Article published in Highland Lakes Business Journal, December 2005
Barkingham Palace has a new King
Marble Falls’ favorite pet getaway in under new ownership, Charles Schifferling recently took over the
6,000 sq. foot, 30-run facility and is excited about his upcoming plans for the “luxury Kennel”.
“We do our best to make the dogs comfortable, Schifferling says, “In addition to boarding the animals,
our main focus is on training, as that is my background. We offer private and group lessons for the
dogs, in addition to inboard training. “Of course”, he says with a chuckle “proper training of the owners
is of the utmost importance in the success of the dogs’ progress.”
“It’s always tough being the new kid in town, but the support of the community, veterinary and locals
alike, has been absolutely wonderful.”
One feature that Schifferling offers set him apart from the competition; his pet training comes with a
Article published in The Highlander, February 7, 2006
Highland Lakes Get Its Very Own ‘Dog Whisperer’
Spend a few minutes in the company of Charles ‘Chuck’ Schifferling, owner of Barkingham Palace K-9
Academy and Resort, and it becomes rapidly apparent why some local veterinarians have affectionately
deemed him the ‘our Highland Lakes Own Dog Whisperer’.
He has an uncanny ability to communicate his expectations to his furry pupils and obtain immediate,
positive results with little more than a word or a signal. Chuck denies magical intervention and explains
that anyone can do it with resolve, commitment, and a bit of training. His approach is creative, intuitive,
positive and most importantly, effective.
According to Schifferling, “A dog will only give you what you expect out of him.” It is the owner’s
responsibility to know what to expect and how to obtain it. A good obedience instructor, therefore, will
teach the owner how to “educate a dog’s ear” to listen for language cues and how to use a dog’s inherent
ability to read and respond to our body language.
A variety of obedience courses are offered at Barkingham Palace in a group or private setting.
Moreover, recognizing the time demands of society, Schifferling offers an ‘in house’ boarding option
whereby he personally trains your family friend over a three or four week period. This particular option
comes with a training video, and maintenance lessons for life.
Private and in-house lessons can be tailored to address specific owner-pet issues including barking,
chewing, digging and other annoying canine habits. As a practicing participant in French Ring Sport, a
popular European canine protection sport for over a century, Schifferling specializes in alleviating and
redirecting dog aggression. He insists on evaluating the pet prior to developing a training plan.
It is no secret that bad habits are rapidly and easily developed. “Often times older pets have to be
untrained before they can be retrained to behave appropriately,” explains Schifferling. Consequently, he
believes the optimal time to start the teaching process is with puppies eight to ten weeks of age. After
all, they start learning things from the moment they arrive at their new home!
The basic seven-week group sessions offered at Barkingham Palace focus on canine manners and
socialization. This class is open to dogs six months or older. The pet owner can expect to learn how to
effectively administer obedience commands such as sit, stay, down, come, heel and release. Handling
skills taught include proper leash work, body language, appropriate play, and basic dog handling. As
training is undoubtedly a continuum, intermediate and advanced classes concentrate on furthering the
dog’s ability to listen and respond independent of the leash.
Schifferling emphasizes a positive approach to obedience training. In most every case, he does not
permit the use of choke chains or pinch collars. “Punishment is not a good way to start a teaching
program,” according to Chuck. Not all dogs need these tools in order to be trained properly, and most
dog owners need to be instructed in the proper technique and use of these training collars.
Many dog owners are challenged by poor pet behaviors. Chuck says that often times this is a result of
our innate urge to try to humanize our canine friends. He stresses the concept that “dogs are not people
in furry coats”, rather they need to be taught how to interact properly with our instruction. He also
believes that one should not focus on perfection, but instead the goal of training should be about gaining
a better relationship between the owner and the pet.
In addition to specialized pet training, Barkingham Palace K-9 Academy and Resort is just that, a
fabulous canine and feline retreat. The facility offers spacious, clean and climate controlled dog runs and
separate cat condos. The animals are walked several times a day, and for the more energetic pets,
additional playtime can be arranged for a small fee. Chuck and his wife Marty, live on site affording
them the opportunity to cater and monitor their guest twenty-four hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are interested in experiencing the wonders of Highland Lakes very own ‘dog whisperer’ or just
need a wonderful boarding option, contact Chuck or Marty at Barkingham Palace K-9 Academy and
Resort at (830) 693-0901. The resort is located at 1728 FM 1855 (Fairland Road), Marble Falls.
1728 FM 1855
Marble Falls, TX 78654
Phone (830) 693-0901
Toll Free (888) 693-0909
Fax (830) 693-0922