Proudly Serving El Dorado, Placer and
Sacramento Counties


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My dog is uncontrollable on the walk – pulling, lunging, barking, growling – can you fix this?

We’ll be able to get fantastic results with all levels of issues, from mild pulling and disobedience, to severe dog reactivity.

I have tried other trainers before and didn’t get the results I desired – what makes your program and approach different and more effective?

My approach differs from most dog trainers in that I focus first on improving the dog’s state of mind by teaching him how to be calm. Other training approaches that focus on the commands, developing rehearsed behaviors, or bribing with treats, don’t get to the heart of the problem. I learned this unique and effective approach from Sean O’Shea ( and Jeff Gellman ( and it fundamentally changes the dog’s state of mind. With this new mind set — one that knows how to be calm and relaxed — the sky’s the limit for what other behavioral changes can be accomplished. By cultivating new habits, teaching the dog to make better choices, training calmness instead of excitability, and employing the unique duration work, this approach is consistently successful with any dog and certainly with dogs that others were unable to help. This will be the last dog training you will ever need.

What happens if I don’t get the results I want from the training? Is there a guarantee?

Due to the many variables involved to create a well-behaved, balanced dog, including owner commitment, consistency, and follow-through, it would be unethical to offer a 100% guarantee. However, I choose the most dedicated and diligent owners so, in my experience, no matter how severe the issues, I consistently see breakthrough results and amazing transformations. You and I will work hand in hand as a team in your dog’s rehabilitation. This process of teamwork and collaboration begins even before I meet your dog, moves through the training process, and continues long after your dog has gone home. Once you hire me, I consider you part of the Dogs in Balance family and your success is my utmost priority.

Who will be working with my dog? Is Patte the only trainer?

I am the only trainer. Periodically I engage assistance from an experienced dog walker for help with walks and dog socialization exercises. However, I will always be present during any work with your dog.

Will I get to see my dog during the Board and Train?

In most cases owner participation is counterproductive to the rehabilitation and training process. There are always exceptions and we can discuss and assess if seeing your dog during the board and train can be accommodated.

If you do all the training during a Board and Train, will my dog respond to me when he returns home?
The short answer is “yes!”. Since my first focus is on improving your dog’s state of mind, there’s substantial benefit for your dog to train at my facility. Here he has the benefit of starting fresh, there’s no old behavior patterns to work through. By the time he returns to you, he has already worked through the state of mind shift and has good practice at being calm and relaxed. You and I will discuss the techniques you can use to maintain this new state of mind. They are simple exercises that are already part of your daily routine; it’s the way you do them that will change and this shift will result in opportunities for you to exhibit leadership with your dog.

Do you use treats to train dogs at Dogs in Balance?

My training approach is relationship-based. I firmly believe that our dogs should be working for us, not for a food morsel. Treat training has many limitations and tends to cause dogs to be over excited, hyper, and food-fixated rather than relaxed and calm. High excitement is great if you are training flyball or agility, but encourages exactly the opposite effect when you are training a family dog to calmly co-habitate with you.

Why do you use prong collars?

The prong collar is an incredible tool for connecting and communicating. It is a key element in creating a harmonious relationship with the least amount of physical stress to the dog and owner. Looks aside, prong collars have proved to be the least physically taxing, most humane, and one of the safest tools available. It’s analogous to giving a hearing aid to a hard of hearing person. If you speak very loudly to — or yell at — someone who is hard of hearing they hear you but can’t easily understand what you’re saying. It comes through as garbled noise. If he’s wearing a hearing aid, not only can he hear you at a conversational tone, he can understand each word clearly. For dogs, the prong collar gives them the benefit of feeling even the slightest pressure you apply to the leash and relieves them from your having to pull, jerk, or otherwise use force to communicate with them.

Check out the following videos from Sean O’Shea’s The Good Dog to learn more about how this tool is used and its impact:
Prong Collar Training Video, Part 1
Prong Collar Training Video, Part 2
Manolo on a Walk — from pulling issues to a nice walk using the prong collar for the first time

What is a day in the life at Dogs in Balance Board and Train?

I only work with a small number of dogs to give every dog the attention he needs and maintain a relaxed environment. The dogs sleep inside and are crated. In the morning all dogs go out on a 45-min to 1-hour long structured walk, followed by treadmill work, and structured socialization time. Dogs are grouped for socialization based on size and temperament (client’s dogs will not be in danger of interacting with dangerous dogs). In the afternoon, dogs go through several hours of hands-on training, alternating between active commands, duration work, and specific behavior modification. They will also receive plenty of rest, down time, and personal one-on-one attention. Your dog’s safety is my primary concern.

Why do you use E-Collars (Remote Collars)?

Modern E-Collar training is the most effective, most reliable, most humane, and transformational training tool available today. It is a low-level, communication-style training, which looks nothing like the E-Collar training of the past. The essence of this training is to overlay the stimulation from the Remote Collar on commands the dog has learned using the physical leash. The benefits are profound. Your dog is more responsive to you and he can enjoy the freedom of being off leash in safe, appropriate environments while you have the security of knowing when you call him to come he’ll comply.