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We are well into spring and it's starting to warm up. So expect a lot of outdoor play with your dogs....


In this issue....Are you expecting a baby? Make sure you prepare your dog for that bundle of joy. Want a stronger bond with your dog?....read on and find out more.

Preparing your dog for a new baby

If you are expecting a baby and you have a dog, you will want to prepare your dog for the day you bring home your child. Dogs can feel shunned and become confused and stressed when parents suddenly shift their attention from dog to baby. A dog does not understand why a baby is automatically elevated above the dog in the pack.

nitropram In trying to regain his pack position, the dog will often engage in attention-seeking behaviours such as:

  • jumping up on his owners when they are tending to the baby,
  • stealing items belonging to the baby,
  • going into the baby's room,
  • barking when the baby cries,
  • becoming pushy when the mother is feeding the baby,
  • jumping on the stroller or pulling in front of it, or
  • barking at passersby or guests.

The following guidelines will help reduce bad behaviour and ease everyone's stress.

Before The Baby Arrives

Set new rules for the dog. Start by considering the lifestyle changes your new baby will require you to make for your dog. For safety reasons, you will want to keep him out of your bedroom--and also out of the baby's room. Set up a baby gate in front of the baby's room and correct the dog if he enters the room when the gate is open. Go in and out of the room regularly to demonstrate that it is a no-go zone. Implement these restrictions several weeks or months before the baby arrives so that your dog does not associate the baby's arrival with exclusion from parts of the home he previously enjoyed.

Prepare your dog for changes in routine. If before the baby arrives, you make changes in your dog's routine--such as how and when he is walked, fed or receives attention--he will handle those changes better than if they happen all at once. If you are concerned that some of your dog's needs will not be met, consider dog walkers and day cares to assist you when you are very busy. (Test out those options in advance.) Try not to express guilt that the baby will soon take more attention; that can make the transition harder for your dog.

Prepare your dog for the sights and sounds of a baby. Many dogs bark, jump up or even hide when a baby cries because they are unsure whether something is wrong. The easiest way to anticipate this problem is to buy a doll that giggles and cries like a baby, wrap it in a baby blanket, and carry it with you throughout the house. If the dog becomes upset when the doll cries, correct his behaviour to show that you are in control.

Teach your dog to accept baby scents. Apply to the baby doll the same products (powder, shampoo and lotion) you will use on your baby. Sprinkle some baby powder on the carpeting in the baby room so your dog understands the scent association. Using your changing table or mat, pretend to shampoo or apply lotion to the baby doll, letting your dog smell what you are doing so he learns to accept that these scents are now part of your home. This also gives you the opportunity to correct any bad behaviour before your baby comes home.

In addition, try to bring home your newborn's blanket or skullcap prior to your baby's arrival so your dog can become accustomed to the baby's scent.


When The Baby Arrives

Make introductions on the first day the baby comes  home. Your dog will need to "touch scent" the baby to find out what it is. Stand up and securely hold your newborn up high, and let your dog sniff the baby's bottom or feet while another adult controls the dog on a loosely held lead. If the dog misbehaves or is too exuberant, correct his behaviour and move the dog away from the baby. Settle the dog down before you attempt to introduce them again.

Allow frequent supervised visits by your dog. The more the dog and baby are together, the better and less stressed your dog will be. However, be sure to never leave your baby alone in the same room with your dog. Ever.

Consider crating your indoor dog when you need time alone with the baby. Crating will help you to manage your dog when you're feeding or changing the baby.

Dispose of dirty nappies thoroughly. The scent will prove very enticing to your dog, so don't leave dirty nappies anywhere your dog can reach them. Dogs have been known to try to get to a nappy when it's still on the baby--another important reason not to leave a dog and a baby alone.

