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It was just too much, Lexi was MISERABLE the entire time. She whined and cried, had her ears down, cowered down on the floor, I was just about in tears! This was the worst she's ever been there, she was clearly UNHAPPY and I had had enough! I told my husband we couldn't do this to her anymore and he agreed. The instructor was upsetting me so much, she kept going up to the dogs, yanking the leash from their owner and jerking the leash HARD with both hands when the dogs "misbehaved" (normal dog behavior in my opinion, I'm sure most of them were just protesting the treatment they were receiving!) She even had this little tiny dog, like a little rat terrier with a prong collar on! He was a little growly but I don't think a prong collar was necessary!

Then at one point in the class I got so upset I just told my husband to please take Lexi and the instructor then said to the whole class "Sometimes your spouse can handle your dog better than you can because you aren't the one working with them"!!!! Was I ever pissed! Uh, excuse me, but I AM the one with her all day, I AM the one working with her ALL THE TIME and the reason she's not cooperating is that she hates YOUR class! Argggh! It was humiliating to be called out in front of all these strangers and made to feel so stupid.

Once we left Lexi was like a different dog, she practically skipped out of there and to the car, was very happy to get out of there. When we got home I did a few tricks with her and she performed beautifully. So we will be doing our training at home while continuing to look for opportunities to socialize her with other dogs and people. And I'm going to check into the classes her breeder offers in the Spring. I'm also going to see if anyone in a 50 mile radius offers any kind of puppy socialization class, I know she's a BIG puppy, but she's still a baby and would benefit from a class like this.

Thanks SO MUCH for all the good advice you've all given me, I feel good that I have gone with my gut feeling about what is best for my dog, anything that makes her so unhappy is not good, I want her trained of course but I want her happy too!

Beth
 

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Good thing you quit THAT class. That trainer needs to get out of training. Please consider finding another class but first sit in on a couple sessions without Lexi to see how the dogs are in the class, what the atmosphere is like, and what the trainers' methods are. That's the best way to evaluate a class, a time when you can concentrate on the class itself without paying attention to your dog.

Best wishes, you did the right thing!
 

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Wow. I have been having trouble in obedience class but nothing like yours!! Noone has ever held the leash but me!! I'm sure your pup was afraid when a big stranger started jerking her around.

Good Job for standing up for your pup and yourself!!
 

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It is just a horrible traumatic experience for the pup. What is wrong with that trainer?. I'm glad you quit thar class, please convey your complaints to their supervisor or whomever the responsible person is so that that trainer can't destroy other puppies.
 

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Good for you! You have to stand up for your dog in situations like this!

Where are you at in Michigan? I might be able to offer some ideas
 

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Good for you!

The first trainer I had wanted to take my dog and correct him. I told him that I'm the only one that's going to hold the leash and nobody else gets to correct him or train him. Well, I lost $1,000 when the guy turned into an ass and I walked out. (The contract stated no refunds, but I made sure to at least post my horrible experience on Angies list. Hey, they guy didn't even know that sits are automatic during heeling.)

Now I'm a member of a great training club that my dogs love.
 

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Good for your for standing up for your dog. I have taught some basic OB classes. If I saw the handler and the dog both struggling I would ask the owner if I could handle their dog. Once they could watch me having their dog do an excercise they helped them out a lot. I never handled a dog without the owners permission and only did if both the dog and the handler were struggling.

I don't believe in yank and crank, that just teaches the dog not to trust people and makes it difficult for Vets, Vet Techs and Groomers. The dogs in my classes all trusted me, when they came into class each dog came up to me to say hello. They were happy and excited like what fun stuff are we going to do tonight.

There are good OB instructors and there are bad OB instructors. I had a couple people who came to the Intro session that wouldn't come to my classes because I wouldn't allow Choke Collars. They were arguing with me that they wern't harmful. I told that those were the rules of my classes and the were free to not attend.

Keep looking for a different trainer and different place.

Val
 

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A hug for Lexi and you -

Having a great young dog with potential and having the means, time, and dedication to work on that potential should be a positive if not downright fun experience where you come home full of brags as proud parents or humbled parents at how much you both learn. Clearly, this was not the case and getting out was the best choice. Dogs are typically empathic with their humans and soaking up your distress in addition to their own is a bad thing.

From a less objective standpoint, I admire your self-control. No matter whose dog, seeing anyone jerk a leash hard for any reason less than to protect the dog/human, let alone under the guise of training/correction, can take me from Zen to boiling in no time flat. Then adding insult to injury would have really iced the cake.
 

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good for you!!
 

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Bravo for you. Good Luck finding a better trainer, they are out there. Maybe you can find one on a local chat board, but the earlier suggestion about previewing a class is an excellent one. OB trainers are not different than other teachers, some are good, some are not.
 

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I'm sorry for your bad experience, but there really are good trainers out there. My sister quit a training class years ago for the same reason. This lady was brutal with my sister's dog who was a shy, submissive girl. She insisted on using a chain choke collar on her and at one point hung her up in the air when she wouldn't sit! We walked out at that point. Found another trainer who put a nylon collar on Kelsey and trained with positive reinforcement. It made all the difference in the world -- she graduated with honors from that class.
 

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Sounds like the best decision you could have for Lexi and for yourself. That trainer sounds she needs to be "reeducated."

Great job looking after your team's best interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am in Owosso, halfway between Flint and Lansing. I'd be willing to drive to either of those places if had to (as long as the weather doesn't get worse!)

Beth
 

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good for you! You defintily did the right thing. I'm sure lexi is a lot happier, I like that name, lexi. it's pretty. I hope you find a better trainer, and always remember to ask questions.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that the trainer was so awful, but glad to hear that you chose to leave. Unfortunately, with the force-style training that you described in this class, the instructors kind of expect a considerable drop-out rate and it doesn't really matter to them since they keep the money anyhow.

This trainer is stuck in the "old school" methods - in this day and age, with all the information available on positive reinforcement training methods, it just amazes me that there are still people who want to train using compulsion as a primary part of their method.

It looks like you'll stick with the more positive training methods and I'm sure that you'll find some way to continue with distractions and socialization. Good luck!

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Quote: And I'm going to check into the classes her breeder offers in the Spring. I'm also going to see if anyone in a 50 mile radius offers any kind of puppy socialization class, I know she's a BIG puppy, but she's still a baby and would benefit from a class like this.
Glad to hear that though you found that wasn't the class for you, you are smart enough to continue to look for classes that would be a better fit. There can be a HUGE difference, and it may mean you have to widen your area a bit. I know I drive over an hour to my classes, but they are worth it. And I just add socialization and hikes and shopping to the day to make it not just ALL about class, but a real part of the day for my dogs and I.
 

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I'm glad to hear you were able to leave that class - and not a minute too soon, it sounds to me!

Remember, just because a person is a trainer doesn't mean you have to allow them to do things to your dog that you are uncomfortable with, and it certainly doesn't mean they can be rude or abusive to you in front of the whole class. You're paying them to teach you how to train, NOT to abuse you or frighten your dog. If you're uncomfortable with something, stand up and say so, the first time it happens. You don't have to put yourself or your dog through something that is clearly not working for either of you.
 
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