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Bark Busters Client Reviews

"Before Jo came to see us, I had been sleeping on the sofa as Gizmo would not settle in the night without me being near. Jo spent 4 hours with us, first asking us questions about our daily routines and what we feel the issues were and then she preceded to show us how to train Gizmo and get him settled of a night time. That day Jo left, my husband and I managed to sleep in the bedroom for the first time in 2 weeks, Gizmo was really happy to sleep outside the bedroom door and did not whine or bark throughout the night. We are still working on the other tasks that Jo left us with i.e recall and "watch me" which he is picking up really well. When we take Gizmo walking we have had quite a few comments of how well behaved he is for his age and his breed (Siberian husky) we are so grateful for Jo coming over that day and we look forward to seeing her throughout the year."
S.F., Chelmsford, Essex 10th August 2013
Trainer's Comments:
These owners did all the right preparation and planning for their Husky puppy including buying a crate for Gizmo. Most puppies suffer a from separation anxiety when they first leave their siblings and a crate can be a great "safe place" to help a puppy feel secure. However, in some cases crates don't work which is why his owners had weeks of trying different ways to settle Gizmo. In Gizmos case there is a small hallway where he can be safely enclosed behind a baby gate without panicking when his owners leave him. This may seem an obvious solution but it is not just a case of moving a puppy. It is creating the right environment and then educating him and so he can cope on his own. This is not a quick fix and is part of a whole education process which his owners are doing so that he can be confident and happy. Gizmo is now well on his way to being a well behaved and trained dog his owners can be proud of.

"Hello there, my name is Stanley. I know what you're thinking: Okay, so this chair may look a bit of a mess, but it was an early experiment, and I was only a wee bairn when I did it. Actually my brother Haggis put me up to it. He's got the brains but my teeth are bigger. Anyway what we want to say is: that lady trainer called Jo is really cool. She definitely learned us better manners. We nearly always sit, or go into our pen at our mistress' command now, and we stay close by her on walks, and try very hard not to strain when we are on our leads (even if it is VERY hard not to be excited at the beginning). Jo also taught us how we must always let the mistress go into a room before us, and not hog our food. We've also stopped chewing things and making puddles indoors, and are proper growed-up now. We'd like to say we're perfect, but we know that would be fibbing. We know we shouldn't bark at the cat (but she is soooo provoking!) We only bark now in the garden to frighten away would-be burglars or to let the mistress know how pleased we are when she gets home. Jo is still teaching us new things like improving our manners when we meet other dogs. We like all the humans we have met, but we do get worried that some of their dogs may have bigger teeth than us, so we shout at them loudly on walks to look bigger and braver than we are! Mistress doesn't like that, and she and Jo are trying to teach us to look at her instead when she says " watch me" and hopefully that way we can stop worrying about what the other dogs may do. So what we want to say is: this learning business has been a lot of fun with Jo, and we would be happy to recommend her to anyone. Lots of licks, from Haggis and Stanley xx"
C.M., Chelmsford, Essex 30th July 2013
Trainer's Comments:
These two lovely Scottish Terriers are from the same litter and were more interested in listening to each other than their owners at first. They would squabble over food and fight for pole position when out on the lead so walking wasn't much fun and although they seem bold and full of themselves when they are out they are actually nervous and bark at other dogs. When they calm down and realise they aren't under threat, they are actually pretty good with other dogs so their owners are diligently working on building their confidence and making sure they can keep them under control. Before it was difficult for their owners to have a quiet night in front of the TV with the dogs as they wouldn't settle and behave themselves and visitors were jumped all over. Now they are really well behaved and listen to their owners rather than each other. It has been a delight to see the amazing progress made so far and I have every confidence that Haggis and Stanley will continue to be a source of pride for their owners. Top marks all round!

