Have you been walking home to find your living room “decorated” with toilet paper? Or is the furniture “beautifully” chewed on? If you’re an owner of a doggy, you should know that proper training and socialization are among your pet’s most basic needs.
As we now share our homes with dogs more closely than ever, it’s important that every dog receives proper training. For this reason, many owners are looking for the services of a qualified dog trainer that can ensure a healthy dog-owner relationship and a harmonious household.
One such trainer is Philip Comans from Bark Busters Illawarra Region. He’s helping dog owners in Illawarra and Southern Highlands area to train their friends in familiar, relaxed surroundings.
Philip was kind to answer a few questions about the whole dog training at home process.
Hi Philip. Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions we’ve prepared for you. I’m sure there are thousands of dog owners out there who are looking for effective ways to train their dogs. Tell us, what training services does your company provide?
Bark Busters was founded in 1989 in The Illawarra region of NSW by Sylvia Wilson. She was the Shelter Manager of the RSPCA shelter at Wollongong for a decade before starting Bark Busters. It’s our 30th Anniversary year in 2019! We are now in 7 countries around the World, and of course all over Australia and New Zealand. We have trained over 1,000,000 dogs and are the largest dog training company in the World. We help dog owners deal with common behavioural problems including:
- nuisance barking
- aggressive behaviour
- pulling on the lead
- jumping up
- separation anxiety
- not coming when called
- not responding to commands
- basic obedience
- chewing and destruction
- digging in the yard
- puppy training and more!
What does the puppy training program cover?
Our training is unique for several really important reasons. Firstly, we offer a Written Lifetime Support Guarantee. So we offer support for the whole life of your trained puppy, for one simple fee. We also do the training in your own home, where your puppy is relaxed and calmer. One-on-one training is so much better than being part of a group lesson with 10 or more other puppies causing distractions! Our goal is for you to have and enjoy a puppy who is obedient, and calm, walks on a loose lead, comes when called, and is a joy to share your home with.
On your website, you talk about the differences between dog behavior modification and dog obedience training? Can you please explain in a few sentences what’s the major variation between the two?
Sure. Bark Busters train your dog to behave well and fit in with the modern family. It’s not just “sit, drop and stay”. It’s about dealing with annoying issues like barking, nipping, toilet training etc. We also help with serious issues like aggression, destructive behaviour, and separation anxiety. So, we’re changing the unwanted behaviours your dog is exhibiting. It’s so much more than just “sit, drop and stay”.
How does the whole training process happen? Should we expect in-home training where dogs feel the most comfortable?
Exactly, yes! We come to your home and work with you and your family, and your dog there. This makes sense because that’s where the issues are usually occurring. We also go with you outside your home to help with issues on walks, such as dog aggression.
How long does it take to train a dog? Is it a lengthy endeavour?
No, it’s super quick! We “speak dog” so it’s easy for all dogs to pick up. It’s instinctive and natural for them. I’d say that 95% of owners solve their issues within 2-3 lessons! If, however, the problem persists, they can rely upon our Lifetime Support Guarantee and receive further assistance.
At what age should we start training a dog?
The sooner the better. I LOVE coming out to start training an 8-week-old puppy. But it’s also never too late. We can train any breed of dog at any age. It’s just not true that old dogs can’t learn new tricks, because they can! So, if an issue becomes a problem, then that’s a great time to contact me.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of installing a pet door? Do you think that pet doors can give dogs more freedom to go in and out of the house as they please?
I always recommend your dog have easy access to the outdoors so that he can toilet when he feels the need. A pet door allows you to keep birds, rain and cold weather (or hot!) outside whilst allowing your dog to enter or exit at will.
What are some basic commands to teach a dog?
Our training is all based on natural communication between canines in their pack. So we’re able to keep “commands” to a minimum so that your dog doesn’t get confused. Basic commands like “sit, drop, and stay” and essential. “Come” is also valuable.
Are some dog breeds more difficult to train than others or is it the same for all dogs?
We do see that some breeds of dogs on average are a little harder to train (or stubborn!) than others. Some are generally easier to train. I’m not going to share this piece of knowledge though because every dog is an individual and there are exceptions to the norm all the time!
Can you recommend some great dog training books?
Yes, I can! The founder of Bark Busters, Sylvia Wilson, wrote a book after being encouraged to do so for 20 years! It’s fantastic and goes from Puppy Hood to Old Age with case histories besides most of the behavioral issues covered. Contact barkbusters.com.au to obtain a copy.