This post is a little long - hope you guys can help me with the situation.
Kipawa and I were at our obedience class last night. I've been liking this class because there are just 3 dogs in it. The company has 5 fulltime CPDT-KA trainers. Classes are purposely kept small so each individual and their dog get lots of attention in an hour long class.
Last night one dog, a black standard poodle mix, was acting up. A man usually comes to class with her, but this time the man and his wife were there, with the man sitting off to the side. His wife was working with the dog because she has been having problems controlling the dog (Kato) and it has even been biting her.
The trainer (head trainer and owner) was explaining something and I was listening intently. Then, all of a sudden, right out of the blue, and without warning the trainer yells 'okay, that is enough, you get out of here, we don't want you here' and other harshly toned words at the top of her lungs, and she has good lungs. My eyeballs almost blew out of my head, because I thought the trainer forgot to take some medication she needed and had 'lost it'. I wondered how long it would be before the men in white barged through the door in the class (and I mean no disrespect to those who need brain meds, as I take some myself).
The trainer marched over to the big poodle mix and angrily forced it out the door, leaving the leash in the door as she closed it, so the dog could not get away once outside. Then, as she walked back into the class, she smiled and said "I have been waiting for that to happen". THAT was apparently the dog biting the woman - probably has happened before and that is why the woman was working with the dog. I don't think anyone else in the class saw the dog bite her, but that's probably because we were intent on listening to the trainer. So, no one would have anticipated what was going to happen.
Her action was so jarring and out of control to me, and my nerves were almost spilling out of my ears. Kipawa sat more still than I have ever seen him, and hugged in close to my leg. For me, it didn't matter what the trainer explained afterwards - my concentration was gone and I think Kipawa's was as well, based on how he was working the remaining of the class. I couldn't remember my left from my right, forgot about when to 'click', and generally felt on edge when it was our turn to do something in front of the class. Yes, I know biting is a big no-no, but was that the best way to handle it?
The trainer checked on the dog a number of times, and deemed it not to be 'ready' to join back into the class. We could hear the dog whimpering and barking outside. Kipawa had started to chew on his leash and she quickly came over with some Bitter Apple and soaked the leash. Of course, he stopped. Finally she let the poodle back in, and by the end of the class the dog was lying by the female owner's legs. For that dog, the whole incident took up the length of the class - the only 'training' he got was punishment for the biting.
Kipawa is a gentle, sweet basenji who has never experienced anything like that. After the 'incident', he was not taking my training cues. She came over and had him work with her, and he did perfectly. I think he was just freaked out by her. Now, I don't like all of Cesar Millan's training concepts, but I do believe that being calm is pretty important. Couldn't she just have walked the dog out of the door without blasting out her lungs?
I hesitate to sign up for more training with this trainer, even though she is thought of around here as the cream of the crop. Perhaps I could try a class with a different trainer? I'm just so concerned now about what could happen to Kipawa if he really started acting up in class. This trainer also puts barking dogs outside a door as well - she allows no barking in class.
P.S. Andrea Stone - if you are reading this I wish you lived closer to us!