"Jo was wonderful and very supportive she spent ages with us and highlighted the different issues that Barney had. Unfortunately my Barney died on the 1st of July most likely due to a brain tumour which caused his behavioural problems. Jo is truly amazing xx She is a guardian angel who helped us all in our hour of need. Barney was a very unique dog and his case was very distressing but Jo was with us through our journey and we can't thank her enough for that!!"
L.Z., Hornchurch, Essex 30th July 2013
Trainer's Comments:
These owners come into the "super special owner category". They took Cocker Spaniel Barney on from a Rescue and were his fourth owners. Unlike all the others who sent him right back they got help for his problems which were numerous and included obsessive compulsive behaviour, destruction, guarding, separation anxiety and aggression. Unfortunately his behavioural issues were related to a serious medical issue and despite the best efforts of all involved these issues could not be overcome. Cases like this are rare and are very upsetting and distressing for all concerned, but these owners were brilliant with Barney and enabled a very ill dog to live out his final days with a loving and caring family. Although the final outcome was sad I count myself as fortunate to have been involved and able to help this wonderful family.

"Ringo was a very naughty puppy. He had every "wrong" behaviour and was very stubborn and relentless. Jo has helped us to train and control him and very quickly we are onto advanced training. Jo has the answer to every question and every problem. We have a calmer, happier dog and a much less stressed household. We cannot recommend Jo and Bark Busters highly enough. Thankyou."
T.C., Chigwell, Essex 27th July 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Ringo is a Rhodesian Ridgeback who came to this family the weekend they had a shocking bereavement and although they tried their best, by the time I got to see him he was stranger and owner aggressive. He spent his time constantly nipping, biting and jumping and he flat refused to listen to any owner instructions and was aggressive to them when they tried to control him. If they ignored him he would get more and more boisterous and aggressive in his determination to get what he wanted. His owners have totally changed how they behave with him and have taught him how to behave appropriately with both them and visitors. The results are truly amazing and they now have a powerful dog who listens to them and is so well behaved they have now moved to advanced training with him. He is a true credit to them.

"Two visits from Jo and the difference in Jip is huge. He has gone from being a fearful, unconfident, clingy dog with separation anxiety to a much happier dog who does not need to follow me around any more. We are now even considering agility classes with him he is doing so well!"
C.B., Billericay, Essex 27th July 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Jip is a Blue Merle Collie and had previously lived with a group of dogs where he was bullied. He is now the only dog which is much better for him, but his naturally fearful nature made it difficult for him to adjust and he latched onto his new owners and couldn't bear to let them out of his sight. The solution to this has been to build Jips confidence in his new owners and his new environment so that he is comfortable being left on his own. His owners have worked diligently with him and now have a dog who is much more relaxed and happy. You cannot make a fearful dog change its nature but you can make a big difference to how a dog perceives its environment and what is happening around him. His increase in confidence now means that he is ready to be around other dogs and go to agility classes. This wouldn't have been possible before and shows just how far his owners have come with building his confidence.

"Jo is amazing, Bailey's behaviour had changed before Jo even left the house. Jo really took the time to find out our situation and what we needed help with for Bailey. Every time we have need help Jo is just at the end of the phone or email and always comes back to us with guidance. We would recommend Jo and Bark Busters to anyone needing help."
C.D., Upminster, Essex 27th July 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Bailey is a Manchester Terrier who has separation anxiety and would bark and howl when left on his own upsetting the neighbours. His owners had been very proactive in trying to resolve this. They had a dog walker and had tried various techniques and also products designed to deal with this, but with little effect. What had made it harder to deal with is that he can be quiet when initially left and his owners didn't know what upset and set him off. We worked out a training program to settle and give Bailey more confidence when alone and also tackled his attention seeking, determination to answer their front door and occasional recall problems as well. Bailey has responded really well and is coming on in leaps and bounds.

"We found Jo to be excellent and extremely knowledgeable on her subject. Our dog Barney is very noise sensitive and barks a lot in the garden and during the night. From the 1st meeting, Barney no longer barks at night and with the training Jo has put in place we are working with Barney to over come his issues. Looking forward to our next visit."
M.P., Romford, Essex 26th July 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Barney is a lovely Golden Retriever who has barked at everything and anything for the last 3 years. He had got into the habit of barking to get his poor owners up every single night and nothing they did would dissuade him from this. It was bemusing for his owners as he is well behaved and well trained apart from a bit of pulling on the lead and in all other respects is a delightful dog. Noise sensitivity is a tough nut to crack. Dogs become hyper sensitive to any noise and alarm bark at anything they feel their owner should know about. The first part of this is to settle the dog in his home and ensure he will listen to his owners which his owners have managed very successfully. The second part is to desensitise him to the noises that set him off and condition him to realise that these noises are not a threat to his family. This takes time as he has spent years barking, but his owners are committed to his training and are well on the way to resolving this problem permanently.

