• Report: #297640
Complaint Review:

Steve Welch's Dog Training & Associates

  • Submitted: Sun, January 06, 2008
  • Updated: Tue, March 30, 2010

  • Reported By:Hermosa Beach California
Steve Welch's Dog Training & Associates
32696 Ortega Hwy., Lake Elsinore, CA 92530 24331 Muirlands Blvd Suite D4-402, Lake Forest, CA, California U.S.A.

Steve Welch's Dog Training & Associates Dog Trainer claims to give Cesar Millan, Dog Whisperer, advice & training techniques, created aggression & converted him to red zone. Lake Forest, California

*Consumer Comment: Steve Welch is going to ruin your dog.

*Consumer Comment: SERIOUSLY???!!!

* : There Are Always Two Sides To The Story

*Consumer Comment: I witnessed this owner


*Consumer Suggestion: Master Trainer worked for me

*Consumer Suggestion: Other Complaints by Disgruntled Dog Owners about Steve Weltch "Master of Disaster"

*Consumer Comment: Steve Welch's Dog Training Does An Outstanding Job

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Over a year ago, I telephoned a K9 obedience "master trainer" I located on the internet: I found him by researching Presa Canarios- he claimed to have experience in large breeds such as this. I have a rare type of American Bulldog who is naturally protective of his owner when approached by strangers. I only wanted an evaluation performed on my dog to see if there was a possibility of using him for search/rescue missions or a positive task needed by peace officers or representatives. My dog has a passion for working, and he's been in a few t.v. shows, as well as other media. Upon the visit to my house, Welch and his associates were dressed in fatigues or uniforms, and they marched into my home and headed straight for my dog. My dog had been abused prior to my rescuing him, and I had discovered my neighbors at that time were teasing him while I was away from my home. Thus, he does not welcome strange people marching into my home without properly smelling, sniffing, and a proper introduction. However, these people convinced me that if they didn't take him away immediately to their camp, he would be a killer dog or a red zone case. My dog had never been without me, and I was in tears, but I cared about him, so these trainers gained my trust and took my dog away after coercing me into writing them a $2500 check. A videotape of the training to my dog was sopposed to have been included, and it's been a year, and I still have not received this tape. Nor have I received a leash I purchased from Welch, which was sopposed to be sent via mail. These people are creating monster dogs, for now my dog has terrible fear aggression towards any human who approaches him. I believe his mind reverts back to Welch & his associates storming into my home and grabbing him, throwing him in the back of their van in a crate, and driving away for 3 months. My dog has severe psychological problems, and I am being forced to contact legal support, yet this so-called trainer has drained my bank account. I moved away from my nasty neighbors who were teasing my dog, and now I have 2 mortgages. Welch knew I couldn't afford his high priced training, but he drained my bank account and he ruined my dog. I will not list the horrible sad issues my dog has now, but a small example is that he shakes and convulses when I follow the training techniques Welch instructed me to do. He says to do it harder and more severe or else my dog will never learn to behave, but the harder I practice his techniques, the more frightened and emotionally disturbed my dog becomes. If someone else has experienced the negative affects of Welch's training, please contact me and I would be happy to discuss a class action lawsuit. The man won't even return my phone calls.

Hermosa Beach, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/06/2008 11:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/steve-welchs-dog-training-associates/24331-muirlands-blvd-suite-d4-402-lake-forest-ca-california-92630/steve-welchs-dog-training-associates-dog-trainer-claims-to-give-cesar-millan-dog-whisp-297640. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Steve Welch is going to ruin your dog.

AUTHOR: Truth85 - ()

I briefly used Steve Welch as a trainer for my dog (who was a barely 8 week old puppy at the time). I paid him well over 2k between then and the time my dog turned 4 months of age. Most was "boarded" training (which is why my poor dog stayed there so long). It was only once I started doing group classes that I saw how he really was. He uses old school methods such as "hanging" the dogs, whips the dogs with the end of the leashes (nylon leashes, chain leashes, etc). He fully beat dogs in my presence. I later found out his "boarding" facility was at his home and because the neighbors complained about his dogs barking so much, he rented a uhaul truck and filled it with crates.

I saw this with my own eyes. Those dogs were starved when they irritated him. They were not given enough fluids. They were beaten. I have a child and he fully ruined my dog who was a calm puppy (fresh start) and came home aggressive and underweight (I had to have him on IV fluids after he came home - that is how dehydrated and malnourished he was). I had to rehome him at 8 months of age after another trainer suggested he be in a home without children after being around Steve Welch. Apparently he had heard of him before as well.

