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Susanne | Kentfield, Marin

December-23-2020 Bark busters rating

Karen came to help us with our two dogs. We have an older dog and a puppy and they were not getting along. Our puppy was constantly barking at our older (highly anxious) dog. We were at our wits end with what to do. Karen spent 2+ hours with us and once she left, the dogs behavior was almost 100% improved. We now have tools to use to deal with issues that come up. But, honestly, the dogs have been incredible since our meeting with Karen. We were all on edge and stressed from the dogs before Karen came. Now, the house is calm and the dogs are so much better. Thank you, Karen. After only 1 session, you have turned the dogs around. We still have to work on some problems that we didn't address but I am certain we will figure it all out in future meetings.

AggressionBarkingSibling rivalry
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Kesley | San Francisco, City and County of San Francisco

July-04-2020 Bark busters rating

Adam was amazing! Our dog Bernie was showing signs of resource guarding (spoiled only dog child problems) and being a little brat. He was also getting aggressive with some dogs at the dog park when he had been super friendly for the first year of his life. He is only 16 months and we new we wanted to get it under control right away. We are super social and wanted to feel comfortable taking Bernie with us places and not having to worry. Adam helped us establish boundaries and we saw a noticeable difference after one session. Seriously one session. It was great. We have had follow up sessions since and Bernie continues to improve. We are so thankful for Adam and his work with us and Bernie. I would highly recommend Adam and we are so pleased with our progress.

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Lynda | Fairfax

June-30-2020 Bark busters rating

Karen was terrific, hire her! Honestly, Karen is the best dog trainer; she is kind, easy to talk with; her techniques are gentle and easy to learn. Karen walked me through everything I needed to do and she followed up after every session. I was surprised how easy the training was for my dog and me. It's worth every penny, don't hesitate these guys are the real deal. Thank you, Karen.

AggressionPulling

Kate | Sausalito, Marin

February-14-2020 Bark busters rating

As a vet, I am perhaps more concerned about dog behavior issues than the average person since I see the worst case scenarios on a daily basis of what can happen when a challenging situation isn't addressed properly. I should also note that many of us vets end up with dogs that come from hard places. Here's the thing though, we're good at medicine and spoiling our pups, but we're not always great at training. When I recently took in a one year old foster pup, I immediately identified some behaviors (dominance, guarding, over-exuberant barking at other dogs) that I knew could morph into a much bigger challenge down the line. Cue Karen and bark busters. Karen is incredibly patient and down to earth, and her recommendations are practical, gentle, and easy to follow. By the end of the first session, I had several new training tools that immediately alleviated many of the behaviors our little foster pup was dealing with which left me with an incredible sense of relief. The foster pup is now officially ours, and we couldn't be happier. Karen continues to check in and offer advice. I couldn't recommend Bark Busters and Karen more! She's great.

BarkingJumping upPullingPuppy managementSibling rivalryToileting

Walker | San Francisco, City and County of San Francisco

January-07-2020 Bark busters rating

We’ve been working with Karen @ Bark Busters for about 3 months now. When we reached out to Karen our puppy Remy was about 6 months old. We had success training her on some basics (potty training, sit/stay, etc) but were really struggling to make progress on some larger items. Remy’s friendliness & curiosity often got the best of her when we would take her out on walks. When she wasn’t picking up trash from the sidewalk, you could find her jumping on other dogs or their owners. Yikes! Needless to say, we were frustrated. Karen met us in our home (huge perk) but more importantly took the time to listen & really get to know us & Remy. She catered her training program around our areas of focus & within a couple of weeks, Remy had learned to contain her excitement! We’ve continued regular training lessons with Karen & have been able to move on to more advanced things like airplane behavior & off leash training. Working with Karen has been a dream & it’s so reassuring to know that we have her as a resource throughout Remy’s life!

