My goal with this blog is for you to enjoy your time here. Most of the posts talk about my experiences raising my two yellow Labrador Retrievers, some are just for fun, and others share the best dog related information and products I have found.

Use the tabs above for quick navigation. I have imbedded links for as much as possible so that you can find the resources easily from this blog. The links in the side bar are for websites that have been helpful to me. I hope that you find them useful for you and your canine "family member"

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bark Busters - The truth will be told

One of the things that impressed me the most when I started looking for answers was that the best information I found out there was free. For instance "Flying Dog Press" Suzanne Clothier's website contains free articles she has written that cover many important topics. Topics that people are often seeking answers for when they run into problems. Her love for and compassion for animals and their owners is tangible in everything she writes. Then there are the awesome articles written by various trainers on the Clicker Solutions web site. Once again the training articles are free.

I was reading through a dog discussion forum today and came across this post form someone who shared her experience with Bark Busters. Having never had any first hand knowledge of their approach, as the price alone made me think twice, I was interested in what she had to say. You can read Tricia's post here, and here was Bark Busters response (also see comments). Personally I am still glad I kept looking for other options when a Bark Busters trainer was recommended to me.

As I've said before there is no quick fix, there are no short cuts, the promise of a "lifetime guarantee" is absurd. What you should look for is a trainer who can go the distance with you to help you train your dog the first time with out charging you "an arm and a leg". Dogs are group, family, (yes I'm intentionally avoiding the word "pack") animals. Apart from dog-dog indiscriminate aggression which I will not even venture to offer comment on as I have no training on that very serious issue. It has been my experience that most behavioral issues are best addressed in a group setting. When adolescence issues are most evident around other dogs than they need to be addressed by a very competent trainer in the presence of other dogs. Everything from asking for focused attention, walking on loose leash, coming when called, and polite greetings with other people, are all best taught with the distraction of other dogs and people.

Update 11/17/06:
Here's another first hand experience with a "Bark Busters" Trainer. This one once again confirms my point. Dog trainers are not all of a sudden bullet proof because they are "Bark Busters" trainers. They are human like the rest of us, and it is our responsibility as responsible dog owners to be proactive in the care and training of our dogs. I know a tremendous amount more now about raising and training dogs than I ever did before acquiring my two dogs and I'm not done learning. There are great resources out there for those of us willing to take the time to find them. And the rewards far out way the effort!!


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the comments made about Bark Busters. The training that Trisha describes is NOTHING like what Bark Busters does/did when they came to my house. They are completely non-physical and DO NOT alpha roll the dog or KNEE it when jumping. They are completely hands off. They do GROWL a BAHHH at the dog, to simulate a dog's correction. It sounds weird, and I was skeptical, but it works!! You do want to see submission from the dog, but NOT FEAR - and they would never advocate seeing shaking or tails tucked. My Bark Busters trainer told me that this body language would be FEAR, and we DO NOT want to correct to the point of causing fear!? I think some of the stuff posted by Trisha is completely made up, because it doesn't coincide with the trainers I have heard about and seen with Bark BUsters. I found their theory and understanding of dogs to be right on! This is only ONE blog (from way back in 2005) of someone who was not happy with Bark Busters. I have seen 100's of blogs of people who are HAPPY with Bark Busters and I am one of them!

Anonymous said...

Hello -
I am a Bark Busters therapist in New Jersey and find your link to Trish's message completely inaccurate...the methods she describes are completely opposite to Bark Busters techniques. To be fair, you should post the full picture, including a response from Bark Busters National Office. Also, take a look at our website and the THOUSANDS of customer testimonials describing how Bark Busters helped them with their dogs when noone else could or would...how Bark Busters saved their dogs' lives, when other trainers and vets said the dogs should be destroyed...how simple and humane our methods are...how quick results were seen...how compasionate the trainers are. Shall I go on???

