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Canine Headstart Reviews (1)

I signed our dog up for an obedience class,$125 for 5 weeks. After the 2nd class, instructor [redacted] told us that our dog would have to leave the group class and move to a private because of her barking and what she thought, aggressive behavior. We reluctantly agreed. We set up a schedule; she changed it twice which was an inconvenience to me. She said the cost was $60 per class for 5 weeks, which then increased to $65 per class and I paid an additional $225 for 5 private lessons, paying a total of $300 as [redacted] agreed to apply $75 from the group class. For the 2nd and 3rd class we had a different instructor without being notified of the change.It was now an inconvenience to reschedule, and I was not happy. I asked for a refund of the balance of $105. She agreed, even though she said she doesn't give refunds. She called back to say she would not give us a refund because she had accommodated us by moving us from the group to private. I said that was her doing and not ours and that it was now inconvenient to continue the classes. She said she had to do this because of the dogs behavior. I told her again that it was her doing and I still wanted a refund.Desired SettlementI request that [redacted] refund the $105.00.Consumer Response Hello [redacted]I apologize for not responding promptly due to my being away. I have yet to hear from [redacted] from Canine Headstart regarding my complaint. I appreciate your efforts in trying to resolve this for me. Let me know if there is any thing you may need from me. Thank you againSincerely[redacted]Business Response Thank you for making me aware of the compliant file by Mr. [redacted]. I was unaware of any complaint and have not been contacted by My [redacted] since our last conversation when I encouraged him to schedule the last remaining sessions with his dog [redacted].Mr. [redacted] signed up for a Beginner Adult class for his dog Lulu. This class began on November 14, 2103 and was scheduled to run 5-weeks ending on December 19, 2013. Mr. [redacted] brought his daughter, [redacted], to class and wanted her to be the individual responsible for training. [redacted] is a talented young girl who was clearly interested in working with her dog. The class was small in size, 3 other dogs, and so we tried to work closely with [redacted] to give her help with controlling [redacted]. After the 2nd class it became clear that [redacted]s reactive barking and lunging towards other dogs was becoming worse and it was frustrating to [redacted]. [redacted] also has some fear reactive issues with humans that were evident during class. Because it was unfair to the other dogs in class as well to [redacted] and [redacted], I discussed with Mr. [redacted] the need for individual sessions to work on redirection and impulse control. Since [redacted] was expected to be, and was clearly interested in being, the main trainer, the individual sessions would be tailored to her and after she had gained a greater ability to redirect and channel [redacted]s behaviours, they could rejoin a class. I did not perceive any reluctance in Mr. [redacted] when presented with this training plan and we scheduled 5 sessions. Although we do not offer refunds once a class has begun, in this case I did give Mr. [redacted] a credit for three classes to put towards the individual sessions. Individual sessions are $65/hr for a series of 5 sessions and $60/hr for a series of 10 sessions. Mr. [redacted] opted to schedule a series of 5 sessions. The cost for 5 sessions is $325 from which I credit Mr. [redacted] $75, leaving him with a balance of $250.00. I just reveiwed the check Mr. [redacted] gave us and he wrote it for $225.00 (Check # 1794 dated 1/27/2014). [redacted], the assistant trainer here at Canine Head Start and the person with whom [redacted] and [redacted] were working, must not have noticed the discrepancy, nor did I when depositing checks.Due to[redacted] after school activities it was a little challenging getting the schedule set but we did manage to do so. [redacted] and [redacted] were scheduled to work with [redacted] and she worked with them exclusively. I was present for the first session. There was no different instructor as put forth by Mr. [redacted] in his written complaint to you. There are no other instructors here so this is not even a possibility. The first session was Jan 13, 2014 at 5pm, two months after the class had begun.As often happens during New England winters, weather causes schedule changes. There may well have been a few days that had to get rescheduled due to poor driving conditions. That certainly happened frequently this past winter. I do not have a record of the original dates vs. the dates [redacted] actually came to the Training Center. However, during the 3rd session Mr. [redacted] complained to [redacted] that [redacted] was not working enough at home with [redacted] and that his wife was not involved enough. He said he did not want to continue and [redacted] told him to contact me. I did not hear anything from Mr. [redacted] so on the morning of his next scheduled appointment I called to find out if he was planning on coming. I told him I would need to know by a certain time so I could tell [redacted] not to come if he were not going to show up. I did not hear from him so left another message stating I was cancelling that day's session and that he needed to contact me to reschedule. Mr. [redacted] left a message later that day saying he had been planning on coming. That call came about 4o minutes before the session and it was too late to get the trainer here. When I had a chance to speak with Mr. [redacted] on the phone he informed me that his family was going on vacation but that he did want to continue and that he would call when they returned to schedule the final two sessions. It was over two months later that Mr. [redacted] called and informed me that his family was going to be very busy through the Spring and Summer and he could not continue training [redacted]. I encouraged him for the sake of the dog to finishes his final two lessons, for which he had already paid. Mr. [redacted] complained about having to the private sessions, stating numerous times that people he ran into in the dog park told him [redacted] should have been in class to work on her barking at other dogs and people. I tried to have a conversation with Mr. [redacted] about why group classes were not appropriate for reactive dogs, as we had already discussed back in November. Mr. [redacted] was clearly convinced his dog had no issues despite telling me that she still reactive to people and dogs on occasion. He said he had no problem with this behaviour. I explained to him that we do not do refunds once a series has been scheduled. This is clearly stated on the website and is discussed before beginning training with clients. When we schedule clients we are setting aside time which can not be given to another