Keep your dog away from your baby's head. For instance, if you change your baby's nappy on the floor on a mat or blanket, teach your dog to stay off that area and not go near the baby when she's on the floor. Once the nappy is changed, allow your dog to sniff the baby's feet--but never allow the dog to sniff the baby's head or face or lick her fingers. 

baby dog Teach your dog the difference between his toys and your baby's possessions. If you catch your dog stealing or chewing on something belonging to your baby, interrupt the behaviour with a vocal correction. Then give your dog an acceptable chew toy and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.

Although it is normal for a dog to be possessive about his toys, food and space, it is NOT acceptable for him to growl or snap at you or your child at any time. If this happens, the situation needs immediate attention.

By following these guidelines, you can make a gentle transition to having a new baby in the house. Your dog will understand that he's still a valuable member of the pack yet there is now a new member, too.

As long as you maintain authority over your dog, and teach your dog and your children the rules of interacting safely and respectfully with each other, your family pack will be peaceful, happy and safe.

Establishing a Relationship with your Dog

Bark Busters hug

What kind of relationship do you want with your dog?

Chances are you want to form a strong bond with your dog which will be the entire foundation for how your dog behaves. Remember a dog is not only “man’s best friend”, but someone who needs to learn from you – you need to establish yourself as an effective canine “leader”. Here we’ll give you some tips to cement your relationship with your dog based on trust, mutual respect and affection.

Establishing a Loving and Authoritative Relationship With Your Dog

Training your dog is not about doing something to him. The relationship cannot be based solely on 'dominance' or 'submission' although on some level these are certainly aspects of the relationship. More so, educating your dog is about establishing mutual trust, respect and understanding.

Your dog doesn't consciously think about whether you're in charge or he's in charge. How we interact tells him who the decision maker in the relationship is. He doesn't wake up and think about trying to "take over". But he will do things to test his position in your family's social structure. He knows your routines, and we are creatures of habit, so he will often anticipate the next thing we're likely to do.

Does that mean that he's trying to direct the action? Let me give you an example. Let's say your dog loves to swim and you have a pool in your back yard. If you pick up a swimsuit, he assumes that he's going swimming. He may go to the front door. If your pool is in the back why does he go to the front door? Because many people train their dogs to toilet before he can go in the pool. You get your swimsuit and he anticipates the next action. Is this a test of leadership? No, not really, but it does tell him something about your relationship.

tazzaIt tells him that you are consistent. When you're consistent, your dog will feel safer and more secure. You need to have rules. Because he is already at the front door does that mean he's calling the shots? Before going through the front door, he should be required to wait until you invite him out.

So even though he was already at the door, who is really in control? You should also make sure he waits to be invited back inside. If it's pre-swim toilet time, he should run to his toileting spot, do his business and run back to the door and wait..

Are you in control or is he? Neither of you should think about it in those terms. It's been established that you have rules and you should be consistent. Your dog should know what the rules are and he follows the established pattern.

Let's take the routine one step further. After coming in from toileting, your dog should be taught to sit so you can take off his collar. You may not want him to swim with his collar on. So he should come in and then sit. There should be no contest, no battle of wills. If he forgets and rushes towards the back door, you should just stand and wait. Once he remembers what he is supposed to do, he should come back and sit. Neither of you is consciously thinking about who is the one in charge. Your actions determine the relationship.

Your dog should trust that you will be consistent. In turn, once he is properly trained, you should be able to trust that he's going to follow the rules. However, we all make mistakes. You are a human and he's a dog, so neither of you is perfect. If you forget, which does happen, or you let your dog get away with things, he's likely to push the envelope a bit more because you're not being consistent. Your dog may become antsy or unsettled. If you are consistent and follow the rules you and your dog have established, your dog will be calmer, more relaxed and happy.

cutedogYou should let your dog know when he makes a mistake. When he does, get him refocused, guide him toward proper behaviour, then praise to reinforce a good habit. Your dog may let you know when you make a mistake, often by showing confusion. You and your dog should be able to trust each other to do the right things. Each time you are unfailing, the trust grows stronger. As the trust grows so will the strength of your bond. You should both be secure in your relationship. You should each know your roles without thinking about them. Because you know, respect and trust each other, you should also quickly forgive each other's mistakes. Trust develops over time. As your dog is being trained,

you will have to work harder at the relationship because there is a learning curve. You will have to understand your dog's needs and provide for them so he can learn how to fit into your family. Will it be easy? Not always, but it will be fun if you are patient and stick with the process. Just like with people, your dog's brain needs to stay active. You should constantly be trying to come up with new things to teach him. It's an ongoing process. When you are successful, you should celebrate together. If your relationship with your dog is not what you want it to be, contact your local trainer. A dog is never too old to learn, so we can help you get the relationship back on track very quickly.