P.S. He smokes pot so much (medical, for a good reason - granted) that he "forgets" to feed them sometimes. At least, thats what he told me. Argue all you want - but if you don't believe it go see for yourself. He is not shy whatsoever about beating dogs in front of their owners. Just do the group class before paying for and leaving your dog for in-boarded training blindly trusting - like I did.

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#2 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: HUSKY - (United States of America)

Noone can make you write a $2500.00 check, that is ridiculous.

Only those who have actually used Steves Services should be commenting.
Making uneducated assumptions based on one individuals so called trauma is careless and irresponsible. I have had 4 dogs trained by Steve. My first two dogs lived until they were 15 years old, the most loyal well behaved animals you could have dreamed of. They protected, responded, loved us and were our family until the day they died. When I found Steve 16 years ago, I had just brought home a headstrong German Shepard. I had tried everything, from books to local classes. Finally I realized that it was me, not the dog that needed training. So I started looking for a dog trainer, I found Steve. HE was not soft spoken, or indirect. He was very much direct and tough. I appreciated his charachteristics, as I am a New Yorker at heart. Hermosa Beach feels that she/he is the victim of not only Steve, but the neighbors as well. I doubt anyone stormed into a house, or threw a dog into a van. Sounds very dramatic and I do appreciate the flair, However lets keep it real. In the 16 years I have known Steve, noone has ever charged my house or forced me to do anything. Not everyone is able to dedicate the hours and discipline necesary when training a dog. Sure, the trainer takes the dog and lays down the foundation but if you are the dog owner and don't establish authority then the dog won't listen. Simple.  I have had 4 dogs trained by Steve, I don't think that my dogs are amazing because I am lucky. This didn't happen from one day to the next, we as a family have made a commitment to these animals. We work with them daily. In the begining its hourly. They learned to respond to praise, not food, clickers or tazers. Our bond is based on trust and love. A training collar is not abuse, telling your Dog no is not abuse. If you think that disciplining your child is abusive then Dog training will seem cruel.

Steve has been my trainer for over 16 years, My dogs have been obedience, protection and attack trained. ALL four dogs are wonderful animals with children. They have participated in service work and have never showed signs of being emotionally disturbed. In fact we call Steve, uncle Steve. The dogs love him, even after doing protection work they are calm and listen. They bring him toys and want him to play with them. Practicing techniques incorrectly, does not mean you were practicing. You are doing more damage then good when you practice incorrectly. I know, I have made the mistake. However I TAKE RESPONSIBILTY. I don't blame the animal or the trainer. I watch how the dog interacts with Steve, how they respond. I then correct myself and practice under supervision and continue to improve on my technique. I correct behavior I don't want and praise behavior I do want. I even film myself when working with a new dog. WHY? Because I need to see where I can improve in my communication with my Dog. It really does work. There is no magic pill for weightloss, only hard work. There is no magic pill for well trained dogs, only hard work and tough love. You are suppose to set the bounderies for your dog, your children, your neighbors ect. Hermosa Beach clearly needs to work on this.
I have children who handle 85 lb animals without any problems. My children were taught by Steve to be assertive and confident when working with the Dogs. This is not a trademarked action, it is common sense. Why would anyone MOVE from nasty neighbors?? I have always had two or more dogs at a time and I have had neighbors tease them. I worked with my Dogs and trained them to deal with it. Steve also trained them not to eat people food so that they could not be poisoned. My dogs were not trained turn key in three weeks, I HAD to and continue to do the work.
Anyone who comes near my dogs are told the rules. The new guest will not allow certain behavior and will not pet and praise my dogs for poor behavior. I encourage my guests to tell the dog NO, if necessary.

 An animal will respond to emotions and energy. Could it be that Hermosa Beachs Dog is responding to the handlers own insecurities?. Could it be that the Dog knows that he is the Alpha and in control?. It is easy to read this emotional rant that has been posted by this Hermosa Beach Sweetbully and get sucked into the drama of the allegations. What proof is there that this damaged dog, as put by the author was Steves fault?. A Dog thinks in the now, they don't hold grudges and they don't take inventory. My Dogs are better behaved and more in tune than most people. I prefer children and animals to most adults. They are honest, they are pure and they don't lie. Steve has a gift a gift that most wish they had, he can communicate with an animal in a way that most can only strive for. I have great dogs because of Steve, I know that to be true. I will be heartbroken the day Steve is gone, He has been our Dog Trainer for over 16 years. He has taken my dogs over the years even after they went through training. Years later when the dog needed additional correction at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. He makes a commitment to the animal as well. A lifetime commitment.

I wish you all the best SweetBully Hermosa Beach. I hope you find peace.

