Elkhart dog rescuer petitions to cancel controversial dog trainer's seminar

NOW: Elkhart dog rescuer petitions to cancel controversial dog trainer’s seminar

ELKHART, Ind. --- A controversial dog trainer is looking to bring his techniques to Michiana. Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 training has been traveling nationwide with seminars claiming to rehabilitate intense behavioral problems in dogs.

His aversive techniques have drawn many critics to petition against him and it’s caused one dog rescuer here in Elkhart to start a petition to ban his two-day seminar scheduled to take place this August.

It’s known as bonking and it’s one of the many techniques dog trainer Jeff Gellman teaches at his hands on workshops.

In a video posted on to Youtube, Gellman claims his methods work to correct overly aggressive dog behaviors.

He’s scheduled to bring his seminar to Elkhart in August, something animal rescuer Kiara Radtke wants to put a stop too.

“My biggest fear is to have this training style taught in our community. I feel like it’s gonna do so much damage here you know to everyone’s missions and what we’re trying to achieve," said Radtke.

Radtke who’s been rescuing dogs for the past 5 years reached out to County Commissioner Suzie Weirick and the Elkhart Humane Society with a petition signed by community members hoping to force a cancellation of the two-day seminar.

Executive Director of the Humane Society Rob Laroy says he feels its part of their mission to let community members know there are better options than resorting to aversive training methods.

“We feel the use of positive reinforcement is far superior to aversive or punishment training which is taught by Mr. Gellman. When it’s a fearful behavior that’s making the dog aggressive you know using punishment will not decrease their fear," said Laroy.

While the seminar is still scheduled to take place as planned Radtke says she wants those who may have already purchased tickets to seek alternative options for their pets.

“Please reach out. I’m happy to refer to somebody. We have an entire team that is willing to help. It’s really about quality of life for them and this certainly is not a good option," said Radtke.

We have reached out to Gellman, who's based in Rhode Island, to get his side of the story but so far, we haven’t heard back.

To sign the petition click here. 

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