For your information, here is the response from Bark Busters to Trish's post -
I'm very sorry, and disappointed, that you're experience with Bark Busters did not meet your expectations. I was a Bark Busters therapist and can personally vouch for the incredible success of the natural communication process used by Bark Busters. I am now the national marketing manager. I would be glad to help you, in any way, to rectify your experiece. I can be contacted at marketing @barkbusters.com. As you probably know, the guarantee is valid for the life of your dog. This means that we will support you until your dog's behavior meets your desire, even if new behavior issues occur at any time -- all at no cost. The techniques used by Bark Busters are based on the learnings and teachings of Sylvia Wilson, who was head of the RSPCA in Australia. They have been hugely successful around the world, so much so that the company is now the world's largest dog training company, located in eight countries, with approximately 150 locations in the USA. With over 300,000 dogs successfully trained, your situation is quite abnormal. I would be glad to have Brett Silk, our national training manager (and, Sylvia Wilson's son -- he has personally trained over 11,000 dogs) contact you to discuss what might have gone wrong, and how we can help rectify it. We publish a quarterly newsletter to vets which I would like to forward to you via an attachment, or you can go online at barkbusters.com. I think you would find it very interesting. Please contact me via email, or at 719 579-9218. I look forward to hearing from you.
Peter Beinetti
National Marketing Manager
Bark Busters USA

You are doing a good thing by bringing awareness to dog owners by sharing your experiences and helping them enjoy their relationship with their dogs. But may I suggest that you take time to educate yourself fully before posting messages like this.

Consider this, your message posting innacurate information could possibly drive dog owners away from the only trainer in their area who might help - we're out here trying to save dog's lives, while messages like this might have them end up destroyed.....

"Sunshine" said...

It sure is nice to have more information out there for people. Thank you all for responding. Like I said in my first post regarding my contact with a Bark Busters trainer, it was simply just my experience, and a very limited one at that. When I first tried to do some research on the Bark Busters method there was nothing out there that clearly told me what techniques or approaches would be used. I was not willing to risk my hard earned money on a method or aproach I did not have any concrete details on. I hated being made to feel guilty for second guessing using the trainer just because it cost so much. The trainer made excusses for how much it would cost. If the mission is to truly save a problem dogs life and to educate people on how to better handle their dog, than perhaps a more altruistic stance should be taken by franchise owners, they should be able to point people to other options if they can not afford a Bark Busters trainer. Once again, this is just one persons opinion.

I do sincerely appreciate you posting here, hopefully your positive message will get to others looking for help from Bark Busters.

Here's to providing solutions and making all dogs lives better in this world.


Anonymous said...

Here is another recent and FIRST hand experience with Bark Busters. If the truth is to be told, you need to also publish comments like this from another person's blog. Again, contrary to Trisha's comments, this blog talks about how the training is completely non-physical. I have heard great things about Bark Busters.

Read this post: http://journals.aol.com/erinsjournal/AsSeenonTV/entries/2006/11/20/bark-busters/2557

Anonymous said...

What beautiful Labs you have!!! I grew up with Labs and volunteer with Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida here. While I have 3 mutts now, my heart still melts for Labs. I will have another Lab again some day I'm sure!!!

I just wanted to also chime in here about Bark Busters. I have friends that have used them and have been extremely happy! Their methods are a bit different (growling for correction), but they are not physical with the dogs at all. They teach their people to be their dog's pack leader and how to communicate with their dog in a canine way, and how to break things into steps (show and guide) to teach your dog what it is you want it to do. It is very intuitive and it works!! The Lifetime Guarantee is not that they say the dog will never have problems again, but rather that they will return free of charge in the future if your dog regresses or you have new problems. The guarantee moves with the dog, so if the dog gets rehoused or the owner moves to a new city/state, another Bark BUster trainer will honor the guarantee and help free of charge. That's how I understand it, at least. We have used Bark Busters for some of the foster dogs in Lab Rescue and for helping some adoptors with some of these same Labs. Bark Busters helped us with these problem dogs (for free of charge) and then went on to train the new owners free of charge. They are amazing. They are helping us to keep the dogs in a home, and prevent them from coming back to rescue...

Anyway...I just wanted to comment, since I have had very good experiences with Bark Busters albeit indirectly.

"Sunshine" said...

Once again thanks to all for continuing the discussion. I appreciated the link someone provided to the journal entry where Erin talks about her own personal experience with Bark Busters. For those of you who are interested here it is as an edited active link: journals.aol.com/erinsjournal[ ...]bark-busters. I must however comment on this journal entry. See my "Part 2" post.