Bark Busters - Negative Experience - your thoughts?

Silver

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#21
And btw, I'm from BC as well, so hello fellow BCer! :lol-sign:

~Tucker
Hey Tuck, how's it going? Where in BC? I'd guess the island based on that picture of Spy at the beach that I saw.

Can I just say, Silver, your training instincts are really great. It sounds like you're coming from a behaviorial psychology background, which makes me happy to see. :)
Hah, not quite, liz! I'm about a month from being called to the bar - I'm sure my law profs would laugh if they heard someone guess that I had a behavioural psych background - in fact, they'd probably be proud, as though they had something to do with it!

I think that you would really enjoy clicker training. Instead of "BAH"ing your dog for bad behaviors, you're "Clicking" your dog for good behaviors. There's a lot of theory behind it that I think you'd also be inerested in learning about. In addition to the books suggested already, Karen Pryor's "Don't Shoot the Dog" is a great one to start with for clicker training, it's probably one of the best animal training manuals out there. "The Power of Positive Dog Training" is also a good one.
I will definitely look into it. We started looking into clicker training early on, but unfortunately a lot of Angus' puppydom was spent on damage control more than proactive training as both of our lives got real busy real fast at a bad time for the dog. We've done our best, but we know we haven't had the time to devote to training that we've wanted. That should change in about a month and I'm hoping that we can then really kick his training into high gear.

No advice on the trainers but a bit HELLO from Surrey. :) And welcome to chaz. Your pup is GORGEOUS. And shiny. What are you feeding
Hi Saje, thanks! For all of those pictures, he was on Science Diet Lamb Meal and Rice Large Breed Puppy (which, yes, we have since learned is not exactly the ideal food). He has just finished switching over to Orijen Large Breed Puppy and I've also just started to give him salmon oil caps as I've read that it's excellent for his coat. With the Entertainment Book coupons (for Mr. Pet's, I think), the Orijen becomes pretty reasonably priced (something like $50/big bag).
 

bbkng

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#22
Its so funny...I called them when my boy Licus,was 5 months old. The trainer came,try to teach me stuff with his little dog bible with a paragraph on Aussies(I was aldready on my 10th book just on Aussies) did exactly the same stuff(the bathroom trick etc etc).I HATED IT. My dog was so relaxed, played around with the chains,nipped the guys feet a little:) he couldnt handle him at all!He made some calls to other trainers for advice, got me another app date.

I called him the same night told him that i dont want to work with them anymore. The only thing was he made me sign the contract the same day so i couldnt get my money back...
 

Zoom

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#23
Silver, you sound like a great dog owner! :D (And hi from a lawyer's daughter!)

Don't worry about "messing up" in the first part of his training, most of us do, unless we're the rare percentage that either A) does entirely "too much" research before hand or B) has had multiple dogs before. I've got an Aussie and a Black Lab myself, count myself as a dog trainer and trust me, I've messed up some areas with my own dogs. Live and learn...
 

BostonBanker

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#25
That is such a cute lab! I love the picture of him peering into his toy!

I've never had any experience with BarkBusters (Vermont is always about 10 years behind in getting any big chain businesses in), but from the quiz on their site, I'm unimpressed. Meg is a dog who I think could succeed in almost ANY home, and would be a fantastic pet for a family...and she is on the very low end of a B - 49. Apparently they don't take into account that there are some things people just don't care about to train. Meg walks in front of me on a leash, but never pulls, and so I don't care! Why in the world would I want to make her walk behind me?

All my favorite books have already been suggested, but I'll put in another vote for The Other End of the Leash.
 
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#26
Wow, a lawyer with good psych instincts, I bet you'll be awesome. My little sister wants to be a lawyer, she's in undergrad now majoring in poli sci, I just couldn't convince her to do psychology. :(
 

Sweet72947

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#27
I used Barkbusters once, and I was also unimpressed. I was told that the BAH and the chains was supposed to simulate the growling and snapping of an alpha dog correcting another dog.

Your pup sure is cute. :)
 

Silver

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#28
I called him the same night told him that i dont want to work with them anymore. The only thing was he made me sign the contract the same day so i couldnt get my money back...
I have a feeling we'd still pay a hefty premium if we canceled on them now - they would maybe even try for the full amount. What I do know is that I actually made an honest effort to use their methods last night (other than locking him in the bathroom) and I made it nowhere. I really did try. He tore open one of the "training pillows" though, and I had a moment of panic where I thought he may have swallowed the chain from inside. He didn't, but for that second...