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Mary | San Rafael, Marin

November-16-2019 Bark busters rating

Let me start by saying I was not a dog person. I am a cat person. I have two Siamese cats. When my Mom passed away, I promised her I would take her chihuahua which was VERY important to her. Unfortunately Maizy did not like my cats and chased them all over the house and . I thought I was going to have to give her to the shelter, but then I remembered my promise to my Mom and I just couldn't do it. In desperation, I called Karen. I was pretty skeptical that anything would change but I had to try because I couldn't break my promise to my Mom. What a difference one lesson can make! Maizy no longer chases my cats, no longer barks uncontrollably, and no longer steals their toys. It's been one week and I don't even have the same dog. Karen is fun, knowledgeable, patient, answers every single question I have, and is always available. Her technique to say the least is amazing. Thanks to Karen, not only did I keep my promise to my mother but I think I’m becoming a bit of a dog person. If I could give her 10 stars I would.

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Lisa | Daly City, San Mateo

November-03-2019 Bark busters rating

Karen is truly a lifesaver! We used to walk down the street scared of how our dog luke would react with other dogs, he was always such a sweetheart in our house, but on the street, it was a different story! Hed either spiral out of control or just lunge. The way people looked at us was so embarrasing. After just one visit Luke was a different dog! The techniques that Karen uses are simple but effective, Luke has become the dog we always knew he could be. He is a pleasure to walk on a leash now and is so much better in the house in terms of barking at the door and leaving us alone while we eat. We were skeptical at first but desperate to try anything, and I am so glad we did. I promise you after one meeting with Karen, your dog will be a different dog as well! The best part is that Karen is just a phone call or text away and is always willing to help.

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Allen | San Francisco, City and County of San Francisco

October-05-2019 Bark busters rating

Adam is awesome!! We can't say good enough things about him. Before finding Bark Busters, we had used other highly recommended dog training companies and spent so much money on hourly session here and there, where we saw such little progress with our very energetic pooch. In as little as one session with Adam, we saw huge progress (we have an 18 month old Lab/Dachshund mix). Before working with Adam, our pooch would skirt the tabletop, chew at everything and bark at everyone that walked by the house. Adam taught us techniques for effectively communicating with our dog. Within one session, our dog was listening to us and following our commands. We particularly love how the techniques used can be easily incorporated into daily life, without the need for a big time allotment for training every day. Our dog seems like a calmer happier pooch, who knows the pecking order and is much better behaved. If you have a high-energy dog who needs some training, call Adam!!

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Theresa | San Francisco, City and County of San Francisco

August-08-2019 Bark busters rating

Adam is a lifesaver! My dog Chase was afraid of everything ... men, dogs, his shadow, and me leaving him. He had horrible separation anxiety. When I would leave, he would almost hurt himself. I was at my wit's end. Adam to the rescue. In just one lesson, he taught me how to communicate with Chase and calm him down. He trained me more than the dog! I especially liked that he didn't use any harmful methods ... no prong or shock collars. It was really tone of voice. I would highly recommend Bark Busters and Adam!!!

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Fran | San Francisco

July-23-2018 Bark busters rating

I've had my dog Merlin since he was a puppy. He has always been an absolute sweetheart,or so i thoughtt.. but he had a lot of behavioral problems. My dog was, dog aggressive, would bark at anything that would walk by our porch, he would try and eat his leash, he would pull on his leash so bad that he has actually made me fall down the stairs and pulled me down. I was at my ultimate lowest when he tried to attack and kill two dogs. I was absolutely stressed, and overwhelmed and scared. I was terrified taking my dog out to go to the bathroom, I was terrified that something bad was going to happen and I would have had to put down my best friend. At Merlin and my all time low, my mom found Karen. Merlin and I have only had one session so far, and got the lifetime guarantee. But all I can say is Karen is wonderful! I saw improvement in my dog with the first 45 minutes. I was able to walk him around the neighborhood with a loose leash, and him staying right by side. His attitude has changed, he is back to being my sweet boy I used to know. Earlier today he watched another dog walk by on the porch and did nothing about it. This morning I've been able to leave the sliding door open to my porch, while dogs have been walking by, and he has continued to stay by me instead of running out there and barking. This was all in the first session! I'm so happy to see such improvements in my best friend. I'm very excited to see what the future holds for me and Merlin and I look forward to more sessions! Thank you so much, Karen! I recommend her to anyone that thinks that their dog is un-fixable, I thought mine was, and now I finally have hope!

