what dog owners say about Kevin McDonnell
Dog Training & Behavioral Therapist
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What dog owners are saying about us
I can not recommend Kevin enough. I was so amazed when I read through all of his reviews and so many of the issues people raised and asked Kevin to help them correct, were so familiar. We thought we had such a friendly cocker spaniel girl, however it started to show that she was possibly too friendy and the more training we tried to put in, the more I felt like I was failing her, I longed for a dog that would walk to heel and had good recall, and was well mannered and obedient, which is something I didn’t have with my previous dog. As it came closer to Kevin’s visit, we became sceptical of how it would work in such a short time, as well so nervous about inviting Kevin into our home and worried he would judge us and the training we had or hadn’t managed. We could not of been more wrong, Kevin was so nice, friendly and understanding and never once made us feel uneasy and reassured us that we could turn things around. Within an hour of being with us, he gave us the skills to regain control, it was at this point that we then realised how in control our girl had been and were amazed at the difference we saw. For the first time we managed to walk on the lead to heel without lunging and jumping and off lead was a pleasure and all our fears and worries disappeared. While we have had some resistance and our little girl has tried to push back in the weeks after Kevin had been out, Kevin has been with us every step of the way, to give support, assistance and answer any questions we have had during our battle of dominance. We still have a way to go, however there have been definite improvements and we continue to work on our skills and training every day. Kevin has a vast amount of experience and endless knowledge as well as being passionate about his work.A.B., Honiton, Devon (Testimonial)21st March 2018
We contacted Bark Busters after being advised by the vet to seek a behaviourist for our 3 y.o cocker spaniel. We needed to be able to clean his teeth every day and simply couldn’t get near him. He was a very anxious dog, without being aggressive, and we could not groom him, check him over, leave the house (the list goes on!) without him getting extremely anxious. At first, we were quite sceptical about how much of a change we would see in our dog and if seeing a behaviourist would really work. If you follow the training instructions and stick with what you have been told to do then the change is immense, you literally would not believe it unless you had seen it! It really does work! Kevin came and from the first exercise he had us do, our dog changed instantly! The information provided is so interesting and makes you realise why your dog is doing, what it is doing! Kevin is friendly and so supportive and does not make you feel judged at all. It was a pleasure to take part in the training and fascinating to talk to Kevin and get all the information provided, It’s also nice to know how to combat any potential future problems and the reassurance that Kevin is just a phone call away. Would definitely recommend!T.P., Taunton, Somerset (Testimonial)3rd February 2018
We had been at our wits end and then Kevin came along... Fantastic! He put us at ease and after assessing the dogs, guided us through the training process. We have seen instant results and as a result we are over the moon with the progress being made by the dogs. The same evening as the training, friends came to visit us and asked if we had the same dogs. Bark Busters works, without a doubt. Simple and painless, putting you back at the head of the pack. We cannot recommend highly enough. Thank you Kevin, from all of us!M.C., Plymouth, Devon (Testimonial)22nd May 2017
We had our first session with Kevin today .We booked with trepidation as you hear all sorts of stories how good or how bad these sessions can be and you take all with a pinch of salt.From the very first minute of our session we knew it was the right decision! Kevin is friendly and puts you all at ease.His directions are clear and precise and to our amazement our dog changed in minutes.She went from a nervous aggression to a calm attentive dog .We understand we have to maintain our training but we believe we have our little dog back.Please don't hesitate to give Kevin a call .D.A., Dawlish, Devon (Testimonial)17th May 2017
The session began with Kevin taking us through a clear plan for the day. Principally the psychology of pack behaviour and how this works positively and negatively. He then clearly explained the practical exercises that lay ahead. we were shocked at how instant the response was to taking away the leader role from Rosie and moving it over to us. this continued to be reinforced as the day continued. we practiced the various tasks. Kevin in our view is an intuitive and highly skilled and professional trainer. Moreover and importantly, he has empathy for the pet owners !!!! and his skill in moving control from him to us was fluid and at no time did we feel disengaged from the process. Our first day on our own so to speak has been entirely positive. our girls are still disorientated to a degree but do feel safe and secure. I think the rapid change of pack leader role has had a major impact on Rosie but feel confident that she is already feeling OK about this. we have undertaken all of the tasks and have had just amazing results. For example both dogs off lead, a first for some time ( due to a number of bad experiences) and us in control when the door bell rings! x 2. So a huge thank you to Kevin. Working with him has left us 100% committed to our tasks to change our behaviour and for our dogs to benefit. what more could we ask!L.C., Ottery St Mary, Devon (Testimonial)17th February 2016
11th June 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Kevin arrived at the agreed time and introduced himself to the whole family including our 21 month old grandson. His approach was very professional and friendly. His presentation showed his depth of knowledge and willingness to help with the training of our dog Harvey although to be fair he was actually training the family. Kevin spent a good three hours with us which included some practical work with Harvey in the house and involved the whole family. Finally Kevin and myself took Harvey out where he demonstrated some techniques on how to handle Harvey out side of the home environment. Kevin's work with us certainly helped us to understand Harvey and gave us the confidence to interact with Harvey. The training session was in deed good value and well worth the time spent.
Cranbrook, Devon (Testimonial)
9th June 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Absolutely amazing lesson with Kevin today. He taught us how to be pack leaders to our 7month old puppy Lincoln who suffered from over excitement, separation anxiety and he had taken on the dominant role of the family. Kevin was very friendly and made us feel confident about changing our behaviour to help Lincoln know his place, we feel much more confident at being in control when someone knocks on the door and letting new people into our home. Would highly recommended this service if anyone is struggling!
EXETER, Devon (Testimonial)
17th May 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Very useful. Polly has responded to our revised behaviour/instructions.Already seeing a significant improvement in her (and our!) response.
