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 shoes must be locked away the instant you walk in the door. 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 pounces on every passerby. We’re Barker Behavior, Inc. and we’ll mend your Mastiff’s manners, free your Frenchie’s fearfulness, and banish your Berner’s barking.
Welcome! I’m Brandi Barker. With my last name, I was destined to work with dogs! A lifelong animal lover, I formally began training dogs in 2001 at the Anti-Cruelty Society. After spending years coaching people and training dogs, I launched Barker Behavior in 2006.
To assure my training advice is always scientifically-sound, I obtained a Master’s degree from DePaul University, specializing in Developing Behavior Management Practices to Enhance Understanding in Human/Animal Relationships. When I’m not training dogs, I’m writing about dogs for Chronicle of the Dog, Chicagoland Tails, Columbus Examiner, and Dogtime. I’m a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Association of Pet Dog Trainers member, Pet Professional Guild member, and Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. I use this knowledge in conjunction with the active listening, relationship development, and creative problem-solving skills I acquired from a decade in the corporate world to resolve your dog’s troublesome behaviors.
Passionate about helping animals in need, I actively support multiple non-profit organizations by conducting evaluations, giving presentations, teaching classes, and caring for dogs. I said goodbye to my dear, sweet Finnigan in 2013. While Finn will always be missed, honored, and at the heart of everything I do, Gavin is now the four-legged light of my life. When he’s not scaling trees, learning a new trick, or romping with his friends, Gavin is an ambassador dog for Safe Humane.
I co-own Bark Pouch—a handy dispenser with high-value, human-grade, small-batch treats created to make training easier for you and your dog.
Hello, I’m Megan Ores-Uhrich. I became addicted to dog behavior after adopting my first puppy in 1999. I quickly immersed myself in the training field and applied every new skill I learned to my growing family of dogs, so they thrived in the city. Simultaneously launching a successful dog walking service, I helped other urban families give their dogs the care they deserve in downtown Chicago.
To continue my education, I completed three separate dog training internships. I’ve been a passionate member of the Anti-Cruelty Society’s Behavior Department since 2005 where I co-created their Bully Buddy Adoption Program. I’m a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, Best Friends Animal Society Community Training Partner, and Safe Humane volunteer. I’m also an exceptional matchmaker and would love to help you find the perfect dog to complete your family.
When I have spare time, I commit every second to my own dog menagerie. I keep my canine crew on their toes with exercise and good basic manners—the bedrock of enjoying life with dogs. I’m currently working toward agility competition with my sweet Russell/Poodle named Marcel. And I share my home with Zuzu (Blue Heeler Mix), Cobweb and Myra (Jack Russell Terriers), Kid (puppy mill Toy Poodle), and my very dear and good-humored husband, Andy.
Hi, I’m Melissa Arteaga. I’ve adored dogs all my life. While volunteering, I fell in love with Timmy (Pointer Mix puppy) and discovered my professional calling. To keep my high-energy, super-smart puppy in my good graces, I taught Timmy a plethora of tricks and lots of life skills (manners and obedience) via positive training. Tricky Timmy’s YouTube channel has over 1,000 subscribers!
Studying with other trainers, attending seminars and workshops, and reading every professional journal and book helps me stay up-to-date on the latest canine behavior research, so I’m providing proven, yet innovative advice. I’m an accredited trainer, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and APDT member. I’m a dedicated people coach and tenacious partner always excited to help you and your dog succeed.
I’m obsessed with helping my clients—dog and human. In my free time, I add to Tricky Timmy’s long list of behavioral achievements and Karma (my Cattle Dog mix) often joins in the training fun. Timmy’s “fetch me a drink” trick has been featured in USA Today Weekend, Steve Dale’s Pet World, and twice in American Dog Magazine.
Photo of Gavin and I (Brandi) by Christy Gregory www.christygregory.com