Franchise Fun: Jeff Cooke, Bark Busters

Jeff Cooke is helping to put Bark Busters at the front of the franchise pack

Bark Busters is the franchise for dog lovers, and makes having a dog more enjoyable, says Owner, President, and Master Trainer Jeff Cooke. According to Cooke, the fetching franchise solves behavioural issues that cause stress and frustration in our relationships with our dogs, using an in-home, customized, and highly-effective approach.

This August marks 20 years since Cooke and his wife Barb embarked on their adventure with Bark Busters. They started as franchise owners in Sydney, Australia, before bringing Bark Busters back to Canada and creating a franchise network of dog-loving entrepreneurs. So far, the franchise has helped more than 46,000 dogs and their guardians live better lives together, and there are still so many more bonds to build!

Here, Cooke shares the insights that have helped him become a top dog in franchising, including his influences, inspirations, athletic pursuits, and words of wisdom.


The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is…

Take up ultra-distance trail running.

In its best form, work is…

Doing what you were meant to do, serving others, and making a good living doing it.

A good franchisee…

Is someone who cares about seeing their clients succeed.

A good franchisor…

Brings out the best in their people by teaching well, leading by example, and holding them accountable.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is…

Draft a solid business plan before making a final decision. Make sure the franchise will meet both your personal and financial needs.

My top advice for new franchisors is…

Be patient in your growth, accepting only the right people into the system.

The most important thing in life is…

Family.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is…

Mountain bike with friends in the coastal rainforests of Squamish, British Columbia … and then drink beer.

The hardest thing for me to do is…

Say “no” to people who need help.

My favourite drink is…

A banana strawberry smoothie

If I could change one thing….

More Obama. Less Trump.

If I could meet anyone…

I would meet Wayne Gretzky.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a business person is…

Our Bark Busters Founders Danny and Sylvia Wilson.

Canadian franchising is…

The best way to follow a dream of entrepreneurship while limiting the risk of failure.

My franchise system began because…

Too many dogs were being surrendered or put down because of the behavioural problems that our system can cure.

The most positive influence on my life as a person is…

My grandfather, James Hannan, an Irish immigrant who fought for fairness, battled to give his 10 kids a better life, taught me my love of golf, and left a large legacy and very close family.

The key to success is…

To follow your passion.

I’d like my friends to describe me as…

Someone who’s there for them when they really need it.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is…

Seeing my kids grow up and be happy.

My personal motto is…

Life rewards action!

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is…

To take my wife to an opera at La Scala.