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Maureen | San Rafael

July-17-2018 Bark busters rating

We called Karen after our dog Elko started showing signs of aggression to other people. We had rescued him just 2 months previously and noticed things about his behavior that concerned us and we wanted to fix it quickly before it escalated into something more dangerous. Elko would not let people enter the house, would bark and lung at strangers in the street when out walking on his leash, would chase and bark at everything that moved including people, dogs and cars and it was becoming very stressful. Karen was very calm, professional and patient as she explained everything to us and put our minds at ease. She talked us through why Elko was behaving the way he was and the techniques we needed to use to help eliminate these unwanted behaviors. She was patient and kind as she taught us and within 30 minutes Elko was a different dog, he was the happy, relaxed little guy we had been hoping for. Just 30 minutes previously Elko was throwing himself at the patio doors and growling and barking at karen as she arrived. Within a very short time of working with Elko, he sat on her knee and had made a new best friend. It was fantastic to see Elko behaving this way with a stranger. By the end of session 1 we couldn't believe the positive changes, Elko was walking nicely on the leash without pulling, ignoring other people and dogs we passed, he was calm and relaxed in the house and would allow people to enter through the front door. I was surprised and delighted that these changes happened almost immediately. Its been 6 days since Karens first visit and we are continuing to practice the techniques daily and pleasantly surprised every day by Elkos progress and positive changes. Karen is the real deal and we are very pleased with our decision to work with her. SHe is the best!!!

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Maura | Novato

August-14-2017 Bark busters rating

From the moment Karen came to the house it was clear she was evaluating us and our fur babies. 2 generations of guardians and three generations of dogs! She was great! Seems to know exactly what the dogs needed while recognizing the challenges that we have as 'trainers'. We know there is no miracle cure, but we are confident in the tools that Karen shared with us like effective voice commands and establishing our roles! We are all excit d for lesson number two and are seeing some changes already. She gave me tips for the new puppy and gave mom some ideas for a barking Pomeranian!

BarkingChewingRecallSibling rivalrySeparation anxietyToiletingPuppy management

Dale | Novato

August-26-2016 Bark busters rating

My wife and I were very pleased with the training we received to help our dog behave properly. Our instructor Karen was insightful and very knowledgable in the manners of dogs and how to break them of bad habits. We have been working on her techniques so far and in our next training we hope to have Millie behaving like she should. Thanks Karen.

ChewingJumping upPuppy management

Tal | Novato

July-30-2016 Bark busters rating

The Barkbusters Training is the most successful and BEST training method we've experienced! And we have tried many!! We really shortchanged ourselves by going to several trainers after thinking Barkbusters was out of our financial scope. Turns out we wasted alot of money and time and subjected ourselves and our loving dog Elvis to methods that were not a good fit for our family. With one Barkbusters training with Karen, we saw IMMEDIATE improvement in Elvis and were better able to understand the motivation behind insecurities that read as aggression. Karen Gaines has dramatically improved our family life by giving us so much insight as to what we were doing to sabotage our communication with our dog, and was able to offer common sense advice and all kinds of support... And with a sense of humor! Elvis instantly acclimated to her and from the moment we opened the front door, we felt comfortable trusting in her expertise 100%. We just returned from a successful outing at the beach with Elvis and thanks to Karen's amazing training every trip to the beach is more enjoyable than the last! My wife and I swear by this method! Thank you Karen, you're the best!!!

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Kate | Novato

May-29-2016 Bark busters rating

Karen provided a calm productive environment and gave me some effective training tools to establish pack leader mentality to practice with our year old lab mix with a dominant personality. I met with Karen two more times and made significant progress with the dog. Karen helped give me the confidence to maintain the leadership of the "pack". Really enjoyed working with Karen and would recommend her to anyone needing help training a dog.

