what our clients say about Justin Scher

Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist

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August 1 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead

My 40 pound rescue dog's nickname in our complex was "Scary Harry". It was well deserved because he was an equal opportunity lunger and growler - he went after anything that moved. Walks were a nightmare and I was always worried he would get into a fight and bite another person or dog. People with dogs ran when they saw us coming. Harry also had separation anxiety and would bark and ate several doors and had the door frames for dessert. Our home looked like a beaver lived there. At the suggestion of our vet, I called Justin. He spent a long time at our home, helped me with the leash, a new harness, commands and many other things. I was very impressed with Justin's knowledge of dog behavior. He had many insights that other trainers did not.

After two sessions, Harry now walks along quietly, does not lunge at anyone and is now friends with two dogs he previously terrorized. His new name is "Happy Harry". He can spend time alone without barking and tearing up our home. I am very thankful Justin came into Harry's life and would recommend to anyone who needs help with any dog issue.


Laurel W.
Coronado, California

June 23 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Other

I was on my last home study visit to be approved for adopting a child when my 15 year old Chihuahua-Terrier growled at and kinda tried to bite the social worker. My adoption was put on hold til I could fix the situation. So I called Justin at Bark Busters. It took a couple visits from Justin and some consistent practice on my part but within a couple months we passed the home visit with flying colors! I can't express my gratitude enough for his services. Not to get too maudlin, but I actually learned a bit about myself in the process. Justin's love for dogs is obvious and that is what made me so comfortable taking his advise. And - even more important - I think Roxy is a happier dog for it! This was a situation that could have gone ugly, but instead it turned out beautifully. Thank you thank you thank you Bark Busters!


Amy L.
San Diego, California

June 4 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Pulling on the Lead Puppy Management Toileting Other

When we decided to take on an adorable 9-week-old puppy (that would eventually weight more than us) we knew we were going to need some guidance. What we didn't realize was that most of the advice out there seemingly contradicted the next. Our heads started to spin as our little puppy, Alfred, started to grow. After trying many different methods that never quite felt right to either us or Alfred. We started our search for a personal puppy trainer. Yelp lead us to Justin at Bark Busters and the transformation began! Within 5 minutes of meeting Justin, we knew he was going to be the perfect match for us. He is genuine, kind and compassionate. He has an obvious connection with dogs and a real passion for his profession. We were so relieved to be given tools of non contact, non violent training. Our puppy never responded well to poking or physical correction but instantly surrendered to Bark Busters' techniques. Justin is truly committed to all aspects of his training. We have already taken full advantage of the "call me anytime" :) I am so glad he will be guiding us through a life time of Alfred's development. It has been worth every penny and more! Thank you, Justin, for being our life saver and Alfred's role model and best buddy!


Mary M.
San Diego, California

May 20 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Other

Bark Busters has been AMAZING! I cannot tell you just how much I appreciate the talented and helpful staff at Bark Busters. I reached out to them about a month ago because I had a dog that was dog aggressive. I say "had a dog" because he no longer is outwardly aggressive and he is controllable, which has literally changed our lives! My lab mix, Walter, is 6 years old and he has been dog aggressive since he was about 6 months old. His behavior just got worse and worse as he got older and it got to the point where he would not just bark and growl at other dogs, but he would try to do any thing and everything he could to get to the other dog (even if the other dog was way down the street and even if he could not see the dog but could hear it somewhere in the distance) which included lunging, barking, crying/yelping, jumping, and even pulling me down to the ground. I got so fed up that I stopped walking him because it was such a stress not just on him, but on myself as well. I tried everything from different collars and halters that went over different parts of his body, to treats, to other distraction methods, to different vocal cues ... but nothing worked. Nothing helped. It just got worse and worse. I even tried group training at a local chain pet store but that did not help in the least.

It was not until I met Justin with Bark Busters that I realized what the real cause of Walter's behavior was, what I was doing wrong with him and what I could do to fix it. Justin came to my house and clearly explained to me the root of the problems and what I could do to help Walter and myself. By the end of the first lesson, Walter was a much calmer and happier dog (in just that one hour!).

After our first session, I diligently worked on my "homework" with Walter and the next time that I met with Justin at a dog park, Walter was a completely different dog. He was calm, relaxed, happy to be out and ignored all the other dogs around him. Walter will never be the "sociable type" but I can at least walk him without having to worry about him getting all worked up and potentially attacking another dog. This calming behavior has even crossed over to other areas that used to stress me (and Walther) out. For example, without even working on this directly, Walter started to relax during car rides. Before Bark Busters, he would pace back and fourth, cry the entire ride, bark at people and dogs on the street and just be a nervous wreck. Just by working on his other issues, Walter started to behave differently in other situations, like the car rides. He has calmed down and he even sleeps in the car now! He still has the same lovable personality that I fell in love with, but he is so relaxed and so happy all the time and looks to me for reassurance.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with Bark Busters. They were worth every penny. The trainer, Justin, was absolutely amazing. He was professional, supportive, and clearly explained everything. Walther really liked him and even enjoys his training sessions.