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There Are Always Two Sides To The Story

AUTHOR: Borja - (Spain)

I have been a professional dog trainer for over 30 years. I have trained for police and military in the United States and Central America as well as training privately in the United States, Mexico, The United Kingdom, Costa Rica and Spain. In other words, this is not the perspective of a Pet Smart trainer, it is the perspective of a very experienced professional.

Steve, I have never seen you work dogs so, I cant really make a determination on whether or not the original comments were accurate or not. However, I know that some of the most effective and skilled trainers occassionally suffer comments and attacks from dog owners who, in spite of the trainers best efforts, refuse to follow instructions.

Whether its because those dog owners are emotionally crippled, defiant, lazy or any number of other reasons, they just wont do the right thing. It is very common to see comments like these from those kinds of individuals as they certainly are not prepared to take responsibility for their shortcomings and how those shortcomings have effected their dogslives. They blame it on the trainer.

Thats not to say that the author of the "original report" is one of those people but, I certainly cant rule it out. I also cant say for sure if the dog in question has learned to manipulate the owner and its environment with the good old, "Poor Me" act.

Steve, in these times of political correctness and tree-hugging, wine bar parties, I suggest that you might be well served to think about the publics perception of your business. You may indeed be a very skilled trainer but, using correction and praise as a training method in 2009 is not as it was in the 80s. Dont get me wrong, I use correction and praise as a training method. I always have and always will. However, as society has changed over the years, I have had to be increasingly conscious of what I say, how I say it and what I wear. I have found that softening my approach, my tone and my general style have made my life much smoother and less eventfull. I dont wear fatigues or BDUs anymore and Im always polite and soft-spoken.

If the people you meet believe that you are a very docile person who is kind and soft-spoken, they wont be so quick to jump on the "abuse" bandwagon because they feel that the correction they just witnessed must have really been necessary because, "hes such a nice, quiet man". Be smart. Do what you know to be right but, do it quietly and you will have fewer headaches from irresponsible dog owners.

I wish you the very best Steve.
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#4 Consumer Comment

I witnessed this owner

AUTHOR: Donald - (U.S.A.)

First, let me say that I have used Steve for both of my dogs and they are, by all accounts, stable and good canine citizens. I used to take my dogs to Steve's for "Sunday School." These were drop in obedience classes for anyone to attend. This is where I met the owner. She was nice, enough, albeit talkative and really only interested in sharing her previous experiences with other trainers; they were all bad too. She didn't want to listen to Steve's directives and clearly wasn't following the Steve Welch method. If her dog has been ruined, it may just be her fault. I bet the dog works well for Steve or anyone who follows his methodology.

In my experience, Steve doesn't overly discipline dogs as reported. He does punish dogs for bad behaviour, e.g. demonstrations of aggression. I was concerned about that, as I had heard horror stories about trainers abusing dogs. In fact, I think there may be more merit in accusing Steve of abusing the owners for not following directions but definitely not the dogs.

Most owners don't do the work required to get there dog to a balanced state and they want to lash out at someone. Steve may be a master trainer, but he is not a miracle worker; if the owners don't put in the work, the dog doesn't have a leader to follow. Case in point...my wife couldn't get one of our dogs to work for her, but she never once attended a class with Steve. Carlos, an associate, had her feeling confident and the dog working for her in about 15 minutes.

Anyone that is concerned or ambivalent about his methods should drop by and watch him or his team work. You will quickly see, as I did, an experienced team of trainers that only have the best interest of the dogs at heart.

I will add that Steve is not the only trainer that I have seen, but he is the only one that I return to see.
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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Stacy In Texas - (U.S.A.)

Good for who ever said that this guy abuses dogs. I'm so upset that Cesar Milan has a TV show so that the world can learn how to train a dog to become phsychologically screwed up.

For the original poster of this report -- stop using this idiot's methods or your dog will end up so afraid of you that you will get bit! Find a knowledable trainer that is not even a fan of the stupid Dog Whisperer and knows what true dog behavior is about.

The title Master Dog Trainer makes me laugh . . . a lot. It always means they are uneducated idiots.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Master Trainer worked for me

AUTHOR: Shogun - (U.S.A.)

Anyone can post to a board and make outrageous unsubstantiated claims.

As I clearly stated in my post, I am speaking to MY personal experience, the experiences of MY friends who have had their dogs trained by Steve, and also the dozens of people I have met in his basic and advanced obedience classes.

Everyone of them emphatically state how well their dogs obedience and behavior improve after the training and follow through of the learned methods. I suppose in the thousands of people Steve has dealt with, there will always be a percentage who are not satisfied but I have also seen some dog owners who treat their dogs like infants and frankly are outright nuts. I don't think any service they receive will suffice.