At Bark Busters, our goal is to teach your dog to love and respect you, not fear you, control you, or create chaos in your home.

Changing Your Dog’s Behaviour: One question Bark Busters dog trainers are often asked is: "How long should it take to change my dog's behaviour?" Although you will notice immediate results if you follow our program, there are five characteristics that affect the learning process.

First is his relationship with you. If your dog believes he's the Leader, then he's not as likely to follow your instructions. From a human standpoint are you the boss at work or an employee? If you're an employee then you are not as likely to influence the boss's behaviour as he or she is to influence yours. The same holds true in our homes with our dogs. If you're the boss, you get to make the rules. If your dog is the boss, he gets to make the rules. Of course this is from his perspective.

Second is his willingness to learn. From the human perspective consider reading a book. If we can't spell or don't understand the meaning of the words we won't be able to read a book. We need the foundations first. The same is true with your dog. If you haven't built a good foundation first, then you're not as likely to be successful.

dogonleadLet me give you a couple of examples to illustrate what I mean. Let's say your dog Scruffy has a tendency to not listen when you're out in public. Does he listen when you are alone and there are no distractions or does he only sometimes listen? If he doesn't listen without distractions, he's not going to listen when there are other things vying for his interest.

You need to build the foundation first. Scruffy also pulls on the lead when on a walk around the neighbourhood. How about in the house or in the backyard? If he doesn't follow you or walk with you in the house or in the backyard, he's not likely to listen in your neighbourhood. Again, if you haven't built the foundation, he's not ready to learn in a more challenging environment.

Third is the actual environment itself. I spoke with a woman whose dog is aggressive to other dogs. I asked if anything bad ever happened to her dog and she told me that her dog had been attacked five different times while walking in her neighbourhood. It wouldn't take five attacks for me to avoid going some place. The neighbourhood itself could be part of the problem.

Dogs learn by association. Who, what, when, where and how, matter. If you continue putting your dog in a stressful situation and he keeps having bad experiences, he'll associate those bad experiences with who is there, when they happen, where they take place, etc. If there are young children in your home and they are running around playing and yelling, which is certainly normal, your dog might not be able to concentrate on learning, especially if he's a puppy. He'll most likely want to join the fun and run, play and jump along with the kids. You might find that you have to find time when things are calmer and quieter to teach. Again, the environment can be a big factor.

Fourth is your dog's personality and temperament. If your dog is a shy or nervous dog he's going to have problems relaxing when facing new experiences such as meeting new people or seeing new things. If your dog is more confident, he's not as likely to worry about those new situations. That doesn't mean that the nervous dog can't learn to accept new situations, but it is likely that you'll have to go a lot slower.

shydogDogs are individuals, with their own personality and temperament. What one dog finds easy to learn another might find a real struggle.

What one enjoys another might dislike. It's important to learn about your dog's likes and dislikes. Just as we learn in different ways, so too do dogs.

Fifth is communication. Remember that dogs are pack animals and communicate in a canine way, primarily non-verbally. As dog owners, we typically communicate verbally. This can lead to misunderstandings. When you learn to speak some canine and communicate with your dog in a language he understands, the learning process can go faster.

That's where Bark Busters is invaluable. We teach you how to "speak dog" so you and your dog are on the same page as far as expectations. There are other factors as well. Your dog's breed characteristics, his intelligence and his previous experiences are also part of the equation. These can also add challenges or assist in changing your dog's behaviour.


