what our clients say about Michael Konstantaras
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
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What our Clients are saying about us
My husband and I contacted Mike when we picked up our first puppy, Lemmy. I had grown up with a family dog and my husband had never had a dog. While I grew up with a dog, I had not been involved in the training aspect whatsoever. Both of us are pretty inexperienced. Lemmy is a rescue, we got her when she was only about 4 months old. Lemmy was overly protective of our house, barked constantly at people and other dogs, she'd wake us up barking at the top of her lungs every morning. Mike has truly helped us with our little girl. After the first session she was truly a different dog. She couldn't be better now and she's still only just a puppy, she's off to a great start thanks to Mike. Not only has Mike been awesome when working directly with Lemmy, he also provides support whenever you need it, he's just a phone call away. We couldn't be happier with our pup now. Mike has taught us a lot. Highly recommended!Brooke R., Stamford, ConnecticutMarch 17 2016
I had originally called Michael to help us introduce a foster dog into our home in hopes that they would get along and I would be able to adopt. My dogs were not well socialized and Tuck my mastiff/pit mix being over 130 lbs made me nervous as the new dog was only 40 lbs.. I met Mike in the driveway and was literally crying because I was scared it wouldn't work and I would have to get rid of new dog. He immediately put me at ease. Once he began working with dogs it was instant the change. He taught my fiancÃ© and I how to take back our home. It was because of his training we were able to successfully introduce the dogs. It is because of Mike teaching us how to be the pack leaders that we were able to go from a pack of 4 to a pack of 5. The level of knowledge and expertise he offers is incredible. He answered anytime I called him with questions and even stopped by to check in:) I have never been so grateful in my life to work with someone. Thank you Mike for helping us to take our lives back and showing us how to take charge of our home!Jackie & Anthony T., Norwalk, ConnecticutMarch 14 2016
After speaking with many different trainers about their style and having some of them come to meet Bronx (aka Bronco), I was told he is a "red zone" dog, a liability, and should be put down. My heart could not accept this because I know he wants to be a good boy. Two days later I was on the phone with Michael, again, and two days after that Michael was at the house helping us save Bronx. In the short time that Michael was here, Bronx did a complete turnaround. When Michael appeared at the door, Bronx was very vocal and ready to attack. By the time Michael left he was allowing Michael to pet him, walk him down the street, and he even fell asleep while we were talking at the kitchen table. I would recommend him to anyone needing help resolving doggie issues. THANK YOU MICHAEL!!!!Dawn B., Shelton, ConnecticutJanuary 22 2016
Our dog Jersey had several major medical procedures done in a short amount of time and as a result developed a fear of people and began to nip if you went near an area that had been worked on by the vet. This new behavior was not the fun loving dog that we knew Jersey was and we reached out to Michael. Michael was great and easy to work with. Before we even set up an appointment, Michael gave us some great advice and techniques that we could start to implement over the phone to help our dog become less fearful. His advice was wonderful, and we started to see our dog return to his normal happy normal self within days. Michael was great and managed to fit us in for a home visit the next week. After only one session he had our dog paying attention and listening on the leash. We couldn't be more grateful for everything Michael has done to help us. He uses simple and easy to understand methods and exercises that had us communicating better with all our animals on the first day. Michael was extremely dedicated and wouldn't leave our first session without knowing that Jersey was going to be helped. Our dog was a little more stubborn than most, but Michael took that time and effort to help correct our dogs behavior and we are extremely appreciative of him and his training abilities. We have praised his work and have recommended his training to others as a result of our training session with him.Jessica W., Stratford, ConnecticutSeptember 1 2015
We hired Michael to help us with our 8 year old Mini Dachshund named Ben. He struggles with poor listening skills, anxiety and some aggression toward dogs he's never met. He was bitten a few times in the past and this exacerbated his problems. He was becoming more and more stubborn, wasn't listening to our commands, and becoming nasty with other dogs. Michael came to our house for Ben's (and our) first training. His training techniques are absolutely amazing! I've never seen these types of teaching methods. And the great news is Ben responded immediately to them! My husband and I are truly amazed at how Ben improved during his first training and how he's changed in only a week. Ben is already becoming a more relaxed and peaceful pup and he's responding to my commands in a way I would have never ever dreamed that he could. Michael is an amazing trainer, he picked up on things to address that we were unaware of, and he has already helped us to regain the respect from our dogs. We have an older dog as well, and she too is picking up on the things I am teaching Ben. I can guarantee Michael will be able to help any dog with any type of struggles they might be facing. Michael is awesome!Wendy L., Fairfield, ConnecticutJuly 31 2015
February 21 2017Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
Thank you Michael for your assistance with my 10 year old Shar Pei Georgie. I thought I would let you know that Georgie slept the night through in his crate, from 10pm to 6am, not a squeak from him. He is such a sensitive and responsive dog, I am filled with gratitude for your guidance and assistance in showing me how to be with him. I feel that has also been somewhat of a life lesson for me in other ways.
New Canaan, Connecticut
January 30 2017Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
First, my dog is a Caucasian Shepherd, not the easiest breed as they have highly instinctual behaviors as it relates to protecting their family; at 150 pounds she is a formidable student. Michael took a cautious approach upon their first meeting and after a dog free session of what behaviors I needed to understand Bambi was brought in. With Michael's coaching Bambi responded within seconds, not minutes, no long drawn out drills but SECONDS. I did not believe it was happening but it sure was and the lessons stayed with Bambi and she responds faster and faster everyday. I would recommend Michael and Bark Busters to anyone because "IT WORKS".
