Northwest Explorer Business Today
July 21, 2004
Written By: Mary Jo Cvetic
Steve and Vicki Dell love dogs. For over 30 years, the Dells have enjoyed various breeds of the furry species as pets. They’ve even had championship show dogs – first cockers and then whippets. One of their cockers finished at the international level as a champion in the show ring. As for the whippets, they traveled with Steve and Vicki competing on a Frisbee circuit throughout the southwest. They performed at regional sporting events and entertained the residents of local adult care centers. Today, the Dells share their home affectionately called the “Desert Hound Retreat,” with two retired greyhounds.
After years of career changes and corporate moves, Steve, a chemical engineer working in the plastics and chemical industries, and Vicki, owner of an emergency management training company, decided to pursue new careers. With their love for dogs and love for teaching and training people came the inspiration to pursue a business working with people and their pets.
After learning more about Bark Busters, an in-home dog-training program, the entrepreneurial spirit resonating within Steve and Vicki exploded. Steve successfully completed the extensive Bark Buster training program in Denver and the Dells moved from Cincinnati to Tucson and opened a locally owned and operated Bark Busters franchise.
- “The beauty of Tucson and friendliness and kindness of the people made moving here easy,” says Steve.
The move last October has proven successful. Steve, a Bark Busters home dog obedience training specialist, has met with numerous pet owners and their canines, teaching both how to communicate with each other. The in-home dog training is ideal for solving nasty problems such as a dog’s aggression toward people and other animals, curing bad habits like excessive barking, jumping up on people and furniture and teaching a dog obedience and setting areas that are off limits. “No dog is untrainable,” says Steve.
This is what your dog is hearing, “blah, blah, blah Chiquita” says Steve to Dr. and Mrs. Frank Shallenberger. Chiquita is the Shallenberger’s threeyear-old Chihuahua. Steve is meeting with the Shallenberger’s and Chiquita to solve her excessive barking and jumping on furniture bad habits.
- “She loves to jump on the furniture, as a matter of fact she does this loop from one piece to another,” says Dr. Shallenberger. He laughs and says that Chiquita can really get going after just one leap.
The Bark Busters Home Dog Training offers solutions to the Shallenberger’s dog problems. The first session takes approximately two to three hours and requires the owners to practice for a few minutes each day for four to five weeks. This will reinforce the dog’s newly learned behavior.
Today, Chiquita’s first session teaches her how to listen and how to do things on command. It also will teach the Shallenberger’s how to think and act canine. Simple training techniques and staged situations offered by Steve teach the Shallenberger’s about voice tones, posture and using training aids. They also are encouraged to use timing and consistency techniques to reinforce new behavior. Chiquita soon learns she is not the leader of the pack.
- “Entertainment is important for dogs,” says Steve. He recommends the Shallenberger’s keep toys around that Chiquita enjoys and also suggests quirky toys that keep her busy for minutes on end. The “doggy cube” is a toy that holds a treat inside of a cube. The pooch must push around the cube until the delectable is released from an internal maze. No dog is too old to learn new tricks.
The in-home dog training will continue with Chiquita and the Shallenberger’s over the next several weeks. The training lessons are guaranteed for the life of the dog and further training is provided at no additional charge if “doggy” problems recur. Clients are offered a customized plan to effectively teach the dog in their home environment first so the dog also will listen in outside territory.
If your canine companion is having behavioral problems, contact Bark Busters by calling Steve Dell at 990-4118 or visit the Web site at www.barkbusters.com. The customized in-home dog-training program should have you saying “good dog” in no time. story by Mary Jo Cvetic, Marketing/PR photo by Mary Jo Cvetic Dr. and Mrs. Frank Shallenberger proudly smile with their favorite companion Chiquita.
Reprinted with permission from Northwest Explorer 03-29-05