client . This has always been our policy. I told him I would look to see what [redacted] had actually completed and get back to him. I called Mr. [redacted] back to say [redacted] had two sessions left to finish and encourage him, for the sake of the dog, to schedule those. He informed me he had no time. I suggested his wife might bring [redacted] to the sessions at which time he became petulant and hung up. I did not hear from him again. I had hoped his wife would be calling to reschedule their final sessions.This kind of thing is very unfortunate for the dog and I feel badly for [redacted] as well, who did attempt to work with the dog. It is a lot of responsibility to put on a child of her age but she was game and intelligent enough to take on the challenge.Mr. [redacted], his wife or another are welcome to bring [redacted] to her last remaining sessions or to do the training themselves if they wish. We are always happy to work with anyone. However, our policy is clear and we do not offer refunds if a client decides they no longer have the time or interest to work with their dog. We do have individual sessions that people can do if they are unsure of their time commitments. These are charged at $70/hr. Mr. [redacted] was aware of all options when he began training here. Because of [redacted]s issues and the fact that we were working with a child, I told Mr. [redacted] I thought a minimum of 5 sessions would be needed and possibly even 10. Obviously the 5- and 10-series sessions are less expensive than the individually scheduled ones. Mr. [redacted] opted to sign up for the 5-session series.In looking at the information in the email from, it appears that I was to have been informed about this complaint via email on 4/23/2014. Today, 5/23/2014, is the first I have seen about this. I have not been emailed or telephoned by either Mr. [redacted] or the, the latter first contacted me by telephone on 5/22/2014.As stated above I am happy to resolve this issue by scheduling [redacted] final two sessions despite the now five month delay since beginning the training. It does appear however, the Mr. [redacted] still owes $25.00 for that training program.Consumer Response Dear Ms. [redacted] Thank you for your assistance. Please find following my response:1). [redacted] initiated and decided to terminate our participation in the group glass which had been paid for in full. 2). Ms. [redacted] informed me that I would receive a credit toward 5 private classes under her instruction.3). Ms. [redacted] provided 1 private class with [redacted] assisting. I then received 2 private classes with [redacted]. I was not previously notified that Ms. [redacted] would be my instructor and was expecting Ms. [redacted].4). An additional 2 classes had been previously scheduled. Ms. [redacted] cancelled these 2 private classes that had been scheduled. The cancellations were not caused by weather and I was prepared to attend as scheduled.5). During the 3rd lesson, I had shared with Ms. [redacted] some challenges regarding the lessons and she recommended that I call Ms. [redacted]. Knowing that I had a previously scheduled lesson a week later, I decided to continue with the scheduled lessons and therefore I did not call Ms [redacted]. 6). On the day of the 4th scheduled lesson, I was out of the house all day. Upon coming home to get ready to go to the lesson, I received a voice mail message from Ms. [redacted] telling me that she was cancelling the class. I had every intention of attending that class.7). After experiencing all of the changes and due to Ms. [redacted]'s cancellations, I decided to end my relationship with Canine Headstart and seek a refund for the balance due from what was paid for the 2 classes, $105.00.8). I continue to request a refund of the $105.00. Due to my negative experience with Canine Head Start, I have no intention of continuing lessons at this facility. Please let me know if you need additional information. Thank you again for your assistance.Sincerely,[redacted]Business Response In response to Mr. [redacted] comments from 06/18/2014:1)As previously stated [redacted] was moved out of group classes due to her reactivity to other dogs and at times people. This behaviour is something we work with on an individual basis, not in a group setting as that makes the behaviour worse and is unfair to the others in class. This was explained to M. [redacted] who, at the time, understood and entered into the individual sessions here at Canine Head Start.2)As stated in my original response, Mr. [redacted] was given a credit for the classes he did not attend with [redacted]. That credit was applied to the 5 individual sessions., for which it turns out Mr. [redacted] underpaid by $20.00. I fact hat I had not noticed until investigating his records after he had filed a complaint with [redacted], one of our trainers here, was introduced to Mr. [redacted] during the first session. She was his trainer from the start and until Mr. [redacted] filed his complaint, I had never heard that this was a problem for him. He certainly never voiced any issues during his work with her, other than the fact that he did not feel his daughter was doing the work at home with the dog. Ms. [redacted] is very experienced working with children and animals which is why she was chosen for this particular client.4 & 5)As previously stated, occasionally sessions need to be rescheduled, particularly during the winter. No classes were cancelled for My [redacted]. They were rescheduled.6 & 7) As previously stated, Mr. [redacted] had indicated to Ms. [redacted] that he did not plan on continuing lessons. She suggested he call me before making that decision. I waited the whole week to hear from him. I did not receive any communications and left a message the day of the session that I needed to hear by a certain time whether he planned on coming that day as I did not want to bring his instructor to the Training Center if he was not gong to show up. Shortly before the session as due to begin I removed a message from Mr. [redacted] that he had planned on coming. At that point it was too late. 8)We do not do refunds once sessions have begun, this is clearly stated on the registration form which all owners must sign. I am very sorry that Mr. [redacted] feels the way he does and are somewhat baffled that all during his sessions here none of these concerns were broached. I remain willing to continue to work with [redacted]. I have been working with people and their dogs for over 20 years and pride myself in my expertise and skills, with both dogs and their owners. I am at a loss as to further assist in this matter. My reputation and that of my business has been unblemished since 1991, starting in Phila, PA and continuing here in Montague. MA.

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Description: Pet Training - Dog

Address: 125 East Chestnut Hill Road, Montague, Massachusetts, United States, 01351


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