Everyone who knows me knows I love animals, especially dogs. For some years now I’ve enjoyed competing in Obedience and Rally trials with my three dogs who have had just as much fun as I have. It’s all a big game to them that gets them lots and lots of praise and treats. What’s not to love?
Cruel trainers is what’s not to love!
My dogs and I have been involved in two dog clubs since we moved to South Australia, the primary one where we’ve been for a few years now and a second local one. I thought it would be a good idea to join the local club-smaller numbers, close to where I live, I could help out where needed etc etc.
At first the local club seemed lovely, friendly trainers, social interactions, lots of dogs of course. How wrong could I have been. A number of incidents involving harsh treatment of dogs alarmed me but I thought it could be fixed with more information and communication. Not so unfortunately. No one wanted to know. Surely a harness such as the one pictured, or a haltie would be a kinder and more effective option than a choke chain, which after all only tells a dog what not to do, never letting it know when it is doing what the handler wants. As I just said-no one wanted to know.
Two incidents pushed me over the edge. The first was the clubs insistence on issuing choke chains to new handlers to use on their baby puppies with only the very minimal training on how they should be fitted. I tried to get that policy reviewed but ran into a blank refusal from the puppy trainer and no help from the head trainer.
Second incident. Drove into the parking area in time to see the head trainer jerking a dog from side to side on an extremely short lead, choke chain pulled tight while at the same time screaming at him to stop barking. Actually he couldn’t bark-it was all he could manage to keep breathing! The dog’s owner was there, just watching on and doing nothing to help her poor dog.
I decided then and there that there was no way that trainer was ever getting near any of my dogs. So I left. Reported the club to the local council and on their advice, the RSPCA and the State body and let the club know what I had done. Not sure if it’ll do any good, but if nothing else at least the club is now aware that people are watching.
What is wrong with people? The saddest thing is that people get away with this sort of behaviour and the dogs get the blame. And the dogs have no voice.