"Jo visited us and assessed Archie; she spent a lot of time listening to his story (as he is a rescue dog) and assessing his behaviour. She explained everything very carefully and clearly and helped us to understand why Archie was behaving in certain ways. Eg. following my husband every time he got up. Archie didn't have any knowledge of basic commands and Jo taught us how to get him to stay, leave food/treats, come to his name and lie down. She is going to continue to help us get to grips with his 'aggression' around other dogs."
E.W., Shooters Hill, London 25th June 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Archie is a Lurcher who has physical issues that indicate that he spent a lot of his life previously tied up. When I first visited he did not really know how to behave in a home environment as a pet dog. He was suffering from separation anxiety so didn't want to be on his own, but was suspicious of human company and held back from his new owners. It is unlikely he had lived indoors before as he had no basic training. Outside his grasp of dog etiquette was poor. He is nervous and has learned that growling and running at dogs is an effective way to warn other dogs off. Archie responded really well to the techniques demonstrated and they are doing really well with the basics including teaching Archie to come back to them no matter what the distractions. His dog aggression is a work in progress to keep him under control and teach him that other dogs are not a threat and he is already showing a willingness for his owners to make the decisions for him. To take a dog on that has not been a pet before takes time and dedication on the part of the owners as absolutely everything has to be taught from scratch. Archie is fortunate to have such owners.

"Our experience of Jo's training with us and our puppy was none other than excellent. During her home visit, Jo helped us with everything from advice on diet to crate training; basic commands through to advance warning on dealing with socialisation with friends and family with such a cute puppy (and he is cute!) and all in between. We found Jo, professional, friendly and very proficient in her knowledge of all of the things new dog owners should/need to know. We knew that the main aim of our session with Jo was not so much to train our puppy, rather to train us to be confident in our 'parenting' and help us to make informed choices. She worked with us rather than dictated to us and by the end of the day we felt much more equipped and ready to enjoy puppy training and life with our pup in general. We were a lot more confident to move forward and training is fun now rather than slightly daunting! We wanted to give our puppy the best possible start in life and with Jo's support we hope that is what we are doing. She is very clear and patient and evidently loves what she does. We've already recommended her to friends who have benefited from her expertise and would not hesitate to do this again to anyone who may need a little guidance or support. Thank you Jo! Ali, Anna and of course, puppy Locksley."
A.F., Charlton, London 19th May 2013
Trainer's Comments:
These owners had made all the right decisions. They had researched their puppy's breed, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They has checked out the breeder, consulted their Vet, read about Puppy training and set up their home so that Locksley was safe, secure and under supervision at all times. However, like many owners they found there was lots of conflicting advice and made the decision to pre-empt any possible future problems by getting advice specific to their lives and their puppy. Locksley is a delightful puppy who was the "runt" of the litter. Because of the obvious health issues these puppies can often be "babied" by their unsuspecting owners who know they would have been bullied by their siblings and feel sorry for them, but "runts" often survive by either running away or becoming "scrappers" and fighting their siblings so they actually need confident owners who can build the puppy's confidence so they can handle all situations without the need to run away or fight. Locksley is fortunate to have such owners and is growing into a dog that can cope with all situations he encounters and happily be himself.

