what our clients say about Karen Gaines
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
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What our Clients are saying about us
My wife and I were very pleased with the training we received to help our dog behave properly. Our instructor Karen was insightful and very knowledgable in the manners of dogs and how to break them of bad habits. We have been working on her techniques so far and in our next training we hope to have Millie behaving like she should. Thanks Karen.Dale G., Novato, CaliforniaAugust 26 2016
I/we - cant thank Karen at Bark Busters enough. My mom is probably much older than most of the clients Karen works with, but she assures me she is not. We decided that as a widow, she needed a companion and get motivated to be more active. So we rescued an older labmix we named "Tripper". Unfortuantely, Tripper is more active than any of us imagined. The vet thinks he may only be 4 years old and he is "lively" to say the least. What were we thinking! She was ready to give him up after 2 weeks but had fallen in love with him. He was so hard to handle - Tripper, (as he was appropriately named) loved to jump on her to give her kisses, (he loves to cuddle only he is 45 lbs), he would try and drag her out the door when going for walks, would rush right past her anytime he thought she was getting up to leave without him almost knocking her down. Mom did not enjoy any of this. SO instead of taking him for walks, she started to leave him in the back yard. Even though we had dogs growing up, she didnt remember them being this rambunctious. A co-worker of mine overheard me on the phone distraught that my mom may want to give Tripper back to the rescue so she gave me BarkBusters telephone number. She had just used Karen and said she was incredible. SHe said karen was very direct and would offer the best advice as to what to do. Well, that was 7 weeks ago and Tripper is not going anywhere. She met us for a consultation and said she would work close with my mom and she felt confident that Tripper and my mom were a perfect match. She felt that my mom was capable and that Tripper wanted some guidance. Karen stated up front that she trains people, that is the methodology and that she would have to lay off giving Tripper so many cookies. She knew she could teach my mom to be the "pack leader" not with cookies but with love and consistancy. She taught my mom simple techniques that were not difficult for her to remember, in fact made them even fun for both. So far Tripper hasnt jumped on her since Karen came that 1st day. She waits at the door until my mom gives her permission. Now they go on 2 walks a day at least 30 min each time. My mom is building up her stamina to take longer walks and Tripper seems to have calmed down a bit and mom is so proud of how far they both have come. She loves telling her friends what she and Tripper have been doing and where they have been going. They love doing errands together. We are so happy for Tripper and even more, thankful to Karen for being patient and instilling the confidence in my mother that as my mom says, "you can teach an old dog new tricks". My mom has a new best friend and we owe that to Karen at BarkBusters.Beverly C., San Rafael, CaliforniaApril 22 2016
Karen is amazing! We interviewed countless dog trainers, audited a number of classes and NO ONE compared to her approach and technique. She truly understands the behavior of dogs and 'speaks their language'. Her no nonsense approach is very helpful in understanding what our dog is thinking. She pinpointed why we were having issues with our pup and quickly offered solutions. Truly the best we have seen and happy to work with her and recommend her to others!!!Cynthia M., San Francisco, CaliforniaFebruary 19 2015
Even though BarkBusters and Karen was highly recommended by an aunt who used her services 2 years ago for her shy little poodle , I was very skeptical. I wasnt expecting alot from this training but I thought I would give it a try as I was so annoyed with my overly friendly (ferociously sounding) lab mix. Because of Dexter's size, I knew I had to do something. I just wasn't sure and and questioned whether anyone had the ability to turn Dexter around. Karen made me realize that I had the ability, and she shared with me advice how to handle Dexter . The transformation was dramatic. It was like night and day. Dexter went from pulling his leash to walking beside me, from bolting out the door as a high flier to waiting for me to give him permission. He now waits at the front door so I can let friends in without his slobbering lunges, until I give him permission to come and greet them, calmly. I have to say, I was really skeptical, but now I am a believer. Its only been a few weeks, but hiring Karen was one of the best decisions I have ever made, except of course to adopt Dexter. We still have things we can work on, but for the long haul - BarkBusters is worth it. Highly recommendedGlen G., Novato, CaliforniaMay 26 2014
I was very impressed with Karen's approach to training and would recommend her to any of my clients for dog training. She spent several hours working with me and my dogs, and I was shocked to see how quickly my dogs responded to her training tips. I appreciated the fact that she does not rely on either training by treats or punishment to achieve results. She takes the time to understand what the problems are and then is able to come up with practical solutions. Also,by training in the home, she is able to evaluate behavior problems more effectively.Perry Heffelfinger, San FranciscoMay 22 2010
July 30 2016Karen Gaines dealt with:
The Barkbusters Training is the most successful and BEST training method we've experienced! And we have tried many!! We really shortchanged ourselves by going to several trainers after thinking Barkbusters was out of our financial scope. Turns out we wasted alot of money and time and subjected ourselves and our loving dog Elvis to methods that were not a good fit for our family. With one Barkbusters training with Karen, we saw IMMEDIATE improvement in Elvis and were better able to understand the motivation behind insecurities that read as aggression. Karen Gaines has dramatically improved our family life by giving us so much insight as to what we were doing to sabotage our communication with our dog, and was able to offer common sense advice and all kinds of support... And with a sense of humor! Elvis instantly acclimated to her and from the moment we opened the front door, we felt comfortable trusting in her expertise 100%. We just returned from a successful outing at the beach with Elvis and thanks to Karen's amazing training every trip to the beach is more enjoyable than the last! My wife and I swear by this method! Thank you Karen, you're the best!!!
