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.
Bark Busters dealt with Hyperactivity, Jumping up, Pulling, Separation anxiety