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I have a large boxer/rot mix that is 2.5 y.o. He was a rescue, and has always been fearful of things. As he has gotten oldern, that fear has become aggression. I decided that a trainer was needed. I found one that had good reveiws, and I met with her. I REALLY liked her when we first met - she immediately pointed our that Dex is afraid first and aggressive second, she believed in only positive reinforcement, and she really seemed to know what she was talking about. I dropped him off for his first day of socialization training a couple days later. When I came to pick him up at 5, the trainer was not there. Another employee informed me that the trainer had put a muzzle on dexter before he met the other dogs, and in an effort to get it off, he ripped BOTH of his dew claws off (the nail). I requested that the trainer call me as soon as she got back to explain how this could happen. She never did. I called her the next morning around 10, and she showed very little remorse for the event. Never apologized for not calling, never even acknowledged that my dog was missing the nails from his dew claws until I brought it up! She said that this had happened before with other dog's she has trained.

My dog has been mopping around for three days now, and won't play. Am I overreacting, or is this something that shouldn't happen to a dog when entrusted to a professional?
 

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I would avoid doing business with this lady again just because she seems reluctant to communicate with you. Regardless of what happened, the lady should at least tell you her side of the story and give details on what happened. I'd take my business elsewhere and not think twice about it. I wouldn't pay her either (unless you have already), but that's just me.
 

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This is one reason why behavior mod should be handled by a behaviorist, and not a trainer. The trainer sounds like she is in way over her head and handling cases that she has no business in.

To answer your question, no, you are not overreacting. No prudent trainer muzzles a dog without conditioning the dog to the muzzle.
 

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Accidents can happen:

I can see how the dewclaws could get ripped off because once you put a muzzle on some dogs will use front paws to rip muzzle off if unsupervised. That being said what was trainer or assistant doing when dog started to act out. Once he started fighting muzzle somebody should have been there to stop him, especially if this had happened before why was she not prepared to handle and stop the problem immediately. I would be asking her if this had happened before how could she let it happen again.

What is outrageous is not calling you immediately when dog got hurt. I would be interested in the reviews as I'm not exactly sure whether reviews and references even though they mean basically the same thing, what or where did the reviews come from. You are not wrong for being concerned about what has happened to your dog.

Any future work with your dog(not with this trainer)you should be there. I'm not sure what socializing training she was going to do because when you put a muzzle on a scared 1st and then agressive dog, this is going to change his whole mental program/attitude. In protection work we do a muzzle attack to test dog's courage. Scared + muzzle is not going to socialize any dog.

In closing this trainer is an idiot, I would get some friends some signs and have a little protest march around her place of business. Get some pictures of the damage done to your dog, blow them up and have fun on your march.
 

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I quit taking my dog to our training classes. The trainer ws frankly quite rude and a b#@#h. I'm looking elsewhere. I know I wasted my hard earned money but I'm not going back to that one. Your have to listen to your gut, find another if your not happy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, if anyone happens to know a trainer in San Diego CA that they could refer me to - I'm clearly on the hunt for a new one. Thanks!
 

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Inexcusable! She knew the dog was afraid and went ahead anyway with a potentially dangerous/damaging approach in the name of Socialization....she doesn't have a clue what that is.

The first step to Socialization is teaching the dog to trust YOU...that you will handle the scary situations/run interference even if that means it has be done 100 yards from the scary thing....that's where you teach your dog calmness and develop his confidence skills...but, you weren't invited.
 

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This trainer has made a bad example for all trainers who are good, who would know what to do and who would be wise enough to know when they are in over their heads.

You are not over reacting. Your dog is now still afraid and has been hurt to reinforce his fears.

There is NO SHAME if you are a trainer and you realize a situation is beyond your ability to handle. We are not born knowing stuff. We have to all be taught. This goes for dogs too. There are trainers who are good behaviorists too, but not this person.

WVasko was gentle in what he would do.. or maybe he is just keeping it civil so he isn't kicked off the Dog Forum. My reaction would be harsher than his and not printable.....
 

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Also, if anyone happens to know a trainer in San Diego CA that they could refer me to - I'm clearly on the hunt for a new one. Thanks!

My lists are slightly out of date and I can't personally vouch for these two but, they are/were Certified Pet Dog Trainers:

Carole Shatz, Best Friend Behavior Training
Lee Wells, Ph.D., A Wells Trained Dog
 

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This trainer has made a bad example for all trainers who are good, who would know what to do and who would be wise enough to know when they are in over their heads.
I agree. You have every right to feel and react the way you have - you've actually handled it considerably well. Needless to say, I most certainly would not contact said trainer ever again. She obviously was proud and ignorant in her ways that she couldn't admit she had no clue what she was doing. From what it sounds like, your dog isn't that dangerous or aggressive, he just needs some guidance.
Best of luck to you!
 
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