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Steve Welch Dog Training / service dog training certification

1 CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 800-400-OBEY(6239)

Told me he could train my 12 year old poodle as a service dog. Training involved yanking her neck - she became depressed and neck / spine compromised - toy poodle is too delicate to train with force or pulling, tugging, snapping neck with collar and leash. A bona fide K-9 Training facility informed me that 12 year old dog is too old to train with this intensity.

He sold me service jacket for $125 and pressured me to buy training. He misevaluated my tiny dog and should have recommended softer training for her and another dog for service. The dogs he showed me appeared to be afraid of him rather than wanting to please him. He has many problems and I believe the dogs he trains are abused, not properly trained. Training dogs using punishment and fear tactics makes for a nervous, depressed, fearful dog. Shame on Steve Welch!

More Steve Welch Dog Training Complaints & Reviews

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  • Rw
      26th of Aug, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I have gone through the same thing with my two dogs. Steve and his associate Carlos, lift my dogs two feet off the ground and swing them side to side, and when I question them they said I was stubborned and would never get it through my head because I wasnt smart enough and I was incompetant.
    My dogs are as sweet as ever, but are suffering through a severe case of depression and isolate themselves. I cant believe I put them through that! I blame myself for letting STEVE WELCH AND ASSOCIATED take advantage of me and my dogs! Im filing a poilce report as abc news suggested, and Im never going back again!
    Plus they were in breech of contract and blacked mailed me and harassed me, also saying they knew where I lived and had fire arms! I am afraid for my life!!!

  • Up
      12th of Nov, 2010
    +2 Votes

    I had Steve and Carlos pick up my dog, an American Staffordshire Terrier for service dog training. They had my dog for 7 weeks and refused to let me see my dog during that time. My wife and I went to one of his fund raisers and observed him taking a bull terrier with a pinch collar on, and jerked the dog 2 feet off the ground and shook it with the pinch collar on. He then took the loop side of the leash and beat the dog in the head and face. My wife was so upset that she asked to leave. Upon returning home, we called Steve and demanded that he return our dog. He refused. He had our dog for 5 weeks now. After telling him that we were going to take legal action, he returned our dog 2 weeks later. I couldn't believe the condition of my dog when I saw her. Now, I know why he wouldn't return her. He needed more time to let her wounds heal. She had a raw and bloody throat from over use of a shock collar, She had puncture holes on her neck from a pinch collar, She had urine burns on both of her hind legs from sitting in her own urine, and a bleeding abscess on her stomach. It's unbelievable! She did not learn anything and she is now afraid. I WOULD NEVER, EVER, LET HIM TOUCH ONE OF MY ANIMALS AGAIN! PLEASE DO NOT LET HIM EVER HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR DOG. He has threatened me that if I wrote anything negative about him, he would sue me. I don't care, as long as I can save an animal from going through what my dog did with him.

  • We
      28th of Jul, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Apparently his narcissist attitude has gotten worse. I was only there long enough to gather evidence without him hurting me or my dogs. Yes, he has firearms, he has police trained dogs on the property, and he has Carlos brainwashed. I believe every post that I have read, as I've seen many things in person, but have not personally witnessed him treating the dogs as mentioned above. I have the contracts and all the paperwork I signed, proving that I was on his property. The more people that post against him, then MAYBE Animal Control and the cops will finally get their act together and do something! I called ac enough times that they told me to stop calling! HE shows his clients a nice outdoor facility with all the amenities a dog owner would want for their pet, but the reality is he keeps them in airline crates WITHOUT WATER, and takes them out only a few times a day. The temp inside his garage where he keeps them is close to 100.

  • Tr
      6th of Nov, 2013
    +2 Votes

    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.

  • Cl
      6th of Dec, 2013
    +2 Votes

    This man is a nightmere. He won't giveour dogs back. Has has the for 3 1/2 weeks instead of the agreed upon 5 days. Told my elderly mother in law that unless she gives him $2500, cash, by the morning he will kill her dogs. He originally said $600, which he has already received. The local sheriff is worthless!

  • Jo
      8th of Nov, 2014
    +3 Votes

    I worked for the guy for some time. He did try to brainwash me, but it never did stick. I never saw him beat a dog, but his training techniques are very questionable. He way over uses aversive techniques and if I weren't there to take care of the dogs they probably would not have been fed as much add they should have been. He had 8 different types of cancer when I was there learning from him so he smoked pot to help with that. He is very prone to verbal violence and loves drama. He attracts it around every corner. Plays this kind old man very well, when underneath he is a manipulative liar. He knows how to screw the system and does have friends in law enforcement everywhere. If you are looking for a dog trainer this man is not the one you are looking for. You need someone who will train you and your dog with respect and positive pressure. These old trainers are still around everywhere just waiting to take your money and screw up your dog, and no they will never change. Best to do you research and move on... Steve Welch is probably dead from the cancer by now so you won't have to worry about him anyway...

  • Ca
      12th of Aug, 2015
    +2 Votes

    He hasn't changed. He's still aggressive with dogs, still claims he's dying from cancer, still reeks of cigarettes and pot.

    He is in business now with Wendy Brookhyser (Doggie Do Pet Services) and the two of them were so violent with a dog on June 22, 2015 that neighbors called 911 and Animal Control. The animal control officer told the 12 residents who were waiting to speak with him that they needed to file complaints and go through the formal procedure for anything to be done. The next day the neighbors filed formal complaints with both Animal Control and Code Enforcement and Steve Welch and Wendy Brookhyser were ordered to remove their business from their residence in Trabuco Canyon.