DiggingJumping upPullingSeparation anxiety

Beverly | San Rafael

April-22-2016 Bark busters rating

I/we - cant thank Karen at Bark Busters enough. My mom is probably much older than most of the clients Karen works with, but she assures me she is not. We decided that as a widow, she needed a companion and get motivated to be more active. So we rescued an older labmix we named "Tripper". Unfortuantely, Tripper is more active than any of us imagined. The vet thinks he may only be 4 years old and he is "lively" to say the least. What were we thinking! She was ready to give him up after 2 weeks but had fallen in love with him. He was so hard to handle - Tripper, (as he was appropriately named) loved to jump on her to give her kisses, (he loves to cuddle only he is 45 lbs), he would try and drag her out the door when going for walks, would rush right past her anytime he thought she was getting up to leave without him almost knocking her down. Mom did not enjoy any of this. SO instead of taking him for walks, she started to leave him in the back yard. Even though we had dogs growing up, she didnt remember them being this rambunctious. A co-worker of mine overheard me on the phone distraught that my mom may want to give Tripper back to the rescue so she gave me BarkBusters telephone number. She had just used Karen and said she was incredible. SHe said karen was very direct and would offer the best advice as to what to do. Well, that was 7 weeks ago and Tripper is not going anywhere. She met us for a consultation and said she would work close with my mom and she felt confident that Tripper and my mom were a perfect match. She felt that my mom was capable and that Tripper wanted some guidance. Karen stated up front that she trains people, that is the methodology and that she would have to lay off giving Tripper so many cookies. She knew she could teach my mom to be the "pack leader" not with cookies but with love and consistancy. She taught my mom simple techniques that were not difficult for her to remember, in fact made them even fun for both. So far Tripper hasnt jumped on her since Karen came that 1st day. She waits at the door until my mom gives her permission. Now they go on 2 walks a day at least 30 min each time. My mom is building up her stamina to take longer walks and Tripper seems to have calmed down a bit and mom is so proud of how far they both have come. She loves telling her friends what she and Tripper have been doing and where they have been going. They love doing errands together. We are so happy for Tripper and even more, thankful to Karen for being patient and instilling the confidence in my mother that as my mom says, "you can teach an old dog new tricks". My mom has a new best friend and we owe that to Karen at BarkBusters.

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Kelly | Tiburon

February-23-2015 Bark busters rating

We met with Karen for three hours to help us learn to train our new rescue Daisy. We lost our perfect, nearly 15 year old yellow lab a few months ago, so it has been a while since we have had to do any training. Karen taught us many skills that are helping us help Daisy to be an even better dog than she is already. I think Daisy actually likes to know the rules, so Karen's session was truly helpful. I assume we will be doing more once we establish this foundation. Meet with Karen if you need someone to train you! We highly recommend her.

Jumping upPullingRecallSeparation anxiety

Cynthia | San Francisco

February-19-2015 Bark busters rating

Karen is amazing! We interviewed countless dog trainers, audited a number of classes and NO ONE compared to her approach and technique. She truly understands the behavior of dogs and 'speaks their language'. Her no nonsense approach is very helpful in understanding what our dog is thinking. She pinpointed why we were having issues with our pup and quickly offered solutions. Truly the best we have seen and happy to work with her and recommend her to others!!!

AggressionPullingRecallSeparation anxietyOther

Sophie | Woodacre

August-03-2014 Bark busters rating

Karen's friendly training is extremely efficient. Just a few tips and Hugo, still a puppy, is learning fast how to behave in many situations. As a result we enjoy him even more. Thanks Karen!

Puppy management

Glen | Novato

May-26-2014 Bark busters rating

Even though BarkBusters and Karen was highly recommended by an aunt who used her services 2 years ago for her shy little poodle , I was very skeptical. I wasnt expecting alot from this training but I thought I would give it a try as I was so annoyed with my overly friendly (ferociously sounding) lab mix. Because of Dexter's size, I knew I had to do something. I just wasn't sure and and questioned whether anyone had the ability to turn Dexter around. Karen made me realize that I had the ability, and she shared with me advice how to handle Dexter . The transformation was dramatic. It was like night and day. Dexter went from pulling his leash to walking beside me, from bolting out the door as a high flier to waiting for me to give him permission. He now waits at the front door so I can let friends in without his slobbering lunges, until I give him permission to come and greet them, calmly. I have to say, I was really skeptical, but now I am a believer. Its only been a few weeks, but hiring Karen was one of the best decisions I have ever made, except of course to adopt Dexter. We still have things we can work on, but for the long haul - BarkBusters is worth it. Highly recommended

