what our clients say about Justin Scher

Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist

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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

December 11 2013

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

My dog Hendrix was having horrible separation anxiety. He would bark nonstop, drool excessively, shake and pant. I tried everything, including the thundershirt, with no improvement. My neighbors were starting to complain about his barking and I was told if it wasn't corrected we would have to move. I understood that his barking was an issue, but more importantly I needed help managing his anxiety so that I could have a healthy, happy pet. I took Hendrix to the vet, who recommended bark busters. I was very nervous initially about correcting his behaviors. I didn't want someone to come to my home and hurt my dog with shock collars or other negative reinforcement techniques. After my first phone conversation with Justin I knew that he would be able to help me and my dog in a way that I would be comfortable with. After his first visit and several phone conversations and a follow up, I now have a dog who isn't barking and most importantly is happy and basically anxiety free. Justin truly knows what he is talking about and how to effectively teach you how to communicate with your animals. I cannot thank him enough for helping me and Hendrix! I would recommend him a million times and will always use him in the future when issues with my pet arise. THANK YOU JUSTIN!


Bethany D.
San Diego, California

November 24 2013

Justin Scher dealt with: 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

Thank you Justin!

Justin met with my boyfriend and I to help with our three year old dog Frankie (Chihuahua - Westie mix) . I contacted Justin because I had heard positive reviews about the Bark Busters Training and Justin on Yelp. The issues we were having with Frankie were anxiousness, nervousness and anxiety. This had lead to him being wound up and barking and growling at anyone entering the home.

Justin was great at explaining what the root of Frankie's issues were and what was causing him to bark, whine and growl. He is like a dog psychologist with the intention of getting dogs and their owners to be relaxed and happy.

We learned that dogs and humans communicate differently and trying to reason with them as if humans is futile. Justin teaches you how to communicate to dogs in their language. Having Justin come over to work with you and your dog is well worth it. He is patient and has an amazing understanding of dogs that he will share with you.

If you are frustrated with your dogs behavior and are looking for help please contact Justin. He sincerely loves dogs and his methods are effective and easy to understand.


Allison G.
San Diego, California

November 10 2013

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 Recall or not coming when called Toileting

OMG! I called Justin because we just adopted 2 Yorkies, 1 year old after our 15 year old passed away. We have a 10 year old Corgi/Lab mix who flunked out of dog obedience when we adopted her 8 years ago. Barking and aggression have been a constant issue and has subsided a little because she is older.

Justin walked in & within 2 hours our life with our dogs (and 1/2 dog downstairs) has totally changed. No more barking, escaping through the gate, etc. the mailman actually delivered mail without a peep yesterday. Unheard of in this household! Where was he 8 years ago? Don't wait. Do it now. The techniques work & Justin is very good at training people. I know cause I train people all day long.


Teri S.
San Diego, California

November 7 2013

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

My wife and I have an 11 month old Boxer puppy. He is the sweetest, cutest dog you can find. We got our puppy when he was very young, and as sweet as he was/is, man did he have crazy energy! And I wish it was the high-energy that was the problem...Dexter (our dog) began jumping on guests, getting too rowdy, not listening, showing zero respect, etc, etc. We got to a point where we really felt that we could not do all of the things that we dreamed we would be able to do with a dog. Due to the fact that we could not get his attention, and he did not respect us, we could no longer: take him on walks, take him to dog parks, invite guests over who did not appreciate a dog jumping all over them the whole time, take him on trips, and pretty much everything else fun! His lack of respect and attention resulted in us being frustrated and stressed out, but more importantly it resulted in him getting himself in positions where he could be harmed.

So, we decided to get serious and find help for Dexter. And after a long and careful research process, we landed on enlisting the services of Justin and Bark Busters. We did not know what to expect, but we knew that we did not want to take Dexter to a class with a bunch of other dogs, we wanted personal attention. We wanted a professional to come to our house, meet our dog, learn about all of his behavior issues, and create a training curriculum that is specific only to my dog! And I will tell you we have not regretted it one bit! Justin has not only helped our pup, but he has helped us be able to implement the training on our own. We can now enjoy our dog for the sweetheart that he his, and we can take him fun places that he too can enjoy!