August 3 2014Karen Gaines dealt with:
Karen's friendly training is extremely efficient. Just a few tips and Hugo, still a puppy, is learning fast how to behave in many situations. As a result we enjoy him even more. Thanks Karen!
May 18 2014Karen Gaines dealt with:
You came to our house about 3 months ago, to assist us in training both Ezra (husky) and Blake (pointer-spaniel), our canine friends.
I wish to underline the quality of your work and of your presence, which were truly valuable and helpful to all of us.
Blake and Ezra are doing much better, especially Blake who is not half-wolf. I can even walk with Blake without a leash now, on the sidewalk, especially without him trying to throw himself at passing cars. Ezra obeys better and, after 20 minutes on a walk, she ends up fully accepting that a human being is at the other end of the leash. Being half-wolf, limitations are still particularly painful to her. Yet, at times, she is brought to roam freely on the Lucas Valley hills, with Blake, chasing adventure and being fully alive.
Your knowledgeable input and your sincerity made the difference.
I wished to thank you, wholeheartedly, for your work and for your patience,
San Rafael, California
May 16 2014Karen Gaines dealt with:
Ella responded well and readily to all the training suggestions. The training techniques were "user friendly" and effective. They made sense! Karen made the training fun and interesting for both Ella and me! I am so glad my vet recommended Bark Busters and Karen! Karen couldn't have been nicer or more helpful and reliable, She immediately addressed all my concerns and questions and as a first time dog owner, it was better than I could have imagined.
San Rafael, California
July 15 2013
Absolutely fantastic. Without a doubt - makes so much sense and easy to understand why Bark Busters methods work, My dog Archie responded not only to Karen but to me as well. Karen's approach was in keeping with my dog training philosophy, Gentle, non-threatening and positive - without the treats. I learned more from Karen in 3 hours than I had with classes that I had taken and another trainer. The approach is so gentle yet so effective. My dog was a biter when people entered our home, now he just waits and decides if he just wants to go into another room and watch TV. Our whole family has loved working with Karen, she was professional and yet friendly , we all feel so comfortable with her.
San Rafael, Colorado
July 15 2013Karen Gaines dealt with:
I contacted Bark Busters and it could not have been soon enough. Karen Gaines was great. She took the time to get to know all our issues and we addressed them all one by one. Bark Busters methods are so adaptable, especially as we have 2 highly hyperactive schnauzers. Sparrow, the female is aggressive to strangers and very territorial so that it haw been almost impossible to walk them. WIth the techniques Karen has given us, we have been practicing and it has been such a difference. As soon as we call her, she either answers her phone or returns our call within a few hours. Karen has been so helpful and makes sure we follow her instructions that she has made so easy for us to follow. We signed on not knowing if it would really work, and we are so happy with our success only after a few months, We really appreciate Karen and look forward to more wonderful walks in San Francisco.
San Francisco, California
February 4 2013
Karen from Bark Busters is simply wonderful in every way. She has a way with dogs and the owners alike. I am a big believer in her system. Two years ago I found a rescue Golden Retriever named "Hank" and it was very hard. He was UN-neutered male and we had a lot of issues to work through. Karen is patient and gives real life instructions for how to deal with problem behaviors. She genuinely cares about each dog and each family. Wonderful person, wonderful program.! Well worth it!
July 17 2012
We brought home a little rescue puppy, who came with such a bad rep that she was kicked out of the Humane Society program with San Quentin! Apparently she tried to nip the nose off an inmate. After a relaxing couple of hours with our trainer, Karen, our unsocialized little pup was paying attention, sitting calmly, and even walking on a leash. And all of this without having to use treats. I highly recommend Karen and the Bark Busters' training approach.
April 24 2012
I was at the end of my rope with Cheech my 90lb. beyond stubborn pit bull and made numerous calls to dog trainers. I was surprised by the lack of response to return my calls but... Bark Busters did and I scheduled an appointment with Karen for our free consultation. I was concerned that a female trainer would not be able to control my disobedient hulk of a dog. I was very impressed by Karen when she came to our home for the free consultation. Karen spent so much time with us and just on that first visit made a huge improvement and gained our trust. Cheech and I both love Karen and he has made great improvements in his training, he still has a ways to go and Karen is the ONE! I absolutely recommend Karen she is wonderful, patient, & understanding.
April 24 2012
I rescued a non-socialized 6 month old Boxer, who was a total wreck ! Karen Gaines has made miracles with Tudy and me. I strongly recomend Karen Gaines, she is top notch and loves her work. We were very fortunate to have found Karen as I was considering returning Tudy.