Testimonials

We love our clients (people and dogs) and are happy to share just a few of our many, many success stories.

Life in our household is changing so quickly I wanted to thank Barker Behavior before I forget how stressful Chicago Dog Training Client Testimonialsthings used to be. The boys are doing great with their come and sit commands. My arms are no longer worn out at the end of our walks. I waste less energy and feel so much calmer and in control. Gus loves to sit at each landing on the stairs and looks eagerly for me to tell him ‘yes Gus!’  He even stopped chasing a rabbit when I called him back yesterday! And Bingo really does like to walk behind me and use me as a buffer when other dogs come by. Especially at the end of a walk. The lesson would have been the best money I’ve ever spent even if it just made me feel like I was better in control. But that’s not even the most important thing. I never realized how unsympathetic I was being with Bingo. The vet confirmed your suspicions about arthritis and we’ve started medication. Bing already has more spring in his step. He was in a lot of pain and I just didn’t get it. I was treating him as a stubborn bulldog and I should have been thinking of him as a delicate convalescent. My whole perspective has changed.  Thank you. You gave me better control of my dogs and a whole new perspective on them in one hour. All three of us are very grateful.  Ben, Bingo and Gus

***Bingo has since crossed the Rainbow Bridge and we at Barker Behavior wanted to say rest in peace sweet boy, it was an absolute honor knowing you.***


After working with Barker Behavior, I hosted a baby shower for one of my friends and Marlo was AMAZING.  He barked and got excited when the first girl showed up to help set up, but after that, I was literally in awe of him. He laid on his couch, and after awhile, moved to our couch, and then back to his…he did not bark once when the guests showed up. One of my friends was literally standing in our kitchen, he was on his couch, and she asked where he was. He was THAT good.  She commented that she would not even expect a “normal” dog to behave that way, let alone Marlo.  Another friend, who has known him since he was about 8 weeks old, and is thinking about hiring a trainer for her dog, said that seeing Marlo yesterday was all that she needed to see to know that you did good work.  Three other people who are familiar with vizslas asked how much we had run him in the morning to get him that tired (not at all!!).

We did have a gate up while the party was actually going on, more  to keep him away from the food (he is really good at not nabbing our food when its just our family, but a whole party table full of cheese, meat, bread, chips, veggies, etc., was more likely than not too tempting for him and since I couldn’t give him 100% of my attention, it wasn’t worth risking him eating all that food, especially since there was chocolate out, too). But he didn’t run to the gate, jump around it, whine, bark – nothing. He would lie on his couch until someone asked if they could pet him, then I would call him over, he would come, they would pet him, and then I would send him right back to his couch and he would go – no complaint. I walked him through the party to go outside at one point, and he did not flail once, walking through a group of 17 people. He was still great when we took the gate down after we got most of the food picked up and people gone. It was awesome. I felt like the ending of an episode of “It’s Me or the Dog.” Jessica, Guy, Oscar and Marlo

Happy clients!We thank Brandi so much for the tools she gave us. Jake has been alone, no crate at all, since the week before she met him, and no incident since! We are still doing some of the exercises you gave us here and there, but he really doesn’t show any stress signs when I leave each morning. It was always so hard for me, because I am the last to leave, so I was the mean mom who had to crate him. I have to say, being able to just leave and see him enjoying a snack or a nap is such a relief. I would have anxiety myself about leaving, because I felt so badly. When we got home, he would burst out of his crate and we could tell he just hated it, but I was so afraid to try him out and loose again, as I’d had a bad experience a few years ago with it. He has been really happy lately. But the exercises she gave us really helped to calm him down at the point we left. Now he sometimes doesn’t even lift his head when I go. Aside from work, we would even feel guilty going out to dinner, etc etc, because we hated crating him. Now we feel so much better when we’re out. I am really grateful for the tips Brandi gave us, and that we can always go back to them when changes in our lives come about. Mary-Margaret,  Phil and Jake


Good dogs in ChicagoI am so very very thankful for all of Brandi’s help. She was so amazing with Milo and with me. We both learned so much. We still have a ways to go, but I “get it” and things are so much easier, so that Milo and I can really enjoy each other. We are still working on walking, but some walks are so great I wonder “who’s dog is this”. Yesterday, I had him sit for people he wanted to meet – or that wanted to meet him. It was great. I adore Milo and that is because Brandi has given me the tools I need to make our interactions easier and more positive. I will forever be grateful. She is amazing. Andrew and Milo