If you are anything like me, and you need more than just a great review in order to make a decision, let me tell you a bit more about our experience:

Justin will be the first to tell you that he is not a miracle-maker dog whisperer. If there are issues between us and our dogs, it is mainly because we do not understand how to communicate with them, and they do not understand anything we are saying/doing. Justin taught us how to talk to our dog, how to establish control, and how to understand Dexter's personality so that we are correctly teaching him what is right and what is wrong. We used to get so frustrated with Dexter, he wouldn't listen, he did not have any respect for us, and he had no boundaries. I remember the most rewarding moment was after Justin's first visit; right after he left the house, we saw immediate improvement in Dexter's behavior. That moment where my wife and I looked at each other and said "Look at this! Dexter is totally minding us, and he is respecting our boundaries!" Each time Justin came over we worked on something new. He always came prepared with his next exercises, but he also made sure that we worked on anything else that we felt like working on as well. He always answered his phone, and he was picked right up where he left off the time before. Best money we ever spent! We started using Bark Busters in late August, here we are 2 months later, and our puppy has improved by leaps and bounds! Justin has mad us happy, and he has made our Dexter very happy!


Eric L.
San Diego, California

November 5 2013

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 Pulling on the Lead Separation Anxiety

Our story is a bit of a rocky one. Don't worry though, there's a happy ending, all thanks to Justin :D

Seriously, call him ASAP if you need help overcoming any dog issues - no matter how major the issue seems, there is hope! He's a wonderful, gentle dog behaviorist and an AMAZING human trainer (which is what a lot of dog training is really about). I recommend Bark Busters to everyone; my dog's total 180 speaks for itself.

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Here's my full (long!) story, with the hope that it might help people feeling trapped or hopeless about their dog's behavior/potential:

I adopted a 2-year-old chug (chihuahua/pug mix) from a rescue group. I'm not sure what the story was with his first owner or if he was ever abused, but he definitely wasn't properly socialized. He ended up dumped at a high-kill shelter (72-hours til euthanasia). A rescue group pulled him from death row with hours to spare, and he went to live with a foster family until I met him.

I saw so much potential in him, past the moments of fearfulness (could you blame him for not knowing who to trust?). I could tell that he was smart, motivated to please people, totally wanted to love but was just insecure about his place in the world. He came home with me, because I thought he deserved a real shot at becoming a confident, happy guy. I named him Prince, because I saw the prince charming behind the sometimes growly beast (plus all his stuff was purple).

In the first week, while Prince quickly got comfortable with me, he got worse around just about everything/everyone else. Separation anxiety issues (wanted to be glued to me, cried if left alone) and MAJOR issues with socialization and trusting people: bearing teeth/growling/snarling at strangers (sometimes other dogs but always people), wasn't a fan of anyone but me, definitely didn't want to be petted by anyone else, and would snarl at even me if I got too close to him when he had a chew bone. I couldn't sit with him at a coffee shop patio or he would turn into an unmanageable gremlin.

I've had dogs before so I started crate training for the separation. I have never dealt with fear-aggression though, so I thought it would be worth the money to work with a professional behaviorist. The first time I met with Justin I got a GREAT feeling. I saw that he was fantastic: friendly, easy to work with, gentle but firm, and really knew dogs and loved to help people. Prince snarled at him from under the coffee table, but I'd come to expect that and Justin obviously wasn't fazed. We were on track.

But then another week went by, and I was at my breaking point with Prince. I work from home (which can feel isolating on it's own) but now I had this creature forcing me into total solitary confinement! I had been trying to gently socialize him (asking everyone to ignore him, "don't pet him, he's in training", etc.) but had stopped bringing him most places because it was too stressful. Then I stopped having anyone over to my apartment, after he lunged up and actually bit a friend of mine when she got up to head home. She said she was okay but I was horrified and I had a spike of anxiety. It was late at night, I didn't have anyone to call/anywhere to go, no family, no boyfriend, the best friend I'd usually turn to was the one he had bitten! All I had was this monster; I thought "I should've named him Beast." :(

We had been working on longer and longer separations (but with me still in the house), so I felt trapped: I couldn't leave him by himself at home yet, I couldn't have anyone over, I couldn't bring him places, and now I have a dog that bites.

