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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
SO, tonight was my first night in a class designed for people working on their CDX. I hadn't met the people or dogs who were in the class with me. My dog had been in the building twice.

A person walked in late. I used to train with her at another faucility. I quit because because she started using a shock collar to correct a bobbled dumbell grab. Her dog had charged mine several times. In addition to this, if her dog sinks on a long sit-stay, she lifts it by its prong collar while yelling at it. The dog screams. We ended up next to each other on the out of sight sits and downs. When that happened, I said, EXACTLY, "Our dogs have a history. Can we put a dog between them?" I said this to the group.

The woman went nuts and ended up storming out of the training center even though everyone was willing to put a dog between us.

I asked for a dog between us due to conflict between the dogs, as hers has charged mine several times, and because my dog wilts and might bolt when a dog is being corrected to the point of screaming right next to him.

Was I out of line? I attempted to apologize and she threw her arms up and yelled, "EXCUSE ME!" and wouldn't talk. She ran into a pole while she did this. She was over-the-top angry at me. She was ultimately banned from the place where we used to train, but I quit because of her long before they threw her out. Ironically, we are both at a new training center because of her training methods.

What should I have done differently? I feel terrible that I upset her that much. It was such a scene for everyone. I repeatedly apologized to all of the class members and to the owners of the center. I feel horrible.
 

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I think you were more than polite. I probably wouldn't have even tried to apologize for her anger management issues.
 

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People don't react like that if they don't feel guilty. She probably has trouble controlling herself and knows it. Not your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Paws9--

I was hoping to hear from you. I know how much experience you have and I value your opinion. I felt horrid about causing a scene. But in replaying it, I don't know how I could have worded it any differently. I should have tried harder to be in a different position,but I hadn't anticipated the drama. Perhaps I should have.
 

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I don't think you did a single thing wrong. She's a grown woman who should be able to understand your very reasonable request and not have a temper tantrum over it.



Also, I admit without shame that I probably would have laughed my hiney off if I saw her walk into a pole.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Willowy-- I wondered about the "guilty feeling" too. Her reaction was so out of proportion to what I said... She must have been feeling like crap anyways and I pushed her into the abyss... I wish I would take it all back and have placed myself in the front of the line... I didn't know how the class flowed, so I wasn't aware that we were transitioning to the stationary exercies....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The whole "pole incident" gave the experience a "sitcom" feel. I didn't know that those things happened in real life. I was so upset and busy trying to diffuse the situation that it didn't occur to me to laugh...

I need a back bone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am seriously undone by all of this. I don't know how I will return to my classes. I paid for $200 worth of classes. It's a lot of money to leave behind. I already lost money when I left the last place where I was a student with this woman. I didn't get a refund when I didn't go back.

My classmates and the owner/trainer of the faciluty all say that she's crazy. It still doesn't make me feel much better.

I feel wretched about causing a scene.
 

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I am seriously undone by all of this. I don't know how I will return to my classes. I paid for $200 worth of classes. It's a lot of money to leave behind. I already lost money when I left the last place where I was a student with this woman. I didn't get a refund when I didn't go back.

My classmates and the owner/trainer of the faciluty all say that she's crazy. It still doesn't make me feel much better.

I feel wretched about causing a scene.
You didn't cause a scene. You made a reasonable request and SHE caused the scene. My guess is that the instructors and classmates don't think any less of you because a crazy lady blew up in your face. Let it go and continue with the classes if you like them.
 

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That woman sounds nuts! The only thing I can say is that I might have talked to the teacher about it privately instead of opening it up to the group. That might not have been possible given the timing of how the situation unfolded but it was probably the group embarrassment that made her go off. She probably still would have snapped if she'd been approached privately but you wouldn't have been directly involved in her melt down. Bottom line though, you are not responsible for her crazy behavior.
 

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That was absolutely not you at all. I think the onus was on her from the get-go knowing her dog had gone after your dog to maybe stand someplace else in the room. You made a reasonable request in a polite way, and she flipped out -- probably because she was nuts. I think if you're really concerned about having upset the class, call or email the instructor (or go early to chat next time), and express your concerns about what happened, and ask how the situation can be avoided in the future (assuming crazy comes back with her dog again).
 

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Agreed. Don't let her level of crazy make you feel bad. You made a reasonable request and she flipped out, her problem not yours.

I'm with Sassafras, I'd have been laughing over her reaction I think.
 

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I think what you did was fine. You're not responsible for her irrational, over the top reaction.

As for the situation, I would probably just move my dog to a different spot without saying anything. Depends how the class was structured though.
 

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In addition to this, if her dog sinks on a long sit-stay, she lifts it by its prong collar while yelling at it. The dog screams.
When the dog next to mine is about to receive a mild correction for breaking position, I'll go back in to feed my dog.

When the dog next to mine is about to receive a harsh correction, I'll go back in, feed, and calmly remove my dog from the entire situation. No permission required nor apologies forthcoming, at least not from my end. Frank discussion with head instructor forthcoming.


That aside, I fully support your desire to be pro-active. It's the much wiser, more intelligent, and safer thing to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys.

There was no way for me to move without asking. I didn't know how the class flowed, so all of the other people were in position. That left me and my "friend" at the end.

For the out-of-sights, we were all to leave the building. There was no window to watch through, so I would have no way to know what was happening inside. I had given clear instructions on how to handle my dog if he made a mistake, which was ignore him and get me, but I wouldn't know what my "friend" was doing. We are going to try for our first CDX leg in 3 weeks, so I really wanted to leave him and make sure we were at the right point in our training to trial.

Bad situation. I won't get caught in it again. If I had known she was going to flip out, I would have just excused myself from the exercise or stayed right there with him. It just didn't occur to me that it was a big deal. And I said that "Our dogs have a history," not that her dog was a problem... I feel less horrible about it today, but I still wish I had handled things better.
 

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Honestly I don't know what you could have done differently short of punishing yourself for her mistakes (e.g. pulling yourself out of the whole exercise). I don't think saying your dogs have a "history" is insulting at all. Most dog people understand (or should understand) that dogs are not people, and sometimes dogs snap at each other, even normally well-behaved dogs. You did the right thing and if I were you, I wouldn't feel weird about it at all. If you're really concerned, maybe a word with the instructor before class next time?
 

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I know you're feeling bad about this, but I cannot stop laughing at the image in my mind of you politely making a reasonable request and her flipping out and walking into a pole. COME ON. If you saw that happen to someone else, there's no WAY you'd be blaming the person who asked. You'd think that lady was just as crazy as all of us and all of the people in your class do.
 
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