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Zach

REVIEW: "Marj the Dog Trainer" in Tulsa OK

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This evening was to be the first day of obedience training for my 2yo rescue, Lily. In Tulsa OK, there are a surprising number of training options, but the many of the most popular classes are all filled up well in advance. Last week I found "Marj the dog trainer" and caller her on the phone. There was space in her basics class, and she also had advanced classes for my other dog. We've been looking forward to beginning first with Lily, all week.

 

Today my wife, Lily, and myself, arrive excited to the trainer's shop. We walked right in because we thought the 6-10 people with their dogs were there for our class (scheduled to begin in 4 minutes). It turns out the previous class was running long, and we were watching the last few minutes of the earlier class. Marj was walking a ~15lb aussie puppy in the middle of a circle of chairs, mostly adults and puppies in attendance, but some kids there too, all watching as Marj demonstrated. I heard "sometimes you have to ----", and then I don't remember the rest of the sentence because I was so shocked to see this large adult woman grab the puppy by the leash, just at the collar, and jerk the puppy down to the floor... "LIE DOWN!" the puppy wriggles and tries to get up "LIE DOWN!!" and another jerk, now the puppy is in submissive mode and down. That was already more than enough for us. With a look to my wife we were quickly on our way out of there when we heard behind us "LIE - DOWN!!! AND DON'T GET UP AGAIN!" It sounded like a bully holding down a smaller kid on the school yard.

 

The shock of seeing this woman handle this innocent puppy like that was only matched by the reflection afterwards on how many people were sitting there, ok with this. A few months ago I was at the dog park and saw a man pummeling his doberman pincher puppy (~1yr, 40-50lbs) with his fists after it got off leash and didn't come back right away. I took the man aside and clarified that he shouldn't do that again. I don't know what came over me this time, I guess I just wanted to get my Lily away from her, but I regret not speaking up right at that moment in front of the class.

 

I posted a similar review/complaint on the Facebook page for her company and received a response that I should have stayed to learn why it was ok to treat the dog like that, that in the end the puppy was happy, so it was ok. You all can be your own judge of that sort of logic, for me and my family, we don't hurt or scare our dogs to make them listen, even if it takes more time, and more patience to achieve the results we're after.

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I 100% agree with your actions.

 

I'll bet your glad the previous class ran long so you could see the 'trainer' in action

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Good move, I think the problem is that that many people have not realized there has been a huge evolution in dog training and the understanding of how all animals learn. Slowly people are learning that you don't have to be a bully to be successful when training animals, and we can only hope that with time trainers like her will no longer be in business.

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i can say years ago it was still Not OK to treat a horse or a dog like that. it is, was, never right to do that. you did the right thing.

I will never forget as a child watching the one bad incident i saw as a child with horses. I'd say 99 % of the folks around us treated their animals kindly. And many were used for work- horses and dogs.

 

A man was loading a young mare and foal into a stock trailer- the little foal reluctant....as she was so young and the rig unknown. The mare loaded but upon seeing her foal freaked, backed out. The man took to beating that mare and foal most savagely. My Dad stepped in and grabbed the guy by the arm whispering things unheard by me. But the violence stopped. When old Pop came back to me- I may have been 8 or 9 he said, 'I did that for the horses but also for you. Never forget.'

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Such a good thing you got there early and were able to see what was going on.


I wish you the best with finding much better options.

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I agree with Root Beer. It is always a good idea to observe a class first before attending (or paying) for one.

Tea, what a cool story about your Dad. What an awesome memory to have of him!

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Shocking, well, not entirely shocking update:

 

"Marj the dog trainer" was arrested for over 100 counts of animal cruelty. I am SO glad that we got Lily the heck out of there on day one (minute five), but there are still many reviews online singing her praises and her "firm" training style. What a horrible person. I hope that, at the VERY least, this indictment will mean she never has access to the pets of others again, and cannot teach people that hurting you dogs is a viable approach to training... but you just never know if the state will do much on these sort of things.

 

Here's the story:

 

TCSO: Over 100 Animals Found Inside Woman's Home

 

Woman with hundreds of animals in reportedly filthy home arrested on cruelty complaints

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