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We live in an era where Americans have created a multibillion dollar industry for dogs. Much of this is made up of average dog owners  believing their dog to be nothing more than a furry, tiny human who would rather be overindulged than provided structure, rules and boundaries However these beliefs couldn’t be further from the truth.

The trouble is that over time we have come to believe ourselves to be dogs most omnipotent companion always knowing what our pups are thinking or feeling.As we apply a multitude of human characteristics to our furry companions — we get stuck in Pandora’s box of Anthropomorphizing. We move throughout our day, prescribing particular thoughts and feelings to our pups, which are usually incorrect and never stopping to think that Wait, this is not a furry human. In fact it is a whole other species, one who lacks the fundamental way that humans interact and teach other humans. LANGUAGE. 

So, pretend for a second you have been tasked with teaching someone how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, The only rule is that you cannot utilize language in any way. No writing, talking, pointing to words or anything else that relies on language.

 How would you do it? Give yourself a minute or two to really put  yourself in that situation. Take time to also Imagine the feelings that may accompany it. 

Not so simple, huh?

Welcome to life for our dogs. That exact situation is what human’s best friend finds himself in daily. Not only that, the messages we send are mixed. Today you can jump on me, tomorrow, how dare you jump on grandma!  Or I let you do something for the past year but now its not so cute and I am upset with a behavior I once reinforced. With dogs we don't get to back track, start over, have exceptions, caveats, or loopholes,

Here at Simply Balanced K9 we specialize in helping owners truly understand who their dog is and what he/she REALLY needs to be happy. We have spent much the last six years focused on a new way of working with human’s best friend. Instead of just focusing on training the same ‘ole commands (don’t worry, we cover those too) we create a training regiment that encompasses training, behavior and psychology. We also focus on the humans within the pack as they are equal players in raising a well-balanced dog ( or an unbalanced one). In short, our goal is to teach owners how to be their best friend’s best friend. Which, let’s face it is something long overdue. Luckily the universe put an animal science degree and a human psychology degree together creating the amazing duo that is Simply Balanced K9. Coming from these differing backgrounds we began to notice that most training methods never focus on our pup’s emotional well-being, the human role in who our dog becomes or in teaching people who dogs really are and what they need to be happy.  We found many training methods to border on extremes. For instance purely positive training simply does not work for everyone. Plus, have we not witnessed the pitfalls of giving rewards for everything? Even within the balanced training field we still felt that something was missing. That’s where our belief in a better way plus a master’s degree in clinical psychology, extensive research on dog psychology times two headstrong woman led us to go rogue. We started developing a program not only dog centric, but people centric as well. The first idea we threw out was that training should wait until 6 months (which, if you know that puppies start learning at six weeks purposely waiting another eighteen to do anything sounds insane). Here, we focus on prevention because the best training starts early. If a puppy is learning the moment he enters his new home it makes sense that we would start teaching right away. Did you know any unwanted behaviors present at six months are not only there to stay but will not go away on their own and will only worsen over time? Why? Because puppies are not furry humans. They WILL NOT, we repeat WILL NOT grow out of any behavior as a young child would. Instead they grow INTO behaviors aka behaviors get whole lot worse. Unfortunately we don't get to sit Buddy down at eighteen months to tell him that we simply cannot have him peeing on the living room rug anymore, or jumping on the baby, or running away from us when called. We don't get this opportunity bc many of us fail to consider that dogs have no conception of language and are incapable of understanding it. For those of you out there who are shaking your heads right now ,believing your dog knows what your are saying to him, he doesn’t. What dogs can do is smell every one of our emotions, understand the nuances of our feelings and  decipher whether our intentions and convictions are actually true. This is why living with our canine companions is not just about teaching a few commands. To truly coexist you have to understand who dogs are, what drives them, what makes THEM happy. It is through this knowledge you’ll learn how to give your pup just as much as she gives you. You and your pup can both be happy and neither one of you has to compromise anything to achieve it. 

The goal of puppyhood is to clearly and effectively relay household expectations to our pups. All they want is to know is how our world works and what to do to keep us happy.

Puppies require 3-5 hours of focused attention per day to mature into a well-balanced adult dog and given most of our busy lives, it can be increasingly difficult to find time to set the critical foundation and lets face it, you can’t build much on a weak foundation. This is why our puppy board and train is so effective.  Let us do the hard work of setting the foundation for you then all you need to do is maintain it.Which is a MUCH easier feat (trust us)

    Our training relies on positive training techniques and our goal is simple: Implement a strong solid foundation for you and your family to build upon and reinforce in order to shape your puppy into the best dog he can be! We believe good manners are central to a well-behaved dog and work hard to create an amazing family dog, that is our main focus. There is so much more to puppy training (as Im sure you are learning) than just obedience. Socialization is just as important and we tackle it all. Many of us don’t realize how important socialization is for a puppy and unfortunately it goes way beyond just a play date with a puppy down the street. 

The goal of puppyhood, (the first 18 months) is to teach our dogs how to live in our world, show them what is expected of them and give them appropriate emotional outlets to deal with stressors and regular daily living. We often spend so much time telling our dogs “ No" that we don’t realize what they need to hear from us is yes. We also care of great deal about dog psychology and our dogs overall emotional well-being and we utilize a variety of different techniques to set your puppy up on the best possible path towards future success. This foundation is perhaps of the utmost importance when it comes to any of the working breeds. If you don’t give a working breed a strong foundation, led by a good leader things have the tendency to get out of control real fast. Remember: All working breeds work under a human leader. They don't just figure out how to heard sheep or hunt a bird on their own. We can’t tell you how many owners with German Shepherds tell us they got the dog for protection and believe training takes that away. NO, training gives you the ability to call your dog off if necessary.

Like ourselves, dogs fall under the same category of learning called associative learning and these associations start from the moment we bring our puppy home. Take the rings of a fallen tree, in the center exist a circle which is the first association made towards a particular cue (i.e., sitting and waiting for food bowl to be placed on ground leads to quicker eating). Every time an association is made another ring is added, so you can imagine how many rings some associations can have in just a weeks time. This reason alone is why early training is important.

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