meet your specialist trainer Michael Konstantaras
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist for Upper Fairfield, Connecticut
Bottom line up front: I whole heartedly recommend Mike the dog trainer to anyone who has a dog. This is my first and only review I've written and it is because I strongly believe in Mike's training program and teaching style. My dog is a little 30-pound shepherd mix named Arnie and was having increasing aggression, barking, and jumping as he was entering his adolescence. He is my first dog that I raised from a puppy and I thought I was doing everything right. I read the puppy books, went to puppy school through the ASPCA, socialized him early and often, but as he got older he got more and more aggressive, especially on the leash. I became discouraged with training assistance form most sources because most of what you find out there is positive reinforcement only, which is fantastic for training a wanted behavior, but not effective for removing unwanted behaviors. Mike had a unique approach from what I read with his style focusing on training the human, rather than the dog. I figured that Arnie's issues were coming from anxiety with him being so small and Mike agreed and also added in a very tactful manner that my dog didn't truly respect me and is the primary reason why he doesn't listen and didn't feel calm and comfortable with me when we were out together. I would summarize Mike's style as dog whispererish, but without ever laying your hands on your dog as punishment. As Mike says, "hands are for petting". It is very much about continually reinforcing your dominance through every interaction with your dog so that your dog respects you in a 100% humane manner. There are no treats, there is no violence, and no pain brought upon your dog in any way. His method is based off of continuous communication. What does that mean you ask? Mike taught me the tools to communicate with my dog through body language, a modified growl (sounds silly and takes some getting used to but is extremely effective) and a couple of tricks. Mike walks you through the process every step of the way and gives continuous feedback on how to improve. Within 1 day of implementing Mike's teachings my dog's unwanted behaviors almost entirely vanished. I was able to loose leash walk him in a distraction free environment and he did not bark or jump on guests when they entered the house. I'm now about 6 months out of Mikes session (which only took about 2 and 1/2 hours and he came to our house) and I can loose leash walk him through a high distraction area with passing cars and barking dogs and Arnie will calmly walk through with only minimal corrections on my part. This is because Mike taught me how to forge a relationship of trust and respect with my dog, so even though he is an anxious little fella, he knows that if there is a threat to him (which is almost everything in his eyes) that I will take care of it and so he remains calm and happy and thus I remain calm and happy. I have found that through the brilliance of the basics that Mike teaches you most of the problem behaviors just go away, and when a problem behavior does emerge, because your dog trusts and respects you he will actually listen even if there is a great big distraction. I will emphasize that this is by no means a "magic bullet". Mike will give you the tools to communicate with you dog and then it is on you to continuously and consistently use these techniques, but Mike is readily available to take questions or even come back for additional training sessions if ever needed. I can't recommend his services enough.Ben F.August 18 2016
Best Dog Training in Fairfield County CT
Welcome to the Bark Busters Home Dog Training, I'm Michael and I'm your local dog trainer and behavioral therapist. I will help you become "the leader of the pack" using dog-friendly, non food-based techniques (NO SHOCK COLLAR, CHOKE COLLAR, OR HARSH METHODS EVER!!!). My goal is for your dog to love and respect you, not fear you. I will work with you in your home addressing issues such as housebreaking, separation anxiety, aggression, jumping up, puppy nipping, walking on leash, and much more. I can help you with ANY BREED, ANY AGE, ANY ISSUE! I am available 7 days a week and evenings to help work around my client's hectic schedules and allow time for the whole family to be involved.
In-Home Training: I come to you! Your home, yard, and neighborhood is where most dog’s issues occur and also the best place to start training. Once you’ve established leadership in your home we can also do off-site lessons at the local dog park or teach you how to calmly walk your dog through town on a busy weekend afternoon! I will effectively address any issue you may have including: aggression, housebreaking, jumping on visitors, nuisance barking, getting into the garbage can, demanding attention or bothering family members and guests, fighting between dogs in the same home, separation anxiety, walking on leash, and much more. It's very common for clients to see results with dog behavioral issues in the first 20 minutes! Click here to see what clients are saying about me. Expensive "boot camps" or sending your dog away for training are not effective in my opinion because your dog needs to respect and listen to YOU in YOUR HOME, not a trainer at some facility. Besides, wouldn't you rather be a part of shaping your dog's behavior to the way YOU want it to be?
Personalized Dog Training Programs: I develop a personalized one-on-one program for you based on your dog's particular personality and your goals.
Positive Dog Training: No shock collars, choke collars, pinning, intimidation or clickers. Unlike some trainers, I never use harsh techniques or bribe with food to extort good behavior. Our methods focus on teaching you natural “canine communication” to help educate your dog to the rules of you home, Clear communication and understanding produces longer lasting results than treat training or force.
Effective Dog Training: 100% guarantee you will learn more and see better results in our first training session than in group classes that last several weeks. You'll be amazed at what your dog will be able to do once you learn to "speak dog" and understand what your dog is trying to communicate to you.
Speak Dog: Dogs don't understand English any better than Greek or Italian. It's no wonder they can't immediately understand your verbal commands. It’s much easier for you to learn your dog's language, not the other way around. This is especially true if your dog is stressed or seems resistant to what you have already tried. You will learn how to use your body language and voice tones to get your dog to focus on you and respond to your directions. It’s really amazing for both you and your dog when you can finally understand what each other wants!
New Adoption: Adoption is at an all time high which is great! I have helped countless families welcome their newly adopted puppy or adult dog to their home. Not all dogs (unfortunately) have had the best experiences before you adopt them. I will help your new furry family member adjust to your home and establish that calm, balanced environment that you both desire.
Our training is ideal for the following issues:
- Attention demanding
- Basic obedience commands (come, sit, stay, leave it, drop it, fetch, ect.)
- Leash pulling
- Running away
- Separation anxiety
- Sibling rivalry - tensions / fights with other dogs in the household
- Respecting cats or other pets
- Focus & listening
- Improving confidence
- Not rushing the door, visitors or kids
- Preparing for a new baby or a change in address
And much more!!!
Have Michael come speak at your office, school, or next event:
I routinely speak at Vet Offices, Children or Adult Schools, Animal Shelters, Town or City Meetings, and various other forums on such topics as General Dog Behavior, Aggression, Dog Safety in the Workplace, Puppy Behavior, Adoption, or any dog related topic of your choice. Call me directly at 203-313-7613 for more information.
how we can help you and your dog
The Bark Busters Home Dog Training Methods helps solve dog behavior issues such as aggression towards people or other animals
- Cure embarrassing habits like barking, jumping up on people, scratching & whining at doors or inappropriate toileting.
- Create an obedient dog or puppy that will happily walk on the lead without tugging, sit or stay on command, and come immediately when called.
- Set off-limit areas for your dog.
- Reduce the stress of separation anxiety without the need for sedatives or drugs.
We teach you to communicate with your pet.
Blah, blah, blah, bad dog! blah blah. Do you think your dog isn't listening to you? Maybe you're simply not speaking his language. You may have heard of dog whisperer or dog listener techniques. The Bark Busters dog training method is based on the way dogs communicate with each other and how they learn from older, more important dogs in the pack. This is what makes our dog training unique and effective.
Why do we train in your home?
Your dog lives with a family, in a home. This is where he misbehaves most often so this is where training is most effective. Dogs learn by association. Bark Busters teaches your dog to listen in the home environment. If he does not listen at home, he will not listen outside your territory.
Training in your home is a one-on-one system without the distraction of other dogs or the stress of being sent away for training.
Of course, where you are experiencing problems outside the home such as pulling on the lead or dog aggression, we will set up controlled training situations in the park or wherever is most practical.