Creative, Dependable, Kind, and Experienced Animal Trainer
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers - Professional Member
Red Cross Animal First Aid and CPR Certified
American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
I will teach both you and your pet using force-free principles. Operating with force-free principles means that I will use positive reinforcement to strengthen positive behaviors, replace unwanted behaviors and be proactive in teaching both you and your pet better. All my training values are positive, backed by science, and proven to be effective. I have committed to continuing my education, meaning you will get the most up-to-date training experience. My commitment to education ensures you have the best experience possible, and I commit to working with both you and your veterinarian as necessary to support behavior modification.
The first obedience class I walked into was in 2006 with my family's Golden Retriever, Maggie. After that, it was fair to say that I knew I wanted to help animals. I began with training my pets. Then, while I was in college, I moved on to train pets of friends, family, and those who asked for help, taking private clients and working with families to better their lives. I also began working for PetsHotel (a boarding facility in Evanston, IL), which prompted me to gain a deep understanding of animal behavior and body language. My studies had shifted to Psychology, and I found a passion. I finished my degree at Loyola University- Chicago, in May of 2016.
Later that year, I found myself moving back to Wisconsin and taking a dog training position with Petco, completing the Dog Training Instructor Program. Soon after joining Petco, I took a senior position, became an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and found myself helping new trainers fall in love with the psychology behind training animals and using my acquired skills to help mold them they also began their careers. Since then, I have assisted with training a variety of working dogs, service dogs, and emotional support animals.
In 2018, I enrolled in the Karen Pryor Academy, completing my coursework in January of 2019 and earning my completion certificate. Taking classes through the Karen Pryor Academy has taught me to use more creativity in my training regarding problem-solving techniques, teaching skills, training skills, writing out programs, business management, and behavior modification. This exceptional program permitted me to train under some of the industry's top trainers absorbing as much information as possible as they coached, molded, and watched me develop my training techniques and mechanics.
I currently have a Tibetan Terrier/Poodle mix named Paxton. He is trained in obedience, agility and is a trick dog. Paxton has earned his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Community Canine Good Citizen (CGC-A), and AKC Trick Dog Titles. We also have a young German Shepherd Dog named Hela. She is still in training and we look forward to seeing what she is interested in as she grows.
In addition, there is a Lab/Greyhound mix named Shelby. She started as a timid girl who came from a rescue, and we have worked extensively through counterconditioning to accept friendly strangers and enjoy her time at home. She is a senior pet who is currently living with my mother, as she can run and play every day (in addition to getting tons of cuddles) in a low distraction environment with less hustle.
We also have a family cat; he is a black, short-haired domestic cat named Gibbs. He is feisty, cuddly, and has learned a few tricks as I experimented with training other species.
Why "Balanced K9s"?
I chose the name Balanced K9s because I believe there should be balance throughout all life. Balance is defined as an even distribution of weight and as a condition in which elements are equal. I choose positive, force-free training to help achieve that goal. A person who learns to back up must also learn to move forward. They must understand both how to relax and play. So do our pets. We need to learn how to balance our bodies to help give clear cues to our pets to understand what we are asking of them. It's vital for us, as their family, to support our pets, giving them a healthy life physically, mentally, and emotionally, which allows us to have a reliable pet and live in a peaceful house. Learn how to incorporate positive training and fitness with everyday life to enjoy living with your pet again.
Passionate. Patient. Persistent. Animal Lover. These are just a few of the characteristics that describe my style. I know animals are different, and I'll work with you to give them guidance tailored to their needs.