So how fast will Rover learn? That depends. Understand the factors and take them into account. Work on establishing your dog's respect and trust along with building a loving relationship. Build a good foundation first and expand the lessons from there as your dog shows you he's ready to progress.

Work in a suitable environment for what you are trying to achieve and communicate with your dog on a level he understands. When we put that all together we know what happens.... a well-behaved dog!

Breed Spotlight: Australian Shepherd


The Australian Shepherd was developed on the ranches in the United States. It is unclear where the name "Australian" came from, although one theory suggests that they were named for the imported sheep that they herded. It is also thought that many of the dogs coming from Australia were blue merle and so the adjective "Australian" became associated with any dogs of that coat colour. 

The Australian Shepherd was also called by many other names such as Spanish Shepherd, Pastor Dog, Bob-Tail, New Mexican Shepherd, California Shepherd, and Austrian Shepherd.

The Australian Shepherd became famous when they started appearing in rodeos, and horse shows. Their stunts and skills earned them in roles in several Disney films, including Run Appaloosa Run and Stub: The Greatest Cowdog in the West. They also appeared in the films Flight of the Navigator (1986), Famous Five (2012) and its sequels, and in 1996 the Australian Shephed appeared in the TV series Flash Forward.

Aussies are a medium size breed of dog(male 23-29kg, 51-58cm; female 14-20kg, 46-53cm) whose colouring can be tri-coloured, bi-coloured, or blue/red merle with straight coats that may have curls.  Some Aussies are born with naturally bobbed tails. Others have full long tails, and others with natural partial bobs, where the tail is shorter and appears stubby. They have a life span of 13 to 15 years.

For many years, Aussies have been valued by stockmen for their versatility and trainability. They have a similar look to the popular Border Collie. While they continue to work as stock dogs and compete in herding trials, the breed has earned recognition in other roles due to their trainability and eagerness to please and are highly regarded for their skills in obedience.

Like all working breeds, the Aussie has considerable energy and drive and usually needs a job to do. It often excels at dog sports such as dog agility, and frisbee. They are also highly successful search and rescue dogs, disaster dogs, detection dogs, guide dogs, and therapy dogs. They are considered the 17th most popular dog breed in the United States and are becoming a popular breed in Australia too.



First we did our sit, stay etc exercises and walked around the back yard, did steps and through the gate. It didn't take the full 20 minutes because he is so good at it. So I decided to take him out for a walk. I know you said to only go one block to start with, but he was going so well that I thought we should keep on and try to find some annoying dogs or people distractions along the way. He was walking so calmly it was a miracle. No more pulling me every whichway.

Eventually we saw Moira, a lady who freezes at the sight of him and he's always pulling me over to try to greet her. Not today! He stayed beside me the whole time while we talked. Then a bit further on we saw a woman with a dog on the other side of the road. Normally Max would be straining to get over to it, spinning and being generally unmanageable. But not today!

He was a bit interested yes, but he only moved his head a bit to see around my legs but kept on walking calmly, even when a small white fluffy thing started yapping behind a fence right next to him! So he had a dog on a lead across the road AND the yappy one beside him and he STILL kept walking calmly.

Unbelievable! We didn't get much barking practice today just because we were out when the garbage trucks and the postwoman came around. I did give him one BAH! when he barked once and he came inside immediately. We'll keep working on it! I'm so glad I bought the book too. I've read a number of dog training books in the past, but this one is different. We talked about a lot of things yesterday and I wasn't sure I remembered them all, but when I looked into the book it was all there, clear and simple. Thank you so much! Kind regards Deborah

In this Edition

Preparing your dog for a new baby

Establishing a Relationship with your dog

Breed Spotlight:
Australian Shepherd

Meet Deborah and Max

Tips to prevent dog bites

"Remember, from the smallest to the largest, even the most friendly, cute and easy going dog may bite."

