Stress was the buzzword of the nineties and no doubt we will be no stranger to stress in this millennium – but when we think stress, we no doubt think about human stress and the busy executive lifestyle.
Stress would not be the first thing we think about when it comes to our canine friends. However, stress does play a major role in our dog's lives and ex RSPCA Shelter Manager (Sylvia Wilson, Bark Busters Co-Founder/Director) has – over many years – made it her business to study canine behaviour. She has found through her extensive studies and observations that when dogs are taken to strange or unfamiliar environments, they undergo stress that can last up to two weeks if the dog remains in that situation. This finding is based on a 10-year study of a steady stream of dogs that were surrendered to the busy animal shelter where Sylvia worked.
Sylvia's studies involved the monitoring of each dog that was surrendered to the shelter, as well as each dog’s progress over several weeks. A prominent observation was that some dogs went into deep depression during the first few days of being placed in the refuge. During the study, Sylvia also noticed that the dogs again went through a period of stress when they were re-homed. These findings led Sylvia and her husband Danny to form Bark Busters Home Dog Training.
This company was formed upon their beliefs that if dogs suffer stress when taken out of their normal (familiar) environment, it stands to reason that their learning abilities would be impeded in those circumstances too. It would therefore be very difficult for the dog to undergo effective training in such circumstances.
The home dog training idea has proved to be very successful. Sylvia says, “Our experience is that dogs learn more quickly in their own environment, because in their familiar surroundings, their concentration levels are much greater. The common misconception has always been that it is best to either send a dog away for training or to join a dog training class, and though this holds some merit, it does take at least four to five times longer because of the stress factor.
With In Home Dog Training the Bark Busters way, we can train dogs much quicker and more effectively as there is no stress or distractions.” Sylvia says that you can liken it to learning to drive. “It’s far better to learn the controls of the car in a quiet, familiar area devoid of other stresses, before venturing out into mainstream traffic on a unfamiliar road.”