always last, after the evaluation. And it was sad how frequently we were able to ID the Scotch Pines dogs. I have known several people over the past almost thirteen years who have taken their dogs through that school, and those dogs also show those same, telltale signs of heavy handed training. I don't know anyone who has used them in the past nine or ten years.
Now, that being said...in 2006 or 2007, a woman approached the humane society and asked if she could display brochures advertising her training services at the shelter, by the cash register. She was the daughter or daughter-in-law of the original Scotch Pines owners. The shelter denied her the display.
It could very well be that the new and improved Scotch Pines is not as heavy handed as the original. The original owners were Koehler all the way. The "dog people" locally have continued to stay away from Scotch Pines. They tend to go with someone who trains specifically for a sport (like obedience for agility or obedience for competition).
I don't know. I find it hard to believe that the children could have learned much that was different from their parents. They learned how to train from the parents. But it could be that they noticed the business was in a major decline because of the reputation and decided they had to soften it? I would not use them for any of my dogs and I don't recommend them. I am not necessarily uncomfortable with making corrections, but I don't like how dogs trained with compulsion respond.
Last edited by sit,stay; 01-03-2013 at 10:25 PM.