"Never approach an unfamiliar dog – respect the dog’s personal space"

"Never disturb a dog while he is eating, sleeping, chewing on a toy"

"Assume if the dog doesn’t know you, he may assume you are a threat"

"Look to see if his body is tense, the fur on his back is raised, his tail is stiff and his teeth are bared. These are signs the dog is anxious, threatened or aggressive and may be more prone to bite."

"Do not try and pat dogs who are behind a fence or in a car. Dogs often protect their home or space."

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Awesome, really gave us a good foundation with our pup

Brittany R.
Quenbeyan, ACT

Janette showed me training is not just about being able to make your dog sit, come, roll over but about establishing leadership and control first so we can both have happy and safe lives. Janette is supportive and patient, her skills are inspiring. The techniques and tips are excellent and I would recommend Janette to every new dog owner! Don't wait until you're at your wits end!

Mary-Louise C.
Darwin, NT

We enlisted Sue's help after receiving a notification from our local council that our dog was barking while we were out. Sue was absolutely fantastic. I cannot speak more highly of her and her professional and sympathetic approach to helping us. Not only helping us by giving us practical strategies to deal with the problem, but also educating us on the cause of the problem (which in our case we learnt was a pack/hierarchy issue).

Nicole H.
Evandale, SA

Excellent, clear communication. Saw results straight away from the training methods used and these results quickly cemented over the following two weeks using the techniques and training shown to us by Graeme.

Stacey S..
Abbotsford, VIC

Amazing! When we first started the exercises I definitely felt like there was no hope for Benny, he was pretty unresponsive, uncontrolable and just not listening. Just 2 weeks on and he is such a good dog! He'll come when called, sit and stay without any treats, he's a lot calmer and more attentive to me so I feel much more confident taking him out in public even off lead. His barking went down to very minimal after the first day and after the first week its down to nothing! He'll do an occasional woof or bark for an actual reason but not constant barking. Catharina was so lovely and very friendly. She gave us a lot of reassurance when we weren't sure if we were doing the right thing with Benny. She also help improve other areas Benny was already good at like walking beside me on lead. Highly recommend Bark Busters :) Benny is a new dog and 100% part of our little pack.

Vicky S..,
Wandi, WA

I couldn't believe how quickly our dogs behaviour could be turned around in a few simple steps. We are still waiting for the bad behaviour to return so we can use the instructions given but she is so much more submissive already. Should have done this sooner.

Carolineq E.
Yaldhurst, Canterbury

Keiko was amazing. She taught us some very basic tips to help train Buddy. Nothing too complicated and all of those tips have been effective.

Samantha G.
Henderson, Auckland

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Our Products


The GameChanger® is a safe and fun interactive dog toy that when filled with treats can keep your dog occupied for hours. Email office@barkbusters.com.au to order one.


The WaggTagg™ is a complimentary service to new clients. It is a dog tag which helps owners to locate their lost dog using QR code technology. Microchipping your pet is still a great idea but relies on the finder taking the dog to someone with a scanner such as a vet. The main benefit of WaggTagg™ is that the finder can contact the owner as soon as the dog is found.


The WaggWalker® harness is a kind and gentle way to train your dog to walk by your side. If your dog begins to pull forward, the harness employs a zipping sound through the chain that lies across the dog's chest. This sound is used to communicate with your dog so that he learns to know exactly where you want him to walk.
Email office@barkbusters.com.au to order one.


Vetalogica™ is a pet care company dedicated to the provision of natural healthcare to companion animals. The entire Vetalogica range is proudly Australian made and owned. All products within the range have been fully researched and developed using the latest technology to confidently care for dogs and cats of various disease conditions.

Lifetime Support Guarantee


The Bark Busters worldwide dog behaviour training support guarantee is unique in the industry. It is designed to help owners resolve their dog behaviour issues and dog obedience issues and to provide our customers with ongoing peace of mind.

Click here to find out more.



The Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) is the only industry association in Australia created to represent all businesses in the pet industry.

The Pet Industry Association is run by members for its members and offers a voice for all who join by liaising with governments, animal welfare agencies, as well as pet and animal groups nationally and internationally.