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Video showing dog trainer slamming crate door on deaf dog causing outrage

NOW: Video showing dog trainer slamming crate door on deaf dog causing outrage

WEST MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58)-- A dog training video showing a deaf and muzzled dog having a crate door slammed in its face is causing a social media frenzy.

As of Thursday night, the video has gotten more than 40 thousand views and hundreds of shares. The video, recorded by Rescue Gang Dog Training, shows a dog looking startled after the crate door is quickly shut. The video is captioned, “We teach all dogs not to rush out of their kennel or doorways without waiting and asking for permission.”

Owner of Rescue Gang Dog Training, Ryan Olson, says he’s gotten threats because of his training video.  

”People are threatening to show up at my facility, I’m getting death threats, I’m getting emails I’m getting voicemails, just a whole lot of hate when at the end of the day all I want to do is save a dog,” said Olson.

Olson says he is the dog’s last chance at rehabilitation before euthanasia. He claims the aggressive dog bit its owner and his girlfriend.

”The dog ripped her lip open from her nostril all the way down, the dog has separation anxiety, the dog has phobia of crates, the dog will bite metal wires off of her crate,” adds Olson.

Still, hundreds on social media don’t agree with Olson’s technique. The Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission says they are shocked at how scared the dog was.

“I don’t think that aggressive behavior warrants aggression toward the animal and that’s what we see here is a really aggressive training technique,” said Kathy Shillinglaw, outreach coordinator for MADACC.

Olson says his intention wasn’t to be mean, but wanted the dog to be in a calm state before stepping out of her crate. Olson says he learned his training techniques through a handful of dog training mentors.

”Of course in the video she was startled, I’d be startled too if someone closed the door on me, but you close the crate and she has to stop and think for a second,” said Olson. “When she stops and thinks she’s in good state of mind then you can say ‘come on lets go, you’re calm, you’re relaxed now,  you can leave the crate.’”

“It doesn’t appear to even want to be moving forward,” said Shillinglaw. “So for me, really the fear and the uncertainty that the dog’s behavior is displaying is a really big red flag.”

Shillinglaw believes using fear is not the best method for training a dog.

“We want to train a dog so that is learning is fun, that we’re getting positive reinforcement for doing the behaviors that we want them to,” Shillinglaw adds.

Olson says the dog in the video is making progress with his training.

”I’m just as passionate as some of these people are about saving this dog, but the dog needs to be corrected at some point in order to be able to be saved,” said Olson.

Shillinglaw says a Facebook user has shared the video with West Milwaukee police.

Experts say when looking for a dog trainer, make sure you ask for references from other owners, and are placing your dog with someone you trust.

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INNERPEACE 25 days ago
with the dude on this one, y’all lucky it’s not dead after biting humans... I’m tired of people putting animal lives on top when they have no actual regard for us. We are here to nurture/befriend or eat them, remember the Natives taught the Americans to use everything and thank them for surviving our survival. We are advanced now, shouldn’t we have the intelligence to treat all animals equal to not offset balance. Think yin yang and pro Yulin Festival.
ProtectThemAll 30 days ago
Myriad studies show that correcting dogs only INCREASES the risk of aggression and other undesired behavior. Please folks, stop letting people mistreat dogs. Especially at-risk dogs.
LonaSmith 35 days ago
My dog is terrified of being alone. So i don't leave her alone! She has horrible crate anxiety, so I don't use a crate! She used to resource guard..she doesn't now. She has her own dog, a little shih tzu she has bonded with, so she is never alone. My dog was born deaf and that means teaching her takes a little bit of a twist some times. It NEVER means that I terrify her or make her anxiety worse. Just having her spayed has had her in high anxiety for 3 months post op... I can't imagine the kind of daily trauma that baby is facing, and the constant fight or flight response she's suppressing. When she finally blows, it's going to be bad, and she's going to get the blame. She'll be put down, and it will be his fault. She should have gone to a deaf dog rescue.
LME 35 days ago
this is HIS "training"--pitiful. no wonder he doesn't know what he's doing.
"I have certifications in Veterinary Assisting,
Animal CPR and First Aid, Pet Psychology, Pet Adoption, Shelter Training and Enrichment, and Dog Training and Basic Obedience. I have also completed Aggression Mastermind 101 with Mango Dogs and several training shadow programs."
markr 35 days ago
Let's talk through this news clip. This is an exercise in critical thinking in dog training:

