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Positively Balanced

Reward based balanced training methods that help make your relationship with your dog more than you ever imagined – fun, fair, exciting and balanced.

Non-Judgemental

I’m not here to judge owners, I am here to help you and your dog!

Experienced

Real hands-on experience with real dogs! 

Relationship Building

Training your dog is about more than just SIT, COME and STAY – it’s about building a strong relationship and loving lasting bond.

Over a Decade in the Industry With Hundreds of Hours of Hands-On Experience

Dogs aren't a hobby

They are my LIFE!

Dogs have always played a large part in my life, from the very first day I came home from the hospital after being born till this very day, dogs have been my best friends, my family, my confidants, my life adventure partners and my kids!
I am not ashamed to say that I understand dogs a whole lot more than I understand humans! laugh beam icon I have always had a special and unique bond that most can’t understand, but that’s ok because the dogs I work with, they get it, they understand it and this bond gives me a very powerful ability to help dogs, even ones that have been classified as ‘unhelpable’ by other trainers!

Dogs have always played a large part in my life, from the very first day I came home from the hospital after being born till this very day, dogs have been my best friends, my family, my confidants, my life adventure partners and my kids!
I am not ashamed to say that I understand dogs a whole lot more than I understand humans! laugh beam icon I have always had a special and unique bond that most can’t understand, but that’s ok because the dogs I work with, they get it, they understand it and this bond gives me a very powerful ability to help dogs, even ones that have been classified as ‘unhelpable’ by other trainers!

2004 My Dog Training Career Begins!

2004 - 2006

I learn from the best!

A lot of younger, modern trainers, come into the industry after doing an online course, usually with no hands-on practical components or experience. I am blessed to have come into the industry in the ‘old school’ way – a way that seems to have vanished from the industry, which is a real shame!

I had the honour of learning hands-on from a trainer who had decades of experience under his belt and who was a true master of the trade! For 3 years I shadowed my mentor and learnt everything about dogs hands-on!

I had the chance to work with hundreds of dogs, learn amazing practical skills and see the life-changing effects a great trainer can have on both the owner and dogs quality of life!

2006 - 2008

I learn from the best!

After my ‘apprenticeship’ I continued to work alongside my mentor and help run the business.

2008 - 2009

Life gets messy & I have to move!

My personal life underwent major changes and I had to make the decision to leave VIC and head back to NSW.

I continued to help my clients back in VIC, for many years and started to rebuild my life, including restarting my dog training business.

2008 - 2009

I devote my time to rescue dogs

I decided that I wanted to devote a lot of my time to training rescue dogs, it was a very rewarding journey and I had the honour of working with some amazing people and beautiful dogs!

It was also a very challenging and a lot of the time a very heartbreaking experience.

2008 - 2010

Forced to slow down

This was a big year for me! Just 11 days before Christmas 2008, I was hit by a car while on my little 80cc scooter! The driver of the car that hit me ran a red light, I ended up in pretty bad shape and had to undergo surgery. However, it took about 8 weeks before that surgery and then I had almost 16 weeks in recovery.

I still worked virtually with my existing clients, but it was time to make a decision about my future…

2010

Career Change...

After being injured I decided to take a break from dog training…

I started a new journey and became a human coach instead. 

I still helped my existing clients and was never really out of the game – when you own numerous rescue dogs you are always training!

Unfortunately, I did have to stop working with rescues as that took a major toll on my mental health…

Not Living My True Passion!

I knew deep down that I wasn’t living my truth and wasn’t following my true passion!

Dogs are my life and I knew I had to get back to doing what I love.

2019 - Present

I return to my true calling!

I decided it was time to return to my real passion and started training full-time again!

Michelle's Certificates & Professional Memberships

Michelle's Training Methods & Philosophy

There are many different ways in which dogs can be trained, some are more effective than others and some are more suitable for certain dogs while others are not.

Dog trainers usually fall into 1 of 3 camps, I believe it is important for owners to understand this, as it can mean the difference between your dog living a great life and them ending up in a rescue or worse…

The first type of trainer isn’t that common but they are still out there, they are more  old school in their approach and are known as  Compulsion Trainers.  These trainers use methods based on physical prompting and punishment/correction based methods. This means they can be pretty heavy-handed and don’t really use any kind of rewards or positive training.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have some trainers who base their methods on ideology. These trainers market themselves in many different ways, a lot of which is simply marketing gimmick. For the purpose of defining the different types of trainers, we will call them what they usually call themselves, “Purely Positive” (PP) or “Fear Free” (FF) Trainers.

 Unfortunately, like most ideological movements, they are based on manipulation, in this case, they manipulate you, the owner, with emotional language and pseudoscience. 

As emotionally appealing as the concept of ‘purely positive’ and ‘force/fear free’ might be, the fact is they are completely unrealistic, hypocritical and based on biased science that neglects key aspects of how dogs think, learn and behave. Only using the parts of science that back an ideological belief is dangerous and limits a trainer’s ability to help your dog!

These PP/FF trainers convince owners that the  only acceptable way to train a dog and change behavioural issues is with positive reinforcement (+R).

So, what is +R and why is using purely +R dangerous?  +R basically believes that treats, rewards and love cures all. To give you a human analogy, they are like the parents who believe that it is wrong to say no to a child and that giving children boundaries and rules to live by is basically abuse… They are the parents that laugh and smile while their bratty child runs around the supermarket screaming, yelling and knocking things off the shelf while running into you many times. 

Just like with children, dogs need structure, rules, boundaries and they need to be corrected when they are disobedient! I am NOT saying abuse, but teaching them how to act acceptably in society! They need to know there are consequences to their actions, they need to be taught with love and fairness but they also need discipline!

So what type of trainer am I? Well, I fit into the third type of trainer, the Balanced Trainer. 
We use methods, techniques and tools from all different kinds of training methodologies. We use positive rewards and we also use corrections. I always start with positive and where it goes from there is up to the dog!! 

I am a strong believer in doing all I can to help the dog in front of me, your dog, this belief is not based on some ‘feel good’ gimmick – it is based on science as it is in its entirety!

A trainer that is worth anything will do all it takes to help you and your dogthey will not give up on you because it is hard or because your dog requires methods that may not be ‘purely positive’ – nothing in life is purely positive! Some of the best things in life come from uncomfortable and challenging experiences – dog training is no different!

I do not and never will condone abuse of any type! A trainer that uses balanced methods is a trainer that is highly competent and knows how to use a vast range of methods, tools and equipment and does so for the betterment of your dog!

While You're Here Why Not Grab Your Doggo a Treat!

Ever wondered how many calories your dog should behaving in a day? Check out this cool Calorie Calculator by TrainPetDog

This unique calorie calculator will help you understand how many calories your dog needs every day depending on things like your dog’s age, weight, activity level etc., and will also help you determine how many cups of food you should be feeding your dog every day!

Once you know how many calories your doggo should be having in a day, why not grab TrainPetDog’s free Canine Cuisine ebook that has 130+ homemade dog food recipes!

Book a free consultation today!