If you are in need of training or training advice for your dog, please contact our trainer, Lisa Porter, for questions at [email protected] or 661-303-2020. You may also contact our service/therapy dog trainer, Liz Kover at [email protected]

In the summer of 2006, I opened the Balanced Dog Pack in Oahu. My goal was to socialize and rehabilitate my extremely dog aggressive, 6-month-old blue nose pitbull, Stitch. At the time, I was already training dogs for Hawaii Dog Foundation, and was able to integrate the rescue dogs with Stitch within 2 months. Other dog owners began to seek me out when they saw the amazing progress I had with aggressive power-breeds, and I began to train professionally, concentrating on aggressive/fearful dogs. Pack training is the most successful method of rehabilitation I have found and so I sought out to build a pack of my own. Between the foster dogs, my own dogs and my clients’ dogs, the Balanced Dog Pack was born.

For the 4 years I was in Hawaii, I offered pack training for severely aggressive dogs, as well as board and train programs for moderately aggressive and fearful dogs. I believe aggression happens for many reasons. Too much excitement with no proper outlet is the main cause. Also dogs learn from people and from other fearful dogs that they can create space with their teeth by barking, lunging and snarling, sometimes even biting. When owners or other dogs show fear and retreat from this behavior the dog learns to be aggressive. Abuse and neglect can also cause aggression and fear due to lack of proper need fulfillment and lack of socialization.

My current programs center on controlling excitement, while building trust and mutual dog-owner respect through consistent routines, repetition, and strong leadership. Most of our exercises and tools are geared towards teaching your dog to relax, and stay relaxed. Getting most dogs to that point is hard work and takes a great deal of patience and confidence in yourself. My job is to give dog owners the tools and resources they need, as well as the education to successfully communicate with their dog.

I believe all dog owners should be educated in the basics of dog psychology and behavior. I try to encourage dog owners to establish structure, routine, rules and boundaries-

especially around the home-for their dog, helping to control excitement and anxiety. I understand that this process takes time, patience and skill, and I am dedicated to helping improve your dog’s quality of life, and overall wellbeing. I am so excited to be working with Zach and Marley’s Mutts. Large breed dog rescue is the hardest but so rewarding, and I am looking forward to the challenges this new venture will bring!