Category Archives: Dogs and Training in the Media

Dog Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Halloween!

LilyBy: Lily

Halloween is just around the corner—and what better way to showcase your love for your dog than carving his/her likeness into a giant orange pumpkin? Our friends at Better Homes & Gardens have FREE pumpkin carving stencils for over 20 different breeds. My favorite, of course:

Visit the entire collection to see all the dog breed jack o’ lantern stencils available for FREE download! Find the one that looks most like your dog, and customize it for his/her individual characteristics (for example, I think we can all agree that I have a much more fashionable haircut than the Yorkie above). Leave a comment below to let us know how yours turned out; or, better yet, send a photo to!

REMEMBER that swinging tails and rowdy dogs can easily knock over lit jack o’ lanterns—either keep your masterpiece out of your dog’s reach, or consider using a battery-powered candle instead. Check out my post from Halloween last year for more safety tips—and have a Happy Howl-oween!

Berry, Dog of Harry Potter Padfoot Fame, Looking For a Forever Home

LilyBy: Lily

With the culmination of the Harry Potter movie series this past summer, there are probably lots of people looking for new jobs—and there’s also one special canine cast member looking for a new home.

Berry, as Padfoot, in "The Prisoner of Azkaban"


Ten-year-old Berry, who played wizard Sirius Black’s Animagus form, Padfoot, on the silver screen, has been given up to a U.K. German Shepard rescue organization, along with his longtime real-life pal, 13-year-old Porridge. Their previous owner, stuntman Paul Thompson, could not longer care for them due to the demands of his career.

Porridge & Berry


In Berry’s words, from the German Shepherd Rescue website:

My Dad contacted German Shepherd Dog Rescue because he realised he didn’t have the time to look after us properly anymore. His work takes him away from home an awful lot and whilst his friends and family tried to help look after us, we weren’t getting the walks or brushes we were used to.

Unfortunately for stateside Muggles, it looks like Berry will be staying in the U.K.

“At their age we wouldn’t consider shipping them overseas,” Lizzy Brown, a dog coordinator for the rescue organization, told ABC News. However, adoption requests are pouring in, and it looks like (SPOILER ALERT!) the real-life Berry will have a happier ending than his on-screen counterpart.

Both of us are a bit wobbly in our older years but we still love life … If only I had become rich and famous as well then maybe I could have helped these wonderful people help more dogs like me and Porridge. I know whatever else happens, we will be together now and loved and cared for.

Berry, the "real-life" Padfoot

You can visit the U.K. German Shepherd Rescue website to learn more about Berry and how you can help support his caretakers!

Bark Busters in SHAPE Magazine with Real Housewife of New York Kelly Killoren Bensimon’s Dog, Chief!

LilyBy: Lily

Spotted: Chief—Real Dog of Real Housewife of New York Kelly Killoren Bensimon—sporting a Bark Busters training collar in the latest issue of SHAPE magazine!







Greg Kleva, Bark Busters Grand Master Dog Behavioral Therapist, started training with Kelly and Chief over a year ago when Chief was just a puppy. You can follow their progress on KKB’s YouTube channel.

Remember, you don’t have to be a celebrity to work with Greg or any of the other 240+ Bark Busters trainers across the country! Click here to fetch your own Bark Busters dog behavioral therapist. You may not get your own reality show—but you will gain a better and more balanced relationship with your dog. (And check out our post on exercising with your dog to learn how to get a bod like KKB’s! Or at least drop a few pounds.)

New Nationwide Survey of Dog Trainers Contradicts Popular Beliefs about Breed, Age and Trainability

A new survey of 155 Bark Busters dog trainers across the country says conventional wisdom on training canines is, well, just doggone wrong! For example: Pit bulls are actually easier to train than other breeds; you can teach an old dog new tricks; and it’s not the dog—it’s YOU.

Bark Busters, the world’s largest dog training company, asked its U.S. dog behavioral therapists to pool their collective knowledge and experience—a estimated total of over 750 years and 200,000 dogs trained since 2000. The results, in some cases, were surprising.

The trainers see more Labrador retrievers, by far, than any other breed (80% ranked them in their top three most often trained). Pit bulls came in second, with 46% of the vote. However, while Labs took top honors for the most difficult to train (based on time- and effort-intensiveness of training), pit bulls came in a very close second for easiest to train, next to golden retrievers.