"Jo has helped us so much in a short space of time. She gave us simple advice and tips for helping to control and become leader to our 'minding' dog Tilly. She is extremely knowledgeable and helped us to understand why Tilly was behaving in the way she was. She is very easy to get on with, makes you feel comfortable and is understanding regarding any training issues - also she is always on hand with advice! Although Tilly is still a work in progress (it's early days and she's a very strong willed little girl!) I would recommend Jo to anyone having behaviour problems with their pooch."
R.D., Romford, Essex 22nd April 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Tilly is a lovely little Yorkshire terrier/poodle cross who insists on "minding" her owners and their home. This is a type of guarding so she barks out of the windows to chase people away and constantly demands attention from her owners to the point of exhausting her owners with her game playing. When she isn't getting them to play or pay attention to her she is digging at the floors and furniture and chewing. Dogs like Tilly don't have an "off" switch and they need good leadership (i.e. the sort of good parenting a boisterous child needs)so she can learn to behave appropriately. She is fortunate to have owners who are prepared to train and educate Tilly and they have thrown themselves whole heartedly into teaching Tilly good behaviour rather than simply telling her off for bad behaviour. They have made great progress to date and I have every confidence that they will continue to do so.

"We had had Benji for about 9 months when we had our first meeting with Jo. Benji was a rescue dog and although we didn't know when we got him we are his 4th home including the kennels so he has the best start as he was about 9 months when we got him. Initially Benji settled in well though I should have realised there maybe problems as when I collected him from the kennels he ran around the inside of my car! It was a few months after we had him when problems developed. Benji became more aggressive, particularly to people coming to our house. He had to be put on a lead when I answered the door. He was also becoming more aggressive to other dogs while we were out walking. I had tried dog training classes but this didn't really help as he didn't seem to cope with these well. We had also visited a local behaviourist for a consultation who gave us some suggestions. When Jo came our house it really seem to make a difference to see him at home, she was able to explain his behaviour to us and give us exercises to help regain control and make him feel more secure. It is also useful to know sometimes there are some situation you can't control but that we can do the right things to calm Benji and regain control. It is going to take a long time with Benji but I think with Jo's help we are making progress now."
K.M., Shoeburyness, Essex 14th April 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This Jack Russell Terrier has some very severe behavioural problems and has been fortunate to find owners who are truly committed to rehabilitating him. His fear makes him aggressive in any situation that he feels threatened in and his owners are patiently working with him to build up his confidence and train appropriate behaviour in a given situation. There is no quick fix with dogs as damaged as Benji. He has had numerous homes and has finally found owners who are willing to take the time and make the effort to help him. It is delight to see a dog who is increasingly looking to his owners for guidance rather than trying to deal with what frightens him on his own. I have every confidence that over time he will trust his owners entirely and react calmly to situations he finds difficult.

"Jo is simply excellent. Separation anxiety was the main issue for us at first, Michael being a new puppy; and me being a first time puppy mummy, I was also anxious to get it right! We've all being sleeping well since Jo got involved with us, Michael is calm at bed times and we are all sleeping through the night! Jo is an excellent trainer and is ever ready to answer any questions and offer reassurance and guidance as necessary. She is patient, kind, knowledgeable and clearly loves what she's doing. No wonder she does it so well!"
R.E., Ilford, Essex 11th April 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This owner has a lovely little Bolognese puppy. Michael is a little shy and needs time to get to get to know new people and settle into new situations. His owner has been very diligent in building her puppy's confidence so he can feel secure on his own and comfortable when presented with new experiences. He is a bright little boy and eager to please his new family. It is a delight to see him progressing so well with his kind and caring owner.

"Jo is fantastic, we can't recommend her highly enough to anybody who is struggling with dog behavioural problems. We have two Yorkshire Terrier x Jack Russell males who barked and behaved uncontrollably whenever anybody came to the house. We also had separation anxiety issues and Jo completely identified both sets of problems we were having and has given us excellent advice on ways to address the bad behaviour. She also explained why the dogs behave the way they do which makes it easier use the techniques in the right way. For us, it is still a 'work in progress' but Jo is always available to give advice and support. Jo has shown us how to be in control of our dogs which immediately made our dogs happier and more settled."
D.F., Ingrave, Essex 4th April 2013
Trainer's Comments:
These owners have a tough job on their hands. One of their dogs is really struggling with his constant drive to protect his owners and the house at all costs and will take every opportunity he can to go back to what he sees as "his job" of guarding. This means his owners have to be persistent and consistent when trying to resolve this. Fortunately he has owners who are prepared to do the work and recognise that this isn't a "quick fix". They have progressed really well. Both dogs are happier, more settled and prepared to listen to their owners and respect the boundaries put in place. The long term outlook for these dogs is good and I have every confidence that these owners will achieve their aims.