December 10 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
We have a 10 month old Yorkie -Mix who barks at anything, is basically a terrorist once I come home from work and at nighttime. My husband & I were at wits end. Mike came to see us last night and within 10 minutes Gracie became a little angel! Mike taught us how to be better parents & to let Gracie know we are protecting her, she does not need to protect us. We took his recommendations to heart. Today, the day after we met Mike, our Gracie is a different happier little girl! We highly recommend Mike & Bark Busters! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts Mike!
November 9 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
Mike is PHENOMENAL! Our pup is now on her way to being the best trained dog in the city! Not only did Mike offer great training advice but he also offered great nutritional advice for our little girl.
When I started looking at trainers I was nervous thinking that Del (our puppy) would love us less because we started instilling boundaries but what Mike taught us was to communicate with Del. Not punish but to communicate with her like her dog parents would.
Mike is so great at teaching you how to continue the training process. Worth every single penny.
November 9 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
Mike came on an emergency basis as I had just introduced a new rescue to my 9-year old, dominant female. In just a half of an hour there was a monumental change in the demeanor of both females. The tools offered in such a brief amount of time were amazing - I am looking forward to working with him in the future for the full program. On an aside, he also offered great advice on nutrition options for my larger breed dogs. Can't thank him enough already!
November 9 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
I met with Mike last week, and I couldn't be happier. I have a 2 year old French bulldog, who in my opinion has a very complex personality. He can be the sweetest, most playful guy but would sometimes snap for sometimes no reason, and I couldn't understand it. Mike had explained to me that he felt he was the boss of the house, and basically felt that he needed to protect me all the time. Which is not a job that I want my dog to feel he needs to uphold.
In one hour of some very simple training skills, my dog immediately started to realize that he was no longer going to be in charge. Of course I know that I will have to consistently work at training him, but I have no doubt that Mike's methods will work. The best part, is that I don't have to inflict pain or bribe my dog to get him to do what I want.I'm looking forward to seeing more of his progress. Also Michael is always available whenever I have questions, and when I ran out of food...he supplied me with some more until I was able to get it!!! What a guy!
August 18 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
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.
July 8 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
I am a volunteer with Pack Leaders Rescue of CT and I reached out to Michael for assistance with Arwyn, a dog we rescued from a local shelter in Nov. 2015. Shortly after Arwyn went to his foster home, he began exhibiting aggression when meeting new people. We have consulted with several different trainers and while Arwyn has learned many basic commands, he has not improved in his ability to socialize with people.
Michael generously agreed to provide training to both Arwyn & Autumn, the foster's personal dog. He came prepared with all the tools needed to teach Arwyn & Autumn that their foster mom is "top dog" in the house. I was so impressed with Michael's knowledge, ability to teach the foster how to be a leader with both dogs, and was amazed by how quickly the dogs responded to the training. I am optimistic about the future for Arwyn and am so grateful for the training Michael provided. I would highly recommend him to others experiencing behavior issues with their dog.
June 19 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
Its been a little over two weeks since Michael came to train Winston, my first time rescue dog who is a pit/american bull dog mix. First off, Michael was very impressive, and broke down a lot of information for me in a common sense way to understand it. But more importantly, more than two weeks later, the methods he taught me are working. The issue I have with Winston is his distraction with other dogs when I walk him. To say that he pulls on the leash doesn't do justice to what really happens on the leash when we walk, just ask my back. I had been using a prong collar with some success, but with the training we got, I have not had to use that collar and even though it was effective, I believe that over time, a simple voice command will be enough keep Winston's attention on me, and not the nearby dog. Curing Winston of being distracted by other dogs will be a process, for sure, and depends a lot on me putting my time and energy in and probably will always be an issue to some extent, but in two weeks, not only have I seen real progress, but I am very confident that I have been taught the methods necessary to improve Winston's behavior when we go on walks for the long term. I could go on and on about what has become a very successful experiment in adjusting Winston's behavior but I will just add that the discipline, or "communication" as Michael called it has not made Winston resentful of the walks we go on or the time we spend together but quite the opposite. He enjoys the communication and works really hard to give me what I am asking from him. Its been an amazing experience. One more thing: the tips on diet have been implemented, partially, not fully, but even still, the results that Michael predicted would result in a healthy coat are already noticeable. Thank you, Michael.
June 8 2016Michael Konstantaras dealt with:
I was referred to Michael By BARC after I reached out for help for my 3 yr old female pit bull Zoey. Zoey has always been a little unpredictable and very territorial. Over the last 4/5 months things with Zoey had gotten worse to the point I had thoughts of giving her up or putting her down. Zoey was becoming very hardheaded to the point where she wouldn't listen to commands from my husband or I. She would run up to the gates and scare neighbors and people walking by. It was hard for me to have people come over because she will run up to the door and proceed to bark aggressively. Zoey would jump on people and when we would let our second dog out to play who is another Pit Bull named Royalty they would both get so hyper they would knock people and things over. Royalty also had the problem with jumping on people, extremely hyper, running up to our fence and barking at people passing our home. Michael showed us a few strategies to help with all the areas listed above within one hour we had our home back!!! We could open the door with out them charging to get out or at people, they were walking side by side in the yard , less barking and must importantly they were not charging at the gates when people walk by. We couldn't believe it, they were different dogs by the end of the session. With consistency and patients after working with Michael we no longer feel we need to give Zoey up. We gained control of our home and in future if we ever need help I know exactly who to call. Thank you Michael!!!