I was totally in over my head; major buyers remorse. I actually contacted the rescue saying I was afraid I'd have to give Prince back and called Justin asking what sort of refund he gives. I felt like an awful person that wasn't giving Prince the "forever home" I had promised. I already deal with anxiety and this was making it much worse. I was afraid that Prince was also feeling my anxiety, that I was making HIM worse, and that it was just going to keep snowballing like that. I was concerned about what this all meant for my future...In the next 10 years of our lives together, I want to be able to have friends over, bring my dog places, have a boyfriend over, have kids someday, and have my friends able to bring their kids over.

I met with Justin to talk about it, and he was seriously better than a therapist. With newly boosted confidence, I decided to keep at it. After a month with Bark Busters, Prince almost seems like a different dog. These days, he PLAYS with Justin when he sees him, all goofy smiles and waggy tail. I've had friends over with no issues and fewer and fewer issues in public. He respects and looks to me. He RUNS to his crate, and I've caught him voluntarily napping in there. I can leave the house again! Of course there are still things to work on, but I have all the confidence in the world (and I know Prince can sense that). I can't thank Justin enough.


Erin R.
San Diego, California

October 1 2013

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

Justin was awesome. I called Justin because Jenna, 2 years old, is a little crazy. She is a mini pin / pallilion mix and a rescue. She is overly protective and pushes my 2 cats and other dog away from me. She was attacking other white small dogs at the dog park and lunging when I walked with her at other people and dogs. Within 30 minutes of the first visit with Justin, Jenna was under control. She was very submissive around Justin. He showed me how to control her barking, control her aggressiveness and walk her with my other dog without lunging at people. I called him today for a refresher course and I totally get it! Before Justin, I had called Petco and the guy kept missing appointments and so i cancelled training with Petco. I then called a dog obedience person and she taught Jenna how to sit but thats it. She didn't help correct the behavior. I realize that working with Justin the problem was Jenna, it was me. He didn't teach Jenna how to behave but taught me how to behave and take back the alpha male role from Jenna. I'm the boss now and not Jenna. She is a much calmer and happier dog (and Murphy and the 2 kitties are also very heppy). Thank you Justin. I would highly recommend you to anyone!


Brenda P.
San Diego, California

August 15 2013

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 Other
Photo of Merissa N.'s dog

My boyfriend and I had adopted a pitbull mix and have constantly worked with her for almost a year, but was really having problems with her fear with males and listening to us. After struggling for some time we decided to call Justin for some help. Thank god we did because Justin helped so much!!! Justin has such an amazing natural way with dogs, which was really important to us because we don't believe in shock collars, prong collars, etc. Justin didn't need any of that!! We saw a difference in our dog Marley's behavior after the first week!!! So happy we called Justin it was seriously the best decision we have made for our pup who is not living in fear anymore. Thanks Justin for the help!! :o)


Merissa N.
San Diego, California

July 3 2013

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 Separation Anxiety

I can't thank Justin enough for training my dog & I. Milo developed separation anxiety a few months ago due to a pack member moving away & us moving to a new apartment. It was just too many changes at once for him to cope with. He would immediately start freaking out when I left & would bark for hours. When it didn't stop on its own & neighbors started complaining... I knew I needed help. Thank goodness I found out about Justin & Bark Busters. The training definitely takes time & patience but the repetition pays off! Only 3 weeks after beginning & I have a much more obedient dog who can sit, stay, knows to walk beside me on a leash AND... no longer barks when I leave. He now accepts me as leader of the pack. I highly recommend Justin & his training - it works!


Ashley G.
San Diego, California

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