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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone familiar with Bark Busters Dog Training?
Bark Busters
What do you think of them? It looks like it's a kind, non-abusive method. (Good for beagles.)
Our vet recommends these guys. I don't know what it costs yet, but I did submit a request form to be contacted.
This is what I sent...
Quote: We have two beagles...
Female-3yrs, raised from puppy.
Male-2yrs, adopted rescue, 1yr ago.
Issues: General behavior. (both scored D)
Critical issue: Male is food-aggressive and obsessed. Also obsessed with poop eating. Also, occasionally (but becoming more frequent) looses temper with female for no apparent reason. Usually, but not always, in the kitchen. (Maybe he imagines that she is trying to take his food that he thinks he might get.) No blood shed... yet.
It's been a busy, long weekend. Sparky went in for his rabies shot and heartworm test on Friday. I had hoped to talk to the vet, but we were only scheduled for a tech. visit. We went back this morning, and even though they were very busy, she spent about a half an hour with us. She feels the reason he eats grass (Which, along with the poop, makes him vomit.) is because he feels hungry. She suggested a higher fiber, lite kibble, to make him feel fuller and slow his digestion down. I think we'll stick with the Chicken Soup and add fiber with canned pumpkin. I read that pumpkin is supposed to help discourage poop eating too. We also found out he has hook worms. So we'll be worming both of them for a month. We've been using Revolution for fleas and heartworms, but it looks like next month we'll be switching over to Heart-Guard and Frontline, because Heart-Guard also prevents hookworms. (That we apparently have in our soil.)

<span style="font-weight: bold">Gonna be some big changes round here! Or heads is gonna roll! </span>


Good changes... So everyone's healthier and happier.
 

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They originated here in Australia where I live, and I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole!

Throwing a chain at a dog to make it stop barking? Yelling bah when the dogs are misbehaving? No thanks! The problem with any franchise is that the people who are these trainers only have to take a 6 week course after buying into the franchise before they are qualified to train your dog. IMO, this is not good enough. I want a behaviourist with years of experience and who has studied a variety of *good* training courses, and looked at a variety of methods. I don't believe in one size fits all for dog training. Every dog is different and learns in different ways.

I don't believe that someone can become a *good* dog trainer simply by buying a franchise. There may be a couple of good trainers in BB, but as I said, like any franchise it differs from person to person.

From the sounds of your post (and I am purely guessing as I haven't seen the dogs in person) you have pack rank issues. Do you feed the dogs separately or together? What training do you do with them when you feed them? i.e. do they have to sit/stay for their dinner? Resource guarding is very common in dogs and isn't necessarily linked to aggression.

The poo eating is a health issue not a training thing - its called corprophagia and is often related to diet. I would be feeding a super premium dried food like Eagle Pack Holistic or something that is higher in protein - you feed less but they are fuller quicker.
 

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I haven't had personal experience with bark busters, but I know a few people who have. They both had to get them to come back a couple times, and one friends dog was kicked out of doggie daycare!! Now I am not sure if it has to do with Bark Busters or if the owners didn't follow though, with training. I believe Caesars Mom used them for Caesar. Maybe she can help.
 

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I called Bark Busters once back when Jersey was about a year old. They were very expensive...I want to say it was $500. However, they offer a lifetime guarantee good throughout the company. They told us that if we ever have any problems, we can call them again and they'll come back at no charge to help with that behavior. The trainer that I spoke with was very nice and they did not use any negative reinforcement. Smeagle, the trainers here that I met with were much different. And the people at my local branch had to be certified trainers, or at least the ones here were. Everything we talked about was positive, no chain throwing. They were just too expensive for me at the time. I ended up spending $120 on a different behaviorist to come in and help with Jersey's SA and some other issues. I wish that I had just spent the difference as this trainer did suggest things like spray bottles and soda cans. She told me I had to stop allowing Jersey on the sofa and to buy one of those pads that shocked her when she jumped up on it. She also suggested a shock collar to stop the barking associated with her SA. I wasn't very happy to say the least. I also had a neighbor here who used them and she loved them.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure they do free consultations. Call them and see what they say, find out if they're certified trainers, get some references. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmmm...
Thanks for responding. We have other options, including taking them back to the obedience trainer that we took Sadie to when she was probably too young for it. It gave us a solid foundation with her, but we haven't really built on like we should have.
Sparky's issues, I'm sure are part our fault and part from whatever bad things happened to him before he found his was into the rescue system. He has some very strange ways about him that makes us believe that he was neglected and starved in his past life. We see improvement every day. He's actually starting to snuggle back. Not just tolerate it. He's starting to act like he trusts us.
And with some help, we'll work out our pack issues.
 

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I'll throw my two cents into the ring here.

I have to wonder if he isn't eating grass and poop because the hook worms are making him feel sick. There are a whole mess of dietary pathological symptoms caused by a hook worm infection:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookworm

One of them being nausea, and if I'm correct something dogs do when they feel nausea is they eat grass to make them throw up. The problem is vomiting does nothing for hookworms, so the cycle repeats. They can also cause an impulsive or unpredictable appetite, which may explain Sparky's outbursts. I think it might be wise to get the hookworm issue under control before making any dietary changes. As long as those worms are in there, he may not be getting enough nutrition from whatever you are feeding him.
 

