A pup training school had vanished from the internet today after being thrown to the dogs by angry Singaporeans over its alleged rough handling that looked a lot like abuse.
Trainers yanked, kicked, dragged, and choked a pack of leashed dogs at a park in the one-minute clip posted yesterday, and paws quickly pointed at a local obedience training school whose subsequent ghosting only fed suspicions.
“One after another, received yet another forwarded video of aversive training methods used by training school. It really pains me to see the treatment these dogs are getting. I really hope dog owners, especially first timer[s], would do some research on the school/daycare/dogwalking services,” an Alfie Pan wrote today.
A trainer can be seen lugging four dogs and repeatedly yanking the leash of a white golden retriever before kicking it when it tries to run off. Another trainer yanks the same dog’s leash up and down repeatedly, choking it. The dog is later dragged to a white van where the other dogs were being loaded.
People said they believed the company was K-9 Obedience Services, which, coincidentally or not, has just deactivated its Instagram. A “K-9 Trainer” uniform worn by one of the handlers in the clip matches those worn by staff in photos on the school’s Facebook page.
Reached for comment, someone at K-9 Obedience Services declined to answer questions, saying it would “be updating from our end today.”
One of the trainers in the video outed himself after this article was published as Anthony, the owner of 3Dogs Academy. Having spent eight years as a dog trainer, Anthony said that yanking the dog was the right thing to do although he disagreed with the way the assistant, wearing the K-9 uniform, treated the pets.
“However, the video shows that this was done inappropriately and rest assured, we have launched a full internal investigation to better understand this incident,” he said, noting that the “situation could have been handled better” and have contacted the respective dog owners about the video. It took place Sept. 9, he said.
Viewers were disgusted by what they saw.
“The dogs couldn’t understand what they are supposed to do! Sit or stand or walk?????” Cheryl Lee wrote.
“B@stards! Must boycott such barbaric training methods!” Taryn Leau wrote.
“Fuck this trainer .. I wanna drag you around on all fours. This place ought to be shut down,” Amy Yp Sim wrote.
Unskilled amateurs will often mistake abusive handling for training, but experts say that kicking or causing pain has no place in dog training.
And Singapore seems to have its share of amateurs. In March, no one was particularly happy with another dog trainer caught on tape kicking a super adorable corgi.
Update: This story has been updated with a response from 3DOGS Academy.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified one of the dog’s breeds as a labrador. It was in fact a golden retriever.
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