Silver, you sound like a great dog owner! :D (And hi from a lawyer's daughter!)

Don't worry about "messing up" in the first part of his training, most of us do, unless we're the rare percentage that either A) does entirely "too much" research before hand or B) has had multiple dogs before. I've got an Aussie and a Black Lab myself, count myself as a dog trainer and trust me, I've messed up some areas with my own dogs. Live and learn...
Hey Zoom! Thanks! Yep, it's definitely a learning experience. I know that I don't know enough to make Angus right out of the gates, but I will do my best to get him there - I don't care about the money (although it's a factor), I just want the best dog I can have.

Silver,
Actually, I am from Vancouver :).
Nice to see some people from around the area!

~Tucker
Nice Tuck - any favourite parks in town? I'm temporarily living out by VGH and have been exploring a bit. Angus loves loves LOVES Spanish Banks - but goes a bit crazy when we get there. He's a bit "excitable" to say the least. :eek:

That is such a cute lab! I love the picture of him peering into his toy!

I've never had any experience with BarkBusters (Vermont is always about 10 years behind in getting any big chain businesses in), but from the quiz on their site, I'm unimpressed. Meg is a dog who I think could succeed in almost ANY home, and would be a fantastic pet for a family...and she is on the very low end of a B - 49. Apparently they don't take into account that there are some things people just don't care about to train. Meg walks in front of me on a leash, but never pulls, and so I don't care! Why in the world would I want to make her walk behind me?

All my favorite books have already been suggested, but I'll put in another vote for The Other End of the Leash.
I was thinking about the quiz last night - and I decided that I don't really hold THAT against them. I mean, it's designed to provide generalities in general situations. Anyone who isn't an idiot should realize that not everything applies to everyone or every dog. If it's a simple method for the general public who doesn't know dogs to get some gauge on their dog's behaviour, it's a starting point for further exploration. That's just a side opinion on that, though.

Wow, a lawyer with good psych instincts, I bet you'll be awesome. My little sister wants to be a lawyer, she's in undergrad now majoring in poli sci, I just couldn't convince her to do psychology.
Thanks liz! Psych's not for everyone; although my old boss, a criminal/immigration lawyer, swore that if he could do it again, he'd go into forensic psych. A noble field!

I used Barkbusters once, and I was also unimpressed. I was told that the BAH and the chains was supposed to simulate the growling and snapping of an alpha dog correcting another dog.

Your pup sure is cute. :)
Thanks Sweet! Well, Angus thanks you. I was told the same thing. I can vaguely appreciate how the BAH can be taken to be an expression in "dog language" of some sort; however, the chains? I don't buy it.
 

bbkng

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#29
I was very open with the trainer, i told him their way of training was not for me and said that he was at my home for 2 hours and 1 hour of it was full of confusion and calling other trainers,the other half was a powerpoint presentation and asked if what he did really worths $450+tax

But the bottomline it was my bad that i didn't do enough research on them and fell into their marketing trap. It was a lesson learned...
 

Silver

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#30
Props to the trainer that came my house.

She replied to my "termination" email very kindly (it was a nice email) and gave very good information and simply recommended that we find a training method that suits us. She even sent me a very good document on training recall.

I believe her to be, and I felt this when she was here, someone that actually cares about dogs. I do not have a negative thing to say about her, other than the methods she currently uses to train.

In any event, just thought I'd let you all know after you all gave me such helpful information.

And again, Props to her.
 

SizzleDog

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Uh Oh.... Ilsa is a "C" dog with a score of 58! Oh dear, how did she get those CGC and TDI titles, and how on earth is she a wonderful dog to live with? Oh goodness, let me call Bark Busters right away! :rolleyes: I think she must "need training" because she's a DOBERMAN and barks when people come to the door, barks at suspicious passersby, walks ahead of me (on a loose leash), and goes out doors/up stairs ahead of me. Sorry - she's fast, and I'm slow - she can climb the stairs faster than I can! Oh, and sometimes she wants a pat on the head. What a terrible, poorly behaved dog she is, shame on her for wanting physical contact. After all... Dobermans were only BRED for craving close physical contact with their owners. Hmph.