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Originally Posted By: jen-n-jerseyI called Bark Busters once back when Jersey was about a year old. They were very expensive...I want to say it was $500. However, they offer a lifetime guarantee good throughout the company. They told us that if we ever have any problems, we can call them again and they'll come back at no charge to help with that behavior. The trainer that I spoke with was very nice and they did not use any negative reinforcement. Smeagle, the trainers here that I met with were much different. And the people at my local branch had to be certified trainers, or at least the ones here were. Everything we talked about was positive, no chain throwing. They were just too expensive for me at the time. I ended up spending $120 on a different behaviorist to come in and help with Jersey's SA and some other issues. I wish that I had just spent the difference as this trainer did suggest things like spray bottles and soda cans. She told me I had to stop allowing Jersey on the sofa and to buy one of those pads that shocked her when she jumped up on it. She also suggested a shock collar to stop the barking associated with her SA. I wasn't very happy to say the least. I also had a neighbor here who used them and she loved them.
Like I said, with a franchise it is difficult because every trainer is different.

Here when you buy the franchise you have to go through a few weeks of training and this makes them certified - I'm not familiar with the US behaviourist certifications but here we have NDTF, DELTA, etc. These trainers have to go through months of training to become qualified with these groups.

As with my first post I don't believe one size fits all with dog training and I'd rather have a trainer who is versed in a few different methods
I personally like reward based training which uses a balance of positive and negative reinforcement - I don't believe purely positive training (using no adversives, no voice corrections etc) works, but that's just me. I'm also lucky to have a great trainer, with many years of experience, who was only $80 for our first consult - no string attached.

$500, IMO, is WAY too much money. Even the behaviourist who is running a weekend seminar where I live in at the end of the year (which involves flying in from interstate) doesn't charge that much for consults, and he's booked out months in advance.

If Bark Busters works for some people that's great, but I could never recommend a franchise because IMO it is all about the individual trainer. I've heard too many nightmare stories about them to consider them for a second.
 

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Karebu, this is a great training program that works on a similar principle to Nothing in Life is Free and it might help with the resource guarding/food aggression:

http://www.k9force.net/index.html?row2col2=tot.html

If you aren't feeding them separately already I would start now - it would give your boy less reason to feel like guarding his food.
 

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I like Jen called Bark Busters and found them to be expensive as well. I saw their techniques used on a local show in Tampa and was impressed with the method and results.

However, I decided just to live with Vinny's issues. I also knew that when he reached 18 months old, he would change and I would have the perfect Beagle. AND, I was wrong. But I saved 5 bills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, something has to happen.
I walked in the door this afternoon to find Mama, with a paper towel wrapped around her hand, Sadie, with small punctures and a puffed up spot on one of her beautiful, velvet ears, and the instigator locked in the bathroom.
We put peroxide on both girls and checked Spark for injuries, but didn't find anything.
I think I was wrong about it being a food issue. I think he did have food issues when he first came to us, but not much any more.
Yes, they are feed separately. In fact... I always put Sadie’s bowl down first, and right in front of Sparky. He never goes after it. He knows to follow me into the other room and that the bowl in my other hand is for him.
Karen isn't really sure which mouth her hand ended up in when she broke them up, but she is sure it wasn't intended as an attack on her.
I think that what ever is going on in Sparky's mind involves Sadie, Karen, and him. His outbursts happen most often when the three of them are home alone. Less often when I'm here with them, and never when it's just me and the dogs.

We're trying to talk to the Bark Busters guy, but his recording says to call back during his limited business hours. If we can get him to talk about himself without all the B.B. hype, we'll consider him. (Our vet recommended him.) There's another come-to your-house trainer on the list they gave us that looks promising. If it's who one of Karen's clients used, they are at least as expensive as Bark Busters.
Like they say... Peace ain't free. But we gotta have it.
Thanks for the input, and wish us luck.
 

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Sorry to hear you all had such a rough afternoon -- please do let us know what the BB guy says. You might want to ask him if he has worked with beagles before.
 

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Here is my 2 cents. From experience with my own pack (when there was multiple dogs), the aggressor isn't always the one who started it when tiffs happen. Tucker and Jasmine used to have fights and we always assumed it was Tucker who started it. One day I was watching them and a fight started and it was Jasmine who egged Tucker on. It is important to point out that Jasmine was 17 yrs old, 12 lbs Chiuahuah Mix and Tucker is 6 yrs old and 47 lbs (but not overweight, he's just tall). Jasmine always got the worst of it but she knew we would always save her so she started it.

Now Cleo was 13, old, overweight and could whoop Tucker even when he was 2. She could be a real cranky old girl when she wanted to.
 

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We tried Bark Busters for Caesar and at first we thought it was great. But then we realized that we wasted a bunch of money. We didn't like the chain bag or the choke collar. It broke my heart the way Caesar would look at me when we used it, he was so sad. I think we used the collar twice. We eventually tried NILIF (nothing in life is free) and it was wonderful. Ask your vet to recommend a trainer. Our vet told us about an excellant trainer, well knowledged and reasonably priced. Sometimes the good ones don't have the big names. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Saturday, we're starting off with a free consultation with a local company called The Canine Coach. I also talked to the local Barkbusters guy. He seemed pretty straight forward, and we agreed that I would call him and let him know how it went with The Canine Coach, and if we were still interested in his services. I also made him promise that if we invite him out, he wouldn't show up dressed like Crocodile Dundee. ( I'm sorry, but when an American answers the phone with G,day, it's a gimmick… I hate gimmicks.)

Anyhow… Besides feeling hopeful about reliving the stress that our pack has been feeling, I’m really interested in what they’ll have to say after observing the six of us. (Humans, Cats, and beagles… two by two.) Karen and I have our own thoughts… Of course they aren’t the same.
I’ll let you know what they say.

Thanks for all the input.
 
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