    When people get back an injured animal, no matter what trainer they've used who has injured it, they need to get it to a vet, get a statement from that vet and file an animal cruelty complaint. Better yet - don't leave your dog with anyone. Take the time to take a class with your dog and don't allow some creep to lift it off its feet by its leash to get its attention.

  • Ta
      2nd of Sep, 2015
    +1 Votes

    I unfortunately made the mistake of choosing SW K9 rehab (steve welch) to board and do further training with my service dog... A 2 year old AMstaff Terrier. I was entering the Hospital for a 6th surgery and needed her boarded while I was in the Hospital and during some home recovery. I fell for the positive comments on Thumbtack and Steve Welch's promises to care for her and further her training. I blame myself for not having enough time to complete a full investigating on him and his business. I feel extremely guilty for my decision, due to the suffering my sweet dog had to endure while in his paid care.
    The agreement was that he was to pick her up, board and do some touch up service training, then after 2 weeks, bring her back to me for the sum of $1100.00, which I had to borrow. (I was to watch a DVD of his training techniques and have one lesson with him upon my dog's return.) When he got up to take her she growled and lunged at him, at which point he smacked her with his clip board and told me he would stop that behavior. I should have paid attention to my dog. Obviously she didn't like or trust him. I regret that to this day. At the time my options were limited as I needed a safe place for her to be while I was unable to care for her. I have since learned to my horror that SW K9 Rehab was NOT a safe place for her or any animal.
    Her return date was to be August 17, 2015 Monday. I called him the day before and ask what time he would be arriving to my home (I was not physically able or Md released to travel.) Steve Welch told me he wasn't being her back, because he stated that he had spoke to my mom and she wasn't ready for my dog's return. For the record my mother NEVER spoke to Steve Welch on the phone. I told him that was wrong and I wanted her returned per Our agreement. He said he would return her on Wednesday August 19, 2015 between 12pm and 1pm. He also asked if I had watched the video. Yes I had multiple times, along with several other people. After seeing how he choked, yanked, kneed and hurt the 2 dogs in the video and then made the comment that pit bulls don't have skin nerve endings so this (the training) doesn't hurt him... My fear for any safety for my dog was gone. I cried and prayed a lot for her.
    Wednesday noon came and went. One pm came and went. I started calling and only got voice mail. I called the main number and was told by Carol that he would be bring her and she was a sweet dog. By 530pm, Steve finally called me saying he had an emergency (a dog was bloated and had to go to vet) and also he had been in a no cell service area (mountains.) So a new date was made Friday August 21st at 10am, only thing was... I had to drive half way to Rancho Santa Margarita Lake, Ca to meet Steve Welch in a Carl's Jr parking lot. I would also get my training lesson.
    By this time many knew what was going on... For me and my dog, Tansy. Several started digging into the past to present of "Master Trainer Steve Welch" The only Master I have learned of regarding Mr Welch is: master of lies, abuse, deceit and the list goes on. I was in great fear for Tansy, as were many others. I was still not allowed to travel, but I didn't want her to stay another with this person. I had to borrow $200.00 for a driver to go get her for me, taking along my aunt for the 7 hour round trip. While I pretended to be the one going, afraid that if Steve Welch knew I wouldn't be there he might not show up and return her.
    I am relieved to say that although he was 30 mins late, he did finally show and hand Tansy over to my aunt. My aunt said that when she saw Tansy, she appeared broken spirit, sad, fearful and thinner. He yanked he leash several times to show how to make her mind and told my aunt not to touch Tansy's head or coddle her. Fortunately for Tansy, my aunt ignored Steve Welch, and Tansy got much needed love and petting.
    Once home, Tansy was taken to the Vet (Tansy has been treated twice) she wimppered and whined both times in the car with my aunt, due to her being out of my site.
    Here is a brief rundown of Tansy's physical and emotional injuries, thanks to SW K9:
    1) Loss of hair, bruising, tenderness, red marks and small sores on her throat/neck
    2) Small healing blisters on her lower abdomen and inner thighs, weightloss
    3) Paw tenderness
    4) Head and jaw tenderness
    5) High separation anxiety; potty anxiety, food anxiety
    6) Loss on indoor manners and being housebroken
    7) Fear of leash, collar and Service harness
    8) Fear of riding in car
    9) Fear aggression around other dogs
    10) Refusal to eat food until after she potties (does not want to be seen/cowards)
    11) Protective of food
    12) Worse leash walking and ignorance of known commands
    13) Wary of any changes of routine and/or environment
    14) Fearful of crate

    I have been working with Tansy slowly to rebuild her confidence and am having to redo all the training she use to know. Her external wounds are also slowly healing. Still, the trauma she had to endure at SW K9 and the hands of Steve Welch and associates, will take much longer to recover from. If I had to do this all over again... I would have postponed my surgery and made sure I found proper care for Tansy in a better and closer facility.

    Please DO NOT take your animal to SW K9... Ever !!!

  • Ap
      9th of Jan, 2017
    0 Votes

    I took my dog to ONE private lesson with Steve. After that, we were done! Our puppy wasn't bad at all so I don't think a prong collar was best! A few times he hit my dog in front of me. I felt so bad. When we got home, he was sad. Tail between his legs, afraid of the leash. Our happy pup turned sad in 1 hour. After reading all these complaints, I'm glad we are not continuing training with him.

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