I will continue to use them (as they have a lifetime training guarantee) as needed and I can honestly say that this program has literally changed my life with Walter for the better! I highly recommend this company (and Justin) to anyone experiencing dog issues.

Thank you Bark Busters & Justin!


Serena G.
San Diego, California

May 4 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Digging Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Separation Anxiety Other

After rescuing Bruce 4 years ago (7 months old pitbull/boxer mix) from the pound I realized the challenge I was up to was too hard to handle. Bruce's emotional damage was too deep and he was extremely scared of everything. He did not want to come out of the house. And his separation anxiety made him literally destroy my home. I was so desperate I even called Cesar Milan but I was ignored.

When I saw Justin's brochure at the vet I decided to give it a try.

Justin is exactly like all these reviews say: such a good guy with a deep passion for dogs and helping families be happy with their dog. I decided to buy the lifetime training for Bruce as this kind of problem is very slow to resolve and it takes lots of patience.

Justin came to see us for several lessons. Also, I would call him every time I had a doubt and he was always there for us, after hour and weekends included.

Needless to say, with Justin's help Bruce came out of his shell within a few months and today he is A PEFECT DOG!

Moreover, Justin opened my eyes to a brand new way of looking at dogs and interacting with them. Now I feel like I understand better all dogs.

Both my dogs, Bruce and Vasco, are simply perfect. Thanks to Justin's teachings, now I have a channel of communication with them.

I recently called Justin to ask him for an advice (3 years later) and he immediately remembered me and Bruce like we saw each other the day before.

Justin is genuinely concerned about dogs and I believe he has the skills to resolve most situations. He will help you if you are willing to work with your dog. Because after all, dog training is more for dog owners to understand how to communicate with their dog and how to be understood from them. It does take lots of love, time, work and dedication from the owner. Dog training does not exactly work with a 'magic wand' to fix issues immediately, but with Justin and a bit of work on your part, it sure works! Justin makes training fun and bonding with your dog. I enjoyed this experience and the results.

All I can say is: thank you, Justin!


Barbara S.
San Diego, California

April 30 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Pulling on the Lead Puppy Management Toileting

It's not even like Justin needs any more 5 star reviews (since he already has 70+ of them!), but of course I'll add my input. I got the two sessions with Justin, and the first session was a few months ago.

I have a crazy little 1 year old dachshund, Lola, and although she's adorable as ever, she still needed some training from a professional after my first couple of rookie months with her. I looked up a trainer on yelp and found Justin. When he came to my house a few months back he gave my boyfriend and me some guidelines/tips on potty training, keeping her from running out the front door, and heeling. Honestly, whenever I practice the things he instructed, Lola listens. You just have to have time to keep up with your pups! I walk her constantly and she's good to go there. She rarely tries to sneak out the front door, and is hesitant even when she does and I barely trained her with his door trick after a week of testing it out. She's almost completely potty trained as well (if you have a dachshund, you've read how terribly stubborn they are to house train).

Anyway, today, Justin came back for the second visit (because my pup just recently learned she can bark, and still doesn't always listen when I tell her to come) and the second he walked in the door she was submissive with him--hilarious, since she never is with me. We did some scenarios with Lola, and after the second or third time with his instructions she was listening to me. It's like magic. You just have to understand the dog's language. ; )

Needless to say, he's great with dogs, great with people, and you can tell he really loves the pups and is passionate about what he does.

Thanks for all your help Justin, you're the best!


Janiece G.
San Diego, California

April 19 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead Separation Anxiety

My wife and I just met with Justin for our first session, and we were both blown away with the results that we saw from just a couple of hours together.

First off, Justin arrived early, which I think is awesome this day and age. My first impression was that he was extremely professional, personable, and his love for our dogs came out immediately after he met them.

The first part of our session was spent with Justin getting a little bit of background information on what we had been experiences with our dogs. We have two yorkie/schnauzer mixes, Nala and Trip. Both of them have been suffering from some level of separation anxiety. When we would leave the house, they would go crazy. You couldn't open a drawer to grab a pair of socks, pull out your shoes to throw them on, or touch your car keys. If the dogs were picking up on the fact that you were leaving, and they were experts at picking up on this, then they were going to start jumping, whining, barking and spinning around in circles. They have also had a lot of problems in the car with scratching, lots of panting, whining, and barking. This was mostly Trip, but both of the dogs experienced it. Trip has been good on walks with us so far, and didn't require much work today, but Nala has really always tried to be out in front on her walks. She would basically, at her four and a half pound weight, try and pull you along for the ride. She had to always be out in front.

