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Discussion Starter #1
I just wanted to put up an update to the rally class issue I had last month.

I felt really hurt by their actions, but I did want to reach out to hear their side of the story. I emailed them because a good friend who has been training there for years said there must be some kind of misunderstanding. So I emailed the instructor himself to see if he had could explain anything. He referred me to the VP of the organization, who promptly told me she was busy and would get back to me later.

So I waited a while. Three weeks to be precise.

When she finally got back to me, it was basically a form reply. The standard "thank you, but this was not the right fit" that was probably copy-pasted straight from another message. Not really something that needed a week to write, but I figured I'd follow up to see if there was anything else they could share. If there was a legitimate problem, I actually wanted to work in good faith to make my dog better - that's the whole reason I wanted to go there!

And then after another delay came her curt final reply - "we reserve the right to not train any dogs we choose."

And for me, that was the final sign. If there's a problem, it's easy to list it out a specific behavioral problem. Dog is too bouncy, dog is too aggressive (certainly plenty of those at the club, so maybe not this one...), dog doesn't understand the commands, and so on. If it's a training club, why give a blow-off answer? Rhetorical question: the answer's because you just don't like someone and you don't want them there.

It's a frustrating answer, but at least it's an answer. So in conclusion, I tried to keep it friendly/neutral in my messages, so to get such a frosty response about trying to improve my dog (again, why we're all there) is telling. So many people kept telling me that maybe it was some kind of misunderstanding or that Lucky needs more training. Now, it's at least satisfying to see that my intuition was correct about these people.
 

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What I find odd, is that the instructor bumped your question to club management, rather than responding directly to you. I think that’s unprofessional. If the objective is to have your dog succeed, how about a concrete evaluation and a roadmap? What would it take and how can I get there? You are a serious and committed trainer with a credentialed dog so “We reserve the right...” is chilling.
 

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i think i would consult a civil rights attorney. as someone with a hearing problem, it sounds like these folks are pushing you out because of that issue. if not, and it's your dog, they need to explain what about your dog makes him unacceptable. i have seen the most reprehensible behavior at my aoao by hardhearted people. i had to blast a couple of board members recently for ugly behavior. sorry if it's made me cynical, but i think you do need to look at the issue of discrimination.
 
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I think you need to look at the situation logically. Like I said in your other post, many people have been asked to leave the Rally class I'm in at my training club because they weren't ready yet, but you keep dismissing that as a possible reason. Yes, it would have been nice if the trainer had told you that you weren't ready the first time you came. Yes, training club people can be curmudgeons. Most of us who are a little younger or inexperienced have experienced feeling like an outsider when we first come to a training club. I noticed on 10/11 you wrote some very negative reviews about the club on Google and Yelp--which is understandable since you had a bad experience--but perhaps that could be the reason they don't want you there?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've gone over what happened with several trainers who also train at this club or other clubs. Everyone was pretty appalled by what happened to me given how Lucky behaves in real life. These are people who I train with on a consistent basis.

If they really were in good faith, they'd actually address the review. They never said any specific behavioral problems from day 1. It was easy to have addressed the review with specific behaviors problems. They can't name one even when I asked on multiple occasions BEFORE the review went up. The answer is totally very logical, they treated me very differently after I came in with my Gillum shirt right before midterm elections. You know what, I started this thread because I am certain what happened to me but people can believe what they want and I don't care.
 

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I think you need to look at the situation logically. Like I said in your other post, many people have been asked to leave the Rally class I'm in at my training club because they weren't ready yet, but you keep dismissing that as a possible reason. Yes, it would have been nice if the trainer had told you that you weren't ready the first time you came. Yes, training club people can be curmudgeons. Most of us who are a little younger or inexperienced have experienced feeling like an outsider when we first come to a training club. I noticed on 10/11 you wrote some very negative reviews about the club on Google and Yelp--which is understandable since you had a bad experience--but perhaps that could be the reason they don't want you there?
I think that after writing a bad review about the business that you should have just left it as it is. A business isn't likely to be super helpful to someone that has left bad reviews about them.
Since none of us were there, and it sounds like the trainers and friends you talked to were also not there, none of us can really take sides. In my business (dog grooming), and from going to training classes, I have seen people read things wrong, especially people that aren't DOG people (trainers, groomers, vet techs etc). I don't know you, but I have seen a lot of people that love dogs but don't have a lot of 'dog sense'. In some training classes I just about want to grab people's dogs and train them myself cause watching their attempts that just don't make sense (and they maybe think they're doing what the instructor wants but actually doing something totally different) drives me nutty.
From your post about how often dogs should go out and you wondered why your dogs had accidents when they only went out 2 times a day, maybe you just don't realize how the trainer and other experienced dog people were viewing your dog and your handling skills.
I'm not trying to be mean but I can see how there could definitely be a misunderstanding between what you thought was happening and what was actually happening as I have certainly seen that before.
I think that you should just leave it as is and train with the people who feel that you and your dog fit into their training program.
 

