I haven't done a 'Dick of the Week' in an age.....I know, I kind of lost my mojo for a little while back there after losing Ava, Freddie and Levi in such quick succession but OH MY GOD something yesterday had me ROARING back to life with a bloody vengeance!
I got an email from a lovely lady with two young dogs....one a golden retriever, the other a doodle. She had been referred by a friend of hers to seek more information about boarding her dogs with us this coming spring break and told me from the outset that she had had an appalling experience and was scared to leave them with anyone until she heard about our kind, loving and respectful facility where the dogs are treated better than humans. (I had to get a shameless plug in there didn't I?)
Her two dogs had been placed with a 'dog trainer' in Gwinnett County for a month to undergo a board and train program at his facility at a cost of $8000.
Please let that sink in before you read the rest of this, because while I do not think that $1000 a week per dog for a GOOD board and train program is terribly expensive… that's about the norm these days....it is an AWFUL lot of money in this case.
Why? Because her poor dog narrowly escaped with his very life.
After weeks with this vile little Cesar Milan wannabe, the poor dog had to be rushed to the vet at 2am in the morning with a leg so badly infected it was black. It took an age to stabilize the dog and to ensure he would not lose his leg. I mean....Jesus, how does that even happen??? How does a skin issue get left so long that tissue could get so necrotic?
The owner was appalled at how this could happen, the vets too.
The animal hospital urged her to remove her other dog from this man's premises IMMEDIATELY as they were so shocked at the state of the dog brought to them.
The lady got her money back, which is small comfort, and the dog is recovering now, although there is a question mark as to how this trauma has affected the two of them; neither of them have been left unscathed and are beset with fear.
Her words were that they are 'different, fearful, not as confident, super clingy'......oh dear God, the exact opposite of what a dog trainer should achieve.
When this sweet lady told me who the 'dog trainer' was, I was not surprised.
You see, we have had many clients that have previously been through this man's program, and who have come to us afterwards with dogs so broken and with such fear of humans that they have BECOME bite cases, some have had to be treated with anti-anxiety medications, or have needed long stay gentle rehab here at the Ranch to 're-program' them.... there were even two dogs whose owners felt they could no longer safely keep the dogs, the long term damage was so great, and sadly sought to rehome them.
They went in to learn obedience and came away crumbled, frightened, scared to trust, afraid of anyone new in their lives.
I am pretty sure Pete would love me to learn to be better behaved (nah, what am I thinking, he gave up on that years ago) but even HE would probably draw the line at wanting me to end up like that! Maybe just a little duct tape over the entire mouth, that's what he'd prefer....
What is touted as teaching your dog to be 'calm' on this man's website, actually involves the horrific use of shock collars, we know of dogs left in the garage in the heat of the Georgia sun in crates with just the bottom of the garage door lifted/ cracked for ventilation....and clearly no regular health and wellness checks, something all good boarding facilities do every day. To be honest even the crap ones do a better job of maintaining health than this a$$jack.
Today I went on his website and zoomed in on the pictures to see some very nervous dogs, dogs wearing shock collars, humans being shown how to use the shock collar controllers and lots of 'alpha $hit talk' peppered over the pages.
Let me just say this....we have nothing financial to gain from advising you NOT to choose people like this to 'train' or board your dogs. We no longer do obedience training and we only do 'board and rehab' for certain types of cases.
However, because we spend a good part of our lives in rescue and try to keep every dog we know happy and in a loving home environment; we work very hard to educate owners about the perils of 'shock and knock' trainers. We don't want to see dogs scared to the point of needing to be put down, rehomed or constantly sidelined, as dog advocates that appalls us.
While dogs do need to learn boundaries....and discipline is important for ANY animal living with humans, or in any pack situation..... it can NEVER be achieved by scaring the crap out of them, using fear and physical threats to break them down to nothing.
Trust me, after 18 years of helping dogs, I know one million percent that the most effective way to teach a dog ANYTHING, is to appeal to his selfishness.
1) If it feels good he will do it, so make it fun, make it rewarding.
2) If he feels physically threatened by his handler, he will probably not defend himself in that moment and bite said a$$hole, but he will however later turn his fears and anxieties on smaller or weaker members of the pack. Think small children, smaller or older dogs, the easy going wife or gentle husband.....anyone perceived as weaker by him becomes a target. In 18 years I have seen this well over 200 times.
3) Dogs learn vicariously, through repetition, consistency and RESPECT.
Just like humans do.
If theres no respect, theres a big chance someone's gonna find their moment of opportunity and pull a Colonel Gaddafi on your a$$, and if you saw that video you KNOW that wasn't pretty.
Using a shock collar, using a pinch collar and jerking the dog hard to 'teach him who's boss', keeping a dog in a crate for hours on end and scaring him during training sessions, that's just torture. It's not training.
If you got yourself a 'lockdown dog' and he's acting up a bit, jumping up, pulling on the leash or just needs to learn some boundaries, email me and I will put you in touch with a really good, empathic and respectful trainer.
End of Sermon....for now. Mr M, you are officially my Dick of the Week !! 😱😂😂