happy dogWe have worked with Brandi several times over the last year in classroom and 1-on-1 trainings. Our adorable 7-yr old Catahoula was struggling with multiple issues including separation anxiety and growling/lunging at strangers. Brandi came to my office (where most of the issues were taking place). She worked with Foster and I demonstrating what I should do when a stranger approaches and verbal cues to give Foster. It’s a great feeling after working with your dog on a task for it to “click” for both owner and pooch. Brandi worked with us closely, getting to know Foster’s challenge-points and personality to customize a solution just for us and our environment. After that session, I was able to work with Foster and my co-workers over the next few weeks using the homework Brandi assigned us. After a few weeks, he stopped growling and lunging at co-workers and delivery people and seemed more relaxed. Anytime we have a setback, it’s helpful to reference the “homework” Brandi created for us which included tips for “stranger danger” and separation anxiety. We wouldn’t hesitate to reach out to Brandi for training needs in the future. Marissa, Matt and Foster


MaxWe adopted our 2-year old, 12lb poodle mix Maxfrom PAWS in May of 2011 and shortly thereafter started to see behavioral issues demonstrated in the house as well as on walks.  Max became very territorial in a short amount of time and became aggressive with people coming in to our house.  The main behaviors displayed were aggressive barking, lunging, and biting of the feet and toes.  After doing some research online we set up an appointment with Brandi Barker.  She was able to start working with us at home within a couple of days, which we were very thankful for after having no idea how to effectively manage his behavior.  During the first session Brandi gave us some very helpful techniques for calmly introducing visitors in to the house.  We have continued to use her techniques each time we have a visitor and have seen real improvement in Max’s behavior.  During our second session Brandi worked with us outside and on a walk and again gave us some very helpful ideas for how to handle Max’s tendency to bark at people and other dogs while on walks.  She was able to show us ways to curb Max’s negative behaviors with no real punishment, simply rewards for positive behavior, and the training has really strengthened our relationship as Max’s leader.  I would recommend Brandi Barker for anyone who is looking for advice on specific behavioral issues that are out of the normal realm of basic dog training.  She has been a pleasure to work with. Kara, Max and Scott


BismarkBrandi has been working with my dog since he was a puppy and has been extremely attentive in following his growth and working with myself and him to ensure that his inherent sweetness comes out in the most obedient and respectful ways.  My dog is automatically drawn to her and she is able to pass along to me the tools that she uses to keep him so engaged.  Since working with her, Bismark has excelled in obedience and has evolved into a loving and obedient adult dog.

- Dana, Joey and Bismark

Jenny and TrilibyIt sounds overly dramatic to say Barker Behavior’s help has changed our lives,but it has!  As much as I love Tril, I was previously very anxious about walking her because I was so afraid of running into other dogs.  After working with Barker Behavior, we both enjoy our walks together so much more.  I truly can’t believe what a difference it has made. Barker Behavior has also provided extra help and patience with me throughout the training process. I can’t wait to see them out and about to show off Tril’s amazing transformation! Jenny and Trilby


LeveerThe improvement in my dog’s behavior is astounding. There once was a day where my dog would ignore most of my commands, but now with Brandi’s training (for me and my dog), I can get my boxer to leave even a giant steak that might happen to fall on the floor. The folks at Barker Behavior are friendly, professional, and incredibly accommodating to my (and my dog’s) needs. Nora, Kevin and Levee


Man holding Yellow LabBrandi runs a program that I am 100% confident is the best way to train both safe and effectively. From day one, I began to see signs that my puppy was learning obedience, and the positive reinforcement approach made me feel comfortable. I highly recommend attending a training session with Brandi, not only for what the puppy learns, but for all that the owner learns as well. Michael and Bauer


Sunny Because I have five dogs, I didn’t want to have to try to take each one separately to training classes, as I did when I only had one dog to handle. So I contacted Brandi, and set up a schedule of several “classes” in my home over a two month period. Brandi was always on time, and eager to work with each of my dogs. Each dog had different problem areas, from nuisance barking to jumping up on guests, to pulling on the leash on walks. After a few sessions, Brandi had me “trained” and I learned what behavior to reward and when to reserve my attention. She only used “positive reinforcement” techniques, which was very important to me. She never asked to take my dogs out of my sight to work with them, which also was important to me. I’m still working with my dogs, and call Brandi occasionally for “refresher” classes. I would highly recommend her if you feel that your dogs are part of your family, as I do, and want them trained in a friendly, fun, positive atmosphere! Sunny, Justice, Jake, Snickers, Trooper and Shaunessey


Dog with BallBrandi’s ability to adapt her techniques, skill set and knowledge to the specific needs of our family unit are excellent. She is gifted with animals and they respond to her well. Also, often folks who work with animals don’t have well-tuned people skills. Brandi on the other hand has a great rapport with adults and children. Georgie, Marco, Choco and family

3 stars