After going through the background information Justin started talking to us a little about his background, the creation of the company and their philosophy, and then about the approach that we would take for really interjecting and stopping these behaviors that were unwanted. He taught us how make a growling sound while saying "bah" to try and speak to the dogs in a language that they can understand and respond to.

We then went upstairs to put these methods into practice. He had me go upstairs, throw a pair of socks and shoes on and intentionally try to get a reaction of them. When they reacted, we reacted, and started working with them on these behaviors. We saw results instantly. They seemed to not understand what was going on, since we had not ever done anything with them like this before, but they were new dogs.

We then worked on walking all the way down the stairs with them, very slowly, so that we would feel like we didn't have to rush out the door (we used to always throw on our shoes, rush out and grab our keys and try and leave so they wouldn't get worked up). We had success in this area, as well. Don't get me wrong, we are correcting their behavior, but I have never seen them respond to us this well and this quickly.

The next thing we did was practice going inside and outside a few times, and then got them on their leashes to go on a walk. For Nala he gave her a special collar, which he included in the price of his visit today. She had been on a harness before, but did wonderfully with this on her. It gave her a lot more freedom to walk on her own, so she wouldn't have to feel so restricted, and I can't even begin to describe the 180-degree change in her from one session of walking. We walked around the neighborhood trying to find other dogs for them to interact with, because Nala has always just barked her head off when other dogs come around, but couldn't find any dogs anywhere.

After the walk went well, we then through a Thundershirt that we had already had on Trip before and was still in the house to try and take him on a ride in the car. Justin explained to us that you have to have it on there really snug for it to be effective, and helped us to see how to correctly put it on him. I had put it on securely before, but we got it on there tighter this time and actually saw results. We went on a ten minute drive and Trip barely made a peep. Not only was he quiet, but both of them just seemed happy throughout the entire day.

We came back, Justin reviewed everything with us and left us with the instructions and things that we need to continue to work with our dogs on. He probably told us ten different times to call him if ANYTHING comes up so that he can help us on it. My wife and I could both tell that he truly wants to see these dogs succeed. She was tearing up on the walk, almost making me tear up on the walk, because all we want is these guys to just be happy. The way that Justin handles himself, too, just shows you that he loves each and every one of these dogs that he is interacting with and will do whatever he can within his power and means to help you with them. At the beginning of our session, while speaking to the anxiety, he never promised to be able to fix everything, but I can't tell you how different these guys seem already. My wife and I feel a wave of relief after two hours together.

Thanks, Justin!


Brett H.
San Diego, California

January 22 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead

My wife and I adopted a shepherd-mix puppy at 8 weeks last year. We quickly realized we were in over our heads and immediately signed up for obedience classes. Simultaneous to these courses - we "enrolled" Kazi in doggie day-care because we knew we wanted him to be socialized with other dogs. Neither of us wanted to have a dog that didn't get along with other dogs.

We never anticipated that he would become a dog that showed aggression towards PEOPLE!

We began to notice at about 5 months, Kazi not only was becoming fearful of a lot of things he had never been fearful of before (our friends, neighbors) but that he was becoming aggressive in general. He also discovered his bark - a bark that sounded 'cute' initially eventually became explosively aggressive In general - he was exhibiting these signs towards men, tall people, children. When he saw something he was afraid of hi hackles shot up, his ears shot forward, and his body stance appeared ready to attack all the while with maniacal barking and baring of his teeth. It was scary even for us! Worse we never knew when they would occur - so we were tense any time anyone approached us.

I kept telling my wife he would outgrow it, but eventually it just got to be so stressful for us that she insisted we find someone to help. I humored her, but I did not have much hope that anyone would be able to fix this behavior especially since it has escalated to this level.

She did a little research via yelp and decided Justin at Bark Busters sounded promising. She left a message, and we scheduled our first visit within the week.

Justin's ad promised results in the first visit. We had our doubts - but we were just desperate for help.

When he arrived at the house, Kazi had to be contained in the backyard while Justin explained his background and methodology. The entire time Kazi was barking like Cujo and throwing his body against the sliding doors/windows trying to get in the house. We just remember barely being able to focus on Justin's words because of how Kazi was acting. And we both recall thinking: Good Luck Justin! This dog will never change!!!

After less than hour Kazi was on his back, begging for belly rubs from him! It was nothing short of astonishing then and to be honest even today we marvel that Justin's simple and kind training methods /tools could get results like these. We felt like we were given the best kept secret for getting Kazi to listen, obey, and understand his position in our 'pack.'

