Withholding Food to train - Page 1

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by lotsofdogs2 on 23 February 2009 - 01:02

Hi everyone,
I have a training question.  I have a 21mo old male that I sent to a well respected kennel for Schutzhund training.  After 16days I visited my dog and found that he was severly dehydrated, had lost over 20lbs and had acid burns on his testicles from lying in his urine.  I immediately took him to the vet and didn't return him to the facility.  I was told later that the trainer couldn't get him to work for him so he made him go without food and water for days because he believed that he would accept him as alpha and work for him once he offered him food again.  I think I showed up unexpectedly during the starving phase.  I'd like to know if withholding food is common practice for trainers working with uncooperative dogs.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance,

by KatK9 on 23 February 2009 - 01:02

You did the right thing in removing your dog, that is animal cruelty and would sue the socalled trainer.
Witholding food to this extend is cruel, has nothing to do with training and sounds like they don't care about the dog period, if the kennels aren't clean either.
I personally do not withhold food for training, they might skip breakfast if i want to go tracking, but usually they eat on the track or get a brunch afterwards.
I would call the police on this guy!
Two Moons

by Two Moons on 23 February 2009 - 01:02

I have witheld food in favor of visiting often with small amounts in hand to win over a dog but never withold food in this manner.
It sounds like the dog was not cared for well at all.
Just move on, don't feel shy about telling the guy he's an idiot.

by lotsofdogs2 on 23 February 2009 - 03:02

I'm trying to decide if I should pursue criminal charges against him.  I paid him $800 up front and wrote him a letter asking for a refund, which he has failed to do.  What bothers me is that this is common practice for him from what  I've been told and he trains dogs for police departments in NC, VA, and many other states.  My vet says that I'm doing an injustice to the other dogs there to not pursue this criminally.   Maybe, this isn't like him, and I pursue him criminally and damage someone's livelihood that did something out of his norm.  I am a Cane Corso breeder and am not very familiar with the Malinois trainers.  That's why I'm here looking for advice.  If I post his name and this isn't like him would people tell me that?
Thanks, Jennifer

by hexe on 23 February 2009 - 03:02

Withholding food is one thing--even over the course of a few days, the dog is not going to starve in that time frame.  Withholding *water*, however, is life-threatening and illegal in any state that has humane laws on the books.

by stormhasit on 23 February 2009 - 05:02

I've heard of withholding a meal prior to the training time - but NOT to the extent the dog would loose weight!!!!  As for withhold water - that is WRONG!!! 
I would follow the vet's suggestion here and file on him! 

Be grateful that you got your dog out before any more damage was done.  Now do right by the dog...
Kelly M Shaw

by Kelly M Shaw on 23 February 2009 - 15:02

I would go after him for animal cruelty. I have not fed my dog's the night before training but that is it. They were never without water and they never lost any weight doing this b/c it was only the night before training that they wouldn't eat.  I would definately pursue criminal charges on him for this and I'm sure your vet will back you up in court as he has seen your dog. I hope your dog is doing much better now? I'm so sorry you ran into this person and were trusting him.

by malshep on 23 February 2009 - 16:02

The trainer does not understand how cruel this is, just because their father may have done it does not make it right. they need to be turned in.


by spernagsds on 23 February 2009 - 17:02

I too have withheld a meal before training however I have NEVER heard of withholding water for any reason.  The length of time for this poor dog to have gone without food and water to be in that condition is ridiculous.  I am sorry you have had this terrible experience.  Best wishes and i hope your dog is doing better.

Shannan  :)

by tiffae89 on 23 February 2009 - 17:02

I've heard of withholding food for the day before, at tops.... Withholding water is cruel and unjust period.... I would press charges!

How is he now that you have gotten him back?

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