1: In this clip, what behavior is this trainer punishing? There is no behavior occurring, the dog is standing still, yet he's slamming the door repeatedly in her face invoking a fear response. This dog has no choice but to endure his repeated abuse. This is the intentional creation of learned helplessness. If you don't know what that is, look it up. It's awful stuff.

2: He states he wants to make sure the dog is calm before letting it out. Does fear make dogs calm? No. When you're scared, would calm be the adjective you use to describe your internal state? Unlikely. This dog is not calm. No, she's just not moving. This is abnormal behavior. She's shutting down.
Imagine being afraid to move or talk or express needs or have autonomy over your body? And even if you do nothing, you still face abuse? That's what this guy is charging money to do to this dog.

3: He says things like, "it's this or death, I'm doing this to save her" as justification. This is a common tactic for trainers like him to normalize abuse and get owners on their side when owners are desperate and vulnerable. It's not just extreme cases like this, they'll do this on run of the mill leash reactivity, food guarding and all manner of things. Things humanely treatable with current behavior technology.

They aren't selective about how they throw this term around, "or death!" But it's not true. They just need you to feel like they're your lifeline so you'll give them control to do "whatever it takes" even if it means trauma and abuse.

Frankly, death would be a kinder option in considering his methods as a whole. If he's using this technique for punishing standing still quietly in a crate, imagine what this dog would endure if it *gasp* moved wrong? Barked? Expressed a need for space?

4: Also, in this case the dog ripped someone's face open. This is not a dog I'd want to be putting into an adoption pool or have living next door. When this dog bites, she maims. She's shown us. It takes one failure in management for it to happen again. And the thing about management? It always fails at some point. We'll inevitably forget something.

5: That muzzle is entirely too small. Why doesn't a trainer know this? Alternately, why doesn't he care? This guy takes money to train. He's being paid to not do his job right, clearly. If you're rightfully concerned about a dog whose mouth is duct taped shut on the evening news, you should be equally concerned about this, it's just as restrictive. Those folks with the duct tape get charged with animal abuse. He won't because our field is unregulated and so all kinds of abuse can take place legally as long as it's deemed "training". Please help us push for regulation.

7: He says the dog has separation anxiety (debilitating anxiety disorder in dogs where the dog experiences prolonged panic while alone). He says the dog chews at and breaks metal crates trying to escape. He's confirmed she's so upset being alone she'll hurt herself to try and get to someone for companionship. Yes, she's willing to chew through metal and destroy her teeth if it means relief, that's how upset she is being crated and alone. Yes, he's using a crate with her. Yes there's something wrong with this picture. Please imagine yourself in that same position for just a couple moments.

8: Instead of helping her learn to feel comfortable alone he's adding to her anguish. And you're paying for it as the consumer.

This dog has NO ONE to advocate for her. He acts like he's a savior. This type of trainer is more like a professional abuser who charges money to hurt and cause trauma to dogs.

When I get upset about the field of dog training it's because there are no rules. Anyone can do it, this is fine, much worse is fine, it all goes and trainers can charge you for this. They'll pull at your heart strings to get buy in, and people are desperate for help so they'll believe anything. He's a predator.

Slamming a crate may look like a small thing to get upset about without context and critical eye but please listen to this gibberish he's using to justify his actions. It's all bogus.

Please think critically when selecting a trainer.

What kind of life is he "saving"?

This poor dog. Her poor family. All victims.
CME markr 35 days ago
Excellent run-down of the issues here. This video (and the so-called "trainer's" excuses) were hard to watch. I hope that he takes time to pause and consider the possibility that the criticisms directed at him are happening for good reason.
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