Christow, Exeter, Devon (Testimonial)
5th May 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
When I booked this I was a little sceptical if it would work and just a money grabbing exercise. Nora started showing a lot of issues of snapping at bella's face, being over powering towards not just Bella but towards us also. Going to bark busters was our only hope before looking at rehoming Nora which I didn't want to do if it could be helped as it was looking more and more likely she would need to be the only dog. Kevin from Barkbusters I have to say was amazing. He quickly identified the issues on listening to our problems and explained what Nora would be doing before we even did based on a small amount we shared with him. There felt like there was no rush, Kevin was very friendly and put us at ease from the outset. We are nearly a week on following Kevin's visit and both dogs are responding well to the training to the point the house feels different and more relaxed, we're not worried they will break out into a fight, able to feed them together now, listen to our commands and respond straight away. I can't thank Kevin for his help and highly recommend Barkbusters to anyone who is having any issues to the point you are at the end of your tether and near breaking point. It has really worked and we now have happy dogs and a very happy household.
Kingsteignton, Devon (Testimonial)
2nd May 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
I was anxious to say the least about the training session with Kevin but he soon put me at ease and the results were instant. By the end I felt confident again with my dog which is something I did not think I would feel again. Kevin is amazing and every strategy he put in place made sense and was easy to pick up. Kevin has helped me regain the confidence I have longed for. Albee is moving forward now and I have already seen such a change in him. Thank you so much to Bark Busters but especially Kevin. We have still alot to do but now with the right guidance, we wil get there!
Bideford, Devon (Testimonial)
1st May 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Well I have got to say a huge thank you to Kevin McDonnell, our dogs are like different dogs, already they are so much calmer, and actually listening to us. Thanks to Kevin our confidence has grown and feel we can finally be the leader of the pack. Looking on line for guidance on how to put right bad behaviour in our pooches hasn’t worked for us. You need face to face training and learn on the job, as what we thought we were doing was right it just wasn’t working. We found Kevin and this was the best decision we could ever make. Within an hour we noticed a difference, but you must keep up with the homework if you want a happy, stress free household, and be able to enjoy your dogs again. As for us we were quite stressed, and couldn’t see a way forward. We know that we were to blame for their behaviour, but once we knew where we were going wrong we felt more confidant. Kevin is such a friendly person, who made you feel at ease and never made us feel mocked in anyway which has happened before. So thank you Kevin, it was great learning from you.
Broadclyst, Devon (Testimonial)
13th April 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Our Springer Milo was rehomed by us 5 months ago and is now aged 10. Generally fairly well behaved but he had taken to barking at night. This had happened a few times before but had become regular and after a few sleepless nights we realised we needed help. Kevin explained how this behaviour was all linked to our communication with Milo and showed us a number of strategies for changing our behaviour and our communications and we were amazed at how quickly these were effective. Within the training session we could stop Milo barking at the doorbell, walk to heel (never a success before) and we could clearly take on the role of leader. There were 3 of us at the training session so we have all adopted the same approach and are having great success. The first 2 nights after the training Milo still barked but only a couple of times and we have now had 2 uninterrupted nights so we are over the moon!
Cullompton, Devon (Testimonial)
10th March 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
My male cockerspainiel Bow is nearly 5 years old. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old. Bow has always responded well to my husband, but has never listened to my commands. He has always suffered from separation anxiety, which had become worse whilst I was on maternity leave. He would pick up on ques when I was leaving the house e.g putting my coat on, picking up car keys and nappy bag. He would then begin to become very anxious, he would bark incisively, poop, wee and be very destructive. It got to the point I dreaded leaving the house as it upset me to see him get so anxious, we also started getting complaints from the neighbors. We decided to try behavioural training. When Kevin rung me back we discussed the behavioural traits Bow had been showing, Kevin helped me to understand that other behaviours that Bow was showing was interlinked with the separation anxiety. Kevin cake to our house and worked on Bow barking when people came in the house, his constant need for attention from myself and visitors. We then did lead training as it felt my dog was always walking me, we also worked on Bows barking in cars. We then went for a walk and for the first time ever I was able to let Bow off the lead and he listened to me when I called him back. Me and my husband are so grateful for the training and information Kevin gave us. We are aware that we will have to continue the training to ensure Bow and our family get the best results.
Barnstaple, Devon (Testimonial)
2nd March 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Excellent training for us and Reggie. Kevin explained the Barkbuster techniques with ease and clarity. He was patient and answered all our questions comprehensively. Reggie responded immediately to the corrections and we saw an instant improvement in his behaviour. WE are confident we can keep up the training.
Exmouth, Devon (Testimonial)
11th February 2019Kevin McDonnell dealt with:
Why we booked Kevin: Chubby our dog was barking and lunging at dogs on walks, jumping up on people, barking at the door and her recall wasn’t great either. See seemed to be quite a stubborn and pushy dog. I had many sessions with other dog trainers. We tried their approach for around 2 years, it felt that we were working around her issues rather than addressing the reason for them. Kevin was brilliant. He took the time to learn about the problems we had with our dog. Kevin sat down with us and explained his concept of training and why Chubby is behaving the way she is. He showed us their very simple method to address unwanted behaviour but also made clear that we must praise her for good behaviour, so she learns what is expected and what not to do. I can honestly say she was a different dog by the end of the day. She was calm and respectful, and she listened to us within hours. We had her playing nicely with a dog she snapped at before. We are now two weeks in, and I can walk her pass dogs on the pavement, she is leaving our guests alone, she comes when I call her, and she is a much calmer and happier dog. I can highly recommend Kevin and his training methods.
Exmouth, Devon (Testimonial)