Its has taken me a long time to find the right words to review K9 Balance. We adopted our Abby two years ago today (Dec 23). We adopted her from a humane society whom did not share\did not know all of her issues. We went through 2-3 dog walkers who " just couldn't handle it" and countless people who blamed us for " not socializing Abby".
Abby is a very special girl who has been given more than a second chance at life as a result of working with Justine. We attempted to work with another trainer who just blamed us when her program didn't work. Abby is alive today, truly with thanks to Justine and her program. Do not hesitate to call her for any training needs. She is amazing with dogs who just need to learn their manners as well as more challenging dogs who have to modify the way they approach their world.
K9 Balance has helped me realize that I too, need to approach Abby's training from her needs and perspectives and not just my own. We cannot make it just about ourselves when it comes to working with, bonding with and training our canine friends. Thanks!!
Kate, Dwayne & Abby
I heard about Justine and Josh through a friend who lives in PEI who had similar training for her dogs and told me that people travel from afar to work with Ted Efthymiadis in Nova Scotia. She found K9 Balance for me because she saw that Justine had trained with Ted and told me THAT’s the trainer Buddha needs.
We rescued Buddha in January 2015 at the age of two from Georgia via Wisconsin and didn’t know much about his past except that he was very smart and athletic and had not been in the right homes due to his drive for being challenged and exercised, and sadly, not getting any of it. For a year-and-a-half, we worked on Buddha’s recall and loose leash walking but being the most stubborn dog in the world, he wasn’t having any of it. Easily distracted and obsessed with balls and frisbees, there was nothing getting in his way of these distractions, not to mention he could not be walked without using a harness for fear of dragging me to the ground if he spotted something that he wanted. Then one day he ran across the street when a car was coming, fortunately the car slowed down. We thought we had lost all hope of ever having a dog that actually listened, and being off-leash was just so far out of reach. The next day I emailed Justine.
In 16 days Justine and Josh transformed Buddha into the dog we knew he could be and his intelligence has only magnified. He is a dream off leash and we feel 100% confident in his ability to listen and focus on us when asked. What impressed me most about his stay at K9 Balance was the interaction he had with all of the animals there – sheep, pigs, ponies and chickens to name a few – and they didn’t even seem to faze Buddha when he was around them. Prior to that he would tear off my arm if he saw a cat or a raccoon, which is no longer an issue. What a wonderful set-up to help combat these types of distractions. No more harness and always a loose leash while walking beside us now, and he is very excited when he’s allowed to have his “go free” time. Frisbee is no longer an obsession and he knows he has to obey his commands and focus on us before he is rewarded with it.
It has only been 2-1/2 weeks since he’s been home from K9 Balance and every day we continue to work him and must always stay consistent. Justine and Josh, we can’t thank you enough for the awesome foundation you have given Buddha, it was worth every penny and the sadness of severely missing him for 16 days. The proof is in the number of times people have stopped us to tell us what an amazingly calm obedient dog we have (at least 4 times) and our niece commenting that it was the first time he didn’t jump on her. We are so excited about his potential and the off-leash adventures that we are going to have with our boy!
A week after coming home: Something amazing and not typical happened this morning. I was playing frisbee in the park with him (with stay and focus and go free) and he seemed distracted by something down our street across the road. He never just randomly decides to cross the road unless Joe or I are approaching the park when the other is in the park with him and he sees us. I'm not sure what he was looking at but he started towards the road and just as he was about to go on the road a cyclist was approaching. I pressed the ecollar with the boost and he stopped dead in his tracks and turned around. THIS is why we did this training. Thank YOU!
Christine, Joe & Buddha
Amazing training centre. Justine went above and beyond working with our dogs (and with us) to ensure we would have a successful future after training was complete. She took the time to fully educate us on her methods and answer all of our questions. Our dog came back with the skills she had committed to teaching him as well as an incredibly close bond with Justine. It was obvious that his time with her was very special, which meant a lot to us. We are so excited to have such a well mannered boy back at home! Thanks Justine!
Kelsey, Rob & Mowgli
Sent my 2 crazy Huskies for training with Justine and Josh and WOW what a difference it's made! They had their work cut out for them with my nut case dogs who had a talent for trouble and they definitely exceeded our expectations. I was really worried sending them off that they were unfixable, especially my stubborn boy Nico but Justine and Josh have given me hope. We are still working away at the training at home and I see progress every single day but I saw what they are capable of with Justine and Josh so I am very excited to keep going and keep progressing!
My dogs are on their last strike with by law and if they kill anymore chickens they will be put down... I'm not worried about it anymore because I know now it won't happen again.
Justine and Josh - Thank you! You saved our dogs lives!
