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Am I the right trainer for you? Are you the right client for me?
The trainer - client relationship is one of the most important parts of successful dog training. It is important that you become familiar with our training philosophy and the training techniques we use. We want you to be comfortable with our training tools and I need you to be as excited about training your dog as I am! We're in this together! Here are some of the qualities that we look for in our clients:
We are looking for clients who are completely open minded to the balanced training approach. Yes, we will use praise and reward to train your dog, but we will also correct bad behavior. We will use praise, reward and tools to set up a clear communication system with your dog so that you can give him the information he needs to be successful.
We are looking for 100% commitment from our clients because the more effort you put in to training your dog, the greater your success will be. We have a training system and philosophy that works and we are looking for clients who are going to take our advice, tools and techniques and apply them to their lives to get amazing results... this is a team effort and we all need to give 100%.
We are looking for clients who will follow through with their homework, in fact be excited to do their homework! Dog training is a lifestyle that doesn't stop after class or after the board and train program ends. It is imperative that you be committed to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week follow through at home for the success of your dog's training. The clients we work with are committed to giving their dogs daily structured exercise and upholding our household management program. Dog training is not just a set of commands... it is a way of life that includes rules, boundaries, expectations and accountability. We're creating a new lifestyle for an entire family... not just one dog.
To us, dog training is not just a series of commands that your dog performs to receive a treat. Dog training is creating a calm, well behaved, truly obedient dog in real world situations... even around distractions! The idea of working with your trainer once a week or dropping your dog off for a board and train and then thinking nothing else is required is unrealistic. Yes, your dog will make drastic improvements once we are done training, but the work doesn't stop there. Your dog will need to be held accountable on a consistent basis for the new behaviors and skills that they have learned. This is why we place SO MUCH importance on educating and empowering owners. Imagine going to the gym to work out and to get into better shape. Now, once you've reached your goal of physical fitness, you stop going to the gym to maintain it. What would you expect to happen to your fitness? Dog training is no different. If you don't use it, you lose it!
ARE DOG TRAINING RESULTS GUARANTEED?
Due to the high number of variables and conditions involved in dog training, it would be unethical for us to offer a 100% guarantee. However, we only choose the most committed and diligent clients to work with so we have found that our clients make dramatic changes and see break through results with their dogs. We will work hand in hand with you as a team in your dog's training and it has been our experience that this kind of support and encouragement breeds amazing transformations.
What training methods do you use?
The training methods that we use create a mutual respect and intimate bond between the handler and dog. We are firm believers that in order to teach a dog how to behave appropriately in the human world we must teach the dog what IS acceptable and what IS NOT acceptable. The balanced training philosophy does exactly that. We communicate with dogs using the concept of pressure and release to ensure crystal clear communication with the dog. In balanced training, we always reward the dog for good behavior and we apply guidance, structure, rules and boundaries to support and encourage these good desirable behaviors. Most dogs get plenty of love and affection but very few dogs get the leadership and guidance that they need to feel safe and protected. When a dog has to be responsible for his own safety and rules he tends to create a lot of chaos and undesirable behaviors.
In the early stages of the training process we use a lot of reward to shape the dogs behavior and to teach them what is expected from them. Once the dog has learned these expectations, the proofing phase begins to ensure that they listen to their handler no matter what distraction surround them. We never use corrections until the dog understands 100% what is expected from them in all situations. So, what do we mean by 'correction'? A correction is simply giving the dog the information he needs in each situation to be successful. It can be a verbal 'no', spacial pressure (using your body to block or encourage the dog's motion), or prong/e-collar guidance.
Do you train using treats?
No, we don't typically use treats , however; we do use a dog's regular meals during training. We have found it super helpful to have dogs work for their meals or 'paycheck'. When a dog has to work for a living his mindset will shift from entitlement to making effort, this is referred to as 'food drive'. Training goes so much faster for a dog who has a high food drive and a great attitude about work. If your dog is not food motivated at all, we can work on building their food drive and spicing their kibble up with treats if necessary. Eventually, we phase out the food when the time is right.
My dog isn’t food motivated, can you still train him/her?
YES!!! Although we like to use food to introduce new skills, it’s not a deal breaker if the dog isn’t food motivated. We just go ahead and train the dog. Don’t let food training (or what you’ve heard about food training being the only option) stop you from reaching your goals with your dog! So so so many dogs aren’t motivated by food and they are still just as trainable by using different approaches.
Who will be training my dog?
Kristen will set up your dogs program and will be working hands on with you and your dog implementing the program but ultimately it will be YOU who is training your dog by completing your DAILY homework exercises between sessions and following the training program.
Why do you use prong collars? Aren't those mean/bad/scary/horrible?
There is no denying that prong collar look awful! But the truth is, that they are to most gentle and effective way to communicate with a dog when used properly and by a professional. We use prong collars because they are the best tool for connecting and creating effective communication with the dog and they cause the least amount of stress on the dog and the owner. Not only are they a great communication tool, they are the most humane and safest tool when used properly. Prong collars allow us to communicate with our dogs using the least amount of force possible compared to other types of collars. Prong collars are designed to sit elevated off the dogs neck and apply even pressure around the neck protecting the dog's trachea. When used and fit correctly, the prong collar gives us a way to communicate with dogs using very little effort and allows us to create a calmer and more tuned in state of mind within the dog. All types of dogs benefit from this type of communication whether they are nervous, fearful, over excited, aggressive, happy go lucky, etc. because the basic problem is always the same... a lack of clear communication. We teach dogs that their behavior and decisions control whether or not they feel the guidance of the collar.
