Testimonials

See what people are saying about Bark to Basics

Calle is a very shy and timid rescue dog, approximately two years old when we adopted her one year ago. We enlisted the help of Melissa based on reviews we read online. That was the BEST decision we made for Calle AND for us! Melissa took time on the first visit to get to know Calle and customize the training, taking into consideration Calle’s fears and timid personality. Melissa did not try to fit us into five basic step training but formulated a plan based on what she observed and what we wanted to accomplish. Melissa’s knowledge of training was soon realized when we saw almost immediate progress. We worked through issues of socialization, house training, walking on a leash in a park. We never could have made such progress without the help of Melissa. Melissa was very reliable (always on time and good follow-up), professional, kind, and had such a gentle, loving manner with Calle AND with us – we received some much-needed training as well!

- Sandy and John W. with Calle, Laguna Niguel ​

We have a 12-month old Labrador puppy who does NOT have the typical Lab’s eagerness to please. He developed two very nasty habits of play biting/nipping (hard!) and biting and tugging at the leash. We did not want to use punishment, aversion training or pinch collars, but we were at the point of considering them. Then in only two hour-long training sessions Melissa turned the whole situation completely around. She patiently trained us to use two easy, kind, effective techniques and since her first visit all of the problems are gone! We love walking our dog and being around him now. Other trainers I consulted (who charge WAY more) estimated it would take 6-8 90 minute private sessions–well over $1800. Melissa’s techniques were so successful after the first visit, we just had her come for a second visit to train some fun tricks. She is very professional, punctual and extremely reasonably priced. If you have a dog with problem behaviors, a group class isn’t customized enough to help. Melissa writes out her plan for you to train your individual dog, and IT WORKS!!!! My only regret is that she is so good at her job we only got to see her twice!

-Tracy F. with Blue

My experience with Melissa as a trainer for my newly adopted pound puppy was a wonderful one. Melissa’s greatest strength is her patience and true love for dogs. My dog, Butters, is very stubborn and has some fears (ceiling fans!) and Melissa was so kind and did not hurry him but worked with him until progress was made. She is also very good with dog owners who usually need more training then the dogs. She really works with you until you know how to get your dog to respond and become a great, well behaved citizen. I can’t wait to enroll Butters in more training with Melissa.

- Mary with Butters, Garden Grove

Wow Melissa saved our rescue. Affenpincher, which is quite a lot to handle and told he was 1 or 2 when in fact 4 with some real issues problems. Aggressive behavior and apparently allowed to do whatever he wanted.

Had 6 sessions with Melissa and each visit she gave us “Homework”. All of which turned out to be very valuable.

Today instead of turning him back into the shelter he is becoming a valuable member of our family.

You do need to do the homework to get the results so do not fool your self there is no magic but great instruction and we did the homework, Oliver went from being a returned with probably no hope of again being adopted due to behavior problems to a loved animal.

-Mardell W. with Oliver, Mission Viejo

Very professional, well run business. Melissa did a great job of interpreting the needs of my dog. She provided specific ideas and problem solving unique to my situation. She promptly returned calls and was there when I needed her to be.

- Jackie I. with Sadie, San Juan Capistrano

We love Melissa from Bark to Basics! After losing his sister, my pup started getting major anxiety. After starting medication our vet recommended getting some training to help deal with the anxiety. Melissa has been a life saver! We are only 5 months into the training and my dog has already had his medication cut in half, his anxiety is way down and he will finally relax in his crate while we are away. Melissa has helped me understand my pup which helps me help him. I would highly recommend her and Bark to Basics to anyone.

-Jennifer C. with Dax, Rancho Mission Viejo

We have used the services of Bark to Basics for the past 2 years with our very active Sheltie, starting when he was a puppy. Melissa and her team have provided everything from training, to boarding, to dog walking, and we have always been very happy with the quality of services provided; they go out of their way to accommodate our schedule and our (and our dog’s) needs. Our Sheltie is treated well and comes home happy from any time spent with the Bark to Basics staff. I highly recommend them!

- Yvonne H. with Payton, Irvine

Excellent training techniques. We began our Australian Shepherd training at less than 3 months; the early teaching taught dog and owner the ‘right way’ before bad habits set in. He grasped the simple techniques quickly and we feel confident, with practice, that he will be obedient and pleasant to be around company. Thanks to Melissa!

-Trish with Shep, Long Beach​

We thoroughly enjoyed (our training experience) and learned a lot. Our dogs responded very well to the training method and they love the trainer. The progress with our 7 month old Alaskan Malamute puppy was excellent and we continue to use the methods we learned.

- Karen and Owen with Thunder and Dancer, Seal Beach​

Bark to Basics did wonders for me and my dog!

Melissa successfully dealt with aggression issues our dog was experiencing. She made us realize, it was human behavior as a catalyst to our dog’s aggressive behavior.

With appropriate behavior modification techniques our dog (and we) responded well.

Bark to Basics does not use “TV drama techniques” but a well balanced approach to understanding why the behavior occurs -triggers, and how to progressively avoid or eliminate behaviors.

Its amazing how well my dog responded to the right reward provided at the right time.
Melissa illustrated how and when to respond to our dog.

It has been two years and we have had no issues with our beloved hound!

-Joanne with Mabel, Laguna Niguel