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selina
6th November 2006, 09:16 AM
William my son, started dog obedience about 8 months ago now. The club wanted me to train with him and I was quite happy to do this. But the instructors for the kids class werent very nice and bullied the kids and really picked on them if they got something wrong. Also it was very boring, all they did was go around witches hats, they werent learning anything about having fun with their dogs. So while the instructors were away trialling, William got to join in the puppy class with the adults and thoroughly enjoyed himself. It was then decided that he would stay in puppy class with the lead instructor and I could go and join in my own class because I could see him anywhere on the oval. Anyway,we couldnt go for about a month. We finally made it back on Sunday and we went to our own respective classes. Well, the kids instructors tore strips off the head instructor saying it wasnt fair on the other kids and that they may as well not have a kids class if this was going to happen. I can understand where they were coming from but I also know I didnt want my son or his dog to be trained by them. And the only compromise was that I stayed with the kids for half the class and then I got to go to my class for the next half. It only goes for an hour, not going to work. So in the end I have to pull William out of training until he is 12. He has mixed receptive expressive dissorder, which means he has trouble comprehending sentences which leads to social immaturity. He was coming forward in leaps and bounds and felt just like everyone else when he was at dog club. Why is it that some people feel the need to upset others and make them feel bad about something they love to do? Its not going to help at 12 its helping now. Everyone at dog club are disgusted by these 2 people. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the instructors meeting that day. So I was just wondering what its like for kids at other clubs? Do they get to have fun and bond with their dogs or are they treated unfairly as well?

judy
6th November 2006, 09:32 AM
That's very upsetting and disappointing. If they treat a child that way, how do they treat dogs? It sounds like the training with the lead trainer in the adult class was a wonderful thing for William, to help with his development and self esteem, how sad and frustrating that those people couldn't feel good about that and realize what an honor it was to play such a positive role. Do you know if the other kids or their parents had complained? I'm really sorry to hear about this. I hope you can find another class where William can experience what he was having with the lead trainer. I hate to hear about authority figures who act judgemental and negative and impatient in that way, they have such an unfortunate impact on those they have power over, and i appreciate that you took William out of there. I hope you can find something else rather than waiting til he is 12. Is there any way to work things out with that obedience school? Could you get a letter from William's doctor, requesting the school's support, so that it would not be a matter of fairness with the other kids, but a special arrangement for special needs? I hope something works out for William about this.

Cathy Moon
6th November 2006, 12:56 PM
I would give up my own class to let William be in the one he likes, if that is an option. And I would keep trying to convince the head instructor to change the policy.

Alison_Leighfield
6th November 2006, 01:35 PM
There is no way on this earth that children should be treated like that. At the club that I attend, we encourage children and make the classes "super fun" so that they really enjoy the joys of dog ownership and responsibility.....we have children that come to us just in the school holidays if they are away at boarding schools etc, we love them to come.

They are such special times watching a bond grow between a dog and child...make it a happy experience for them.

Can you find another club? or take the instructor aside and tell them you don't like what you saw? how can a class be productive with an atmosphere like that to work in, not good for the kids or dogs.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

Maxxs_Mummy
6th November 2006, 01:38 PM
{{{{{{{{Selina and William}}}}}}}} I am completely disgusted by that :( Is there another club you could all go to? I would ask around in local Vets etc to see if there is :) :hug:

Karlin
6th November 2006, 01:44 PM
Selina, that is appalling that such a negative instructor is 1) teaching children and 2) handling dogs. Sadly you see this all the time at dog training places. I know it can be hard to get rid of the bad apples -- but even worse, a lot of the bad apples get a reputation for 'results' based on terrified students and dogs so everyone thinks this is a good way to train dogs and to teach handling dogs.

I'd consider two alternatives, not least because your son was doing so well in other aspects of his life by doing the more rewarding class:

1) Look for a different club and different teaching approach.
2) Consider getting a trainer who will come to your house or who gives semi-private classes and can keep your son happy and active -- maybe the trainer you like? Most give private classes.

You might check out http://www.apdt.com/ to see if they have any classes or trainers close to you as these are rewards-based trainers who make training FUN (and yes it should always be fun for students and dogs. At Tara and Lisa's classes (APDT trained, which is Ian Dunbar's certification -- the Training section has an article on Dunbar) tails are ALWAYS wagging, and everyone has a great time. They always allow a child to join an adult in any class and encourage children to participate. I have seen many happy kids, so excited that the dog is doing what they are cueing it to do! :)

Actually alternative three would be as Cathy suggests -- I'd certainly give up my own class or do one another time to allow William to have this special time as it means a lot to him and he is doing so well. :)

selina
8th November 2006, 11:57 PM
Thanks everyone for your advice. I would change clubs but the next one is about a 2 hour drive away. And I would gladly give up my class if the instructors werent such bullies in the kids class. I think I will try to find a private instructor for Will. I teach him but it isnt the same. I have yet to find out what has happened since I put the complaint in and will find out on Sunday, so I will let you know what happens. And you are right Allison, Summer classes start soon and he is definitly invited to join in then. I have also thought about gaining by instructors certificate again and seeing if I could take the childrens class myself. Its been 12 years since I instructed so I know I need to brush up on a lot of stuff. Anyway I will chat to the president and see what he thinks.

Lisa_T
9th November 2006, 04:05 AM
The other thing is that treating your son as they have is verging on discrimination, given his special needs. If nothing else works, throw the book at them- even just the threat of it can be surprisingly effective. I'm assuming you have something along the lines of our Disability Discrimination Act. Normally I wouldn't advise this- I've seen it used, and abused where it shouldn't be- but in your case if they're being so NASTY I think you're justified.

selina
9th November 2006, 05:46 AM
Thanks Lisa T. If the situation gets any nastier I will consider that. But I also dont want to feel like I am stooping to their level, even though it is my right to do that. By the way your avatar is just gorgeous.