Your dreams of calm canine cohabitation are out the window. Sure, you accepted that happy hour was a thing of the past, sleeping in on Saturdays no longer an option and all shoes must be hidden under lock and key. But you never dreamed you’d be walking a lunging lunatic at the end of the leash or that you’d be embarrassed by the pooch who must pounce on every passerby. Barker Behavior, Inc. can mend your Mastiff’s manners; fix your Frenchie’s fearfulness and banish your Berner’s barking.
With the last name “Barker”, Brandi was destined to work with dogs! A lifelong animal lover; she formally began training dogs in 2001 at the Anti-Cruelty Society. After spending years coaching people and training dogs; she launched Barker Behavior in 2006 and has been loving every minute of helping her clients.
Brandi has a Master’s degree from DePaul University, specializing in Developing Behavior Management Practices to Enhance Understanding in Human/Animal Relationships. She is Certified Pet Dog Trainer and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. Brandi uses this knowledge in conjunction with the active listening, relationship development and creative problem solving skills she acquired from a decade in the corporate world.
Brandi is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers; has been published in Chronicle of the Dog and Chicagoland Tails and she regularly writes training articles for the Columbus Examiner (her hometown) and Dogtime. Brandi actively supports multiple rescues by conducting evaluations, giving presentations and teaching classes to help raise funds for animals in need; additionally, she regularly volunteers with Safe Humane Chicago‘s Court Case Dog Program. She said goodbye to her dear, sweet Finnigan in 2013. His early behavior inspired her dog training career and he will be forever missed, honored and at the heart of everything she does. Gavin is now the four-legged light of her life. When he’s not scaling trees, learning a new trick or romping with his friends; Gavin is an ambassador dog for Safe Humane. Brandi co-owns a dog treat business, Bark Pouch™ , which was created to better help dogs who are too stressed, fearful or overstimulated to take store-bought treats. After 12 years of religiously rocking out weekend training sessions; Brandi will be moving to a Monday through Friday schedule beginning October 2015.
Megan became addicted to dog behavior when she adopted her first pup in 1999. She quickly immersed herself in the field while tending and training her own growing family of dogs. In 1999 she also launched her own very successful dog walking service to further her education in the needs of the city dog and their families.
To hone her craft, Megan completed three separate dog training internships. She has been a member of the behavior department at the Anticruelty Society since 2005 and helped craft their original Bully buddy adoption program. Megan is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Best Friends Animal Society Community Training Partner, and Safe Humane volunteer. She is an exceptional matchmaker and loves any opportunity to assist in finding the perfect dog.
Megan commits what spare time she has to her own dog family. Believing exercise and good basic manners to be the bedrock of a great dog companion, she works hard to keep everyone on their toes. She is currently working toward agility competition with her sweet Russell/Poodle named Marcel. She also shares her home with Zuzu (Blue Heeler Mix), Cobweb and Myra (Jack Russell Terriers), Kid (puppy mill Toy Poodle) and her very dear and good humored husband Andy.
Melissa has loved dogs all her life. After she fell in love with a pointer mix puppy while volunteering at a Chicago Animal shelter, she turned to trick and obedience training to keep her high energy pup out of trouble. And, she found her true calling.
She continually improves her knowledge and skills by studying with other trainers, spends countless hours conducting research, reading books, and attending seminars. She became a accredited trainer in 2009 and has enjoyed coaching people and dogs ever since. She has been a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator since 2012 and an APDT member since 2010. Her YouTube page showing off all her dogs’ tricks has over 1,000 subscribers.
Melissa is obsessed with staying up-to-date on the all the current dog training knowledge; and in her free time she works on trick training with her now 8 year-old pointer mix Timmy and her 2 year old cattle dog mix Karma. Timmy has been in the USA Today Weekend for his “fetch me a drink trick”, twice in American Dog Magazine, and featured in Steve Dale’s Chicago Now for all of his mad skills.
Photo of Brandi and Finn by Rhonda Holcomb, rhondahphoto.com