Animal rights activists force cancellation of controversial RI dog trainer event in Illinois

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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A YouTube video shows off Gellman’s controversial techniques, including “bonking” dogs.

A controversial Rhode Island dog trainer has been turned away from an upcoming seminar in Illinois after animal rights activists took action.

Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 Training in Providence was scheduled to report to Bark Avenue Day Camp in Bartlett, Illinois in October.

However, Steve Dale, a leading animal behavior specialist, launched a campaign calling on authorities in Illinois to investigate what he believes “constitutes animal cruelty and/or the portrayal of animal cruelty in violation of Illinois law.”


Dale provided video compilations of Gellman’s techniques — including “bonking” dogs — and urged people to contact authorities in Illinois. SEE BELOW

“Dog trainers have many opinions on the right way to train, but I hope all professionals think that throwing objects at dogs is the wrong way and downright cruel, and that various methods I have witnessed in Gellman’s own videos may, in fact, be worthy of animal abuse,” Dale said.

In the letter Dale asked his supporters to sign, he referred to the petition in Rhode Island calling on Attorney General Peter Neronha to investigate Solid K9 Training’s “abusive practices including hitting, choking, shocking dogs” – which has over 160,000 signatures.

This week, Dale announced “Bonking dog trainer Jeff Gellman turned away— and thanked supporters for reaching out and signing the letter.


“What I really want to understand is not so much Gellman – but why people actually adhere to aversive and downright abusive training methods. How can people in 2020 really think that there is no better way when we know there is?” writes Dale.

Solid K9 Training did not respond to request for comment.

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In January, Gellman faced a call to be banned from a Event Manchester, England – he also faced similar calls to be banned from Scotland and Australia.

Solid K9 Training, which lists nearly 50,000 followers on Facebook, defends its techniques.

This week they posted what they said was a testimonial from Gellman’s last seminar in Nashville.

“So many people feel lonely on their journey with their dog. Their dog’s bad behavior takes over their lives and they feel they have lost hope. But, you are not alone. My seminars are filled with like-minded people with similar struggles.. My seminars are a place where people can connect and make changes in themselves and their dogs. My seminars are for everyone and every dog, and that’s why I’m so passionate about what I do. I can’t wait to meet all of you.”

Dennis Tabella with Defenders of Animals in Rhode Island, however, takes issue with Gellman’s techniques in the videos.

“Dog trainers all have different techniques and opinions about what works and what doesn’t; however, we can’t accept abusive training methods just because they seem to work,” Tabella said.

“Defenders of Animals, Inc., has used at least seven trainers and evaluators over the years, and none of them at the time exhibited any abuse towards any of the dogs that were being trained or evaluated, including including Jeff Gellman,” he said. said. “However, we are very disturbed by the videos relating to his methods and certainly do not approve of those methods displayed in these videos.”

“Defenders of Animals, Inc. does not condone inhumane training techniques or any abuse by any dog ​​trainer,” Tabella said.

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