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.
Bark Busters dealt with Aggression, Barking, Hyperactivity, Jumping up, Pulling, Recall