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Louise | San Rafael

May-18-2014 Bark busters rating

You came to our house about 3 months ago, to assist us in training both Ezra (husky) and Blake (pointer-spaniel), our canine friends. I wish to underline the quality of your work and of your presence, which were truly valuable and helpful to all of us. Blake and Ezra are doing much better, especially Blake who is not half-wolf. I can even walk with Blake without a leash now, on the sidewalk, especially without him trying to throw himself at passing cars. Ezra obeys better and, after 20 minutes on a walk, she ends up fully accepting that a human being is at the other end of the leash. Being half-wolf, limitations are still particularly painful to her. Yet, at times, she is brought to roam freely on the Lucas Valley hills, with Blake, chasing adventure and being fully alive. Your knowledgeable input and your sincerity made the difference. I wished to thank you, wholeheartedly, for your work and for your patience, Louise

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Jaime | San Rafael

May-16-2014 Bark busters rating

Ella responded well and readily to all the training suggestions. The training techniques were "user friendly" and effective. They made sense! Karen made the training fun and interesting for both Ella and me! I am so glad my vet recommended Bark Busters and Karen! Karen couldn't have been nicer or more helpful and reliable, She immediately addressed all my concerns and questions and as a first time dog owner, it was better than I could have imagined.

Barking

Julie | SAN RAFAEL

May-14-2014 Bark busters rating

my dogs were unused to walking on a leash and being around other dogs when I moved here from out of the state. Karen was great with them and me and I would be happy to recommend her and her methods to anyone who cares about dogs and cares about having them behave in public.

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Ardelle | San Anselmo

April-05-2014 Bark busters rating

We have nothing but the highest praise for Karen. We have only had two sessions with her and already our puppy is learning to be such a good dog. We especially had trouble with her jumping on everyone and Karen taught us how to deal with that. Karen is very good at what she does and is a pleasure to work with. Her techniques really do work! Our puppy is quite active and we were getting frustrated trying to teach her things ourselves. Karen came in and turned everything around for us. We would highly recommend her.

AggressionHyperactivityJumping upPullingPuppy management

Ardelle | San Anselmo

April-05-2014 Bark busters rating

We have nothing but the highest praise for Karen. We have only had two sessions with her and already our puppy is learning to be such a good dog. We especially had trouble with her jumping on everyone and Karen taught us how to deal with that. Karen is very good at what she does and is a pleasure to work with. Her techniques really do work! Our puppy is quite active and we were getting frustrated trying to teach her things ourselves. Karen came in and turned everything around for us. We would highly recommend her.

AggressionHyperactivityJumping upPullingPuppy management

Luke | Mill valley

November-04-2013 Bark busters rating

I rescued bodi when he was 6 mos old from Sonora. I had no idea what to do with a puppy and I was lucky enough to meet Karen at bark busters. She made me understand that consistency and leadership was what was needed. He responded to me almost instantly. I think he really likes the training methods, The tips Karen gave me are easy to follow and whenever I need help, Karen has made herself available to answer all my questions and concerns. Bodi is now almost 2 yrs old and everyone thinks he is such a well behaved dog. He is and I am so happy. There is no jumping on people or barking at passing strangers. And most of all no pulling or should I say attacking on the leash. I highly recommend BarkBusters for training and if you can, try and get Karen. Luke

ChewingJumping upPullingSeparation anxiety

Larry & Susan | San Francisco

July-15-2013 Bark busters rating

I contacted Bark Busters and it could not have been soon enough. Karen Gaines was great. She took the time to get to know all our issues and we addressed them all one by one. Bark Busters methods are so adaptable, especially as we have 2 highly hyperactive schnauzers. Sparrow, the female is aggressive to strangers and very territorial so that it haw been almost impossible to walk them. WIth the techniques Karen has given us, we have been practicing and it has been such a difference. As soon as we call her, she either answers her phone or returns our call within a few hours. Karen has been so helpful and makes sure we follow her instructions that she has made so easy for us to follow. We signed on not knowing if it would really work, and we are so happy with our success only after a few months, We really appreciate Karen and look forward to more wonderful walks in San Francisco.

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