July 29, 2004
Written By: Stacy Tornio
Program offers a holistic approach to dog training
Jackie Reuning offers a bold promise. She will train any dog within a few hours and then give a written lifetime guarantee through the course of the dog’s life.
- “It’s such a kind way to work with dogs. It’s very holistic,” Reuning said of the training. “You don’t have to lay a hand on your dog and you’re able to control your dog by voice and body language.”
Reuning is a trainer for Bark Busters, an in-home dog training franchise known for its two-hour, non-physical approach to dog training. Bark Busters was founded in Australia, and today it has more than 100 franchises operating in six countries. Reuning owns the Oconomowoc franchise with her husband, Tim.
- “We both love dogs and I’ve had dogs all my life,” she said. “It’s like something you never dreamed of being able to do.”
To be a Bark Busters trainer, Reuning spent the entire month of June in the company’s training program. Since then, she has worked with six different dogs and families.
Katherine Zvesper lives in Hartland and recently called Reuning for help with her Shetland sheepdog, Prince. At first she wasn’t sure if Bark Busters could help, but she was willing to try anything to get Prince to stop barking. In just two hours, Zvesper saw a huge improvement.
- “He hardly ever barks anymore,” she said. “I’ve been telling everybody. It really does amaze me.”
Over the years, Zvesper has had eight dogs. She said she has tried several different training programs but none have worked as quickly or effectively as this one.
- “Whatever their premise is, it definitely gets into the dog’s head and works,” she said.
Bark Busters training involves three main steps body language, using guttural sounds (like a deep-voiced “bah” sound) and using training aids.
- “The system makes sense because we’re talking to them (dogs) in their language,” Reuning said.
Jason Marsh lives in Teresa and his Doberman recently received training from Reuning. His dog was barking, jumping on patio doors and the spike-collar training they were using wasn’t effective.
- “It was working to a point, but you had to jerk on the collar and it would hurt the dog,” Marsh said. “That’s when we heard about Bark Busters. We decided to go that route because it’s nicer.” Marsh continues to use the techniques Reuning taught him and said his dog has shown a huge improvement.
- “Overall it was a very good experience,” he said. “We like the fact that you don’t have to be right next to your dog to train it. You can train it from the other side of the house and you don’t have to hurt your dog.”
(Stacy Tornio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reposted with permission from Waukesha Freeman, 5/26/05.