The change was immediate and amazing. We felt utterly drained from the initial stress of not believing he could help us to nothing but joy that he gave us our home and peace of mind back. Justin told us that Kazi was going to be a lot happier now - now that he wasn't trying to be the pack leader and not having to protect us - and we see that he was right about that every day.

For us - apart from his complete flip to a docile personality - the best part was that Justin does not use any methods that hurt/choke/shock your dog. We had trainers tell us not to hug on Kazi or love him as much - which really bothered us - what's the point of a dog that you can't hug on and love?!

If you're having a very difficult time with aggression/fear/not listening to commands/pulling on his leash/not coming when you say to - Justin is your guy to turn to! His training is simple yet incredibly effective!

Kazi has turned into the World's Best Dog Overnight! THANK YOU JUSTIN ! - Mario / Amy / Kazi


Amy C.
San Diego, California

January 22 2014

Justin Scher dealt with: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Digging Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Pulling on the Lead

My wife and I adopted a shepherd-mix puppy at 8 weeks last year. We quickly realized we were in over our heads and immediately signed up for obedience classes. Simultaneous to these courses - we "enrolled" Kazi in doggie day-care because we knew we wanted him to be socialized with other dogs. Neither of us wanted to have a dog that didn't get along with other dogs.

We never anticipated that he would become a dog that showed aggression towards PEOPLE!

We began to notice at about 5 months, Kazi not only was becoming fearful of a lot of things he had never been fearful of before (our friends, neighbors) but that he was becoming aggressive in general. He also discovered his bark - a bark that sounded 'cute' initially eventually became explosively aggressive In general - he was exhibiting these signs towards men, tall people, children. When he saw something he was afraid of hi hackles shot up, his ears shot forward, and his body stance appeared ready to attack all the while with maniacal barking and baring of his teeth. It was scary even for us! Worse we never knew when they would occur - so we were tense any time anyone approached us.

I kept telling my wife he would outgrow it, but eventually it just got to be so stressful for us that she insisted we find someone to help. I humored her, but I did not have much hope that anyone would be able to fix this behavior especially since it has escalated to this level.

She did a little research via yelp and decided Justin at Bark Busters sounded promising. She left a message, and we scheduled our first visit within the week.

Justin's ad promised results in the first visit. We had our doubts - but we were just desperate for help.

When he arrived at the house, Kazi had to be contained in the backyard while Justin explained his background and methodology. The entire time Kazi was barking like Cujo and throwing his body against the sliding doors/windows trying to get in the house. We just remember barely being able to focus on Justin's words because of how Kazi was acting. And we both recall thinking: Good Luck Justin! This dog will never change!!!

After less than hour Kazi was on his back, begging for belly rubs from him! It was nothing short of astonishing then and to be honest even today we marvel that Justin's simple and kind training methods /tools could get results like these. We felt like we were given the best kept secret for getting Kazi to listen, obey, and understand his position in our 'pack.'

The change was immediate and amazing. We felt utterly drained from the initial stress of not believing he could help us to nothing but joy that he gave us our home and peace of mind back. Justin told us that Kazi was going to be a lot happier now - now that he wasn't trying to be the pack leader and not having to protect us - and we see that he was right about that every day.

For us - apart from his complete flip to a docile personality - the best part was that Justin does not use any methods that hurt/choke/shock your dog. We had trainers tell us not to hug on Kazi or love him as much - which really bothered us - what's the point of a dog that you can't hug on and love?!

If you're having a very difficult time with aggression/fear/not listening to commands/pulling on his leash/not coming when you say to - Justin is your guy to turn to! His training is simple yet incredibly effective!

Kazi has turned into the World's Best Dog Overnight! THANK YOU JUSTIN ! - Mario / Amy / Kazi


Mario C.
San Diego, California

December 30 2013

Justin Scher dealt with: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Separation Anxiety

This service is worth every penny! We adopted a severely emaciated rescue who was a stray and god knows what the previous owners did to her.. She had major separation anxiety when we left the house, we would set up the IPAD to record her and she would be howling, crying and pacing the entire time. She did not do well in the crate and we have gone thru several sets of mini blinds because she is trying to see us outside so badly.. She was also timid and shy around other dogs when she would come across one.

We had 2 visits with Justin and she is a changed dog.. He gave us the tools and exercises to help with her separation issues and she has been doing great when we leave the house. Over this past weekend we left her for over 8 hours and she did great. She is also more comfortable on walks when we encounter other dogs and did great on her first trip to Dog beach.

You do have to be prepared to put in the time and do the work/exercises he suggests, but it does work.

Thank You Justin

Bryan, Steph and Cali


Bryan C.
San Diego, California

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