Jen, Alex, Nico & Sumi
'Last night I accidentally left the screen door unlatched and Bruce slipped out.. I heard the door swing and knew right then and started picturing the worst:(
Sean gave him a firm come command and I looked out to see Bruce sitting on the front porch in front of the door looking in. Sean told him 'down' and he layed there and waited for us to walk over and let him in. Awesome!
Thanks so much for everything:)'
Christina, Sean & Bruce
After one 'balanced walk' session: 'Lexi has been doing great! I could actually shake hands with a neighbour I met the other day without her wanting to rip him apart. She was able to pass two very loud dogs quietly after I turned her around two times each. I held onto the leash and moved a bit without pulling. Her hair went down and she moved in the direction I wanted her to. After repeating a little circle she was ready to pass without incident. Walking is relaxing now. Thank you again for your advice.
Christiane & Lexi
We've had Justine walking Baron for a couple of years until we moved and we adore her. We had another company walking Baron prior to hiring Justine but I had to let them go as I found them to be very unreliable. She would spend at least an hour everyday alone with Baron and never had a problem with him. Baron is a very large German Shepherd (he was not quite three years old). She will on occasion bring Axle along and as you'll see from pictures on the website they seem to be quite comfortable together.
There were a few occasions when I had to call midday and ask if she could take him out again as we were running late. She has been terrific about arranging her schedule around us and I have never had a problem. I have no concerns with having her in my home. Although Baron has never had any medical emergencies, he does suffer from allergies. Justine has always been very diligent about letting me know when he's been licking and/or scratching more than usual or when his ears are especially bad. She leaves me notes daily to let me know how the walk was and whether he did his business or not.
I would highly recommend her to anyone with a large stubborn breed.
The best part of all though is that Baron adores her and has right from the first time they met!
Suzanne S. & Baron
We were with Justine for the past 8 years and have always been so happy with her services. She’s respectful of our home and property. She keeps us informed every day of any new changes or behaviours. And most importantly, our dogs LOVE her.
We had two boxers, Lily and Toby. She started with us when Lily was 3 years old and she had quite a few medical conditions, which at times can limit her activity. Toby was added to the mix at 8 weeks old and had so much energy there are times I thought he would spontaneously combust! Justine managed their personalities well and she trained them differently based on those personalities. So, it isn’t a “one theory fits all dogs” type process. When Justine visited, she worked on commands with the dogs and then let them have play time.
While at work all day, I like the dogs to get the exercise they need and deserve, while providing some peace of mind that we are good owners doing the best we can with the opportunities we’ve been provided.
I can’t say anything negative about Justine’s services. I would (and have) recommend her to anyone.
Amy, Lily & Toby
That’s when Justine offered her services to us, to come and observe Keegan to determine whether or not she thought he could be rehabilitated.
During our initial meeting Justine did something that no one else had done, which was take the leash and actually show us how Keegan was capable of acting when given the proper messages by the handler. (we all learned something that day!) Keegan responded so well to Justine we were amazed. Justine assured us that Keegan was dominant not truly aggressive and if we worked on a few basic things with Keegan he could be rehabilitated and she left us after that first very session with renewed hope and some manageable homework. She followed up our session with a written outline of the exercises we should do with Keegan and kept in contact to ask us how everything was going.
To make a long story short, with Justine’s expert advice and help, Keegan is much better and we were able to introduce a new Aussie pup to our family at Christmas time. Justine came to make sure the pups were introduced in the best possible way…and the rest is history. Keegan and Oakley are best friends… We have found Justine to be extremely knowledgeable, helpful and approachable whenever we have had further questions about Keegan or Oakley! This winter we were completely comfortable hiring Justine to come into our house and take both dogs out for a walk on a day when no one could get home in the middle of the day. She even took the time to bandage Keegan’s foot when he had a cut on the bottom of his paw and I’m sure our bouncy, little Aussie puppy is better at walking on a leash because of those walks with Justine!
Thank you Justine…for taking the initiative to contact us…for sharing your philosophy about dog training with us and teaching us. We are a better (and bigger) pack because of you.
Ken and Debbie W.
(and Keegan and Oakley too!!)
We are very pleased to be able to write this testimonial for Justine. Last fall we were at our wits end with our 2 year old Australian Shepherd – Keegan. Keegan is a great dog… smart, well trained, great with people, did we say smart (oh we did) BUT…he was very dog aggressive.
We really wanted to add a new puppy to our family (another Aussie) but were told by other dog trainers Keegan would not accept another dog into the family and worse… his aggressive reaction towards others dogs could not be rehabilitated! This was a severe concern for us and we made the very difficult decision to try to re-home Keegan. We started to contact rescues to see if someone could take him.