Bark Busters Muzzles Pooches Through Special Therapy

Atlanta Buckhead
March 2004
Written By:Anne Thomas

Who You Gonna Call?
Bark Busters muzzles pooches through special therapy

Your four-legged, hairy best friend loves to bark at everyone, real or imagined, who passes within sight of your house. When Grandma visits, he barks and leaps on her, knocking her senseless. He jumps into your bed in the middle of the night and barks and growls until you back down and let him stay.

This can't go on! You need help! Who you gonna call? Bark Busters!

Bark Busters began in Australia 20 years ago and has been in the United States for about four years, with its headquarters in Denver. The local Bark Busters is owned by Max Alligood, a behavior therapist and trainer.

Although he has only been with Bark Busters since May 2003, the soft-spoken, mild mannered Alligood is not new to training. After receiving a master's degree in adult education and human resources development, he spent more than four years training people to be better managers and working with employees who had been downsized.

To date, Alligood has trained over 100 owners, some with two or three dogs, and the behavior of the dogs has run the gamut from barking to biting to jumping.

Vicki and Samantha Magis called Alligood to help with their new puppy, Grape, and their 2-year old dog, Sophie. The main problem was that Grape nipped at everybody.

Alligood trains in the client's home and will spend two or three hours on the first visit, doing an assessment of the problem, explaining the psychology of dog behavior and training the dog. Bark Busters uses a holistic approach, meaning that it treats the entire dog, rather than just the symptoms of the problem.

Bark Busters bases its training on canine pack mentality.

Recently Alligood went to the home of Tim and Marsha Ricciardi and their 4-year-old black long-haired Chihuahua, Palie, who barked incessantly whenever anyone came near the house.

Alligood said a dog that barks at everything is not a good watchdog because eventually you get tired of the barking and just yell at the dog to shut up.

Reposted with permission, 5/26/04