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As I think I have said elsewhere related to this topic I have been on both sides of this fence in one way or another. I have felt like the outsider with certain training groups and I did just decide to move on when I decided there was nothing for me to gain with my dog(s) in those settings. Why spend money with people who don't intend to treat you as you would expect. I have also told people that their dogs were not "right" for the class they wanted to do with me including excusing someone from a rally "A" match that I judged for a club that was applying to be able to offer rally and obedience trials. For those who don't know an "A" match is treated exactly like a trial. The runs are scored and there is no training in the ring. One person was yelling at her dog and disturbing novice group stays in the next ring. She had already complained about not being able to offer food or use her leash (she was entered in advanced). This person often is not on the same page as the rules for what she has entered. It was time for her to move on that day. I also told one potential client that I thought a dog she had adopted was dangerous for her to keep since her mother was very elderly and mobility impaired and the dog had zero bite inhibition and was small and underfoot trying to bite shoes and feet.


Sometimes reality is in between the perceptions of the various parties and the situation will never be resolved to either parties satisfaction. It seems wise to move on from this. I personally would not want to be a part of a private club where I didn't feel welcome. Political discussions have no place in dog training IMO. We don't bring politics to the floor at my clubs, ever. In fact we have very little personal conversation by and large. We talk about how to help each other with training challenges and other issues related to the task at hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't think anyone has to worry about my wellbeing because I've moved on. I started this thread because I wanted to say my piece and got my answer. There are going to be people who continue to think it is a misunderstanding because they see this as some kind of attack on the AKC. It's not. It is a SPECIFIC club. I've done more than enough to ascertain there was no misunderstanding from the beginning and waited until after midterm elections to come to terms with this. And I did. I'm not convincing anyone on this thread what happened because people have already passed their judgement on me long before I've said a word.

Also, you are right Catherine. There is no point to invite politics to a training club. I don't think our nation has ever seen this kind of political climate before especially during the weeks leading up to Nov 6th. I wore the shirt after a canvasing shirt and it was my mistake that I didn't have time to go home and change.

I don't like to judge people by their demographics but it was also foolish of me to not judge a book by its cover. The most serious people who train at this club are the conformation people who show to breed. Due to zoning laws, most city dwellers cannot have more than 4 dogs. So if you are a breeder, you must live in rural areas or suburbs out in the boonies. Rural FL by in large voted red in this past election so it is understandable that I would not be welcomed.

In some ways, it is a relief to know sooner than later. I've seen more than a fair share of how people in conformation will cannibalize and turn on each other. It is absolutely toxic! The people who do rally and obedience are going to be more urban but the founders of this club are obviously picky about the "type" of people they'd welcome to their club. Any normal club or individual would give you the specific task or behavioral issues when they eject you. If there is a genuine problem, it really isn't very difficult to point out from the beginning.
 

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snow i missed the part about the gillum shirt. but i think that plus being a minority and having a hearing disability contributed to the hate. because, really, what else is it than hate when someone's excuse is we can choose our members and there are a limited number of things that might account for your not being chosen? you have to live in another reality not to know what that's about. been there. my sympathies and glad you have moved on.
 
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I'm sorry Snow that this didn't turn out the way you wanted it to and you didn't get any useful feedback.
 
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Well, I know what I would do. Train as much as possible at home, find another more welcoming group to join, attend all the competitions the first group enters and sweep the board, and then be very, very gracious to them while muttering "Nur, nur, nur" in private. There are few things so motivating as opposition!
 

