We came in blind from two fronts: One, we were first time dog owners, and two we adopted an adult dog (5 years old) with some kind of history. Although Coffee was a very sweet dog, he had some aggression issues with growling and charging at anyone at the door. Once they were inside the house, he seemed to be ok with them for a long time, but then would randomly and suddenly, charge, growl and bark at certain people for no apparent reason. We could not figure out the pattern. Our families and friends were afraid to come to the house or get too close to the dog. He was just too unpredictable. In addition, he occasionally marked and pooped inside the house, and it was not due to his inability to hold it (we had just taken him out a couple hours prior). I did my usual Google search, and saw all kinds of conflicting information on what was causing this behavior and how to fix it. It was overwhelming and starting to feel a little hopeless as well.
We called Bark Busters over other traditional training, because this was a behavior problem beyond just learning a ‘sit’ command, and Bark Busters has so many positive reviews. After a thorough initial assessment on the phone, Brad came to our house and not only observed Coffee, but observed us! Our actions were sending a mixed message to Coffee and teaching/enforcing much of the undesirable behavior. He taught us a lot about switching our mindset from human mentality to dog mentality in order to understand why Coffee did certain things. Then Brad gave us the tools of what works and what doesn’t work in that situation. After understanding “dog language” we were able to see that what appeared to be random aggression wasn’t really random at all, but being territorial in the situations we created for Coffee. By changing those situations, we were able to change Coffee’s negative behavior. Constant re-enforcement is key – you need to practice what Brad taught you. This isn’t necessarily sitting with your dog for an hour and going over all the techniques, but incorporating that discipline into every day activity (eating, going out, going up and down the stairs, etc.). It’s also about understanding your dog signals and listening to them when they are trying to tell you something.
We are so happy with the results. Coffee is not only calmer and happier, he is more confident as well. We appreciate Brad’s knowledge, his demeanor and honestly. Give this guy a TV show!
Bark Busters dealt with Aggression, Barking, Jumping up, Pulling, Recall, Toileting