Not happy with trainer

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    My husband and I adopted a dog about a month ago. The rescue foundation recommended a trainer. I saw her name on several resue sites and thought she had a good reputation so we signed up online. The class wasn’t cheap, $175, but we feel good experience is worth it.

    Last Monday was the first class. Four hours before the class I get an email telling us what supplies to bring: treats, blanket for our dog, chairs for us, etc. Included on this list was a MANDATORY 10 foot leash and a 30 foot leash. It said if we show up to class without them we would be given the leashes and charged $40 for them!!! I was still at work and didn’t have time to go to the pet store.

    My gripe is WHY DIDN’T SHE TELL ME ABOUT THE MANDATORY LEASHES WHEN WE SIGNED UP FOR THE CLASS OR WHEN WE SPOKE ON THE PHONE TWO DAYS BEFORE!!! I signed up for the class three weeks prior to the first class and there was also no mention of the mandatory leashes on her website when we signed up.

    I just feel like it was very sneaky and underhanded of her to do that at the last minute. She also pushed people to buy from her “doggy treat bar” during the class. I felt like I was at a timeshare seminar.

    Has anyone had similar experiences? I would have left the class but she has a no refund policy so I would be out $175. I can’t afford to throw money away. Does anyone have any suggestions?


    We have been to many training series (different instructors)
    and have not had the experience you did. The instructors
    would suggest supplies, but often would provide a toy or
    whatever for people to share in class.

    My sense is that you should make this situation known to
    the director of the shelter who referred you to this trainer.

    I totally agree with you the class members should have been
    told prior to class what the expectations for supplies,etc were.

    I visited and spoke personally to the instructors before signing up
    for the classes. I wanted to see their facility and get a sense of
    if it would be a good match for us.

    I’m sorry you had this situation, no one likes to feel pressured
    into buying. The classes should be a time for you and your
    pet to learn the lessons and bond.


    I can certainly understand your gripe. As a class instructor myself, her business practices are not at all professional. Yes trainers do sell equipment needed for class if owners don’t have or can not find them. I gave my students a week along with a list of local places to get the equipment. I agree more notice should have been given. Price gouging is certainly not good business practices. The 10 ft and 30 ft leashes she talks about are cotton web lines and not leather or nylon. Not your typical training leashes. Here is a web site so you can see what they really cost. $11.00 total plus shipping cost.


    I would have a serious talk with this trainer about her business practices and explain you don’t want to be in this class and demand a refund. If this is a class through your local Parks and Recreation Dept. report this to them. They are the ones that give her permission to use the park.

    If you paid by check can you stop payment on the check, if buy credit card call and dispute the charges. You could always sue her in small claims court. I bet you would get a refund from her then.

    If she has a business licence in your area, report her to the people who issue her licence. Call them anyway to see if you need a business licence to teach dog training in your town and ask if she has one. They can shut her down is she doesn’t have one. Call the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint.. I would also call or write a letter to every rescue group that recommends her to explain your complaint. Letter to the editor of your local paper.

    Stand up for professional business practices and take action.


    Thanks for all the advice. I will keep it in mind. I think we’ll try one more class and see how it goes. I’m going to try chatting nicely with another participant that has been to more than one of her classes and see if what I experienced is typical. Another item that I though was unprofessional is that she holds her “classes” on the back side of a parking lot of a medical building. I really question why so many rescue shelters (at least three I know of) recommend her. So far I haven’t seen or heard anything that makes her so special.

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