what our clients say about Howard Marks & Marlene Marks
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
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What our Clients are saying about us
Marlene and Howard, from Bark Busters, are miracle workers. Our 13-week old labradoodle is a sweet puppy, but before yesterday, he barked and jumped and nipped ALL DAY LONG, and was a whirling dervish on the leash. It was exhausting and discouraging. Marlene and Howard came to our house yesterday morning, and changed our life. They stayed for a couple of hours, explained their methods and the philosophy behind them, and worked with my husband and me on basic behavior problems - barking, jumping, nipping, misbehaving on the leash, and a few other basics. By the time they left, our dog was relaxed and manageable. We were worried that he might revert to his former bad self as soon as they walked out the door, but Marlene and Howard emphasized that they were training us, not the dog, and that as long as we remained consistent, he would continue to respond well. When we worked with him this morning, he was relaxed, focused, and manageable. The nonstop barking seems to be a thing of the past; he sits on command and has begun to "stay" pretty well; his nippiness is practically gone; and we have every confidence that his leash behavior will continue to improve. All this after just ONE DAY. Thank you thank you thank you, Marlene and Howard.Nancy A., Evanston, IllinoisNovember 2 2017
Marlene has done a sensational job left me with the tools and mindsets to be able to properly train my dog she is always available for questions or comments I appreciate the dedication Sidney RosenbergSidney R., Highland park, IllinoisJuly 29 2017
Marlene and Howard are amazing. Our Shitzu, albeit sweet, was a rescue with boundless energy and few manners. In no time, with short easy to schedule and easy to follow home training, he is an obedient angel. Marlene leaves you copious notes, so you don't forget what she taught you. They do not use punishment at all. They also use treats sparingly! But it works! Then a year later, we had an issue come up where Chewy started being aggressive with big dogs. True to their promise, I called Marlene and scheduled a visit to work on that issue. They came and again offered an easy to implement solution. They are wonderful people and very knowledgeable about animals.Wendy M., Chicago, IllinoisAugust 19 2016
I have only had 2 sessions with Marlene and Howard so far, but I've found that they are very sweet to my dog despite her stubbornness/ spazziness and have a solid understanding of what makes her anxious, badly-behaved, and sometimes aggressive. The exercises they've given me to work with my dog to establish my "in-chargeness" have been very helpful and I can see that my pup is more at ease around the home these days, even with visitors.HANNAH G., CHICAGO, IllinoisSeptember 14 2015
In August, on a very hot summer day, I think it was around 95 degrees, I was taking out the garbage in the alley. I heard a dog crying a couple of houses down and investigated where it was coming from, and found a crate with a very cute dog inside. This was the same kind of crate used to transport animals on a plane. At first blush, I thought the owner was inside the house and would take the dog in after dropping off her luggage. About a half hour went by and I had this gnawing feeling about the dog in the crate. I came back outside and saw one of our neighbors and asked if she knew anything about the dog. The neighbor did not know, but said the dog was there for about 2 hours. I then peered into the crate and saw that the dog was very mangy, very matted looking and there was a foul order coming from it. I opened the crate and the dog ran out and away. I chased after this dog for over an hour, and then gave up. As I was walking back home, our neighbor corralled the dog in her yard and gave him to me. My husband Danny and I found the dog in very bad shape. The smell was coming from its ears that were bulging out like cauliflower. As we went to look deeper in its ears, it turned around and bit me. Immediately, we took the dog and ran to the vet where the dog was quarantined for 2 weeks. He also had severe ear trauma, fleas, well, you name it - the bottom line is that dog was neglected and put out in 95 degree weather to die. We visited the dog at the vet and we decided to keep him. We named him Ollie. For a couple of weeks back in our house he was great. We have another dog and they seemed to get along just fine. Then, one day, as we were putting drops in his ears, he turned around and bit me again. This occurred a couple of times, but the last time, it was pretty bad. Now we had to decide if we were going to keep Ollie or if we were going to take him to a shelter. As we were thinking about the shelter, we felt that it would not be right to give him up to one since he had bitten me a few times and he was now hard of hearing because of the damage done to his ears. So, now we're thinking we had to put him down or get help. We contacted our vet and he recommended that we call Bark Busters. Marlene and Howard came to our home and we immediately saw that the techniques and their knowledge of dog behaviors were the best fit for us. After one lesson, Ollie showed great improvement. Marlene and Howard showed us how to communicate with him without using any shock collars, prong collars, or electronic collars. Rather, they showed us how to be a leader in the household by using training exercises coupled with voice tones and body language. These exercises have helped us to now have a trust and bond with Ollie. We know we have a way to go, but we are on the right path and we have laid the foundation to be part of our household pack. We highly recommend Marlene and Howard Marks and Bark Busters as trainers and to help fix unwanted behaviors with your dog. We did, and we did not have to euthanize Ollie.Marie & Danny L., ChicagoNovember 17 2010
October 29 2017Howard Marks & Marlene Marks dealt with:
Our 13-week old labradoodle is a sweet puppy, but before yesterday, he barked and jumped and nipped ALL DAY LONG, and was a whirling dervish on the leash. It was exhausting and discouraging.
