Does Your Dog Have Issues?
We're looking for dogs and dog owners to be on our new youtube channel (Difficult Dogs). In exchange you'll receive a free 2 hour training session for being featured in a video. Learn more below!
Balanced Training Saved My Dogs Life
20+ years ago I adopted my first dog from a local shelter. All seemed to be fine for a few weeks until it wasn't. The honeymoon period wore off quickly and the issues started piling up. I called the local shelter to ask for help, and they referred me to a local dog trainer with 30+ years of experience who was an exclusively positive trainer. The trainer’s staff signed me up for their basic group class. After 8 weeks of training, Phoenix was still pulling on the leash and could not be trusted off-leash because he would run away and kill small animals.
After talking to the trainer on the 8th week of training, I felt like I had failed.
The trainer didn't offer to help me in any other way despite my struggles. I asked for more help and was not given any other advice but "keep training for another 6-12 months and maybe things will turn around".
3 weeks later I found myself crying on the side of the road. I had come to the end of my patience. I couldn't take it anymore, his pulling was so bad that my back was in serious pain, off-leash was not an option and I couldn't see a way to move forward. I looked at Phoenix with tears streaming down my face and said "Buddy if you don't get better, I'm going to have to take you back to the shelter". I was so lost, so hopeless.
Over the next year, I left the positive only techniques that I was taught and started using a more balanced approach which actually worked for Phoenix. As it turned out, the missing link for Phoenix was that he knew that he could get away with his bad behaviour because there were no negative consequences. I used positive wherever I could and negative wherever I had to.
Fast forward a few more years, I met an incredible balanced dog trainer who was willing to teach and mentor me and I worked under him for five years honing my skills as a dog trainer. These days I've trained thousands of dogs with problems since 2009. Aggression issues are my specialty, but we cover all types of issues. If your dog is stressing you out, maybe we can help.
I live in Brookside NS. just a few minutes outside of with my wife, two young kids and my 3 radical dogs.
Hey, I'm Ted Efthymiadis and I'm here to help
Will You And Your Dog Be A Good Fit?
- You should be ok with balanced training techniques (more info below). We are not 100% positive trainers
- You should be willing to do step by step homework that we will give you after your session for at least 6-12 months if you want your dogs behavioural changes to last over the long term. There is NO quick fix in dog training. We can get you fast changes, but they will deteriorate if you do not keep up with them
- You should be ok with shooting videos at our facility in Brookside NS or at your home/ apartment depending on what we decide for each shoot
- You should be ok with being on Camera, the videos will go on youtube
- Must live in HRM
- Your dog should be a good health
- Your dog should be between the ages of 8 months and 10 years
- Your dog should be comfortable with wearing a muzzle, (only if they are human aggressive and have a bite history)
- Your dog must have behavioural issues like, pulling on the leash, barking at people/dogs, aggression issues with humans or dogs, anxiety, etc.
How To Apply
1: Start By Reading This Page
Please read everything on this page before applying.
2: Fill Out The Application
If you think that you qualify, you can fill out the application form (link below)
3: We MAY contact you
If you are chosen as a potential candidate, we will contact you by phone or email.
You will then be asked to send us videos of your dogs behavioural issues. Please use www.wetransfer.com
If you fill out the form and are not chosen, we will not contact you to tell you that you were not chosen. (We get hundreds of applications)
Please note that we will be posting new videos often, so if you are not contacted immediately, you might be called in the future if you are still interested.
4: Arranging Dates
We'll set up a date to shoot the video and help you with training. You'll also sign our liability waiver and video release form online.
5: All Finished
We shoot the episode, edit it, and get it uploaded within 2 weeks.
I'm a balanced dog trainer. Let's unpack how a good balanced training works. I believe that each dog is an individual and needs to be trained in their own way. I use both positive and negative motivation when I train dogs, and each dog will require differing amounts of each.
Some dogs are very sensitive to correction (negative motivation) and need to be treated as such. Others are willful to say the least and need more correction at times to ensure that they adhere to their owners commands.
Strengths and Weaknesses
As a balanced trainer, I'm able to take the great aspects from each style of training and utilize it where needed.
I use food, treats, praise, toys to encourage dogs to do the things that we want them to do. This type of motivation is particularly important when training fearful dogs and dogs with anxiety.
- -Positive methods are easy and fun for anyone to implement
- -Positive methods keep the dog being trained happy and engaged
- -Positive methods will increase the likelihood and speed that your dog will comply with your command
Where things fall apart...
- -Positive based methods do not help create humility in the dogs that need it
- -Positive based methods are un-reliable when the distraction is very high
- -Our clients rarely want to have to carry around treats for the rest of their dogs life
The majority of our clients have tried only using positive methods by way of training classes that did not meet their expectations. Not to worry, our training is easy for anyone to do. Our training works in the real world. At your front door. On your walks, at the park, anywhere!
Positive only training works really well... until it doesn't
We use positive where we can, and negative where we have to.
The tools we use to implement corrections will be described and shown below.
Corrective techniques are incredible when looking to STOP bad behaviours and are an essential part of training hard to train dogs off leash, we routinely train beagles, huskies, even wolf hybrids off leash
If you want to get to the root of things, every dog should understand that no means no and come means come. Jumping on people, pulling on the leash, attacking other dogs or people are not acceptable and will result in a correction.
If corrective techniques are improperly used by an owner or trainer, the dog can lose confidence in the training process. This is why you need a qualified trainer to help implement these methods
Electric collars (Ecollars)
We have been the go to trainers in Nova Scotia since 2009 for off leash training, and aggression rehabilitation because of our expertise in e collar training. E collar training is by far the most misunderstood tool in the world of dog training. Often referred to as shock collars, they do not shock. The e collars that we use have three functions for communication.
They can be used in the water for dogs who swim, and have a minimum of a 1/2 mile range. They are used to get your dogs attention and can be used on leash, off leash, in the house, in the car, in the ocean, etc.
Typically we use the tone to communicate with our dogs that they should come back to us, and we use the pulse as a corrective measure. The stimulation feels like a Tens Unit that chiropractors and physiotherapy clinics use as a muscle simulator. This pulse is adjustable from 1-100 levels which makes it a versatile tool that can be used on dogs of all sensitivity levels.
Every year over 500 Nova Scotians contact us to train their dogs with an e collar because they have lost trust in their dog and can't let them off leash.
Transitional Leashes are very useful tool when training very specific dogs. We find that they are not a great solution for most dogs because most dogs hate having anything around their nose, however, we've seen great results with dogs who are very easily stimulated. By easily stimulated I mean to say that everything makes them aroused. This collar/leash combo can greatly decrease arousal in such dogs. This leash/collars is similar to a head halti, but also is much more effective without having to give a strong physical correction.