We have a leash-reactive Saint Bernard who has really come a long way. I've been thru a few other trainers and [The Balanced Dog] is the only one to tackle the problem head on.
- Yvonne N.
Lyndsi gave us HOPE!!! Now we take our dog on pack walks, biking, sailing, and even to restaurants.
- Maria S.
About The Balanced Dog
We see each dog as an individual. Each with its own unique personality and its own unique needs. We believe that understanding and embracing this individuality is fundamental to successful training. And so we promote a personalized training approach to find the best fit for each dog and its owner.
We believe that there is no such thing as a “bad dog”. We specialize in misunderstood dogs with fear and aggression issues and have a particularly soft spot in our hearts for pitbull breeds.
We do our best to incorporate the values below into all of our training interactions. But, much like raising a human child, training or reconditioning a dog doesn’t happen in a vacuum. No matter how much formal training a dog receives, it takes a village. And, most importantly, it takes the dog’s human parents. So we ask our clients to embrace these values with us:
Be intentional. Intentionality deepens the human (and dog!) experience and has a positive impact on every interaction. Being present in the moment increases training effectiveness and understanding. As does honest reflection and truthful self reporting of each situation.
Be accountable. Accountability is a cornerstone of effective training. Most outward dog behavior (positive and negative alike) is in response to or reinforced by our own human actions. To create lasting change, we must take responsibility for those actions and accept feedback to improve.
Be open. Openness is critical to creating a different future. We can’t expect change from our furry friends if we secretly believe they can’t do it. At The Balanced Dog, we stay open to new possibilities every day, and we request our human clients do the same.
Our Training Approach
We are Balanced Trainers. We operate with a full and well-rounded toolbox and do our best to share those tools with our clients. We believe that Balanced Training creates the structure and security necessary to allow dogs to be enthusiastic and happy canine companions, as well as reliable and safe urban citizens.
Owner Lyndsi Amirto came from the world of human social work. Throughout her education and professional interactions, she realized there are very few differences between the human world and the dog world when it comes to behavioral conditioning and challenges. Most importantly, the significance of environment to create positive or negative change and impact balance.
Our dogs learn behavior because it has a pay-off and then repeat it, which creates a habit over time. Dogs also learn habits that once served a larger purpose, such as self preservation. For example, a stray dog may learn to fight for food to stay alive. But now that they’re adopted into a family, they may need help to learn that a different behavior will serve them better.
For dogs and humans alike, there are three mental states: the comfort zone, the learning zone, and the panic zone. The comfort zone is, well, comfortable. But change and progress don’t happen when we’re comfortable. When we’re pushed too far outside of our comfort zone, we hit the panic zone and become filled with stress and anxiety, prohibiting the absorption of information. But between the comfort zone and the panic zone is the learning zone, where we feel challenged but not overwhelmed. We work with each dog to find and stay in their learning zone, while respecting and utilizing the natural way that dogs communicate.
If you read our values, you already know that it takes a village to train a dog. Having a support system greatly improves your dog’s chance of success. You are at the apex of your dog’s support system. At The Balanced Dog, we do our best to promote and foster a community so that you can have a support system too. We encourage you to get involved with our community through our Pack Walks and Pack Walk Preps to make connections with other dog parents and buoy each other on your journeys.
With each dog that we agree to train, we make a commitment to that dog and to you, their owner. As the leader of your dog’s journey to be a good girl or good boy, we ask that you also make a commitment to the daily homework that you may receive from your trainer. Your involvement is critical to your dog’s success.
What is Balanced Training?
Balanced Training is a term that indicates the use of both rewards and corrections based on your dog’s needs. While we believe strongly in using positive reinforcement, we also believe in the importance of saying “no” when necessary (which is what a “correction” is).