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