It seems that I am unable to find any "K-9 Rehab" in the South Bay. But I am sure you have many years of training in the "industry". It's apparent though whoever you are, that you like to comment on matters you have no idea on what your speaking. First, I am not related to any 'Shogun' in Brea or in anyway involved in a motorcycle business. Second, if you have not met another trainer, why would you bother to comment on their methods. Your phantom business must receive a lot of rehab work due to Steve for you to make such claims. Please let me know, I have a friend in PV Estates looking for a trainer, and Steve's facility is a far drive. ;)
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Other Complaints by Disgruntled Dog Owners about Steve Weltch "Master of Disaster"

AUTHOR: K9rehabilitation - (U.S.A.)

Regarding the rebuttal filed by "Shogun", who claims to be satisfied with this Welch "master trainer's" training methods: Could this be the same Shogun responsible for Faulty Exhaust for motorcycles? Shogun is responsible for numerous unhappy customers. They refuse to replace their product, despite court judgement, reference ripoff report on Shogun, Brea California.

I'm a K9 Rehabilitator specializing in cases where dog owners are suffering from bad choices made in hiring dog trainers. My job is to rehabilitate their animals after they are returned from dog trainers!! The dogs are now more aggressive than they ever were, and far worse! The dog owners/guardians would have been better off to hire a baby sitter than some of these characters who are calling themselves dog trainers, like Weltch. DOG TRAINERS thrive on the fact that there are no real standards to be a dog trainer. This Weltch apparently has 40 yrs of experience, so why would he have to use someone else's hard work and claim to fame (like claiming to teach Milan his methods)? A reputable dog trainer needs no other claim to fame but his happy customers and referrals. I have not met the man, but I have heard of him via unhappy customers who have no place else to turn and are thinking of the unthinkable - euthanization unless they get immediate help. Some of my customers have told me Welch teaches aggressive dogs to be even more aggressive due to his inexperience with certain breeds. He feels all dogs respond to the same training methods - HIS TRAINING METHODS ONLY, and that if dog owners do not practice his cruel negative reinforcement, they are the one who fails, not their dogs. Welch tries to brain wash his clients just as he brainwashes the dogs: he uses verbal abuse and physical abuse. Another dog trainer who is well known in our industry once practiced "old school" techniques like Welch, such as hanging a dog, but he has recently changed his ways to more positive reinforcement.

In summary, I believe the dog trainer would benefit from updating himself in the canine communication of the millenium, and not be so narrow minded as to continue using methods practiced by hard core Nepolean complexed marines may have done 40yrs ago. All the vietnam vets I know truly love their dogs and practice a completely different type of method when it comes to communicating with their animals- as hard core as they were in the military, they are softhearted humble sincere gentlemen who cherish the relationship and friendship they have with man's (and woman's) best friends.

I understand Welch makes people sign a contract acknowledging that their dog's could die due to some of the methods which are practiced at his facility.

AS a dog lover and dog trainer, I encourage, and beg, dog owners to please check all trainers out THOROUGHLY, even watching them behind closed doors, prior to allowing them to spend any large amount of time alone with your animals! FOR THE SAKE OF THE ANIMALS, who are the victims here!

All dogs go to heaven, but a large majority of them will go through hell before they get there...
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#8 Consumer Comment

Steve Welch's Dog Training Does An Outstanding Job

AUTHOR: Shogun - (U.S.A.)

Steve Welch has trained two dogs I have owned, and three others of family and close friends and he does an outstading job training dogs.

My first dog was a rescued stray which I personally rescued from the streets of inner-city LA. The dog had no socialization was both scared and aggresive. I too researched the internet and spoke with a friend who had a rott who was extremely well behaved. So I then was introduced to Steve Welch.

Steve remided me of a football coach, and nearly made my wife cry, but what he reinforced was that we were the ones making most of the mistakes which led to a confused dog. By the end of our lessons, our dog was working off leash and progressing in obedience work using hand signals from 30 yrds out. The dog loved the work. It thrived and our bond with the dog grew.

If you are a loyal fan of Cesar Milan and have read his books and watched his shows then you should realize that "human" is the one who screws up the dog. Everyone I know whose dog was not at the level it needed to be after the basic lessons, Steve has continued to work with at no cost. This of course assumes that you learn the obedience commands, and work on your own with the dog.
I am confident that those who invest the time not just the money will have an obedient dog, which will greatly enhance the bond the owner has and ultimately a well balanced pet.

Steve, keep up the good work! Thanks for all you have done for me and my dogs.
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