"Teddy & Derek didn't have the best start in life being in a rescue centre in Spain for the first 5 months of their lives and having very little human contact. We felt we had made good progress in integrating these frightened little dogs into the family and giving them a happy and stable home. However, there were still a few things they did that we were not happy with, in particular they would jump up and bark at small children. Jo explained to us, why the dogs reacted the way they did to children. She also pointed out how they reacted to one another, to us and more importantly how we reacted to them, and what we were doing wrong!. She explained what needed to be done to overcome the problems we are having and left us with some exercises to get us started. We are already seeing a difference in the way 'the boys' react to each other and to us and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Jo to resolve the issues we have. I have already recommended Jo to a number of people and wouldn't hesitate to do so in the future."
J.W., Hockley, Essex 19th March 2013
Trainer's Comments:
These terrier cross breed dogs were lucky enough to find the right family from the outset. They have patiently integrated the dogs slowly but surely into their family lives and nurtured the relationship to the point where the dogs were ready to pay attention and listen to them instead of scurrying behind the sofa. They have done amazingly well and just needed to know how to keep progressing with the dogs. When dogs have had such little human contact as these there is no "quick fix". Everything has to be done patiently without rushing, so the dogs are confident that "their humans" will protect them from what scares them (children) and look after them. They really are delightful dogs and are an advertisement for what can be done with very damaged dogs when they find the right homes.

"After receiving a letter from the council regarding a complaint about my dogs barking especially late at night, I contacted Jo at Bark Busters. Within days I had my dogs barking under control and so life is much less stressful for myself, my dogs and my neighbours. Jo has addressed every issue I have with my dogs explaining fully why they do it. I have been retrained in my approach and handling of my dogs and they have responded beautifully. I recommend Jo to all dogs and their owners!"
W.L., Herongate, Essex 14th March 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This owner was distraught to find that she was upsetting her neighbours and quickly put everything she needed in place to get her dogs (Jack Russell Terriers/Chihuahua crosses) to stop barking and listen to her. Particular credit is due as one of her dogs has a very serious medical condition and his ill health was the main reason for her allowing bad behaviour in the first place. She has had such good results she is now methodically tackling other problems such as submissive weeing in the house and dog to dog aggression with very good effect. It is a delight for me to see such happy and settled dogs.

"I am very pleased with the progress of the training that Jo has suggested. I was not at all sure whether calling in Bark Busters was a good idea but I am really happy that I did. Jo has given me a lot of advice not only on behaviour but on feeding as well. She makes our meetings very enjoyable. I would not hesitate to recommend Bark Busters to friends. In fact I already have."
I.G., Chelmsford, Essex 3rd March 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This lady has two lovely rough collies who are very nervous and barked constantly. One of the dogs lunged for joggers and cyclists and their owner found it very difficult to take them both out for a walk together. She is an experienced dog owner and has done very well resolving her dogs problems despite bouts of ill health. She can now take them out confidently and enjoy her walks.

"Excellent. Millie has made tremendous progress in the 10 days since Jo visited."
M.S., Shoeburyness, Essex 15th February 2013
Trainer's Comments:
Millie is a Cockerpoo who's owners needed a training program in place before going with her to France and Spain for several months. Millie was hyperactive and constantly attention seeking making it difficult for her owners to safely take her in their camper van and on their boat. She would also escape and run off and not come back. In a very short time she has truly made the "tremendous progress" her owners have commented on and they can now enjoy their extended holiday with their lovely dog.