Marlene and Howard came to our house yesterday morning, and changed our life. They stayed for a couple of hours, explained their methods and the philosophy behind them, and worked with my husband and me on basic behavior problems - barking, jumping, nipping, misbehaving on the leash, and a few other basics. By the time they left, our dog was relaxed and manageable.
We were worried that he might revert to his former bad self as soon as they walked out the door, but Marlene and Howard emphasized that they were training us, not the dog, and that as long as we remained consistent, he would continue to respond well.
When we worked with him this morning, he was relaxed, focused, and manageable. The nonstop barking seems to be a thing of the past; he sits on command and has begun to "stay" pretty well; his nippiness is practically gone; and we have every confidence that his leash behavior will continue to improve. All this after just ONE DAY.
Thank you thank you thank you, Marlene and Howard.
December 9 2016Howard Marks & Marlene Marks dealt with:
Bear had his first session of intensive personal training this morning. we were gifted with a training harness and a bunch of tips to keep him from pulling on the leash, jumping on people, and just being crazy in general. I just took him out for his first walk after the session and it's like he's a totally different dog! I finally feel like I can control this monster! thanks Bark Busters Chicago!! we'll be putting your wonderful advice to good use and we can't wait for our next session! ð
August 24 2015Howard Marks & Marlene Marks dealt with:
In a panic with a new puppy, I reached out to Marlene and Howard at Bark Busters, who responded to me immediately and with much support and guidance. They provided initial training, followed up with check-in phone calls, and, when I unfortunately had to bring my puppy back to the breeder due to lifestyle challenges, they listened to my concerns, offered sympathy and understanding, and were nice enough to provide me a full refund despite having already worked with me for several hours.
When I venture out to select a puppy again in the future, I will consult Marlene and Howard before I do anything else, and I will schedule our first meeting for my puppy's first week. They treated me with kindness, warmth, and respect, and I look forward to the day I get to work with them in training the puppy that is meant to be mine.
October 1 2014Howard Marks & Marlene Marks dealt with:
We have had only two lessons with our old English bulldog. Sadie is so cute but so stubborn. HOWARD & MARLENE have given us the tools to help Sadie become a well trained dog. After our 2 lessons Sadie is sitting and coming when she is called, not jumping as much as she did before, and is walking next to us when we take her one a walk. They also gave us advice on how to get her to stop nipping since she is teething and she is doing so much better. No more biting our ankles or hands. We still have a lot to do but I am so glad we have them standing right next to us. They are AWESOME and so caring for our little girl but with us as new owners!!!
March 12 2014Howard Marks & Marlene Marks dealt with:
Let me start with a brief description of my puppies; two adorable tyrants! My neighbor, excited with his results for his puppy, told me about Bark Busters. I called Bark Busters and left a message. Within minutes Marlene called back and was extremely helpful and professional. We agreed to meet at 11 AM on a Sunday... Marlene and Howard arrived 15 minutes early. They were wearing professional attire and display grace and friendliness. They arrived at my apartment with such manners, I felt like they were family. . They looked at my puppies and explained the program to me. As Howard was explaining the program, my puppy started chewing a piece of wood. Marlene said a command and the puppy stopped immediately (magic).
Not only I was impressed and I felt secure by Marlene and Howard, they only want me to provide the best life for my puppies. We did some training with the puppies and the results are amazing. The puppies are lovely, tender, respectful.
Thanks to Bark Busters. I can now see that through training, I can continue to have best friends for life. Marlene and Howard have a great way to explained the reality of a dog life! Highly recommended.
April 14 2012
We adopted a seven year old Glen of Imaal Terrier who had aggression issues and a Bark Busters collar. After many unpleasant walks, we called Marlene. She came to our home a few days later and started working with us. We have been pleased with the progress and have noticed a lot of improvement. We are very happy with the methods and the fact that we can call for advice when we need it. The policy that the previous owner's Lifetime Support could be passed on to us is wonderful!
August 23 2011
Marlene and Howard - Thank you so much for your time on Saturday and for sharing your techniques! Khloe is responding so well. Coming home tonight was a real pleasure and so NOT stressful! She's actually listening to Paul as well - which just was not happening before. We are really looking forward to your return trip!
July 24 2011
I absolutely felt like I had all the information I needed to keep up with the techniques. I never wanted to use a physical or negative training system. The training experience was very interesting, enjoyable and almost unbelievable as they became like different dogs: respectful and attentive. I have already recommended Bark Busters to the PAWS volunteers as a great way to train your adopted dog!
June 24 2011
Great, affordable training! Marlene and Howard were very fantastic and caring. They worked with our (sometimes moving) schedule to help transform our year-old anxious, howling shelter dog into a wonderful pet. We tried other obedience trainers but had little results. This program is very affordable, showed results immediately, and worth it. Thanks!
February 8 2011
Marlene and Howard: We practiced "attentiveness training" on our walk this morning. We're all falling into line very well. I am rather amazed at how Elvis & Kima snapped-to. Thanks for the refresher yesterday. We're off to a good start. Many thanks!