“You might expect that the breeds we get called on to train most often, like Labs, would be the most difficult; owners typically don’t seek out a trainer if their dog has easily addressed behavior problems or training needs,” said Liam Crowe, CEO and Master Dog Behavioral Therapist at Bark Busters (and a regular Speak Dog Blogger). “But, while we are hired to train pit bulls second-most often, they have also been the second-most easily trained breed. This might say something about the stigma surrounding that particular breed.”

When asked to rank dogs on a variety of factors affecting the difficulty of training, trainers responded that senior dogs, along with mixed breeds/mutts, were actually easier than the average dog to train; puppies were at the other end of the scale with small, toy dogs.

However, while the trainers saw the categories of breed and age as having some impact on the training experience, overwhelmingly, they said that what makes the most impact on the time and effort required to successfully train a dog isn’t actually the dog at all—it’s the owners’ consistency, personalities, and bonds with their dogs.

“We often joke that our real job as dog trainers is to train people,” said Crowe. “It’s not about our relationship with a client’s dog; it’s about the owner’s relationship with his or her dog. And that’s the difference people need to understand between what they see about dog training on television and what the realities are of the human-canine bond and the likelihood of training success in the more than 70 million dog-owning households in America today.”

The takeaway? If you want a well-behaved dog and you’re willing to invest the time and effort to train him, that 3-year-old pit mix waiting for a forever home in the shelter downtown might not be such a bad idea after all—and you could put the money you didn’t spend on a purebred puppy toward a Bark Busters training package to start you both out on the right paw.

CLICK HERE to see the detailed, graphed results of the survey!

Dogs vs. Cats—New Article Compares Intelligence, Stamina, Life Span, and More!

LilyBy: Lily

As a canine myself, you can probably guess where my opinion falls on the age-old cats vs. dogs debate! However, I have had a kitty friend or two in my time, and at the end of the day—we pets gotta stick together! But it is interesting to learn about the differences between us. A new article in Parade magazine turned to science to find out “which of America’s favorite pets is top dog (or the cat’s meow) when it comes to smarts and skills.”

Before we dig into the article’s findings, let’s take a quiz! Answer dog or cat to each of the questions below:

  1. Which have more stamina?
  2. Which are better hunters?
  3. Which are the hardest working?
  4. Which live the longest?
  5. Which are the fastest?
  6. Which are the smartest?


  1. The most stamina = Dogs. The article says dogs win this category hands-down, citing sled dogs that compete in Alaska’s Iditarod—a 1,100 mile run in -40 degree temperatures. Cats are more like sprinters; they use short bursts of energy but don’t have the stamina for a marathon!
  2. The better hunters = Cats. Although I thought dogs would win this category because certain dogs are bred to hunt (labradors, retrievers, etc.), it is actually more instinctive for cats to kill. Their impeccable nighttime and close-range vision helps as well. A 2010 University of Nebraska report found that feral and stray cats kill as many as 480 million birds in the U.S. each year. Yikes!
  3. The hardest working = Dogs. When it comes to multi-tasking, dogs come out on top—they can guide the blind, sniff out illegal drugs, and even alerts humans to certain medical issues (such as diabetics low on insulin or epileptics having a seizure). Although cats spend time chasing mice and birds, a recent study shows that cats spend 80% of their day just taking it easy.
  4. Longest lifespan = Cats. The average life span for a cat is 13 or 14 years, versus 11 years for a dog. Additionally, big dogs have a shorter life span than small dogs, and outdoor cats don’t live as long as indoor cats.
  5. The fastest = Dogs. The speed of a greyhound (40 miles per hour) tipped the scales in favor of canines in this dog vs. cat category. The fastest cat has been clocked at 30 miles an hour.
  6. The smartest = Dogs. I’m probably going to get hate mail from my feline friends for this one, but…scientists have studied dogs versus cats in terms of trainability, communication and complexity of thought, and dogs come out on top. Studies have shown that the average dog can learn 165 words, whereas cats are limited to 35. The brainiest dogs? Border collies, poodles, German shepherds and golden retrievers.

Check out the full article in Parade magazine for more info, including why cats have been found to be more agile and more independent. And please leave comments below to let me know what you think and which pet you prefer!