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Just wanted to say I'm sorry you feel mistreated. I can only speak for myself.. As far as political beliefs, most adults that I know don't really care who someone wants to vote for. Sure we can get into heated debates on what we feel but we have learned after years to put our political beliefs on the back burner. Friendships are more important in the end. So you wore a political shirt for someone you supported, it wouldn't bother me..or any of my friends. Now if youAnd we need to accept that. I think we see some of that here on the forum, we talk about dogs not politics, while we may mention them we don't push them or anyone to feel the same. Since I've come here I've met a lot of nice enjoyable people who enjoy talking about our dogs regardless of our beliefs, our color or our disabilities. We are a group who enjoy one another. We need to take that into our everyday lives. I'm sorry you were not welcomed into that club for whatever the reason, I really wouldn't dwell on it either, but thats me. At my age I've come to the point that I like people who treat me right and if they don't I walk away. Its just not worth my time or energy to worry why they don't like me or my dog, or whatever, I just take my business elsewhere. I know I am a good person and that I care about others and their feelings, I've also learned that many others care only about themselves and their own feelings and those are people I avoid. I hope you can move on from this and not worry about it. We all have a right to our political beliefs and the right to be different from one another, it is what makes this country work. Hugs to you and I hope you continue to train Frosty and that you find a training group or perhaps even start a new one who welcomes all.
 

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as captain beefheart once said, you can tell by the kindness of a dog how a human should be.
 

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oops, sorry Lucky...my ol mind...my neighbor had just called me earlier about her Frosty...LOL and I guess it stuck in my mind. I hope Lucky continues and is successful.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I haven't been following the news since Thanksgiving and have been in pretty happy going to Disney Hollywood studios to check out the new Toy Story Land. I still think the majority of the people in the dog obedience world are quite wonderful and passionate. I'm very lucky and grateful to meet some of these people along the way. They were unrelentingly positive, humble, and had a great attitude. It is this attitude that carries you through the difficult times. When life throws you lemons and pushes you off track, it is important to learn from it without letting fear prevail. I have canvassed over 1500 doors since summer and have learned a lot from this experience. I would ONLY campaigned for a moderate because that is what I think this country needs. I'm tired of the fearmongering on both sides and partisanship in DC. It is time to put people before politics. To me, this starts with a better healthcare system that people can ACTUALLY afford.

I started this thread to tie up loose ends and there are going to be people who disagree no matter what and it is important to pay no mind to the gadflies. I am going to continue to work on my dog's obedience because that is my priority. Besides, it is quite fun! I found a prestigious LGBT instructor from NYC. We have a lot in common. She brought her dog and I was impressed and in love. I've already had a blast in our last session a few weeks ago and I look forward to seeing her again. I will continue to update this thread with our progress. All shades and unkind comments will be ignored so best for those with ill will to move on out.
 

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I'm sorry that you went through this. I know of others' political persuasions and simply avoid any type of political discussion with folks that I don't agree with (it's just not an easy time for rational discussions about politics). One of the trainers that I really like, we are often at trials together, has polar opposite political views. I've decided that I value our friendship more than the need to agree! Neither of us bring up divisive topics.

A training tack that has worked for me is to find like-minded dog owners who can get together at a common time to help each other out. It turns out that my current training friends have all distanced themselves from the training club that we all belong to. Several of us have club service positions in our background. (Our board seems to be dominated by certain personalities, which is what we avoid. Meaning avoiding club social events.)

Membership gives us access to the building and we're able to benefit greatly from that. I have my eye out for a novice obedience class at the club, if the 'right' instructor is teaching on an evening that I can attend. Otherwise, training on my own and with like-minded friends is working just fine. And, yes, as someone else suggested, I silently gloat over my spoo's success in the ring. All of the titles are announced at the year-end banquet, whether the owner is there or not.

Some training doesn't require a formal 'ring.' One of my agility friends has just started nosework training. I'm looking forward to her dog catching up to mine so that we can train out in the community together--our (hopefully) next trial is taking place at a public school, so we need somewhere other than my living room and driveway!
 

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Otherwise, training on my own and with like-minded friends is working just fine. And, yes, as someone else suggested, I silently gloat over my spoo's success in the ring.

Yup, being around like-minded people in times like this is self preservation. It is important to find positive non judgmental people to train with because the obedience community can be so critical. I think standard poodles are one of the most enjoyable breeds to train. I have no doubt that most poodle owners gloat about their dogs training. I’ve learned that poodles age like fine wine, the older they get, the more you can build on their previous training. They are better abstract thinkers and quick at responding to commands. I’ve always enjoyed seeing them in action.
 
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