"We took on a Battersea rescue Staffie Cross, called Coco in August 2012. As relatively experienced dog owners we thought that when she presented any behavioural issues that we would be able to deal with it. We were wrong, in reality, Coco was a very scared little dog, who if we left her alone in the house would chew her way through crates, eat and scratch our internal doors, be terrified of loud noises (fireworks and thunder storms) and in general looked very unhappy and unsettled whilst living with us. Outside of the house she would kill any ball within her eyesight and bark and jump at any dog larger than herself, all without us being able to distract or calm her. We had thrown every little tip and trick we had learnt with our previous dogs but had little to no success with these methods. In January 2013, we could no longer deal with seeing our beautiful little dog looking so miserable with her life. I saw that Jo had worked with my local rescue, Hornchurch Animal Rescue with some success so as we had literally nothing to lose decided to make the phone call. This was one of the wisest decisions we had ever made. Jo visits your home for a few hours and quickly assesses your dog by their body language. We had a very anxious dog and we were making her worse by not addressing her bad behaviour and reassuring her when she was really fearful. Jo leaves you with a given a tailored program of re-training her and reinforcing her good behaviour. As she is such an intelligent little girl she really took to the new regime like a duck to water. Jo really proves that if you are willing to put in a little of your time every day in training your dog that you will get repaid a thousandfold. We have a happy relaxed little dog who is now seen in the local neighbourhood as an ambassador for her breed. Thank you Jo x"
N.R., Hornchurch, Essex 5th February 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This family had taken on a beautiful Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross who was so anxious she found it hard to handle everyday situations. It is impossible to know if her time in rescue caused these problems or if she was in rescue because of them, but the end result meant that Coco spent her time reacting to situations she couldn’t handle with some pretty unpleasant consequences for her loving family. The worst of this being her separation anxiety where she would destroy the house if left on her own. Her owners have worked hard to build Cocos confidence and she has blossomed into a lovely friendly dog who now looks to them to look after her and is a dog who is enjoying her life to the full. An amazing turn around in this little dogs life.

"Before Jo became our trainer I almost could not walk my own dog on leash. Pepper would jump at me, bite the leash and at his worst he bit me in his over excited frenzies. As a 31kg boxer, this was becoming dangerous for us all, as well as heartbreaking as all I wanted was to walk and jog with my boy. The previous (non Barkbusters) training we received in Germany (where we had been living) involved some overly harsh methods, meaning Jo had to undo and put right some bad learned behaviours (both Pepper and mine). Jo has some great training techniques and identified the areas that Pepper and I needed to work on. Not everything works for every dog, so Jo always had alternative training methods if our initial efforts did not go well and kept going until we found the solution. Jo gives very clear instructions and always leaves you with a clear plan of what you need to work on with your dog. The result? I can now walk, jog, run with Pepper and I can fully enjoy the benefits of dog ownership, like everyone should be able to. I know that Jo will continue to support us throughout our 12 month agreement and always responds quickly to any questions i have in between our meetings. One final comment, Jo recommended we shift to a raw food diet, which we did. Pepper loves it and looks really well for the diet change. I second her recommendation and advise dog owners to research and consider a raw food diet for their pet."
J.F., Basildon, Essex 2nd February 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This owner had a really tough job on her hands. She had tried numerous ways to resolve the problem without success. Her Boxer Pepper is a really confident dog and although his general level of training was very good he would simply do what he wanted to do with no heed to his owner when over excited. Pepper has proved to be an extremely intelligent dog and his owner has worked very hard at getting her dog to listen to her in all situations and respond to her instruction even when distracted. This work means that Pepper is much calmer and his owner is now able to re-focus him onto her so that he doesn't run off after other dogs balls and more to the point doesn't treat the lead as a big game to play tug-of-war with. A fantastic result.

"Our Dog Archie had very bad separation anxiety. The training was hard but fun and we kept on with the recommendations until eventually Archie stopped! Whilst we are still fearful of leaving him and record him while we are out, so far he has been brilliant."
K.B., Basildon, Essex 1st February 2013
Trainer's Comments:
This family had a very tough job. Their Cocker Spaniel had severe separation anxiety and became distressed as soon as they left the house. They managed the situation with family help and doggy daycare but wanted their dog to be settled and happy when they were out and have worked hard to get to where they are now. Archie can now be left without him howling, barking and pacing the house waiting for them to come back. A wonderful transformation they can be truly proud of.



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