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Our Training Method

There is just so much to say about Balanced Training! This page is currently under construction and will have more information on our training methods soon.

In the meantime we have a summary below. Be sure to check back for the video which will go into further details. In addition to that if you have any questions about Balanced Training please give us a call
(804-441-2484) or email ( today. There are many misconceptions about the tools so we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

Common Misconceptions and Questions!

“Tools are the lazy way to train”

Not the way we do it at RKDT!

Since we use tools, that actually adds more steps to our training. It takes one extra step to train the prong collar and FOUR extra steps to train the e-collar. 

We do see results quicker with our training, but that is not due to laziness or shortcuts. It is due to the fact that we are training with all FOUR QUADRANTS of learning which allows the dog to have a fuller understanding of the training quicker.

Prong Collar:

We use the Herm Springer Prong Collar because they are very well made with smooth, rounded edges. This collar will sit on your dog’s neck like any other collar. While we could train with any collar, we choose to use the prong collar because when used properly it is one of the safest collars you can use on your dog when used properly! To summarize: they are not sharp, they do not poke or hurt the dog, when used properly it is one of the safest collars you can put on your dog. I always recommended working with a trainer when using the prong collar so you can be sure you are using it properly. 



We use E-collar Technologies Educator Mini because we believe this is the best e-collar out there! This e-collar is just like a TENS-Unit that is used on people in physical therapy and things of that nature. As someone who has used both TENS-Unit and an e-collar, they are the same thing. It activates the muscle and has been described by clients as "a tickle under the skin". I have all my clients feel this tool before using it on their dog so that they can see first hand how it feels. We use this tool to communicate with the dogs off leash. With our training methods, this is not a harsh “out-of-nowhere” correction. Rather, a pressure that the dog is trained to understand the meaning of. We don’t simply put the collar on and push buttons. There are multiple steps involved so at the end of the training when the dog receives an e-collar correction, they understand why.

Our Training Methods


We truly believe in A Balanced Approach. We start off with all food to teach the dog how to do what we want. Then, instead of just plopping the tools on the dogs and correcting them, we teach the dogs what the tools mean. This teaches the dog that they are in control of tools and that the tools are not a scary thing. This is how we are able to use these tools as  communication devices. 


During your dog’s Board & Train they will learn TEN COMMANDS For each command, your dog will learn how to do it with food and how to understand the prong collar and the e-collar. They are a food rewarded throughout the entire process. So for each command, they understand how to do it and what it means if they feel the prong collar or e-collar if they don’t.


You may notice you don’t see a lot of cool before and after videos on our page. Most of the before videos shown are taken by the owner before the dog arrives for training. This is because I do not put my dogs in a situation to “act crazy” just to get a before video. Dogs here are not presented with a challenge before I feel they are ready to succeed. Byt this I mean that I start off slowly, with no distractions. This allows me to teach your dog the commands in a setting that is comfortable for them. As they progress in their training, and was we both become more confident in their abilities, we will then increase the distractions (ie, working around other dogs, in public etc)


The most important part... we teach YOU your dogs training. If you think of this training as a language- by the end of the training your dog will know how to speak “RKDT” but if you can’t speak the same language at home, you will not be successful (because training is all about communication). If you aren’t willing to learn the language and do your best to ‘speak’ it at home….YOU WILL NOT BE SUCCESSFUL! Here at RKDT we really care about each individual dog and family that comes through our program and we want you all to be successful. So we designed our program with that in mind. You will get a minimum of four graduation lessons where we will teach you the ‘language’. 


We don't stop there though, because it can be overwhelming at first and you may not know what to do next with your now fully trained dog. We will send you home with what we call our “90-day protocol”. This protocol is to help make training a part of everyday life for you and your pup. It will help you get comfortable with the training, and helps your pup learn that they have to listen to you too. It is 90-days of structure for a lifetime of happiness for your pup. 


Then, again because I know it can be overwhelming, I give all my clients three FREE follow up lessons. After you take your dog home and begin the “90-Day Protocol” I highly encourage everyone to come back 30, 60, and 90 days after their dog gets home. This way I can check in and help you with anything you may need. If you feel like you or your dog is struggling, I want to help you get to where you want to be with their training. Even if you feel like tgigns are going great, I encourage everyone to use these lessons. This way I can give any advice you may not know you need, I can tell you how you can progress the training if you want….and it allows me to see your dog again (because I get quite attached while they're here, so I miss them when they leave!)


The main thing to remember is, here at Rachel Koehler Dog Training we do not have a magical wand that will fix all of your dogs' issues and make them the perfect dog from the movies. If we did, I promise I would use it for you. However, we have years and years of experience studying dog behavior, years of experience training dogs and years of experience working with owners. I have fine tuned this program to make owners and their dogs as successful as possible. We know our methods work if owners are willing to put in work with their “90-Day Protocol” because we have seen it time and time again. If you aren’t willing to do that, we can’t promise anything. We can train any dog but if you want your dog training course to be a success you have to be willing to put in some work with your pup after graduation! As long as you are willing to put in the work, we are always willing to go the extra mile to make sure you and your pup are happy post-training. We have successfully re-trained many dogs that have been through several other training courses without success and a promise we make to all of our clients is, as long as you are willing to try your best to use the training and follow the protocol we will be your last trainer!

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