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  • Writer's picturePet Gazette

Comprehensive pet center opens in Hendersonville

On December 6, Barkers Anonymous opened on Kanuga Rd. in Hendersonville. Owner Comora Tolliver and her husband Britton opened Barkers Anonymous as a “one-stop, interactive” boutique and training center that offers a very carefully curated selection of apparel, harnesses, training supplies, toys and natural, raw, and organic pet foods. It’s Disneyland for dogs. Dogs will enjoy treats on the platform, and also have fun going through the fun tunnel. Barkers Anonymous is the realization of a dream planned over five years.

Pet Gazette asked Tolliver the following questions.

What inspired you to become a dog trainer?

“I was pre-vet when younger. Helping animals made me happy, but the thought of seeing sickness on a regular basis wasn’t what I wanted. I want to help people enjoy their animals and understand why their pet may be acting out. I also wanted to learn how to keep my animals happy and healthy. I apprenticed and studied, and decided to devote myself 100% to working with dogs and their people, and it's a most rewarding job.

What makes your methods of training different or better than others?

I am a KPA CTP (Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner). What does this mean? This means that training is a science-based positive reinforcement training. I am a clicker trainer. I teach dogs to be creative, excited to learn, and to be excited to be a partner with their human. The dog is learning to think and work with us to understand what it is we would like them to do.

Why are you against prong, shock, choke collars and other mechanical devices?

These devices cause pain. Pain is positive punishment. Adding a tool to decrease behavior is positive punishment. The dog has learned nothing, but to avoid pain. The dog has shut down and hasn’t learned what you want him to do. These devices can quickly lead to aggression and can do irreversible damage.

Can your method of training correct aggression/fear issues? Jumping, leash pulling, barking, chewing?

Definitely. Aggression is almost always triggered by a fear or phobia in the environment, or from an underlying health issue. The use of counter conditioning and desensitization changes the emotional response to what causes them to act out with an aggressive response Jumping, chewing, and other behavioral challenges can be addressed through the use of positive reinforcement.

What are the benefits of feeding a raw diet?

Over the years I have extensively researched the differences between pet foods. Choosing fresh, human grade foods, that contain no byproducts, meat meals, soy, corn, wheat, or artificial colorings, are important to your pet's health. Fresh and limited ingredient pet foods contain fewer inflammatory properties, which can be a factor in aging and development or worsening of many degenerative health issues. I want to know that what we carry at Barkers Anonymous is the best representation of available pet foods from companies using the highest standards of manufacturing.


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