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Old 11-15-2012, 05:43 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Bogie started Basic Obedience at Petsmart at 6 months old. There were three other dogs in the class, all big and from shelters. Believe it or not, it was a great class. The trainer had all of the big dogs held by their owners on a very short leash and let Bogie run free and interact with the big dogs at his own pace. Because of the size difference, Bogie was the only dog ever off leash. Using common sense seems to be lacking in a lot of trained professionals. I have worked with great trainers and some very bad ones.

The end line is you have to be your dog's advocate. Many trainers do not understand the needs of small dogs, just as many vets do not understand that toy dogs may need to be treated differently. Good luck with the training class.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:01 PM   #52 (permalink)
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I'd tell her there is absolutely nothing to discuss. If she pushes you, simply tell her you disagree with the training methods used in the class and that you have a picture to show that your pet was not in an appropriate setting that would best meet her needs.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nicolen412 View Post
My gosh I am so sorry about your little puppy!! That trainer does sound super horrible.

To offer some alternative advice though, I disagree with most people about letting your little one about being near big dogs. I take Arthur to the dog park and the big dogs are VERY GOOD with him. I think it is because they are all a bit older. The only issue I had was with a lab puppy but he was only being rough cos he too was young and Didnt know how to be gentle. But he had an EXTREMELY good owner who always kept him under control and leashes him whenever he got too rough. I think overall your pup needs to be introduced to both types of dogs just so he is aware of what Is round him?

Before I took Arthur to the dog park a trainer I hired Brought his exceptionally well trained Rottweilers to play with Arthur. They were super massive but it taught him to get used to another dog more importantly a big one


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Please be careful with Arthur.

Every year in my state alone we have at least 5 news reports about a small dog getting mauled by a larger breed.

NOT because the dog was aggressive at all! They were friendly and social dogs!

But because the little dog ran off to play and in just one instant it looked like a "rabbit" or other prey animal and the big dog shot off and killed the little dog. I remember one story where the lady was actually standing near her little dog playing with him and a large dog from the other side saw it as a rabbit.... it wasn't good.

It's always sad and so heartbreaking because the little dogs die and the large dogs have to be put down as well

It's just not a good idea. It just takes 1 second.

Grace and Gus are both socialized with large dogs. But in a one on one type situation. And highly supervised and contained. They are not allowed to play together. Just calmly coexist.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:31 PM   #54 (permalink)
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The fact that your puppy was outweighed by every dog there by at least twenty lbs and was put in that situation by a trained 'professional' is outrageous. Don't let her turn this around on you and make it be about you enabling her to be scared.

And how could she possibly know that each of those puppies was not aggressive? That is a huge liability on her part.

I never ever let my dogs 'met' large breed dogs that I do not know, no matter how many times the owner says 'they're friendly' And you know what? They are socialized just fine without that interaction. I know what you mean about not being a confrontational person but this is something you need to stand your ground about and get your b*tch on. She was wrong and she can try to justify it all she wants but she scared your puppy unnecessarily.

So sorry you are going through this!
Good post

I would NEVER listen to another word of this wannabe trainer. She is a quack. I never let Zooey meet a large dog I don't know well. Accidents can happen, not only by big dogs who are aggressive, but also by their size/energy. So sorry you had this horrible experience. Try not to learn from it and move on so your baby won't pick up on your upset feelings.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:34 PM   #55 (permalink)
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My Peetle was also 3.5 lbs when she first went to Puppy class. She cowered behind my leg for the first seven weeks of the total eight weeks of class; on the eighth week, she decided she wasn't going to get trampled, and jumped out to play with the other dogs..on her leash, as ALL the dogs were, all the time.
I wouldn't take my dog back to a class like what you describe; a puppy cowering in the corner is clearly terrified and that benefits her in NO way anyone can see. Also, I saw nothing from that trainer explaining how she would handle it if one of those larger puppies 'playfully' decided your baby stimulated its prey drive and it decided to bite her and shake her like a squeak toy or bite her leg in half, Was this expert trainer going to pay your vet bills if your puppy's leg was broken by an overly rough bigger dog? Maltese pups are notoriously delicate little things, especially at THREE AND A HALF POUNDS...grrrrrr. That trainer really is getting under my skin and that photo you took...double grrr. What she wants to say to you other than 'OMG I am so sorry about that all and no big dogs will be around your teensy pup off the leash again' is just beyond me, although the idea of her putting it on you and your pup is probably the safest bet, as others have pointed out.
I really like the idea of you socializing her at the dog daycare where the big and small dogs are separated; it's just safer and when Peetle used to get groomed, that's what they did there. (They were also a dog daycare--small dogs were kept with the small dogs who had grooming appts, big dogs with big dogs, it all was simple as could be). She would play with the other Malts, Yorkies, Shi Tzus and Chins and the GSDs, Labs and whatever giant dogs that thought she was a tiny stuffed toy were kept far from her. I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what I hope you do, and that's keep that little sweetiehead away from people willing to traumatize her into a cowering ball in the corner. No puppy needs that.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:32 PM   #56 (permalink)
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I'm guessing this trainer wants to "discuss this further" with you in hopes that you will return and give her more $$$!!! Stand your ground, girl! I would NOT take my puppy back there!!! I would write reviews on her so other small dog owners will beware to take their small pup to this trainer. I am spiteful like that

Honestly, I would be hesitant to take my Maltese (or other toy breed) to a puppy class if they were puppies just because they will be SO MUCH smaller than the other pups... and I am paranoid! I worry about large breeds ALL THE TIME for what was mentioned already, that they could be aggressive or just see my white fluffs as bunnies...my worst fear. I even get nervous when my Lisa gets too rough with Ozzie...he is so gentle and he truly owns my heart
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:35 PM   #57 (permalink)
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This is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable! It FAR TO DANGEROUS to let a tiny dog be in the same area as much larger dogs. ALL respectable trainers know this and make accomidations for small dogs. I would absolutely demand my money back and find a trainer that has either small dog classes or a seperate area for small dogs. Unfortunately not all trainers are created equal. But by all means dont go back there! She does need to be socialized perhaps having a doggie party with small dogs that are already social is a good idea.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #58 (permalink)
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She called me and left a voicemail where she said that there are serious fear issues (no kidding!) and that she is a trained professional and would never allow my puppy to get hurt. She wants to discuss this with me further. Ugh.
Be your puppy's advocate. You know what is best for her. Don't take her back to that class. It is non-negotiable.

Your poor puppy was horribly traumatized by this experience. You were lucky she wasn't physically hurt, but who knows how much she was hurt mentally? If she had fear issues before the class, that idiot just showed her that she has a right to be afraid.
Be firm about not returning to the class and ask for a refund. If she is not willing to refund your money, get tough. Dispute the credit card charge or file a complaint with your Attorney General's Office. File a complaint with your Better Business Bureau.
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