Moshi in action.
Q. What days and times are you available for training?
A. Balance Dog Training is available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Q. What geographic regions do you cover?
A. Balance Dog Training serves most of Fairfax County and portions of Loudon, Arlington, Prince William and Montgomery Counties.
Q. I have more than one dog. Can you train multiple dogs living in the same home?
A. Yes, though initial training will be performed on one dog at a time. You may need to continue training the dogs individually, until they have developed enough control to not disrupt the flow of training. Name recognition and good stays are a must for multiple dog households.
Q. I have a puppy and a senior dog. Is there an age limit on the dogs you will train?
A. No, there is no age limit. Like humans, dogs learn more quickly at a younger age, but dogs of all ages have the capability of learning new things.
Q. What is covered in your group classes?
A. The Foundation Work teaches the timing and mechanics in using the communication system. Obedience behaviors learned will be touch, sit, down, stand, recall, leave-it and pre-heeling. The Intermediate Class helps you to automate the behaviors and phase out the physical luring, which strengthens the behaviors overall. The Advanced Obedience expands on these behaviors and progresses into fun activities you can enjoy with your dog. You will learn jumping and retrieving in addition to strengthening behaviors, introducing more distractions.
Q. How do I fit in all of the training with a busy work schedule?
A. Make a plan that is based on what is most important to you in creating a great relationship with your dog and modified to your dog's rate of progression. Don't rush through your training. Quality is much better than quantity. Organize your training around meal times, so your dog is hungry and will work harder for their food. Focus on one behavior at a time, then move onto the next. Jumping back and forth between different obedience commands is far less productive. So work 2 minutes on "sits," then 2 minutes on "downs," etc. verses 30 seconds of "sits," 30 seconds of "downs," 30 seconds of "sits," 30 seconds of "downs," etc. Once the food runs out, pick up where you left off with the next meal.
Q. Are all your training methods reward-based?
A. The foundation work and obedience are 95% reward-based. The other 5% uses spacial pressure in the obedience work, which can be mildly stressful to very sensitive dogs. This will satisfy the majority of dog owners, as far as the level of obedience is concerned. For some owners and others who want to compete in certain disciplines, we need to introduce a higher level of pressure that will allow for compliance. However, when introduced properly, after having built a strong relationship with the dog through foundation work and obedience, you are far less likely to experience negative reactions from the dog. The dog will dictate the tool (slip lead, prong, e-collar, etc.) and amount of pressure needed based on their communication with us. Some dogs simply do not have the ability to perform at certain levels and are not capable of competing at a high level. We all need to be aware of this, not push too hard and always listen to their feedback.
Q. How long will it take to create a perfectly balanced relationship between me and my dog?
A. Every owner and dog are different, so time frames may vary dramatically. A balanced relationship will develop most quickly through consistency in proper practice and patience. Some owners may find balance in their relationship in as little as three months and some owners may work their entire relationship and never find the balance they desire. Balance Dog Training does not try to change who the dog is, but how you communicate with one another. The balance is developed through the bonding and understanding you create with one another by working together. It is a life-long commitment.