Why do you use E-collars?
Modern E-Collar training is the most effective, reliable and humane way of training... and the only safe way to have a dog off leash. E-collar sets up an intimate and gentle communication with a dog that no other tool or method can accomplish. If you truly want to transform your dog in the most humane and effective manner, E-Collar is the answer.
How do you train with E-collars? Do you mean a shock collar?!
NO! Not a shock collar! Thankfully, technology has come a LONG way and we live in an era of technologically advanced e-collars that are extremely safe. Don't get me wrong, there are still lots of bad, cheap, 'old school' devices on the market that can do more harm than good but we only use the safest and most reliable brand from E-Collar Technologies. You truly get what you pay for when it comes to e-collars, and going with a cheap brand will not serve you or your dog. The modern and specialized collars that we exclusively use from E-Collar Technologies have levels ranging from 0-100 and all of our training is done using the lowest levels possible which in most cases cannot be felt by human skin.
We use low level, communication style patterning, modern E-Collar training, which looks NOTHING like the e-collar training of the past. Modern specialized e-collars from E-Collar Technologies cannot cause burn marks or any of the 'old school' horror stories that you may have heard. Modern e-collar provides the same feeling as a Tens Unit that you would experience from your chiropractor. This stimulating sensation is the medium we use to create the communication with the dog that allows us to achieve amazing results like safe and reliable off leash recalls.
My dog is very fearful, anxious and nervous... so I shouldn't use E-collar right?
Actually, modern E-Collar training is the gentlest and most effective way of training dogs with these types of issues. Our e-collar training system is designed to create more confident, relaxed and comfortable dogs.
How long do I have to use the prong/e-collar on my dog? When can I stop using them?
For as long as you need them. We personally don't strive to not ever need them. If you couldn't tell yet, we are big fans of these tools simply because they are a great way to communicate with dogs. They make training and communication so much simpler and easier. These tools are here to help and empower you with your dog. Some of our personal dogs are trained very well but they still wear these tools when we are training or going off leash and probably always will because we LOVE our dogs. It's like an insurance policy. Yes, these dogs are trained and yes they don't seem to need the tools anymore BUT they are not perfect, they are dogs and all dogs get distracted and can do silly things. So they wear their e-collar 'just in case' like an insurance police.
Prong collars and e-collars are training tools. Like other tools, they can be removed. WHEN or IF you can remove them depends on you. How much time you have spent training your dog… how much does your dog understand, how good are you at communicating effectively with your dog, what kind of relationship do you have with your dog… will he still understand you when you take away his primary method of receive important information from you.
But what we cannot emphasis enough is that removing the training collars should not be the goal in your mind. It is okay to leave the e-collar on; it is a very reliable backup measure much like your seat-belt. You are NOT a bad driver because you have fastened your seat-belt and likewise, you are NOT a bad trainer/owner because your dog is wearing an e-collar. Do you ever become a good enough driver that you no longer need to wear your seat belt?
What program should I choose? Are private sessions realistic for me?
Private Sessions are for owners who are able to dedicate the time daily to working with their dog and have a burning desire to be involved in the training process… because that’s what you must do if you want to make progress with your dog during private sessions. We will design your program, show you the techniques and exercises but it is YOU who must put in the work, do the repetitions, and make time EVERYDAY to invest in your dog’s training. In private sessions we are teaching YOU how to train your dog…so after your program ends it will be up to you to continue holding your dog accountable for the new skills and behaviors that they have learned. We will continue to support and guide you by answering questions and giving advice through email or phone conversations.
During our private sessions, we will be working hands on, one-on-one with you and your dog. We will address your dog's state of mind as opposed to addressing individual issues. Most issues owners are facing with their dog are just side effects of the root problem, which in most cases is a lack of leadership. Leadership includes rules, structure, and clear boundaries set by you for your dog. Most people give their dog too much freedom without realizing that this is the opposite of what the dog actually needs and wants.
Each session will be about one week apart during which time you will be working on training assignments and homework. It is massively important that you do your homework EVERYDAY. You essentially become the dog trainer in private sessions and your dog's success relies 100% on you! We will be building upon your dog’s obedience from week to week on the commands outlined in your program. Not only do we teach you how to teach your dog these commands, but more importantly we teach you how to live more peacefully with your dog.
What method of payment do you accept?
We love e-transfer! We also accept cash and PayPal. If you'd like to pay by credit card we can accommodate that too! We do all our invoicing through PayPal which gives you the option to pay either by credit card or via your own PayPal account (if you have one, but it's not necessary... you can simply pick pay by credit card) when you opt to pay the invoice.
How do I contact Find Your Balance Dog Training?
Contact us by going to our Contact Us page and fill out and submit the form. We will get back to you soon! :)