Ronin... oh dear, poor Ronin. He's a 'C" dog with a score of 68. Must be that he's a DOBERMAN and dislikes other males. Or... maybe because he's got a small separation anxiety problem, which causes him to fuss when he's left all alone and he asks to be petted. We'd better return that big CGC ribbon, he doesn't deserve it. :rolleyes:

I dont' think the quiz is very realistic. It seems slanted to make even well adjusted, well behaved dogs look like monsters.
 

CharlieDog

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#32
Ozzy scored a 54. Because he digs, barks, and walks ahead of me.

So? lol. I had considered BB at one time, but after I did some research online, I discounted them after a ton of negative reviews. I dont need to growl at my dog to get a point across...
 

DanL

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What a nice looking pup!

Both Daisy and Gunnar are "C" dogs. Gunnar a 53 an Daisy an 82. How'd we get those CGCs? How will Gunnar ever get his CD and CDX? How can I even consider Daisy getting a TDI?

Gunnar barks (duh), walks ahead of me. He's acted aggressive towards people and bitten them (of course, only when I give him the magic word at training, but I wanted to answer honestly!). He acts weird at the vet. He brings me toys to make me play with him and (gasp!) will come over and climb on my lap to have me pet him.

Daisy is just horrible. She's almost a lost cause. She steals food off the counter. It's not my fault she can look on the counter and drink out of the faucet with all 4 feet on the ground. She jumps on people at times (she likes to dance, what can I say), she barks at leaves blowing in the yard. She digs holes. She will break a stay at times. She shakes like a leaf at the vets.

I might just give up on both of them and start over. Or, I'll call bark busters. When they arrive, I'll give Gunnar the "pas auf" command and see if they come in the house. (pas auf is the "watch" command- actively bark and act aggressive, but do not engage). heh heh heh.
 

Zoom

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#34
Sawyer is a 66 "C" dog...oh noes! A herding dog that barks or nips at movement? Teh Horrorz! How did we get our CGC and constant compliments on how well-behaved he is??

Virgo is a 97 "D" dog...guess I'd better take her back to the shelter. :p She always walks a pace or two in front of me, which I don't care about unless she's pulling or I've given her the "heel" command. Guess all those people who said she should be a therapy dog were just sadly misguided. :rolleyes:
 

JennSLK

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#35
Jazz is a D dog with a 87.
This category of dogs has issues that can be serious if not addressed soon. Owners of these dogs are constantly being annoyed and irritated by their behavior and are beginning to think "Something has got to be done." Fortunately, dogs can change their behavior quite easily, so these owners should seek help immediately.
When the doorbell rings, does your dog bark and/or run to the door? Uh yeah. Shes a doberman.

Does he demand attention by asking to be petted or to play? Yup. Heaven forbid she wants to cuddle on the couch or get a belly rub

Does your dog ignore you when you call him to come? Sometimes. Think K-I-T-T-Y

Does your dog play too roughly with children and/or adults? She is a 75lb dog. What do you think.

Does your dog bark while outside, at passers-by, or just about anything? Again. Read DOBERMAN

Does your dog "steal" items, such as food from counters or tables? If its eye level its fair game. (Im working on it. LOL)

Does your dog show any aggression toward other dogs or people? Yup. She prtects her mommy if she is needed.

Does your dog run up the stairs and/or through doorways ahead of you? Shes fast, Im slow.

Emma is a 81. A C dog

Does my SCENT HOUND try to escape? Uh, Duh!
Does my SCENT HOUND ignore my recall sometimes? HELLO!
 

huskyloves

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#36
No fan of them here, either. My biggest problem with them is the cookie cutter approach, it's a "one size fits dog" policy, and that's just not very productive. I'm a believer in using a method that works with the dog, not trying to make the dog fit into the method.
Not to mention the fact that anyone can buy into the franchise, all that's required is a fat check and their two week "training" program, whoop de doo :p!

Oh, yeah, and if you ever run across one again, ask them to explain to you the difference between operant conditioning and classical conditioning, most can't give you an answer.
 

huskyloves

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:yikes: Holy crap, I just looked up their franchise price, a minimum investment of $71,000 ????? For that kind of money you can go to college and get a degree in ethology!!
 
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#38
When it comes to bark busters and any dog training system I think we have to be careful to not throw out the baby with the bath water. When there are serious dog behaviour issues it has to be recognized that it will take more than 3 lessons to solve any problems. With consistent training over the long term you can see results. I have heard some positive reviews of bark busters. I haven't used their services but as with most dog training methods I may not agree with all of it but I think I could learn something.
 
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