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6 Ways to Create Balance Between Your Dog and Your Family

May 7, 2015

Lately, I have been feeling much sadness when I think about how much time I have allowed my daughter to take away from spending quality time with my dog.  Many of you can relate to the tough balance between your dog and your family.  I have decided to create some important shifts in my life to create more balance between my dog and my human family.  In this post our Salt Lake CIty dog training company, will share these learning experiences with you.  After all, we need to create time for our dog to create the dog obedience we so strongly desire.  Of course our dogs are part of our family as well!

1.) Create awareness around your challenges or problem areas.

“What is creating the most frustration, anger or fear in your life?”

For me I get caught up in feeling much anger with the amount of time that my daughter takes.  I lived alone for many years. I could immediately take my dog out for a walk upon awakening in the morning.  Now I have a whole morning routine with my daughter that needs to be done before I can take my dog for a walk outside. Now obedience training seems to take too much effort.

2.) After you have created awareness around your problem areas, practice shifting. 

Shifting your emotions will cause you to feel more energized, and you will also create more time to spend with your dog.

Here are some options to help shift your emotions.

  • Focus on gratitude.
  • Breath through your belly for a few seconds or a few minutes. This will help the emotion flow through you.
  • Visualize what you want to create instead.
  • Live in the now.  Put the past in the past and leave the future in the future.

I breathe through my emotions. As my mind drifts into worrying about time I bring it back into the now.  I then, visualize what I would like to create with both Iris and Seiki.  As I do this, I find I am able to have the time for my dog in beautiful outdoors of Salt Lake City.  Dog training has become a part of my life again, and I am not allowing my anger to run my life!

2.) Commit.

Create your mind to see your dog and obedience as a priority.  One way to help with this is to create a commitment statement such as “I commit to spending more time with my dog.” Hang this statement where you can easily see it.

3.) Recommit.

If you didn’t follow through with spending time with your dog recommit the next day.  It is better to focus on what you are wanting to create than to constantly focus on your past and beat yourself up for not spending time with your dog the day before.

4.) Create a schedule.

Commit to certain days or times that are especially dedicated for your dog.

5.) Wake up an hour earlier.

This will allow more time in your day.  Make sure you use this extra time day to spend with your dog through obedience training and play.

6.) Leave extra time.

This will allow plenty time to accommodate your dog’s obedience training needs and your children’s needs.

I have found an extra 30 minutes works great for me!

For more tips on creating time with your dog, click here.

Your turn!  Which option above will you apply this week to create more time with your dog?  How else can you create more time with your dog?


Johanna Teresi, Professional Owner and Trainer with Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City

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Britnie Sorensen
Britnie Sorensen
18:11 06 Apr 24
This is our second round of training with Johanna! Our Bullmastiff Abbi is different from our previous dogs, and we knew Johanna would be able to help us. We reached out and were in excellent hands! Johanna was able to redirect our training efforts, majority of sessions were held virtually and supported with videos of us training Abbi. We will keep using Johanna no matter where life takes us. Her love and compassion for our puppy, and us, come through in every interaction. We are in a much better place and understanding of Abbi after working with Johanna!
Roberta Bonnell
Roberta Bonnell
01:37 24 Mar 24
My Australian Shepard had moderate separation anxiety and Johanna was able to help me get him to a point where I can see him being able to be home alone before the end of the year! Very grateful for all of her training expertise.
Karen Mara
Karen Mara
21:19 21 Jan 24
I recently met with Johanna for help with my rambunctious teenager, Roger. We worked on coming when called, leash walking, and staying calm around other dogs when on leash. After two sessions, Roger made huge improvements, and he continues to improve as we practice on our own. Johanna really understands dogs and is very good at communicating with people. She knows how to make dog training fun. I've worked with other trainers, and Johanna is by far the best.
Wendy Nighswonger
Wendy Nighswonger
18:47 08 Jul 23
I have known Johanna for 13 years. She has helped me with several dogs, but she recently helped me train my new black lab puppy, Raven. I have moved to another state so all of my training with Raven was done online via Zoom. I believe that the one-on-one training I received through Zoom was more personalized and thorough, especially with the way Johanna placed every ounce of training and recommendation on a board through an app that I can refer back when I need. Johanna is very intuitive and knew when stress was on overload for me, therefore tailoring my training for that day around making Raven feel good while simultaneously taking my stress load down. Johanna has years of experience and while her knowledge is a gold mine, it is her gentle patience and love for her clients that make this training so perfect. I would hire her again and again. She is a true canine whisperer. Thank you Four Legged Scholars and thank you Johanna!Wendy N. ~ Oregon
Christina Richards
Christina Richards
18:13 10 Feb 23
Johanna at Four Legged Scholars is great. She tailored my program to fit my needs and was easy to work with. My puppy responded very well to what she taught us together over Zoom. She's patient and understanding. We're still utilizing the things we learned and he's a well-behaved puppy. Thank you!
Karyl Bennion
Karyl Bennion
19:49 05 Feb 23
I adopted Frida as a companion that I could travel, walk and hike with. She loves to hike and walk but pulled on the leash and jumped at distractions. I learned how to be calm and talk in a non threatening way to her. She responds to this much better than yelling at her. The click and treat method that I learned works so well in getting her attention as well as the "target" training. Frida has improved greatly with these methods. I will continue the knowledge I have learned with her. I did the live on-line training and it was very successful. I am so happy we signed up.
Rachel Giddings
Rachel Giddings
02:57 12 Dec 22
My dog was abused in his previous home and has always been afraid of strangers. I wanted to train him and help him to be more confident, but I didn't know how to do that if he was afraid of his trainer.Doing online training with Joanna was perfect for both of us! Joanna helped me learn how to read my dog and understand his triggers. We then worked together on BAT training, which taught him self-soothing behaviors and showed him how to confidently and safely handle difficult situations. I never thought I would have fun doing homework with my dog, but he and I benefited from it tremendously. Working with Joanna via Zoom was perfect for my dog and me.
Shawn McMillen
Shawn McMillen
02:09 24 Oct 22
My 2 year old doodle was struggling with people walking by the house, barking incessantly, tugging on walks, improving recall when off leash and , for me, how to be a better more engaging human for my buddy. The personalized, online sessions exceeded all my expectations. The review of video homework sessions was awesome. We saw improvement in each of the priority areas and I developed real, tangible, lasting skills/tools to be a better pet person. Thanks Johanna!
Courtney Daniels
Courtney Daniels
19:59 12 Sep 22
12 years ago I got a puppy and quickly realized I was in over my head. I wanted to have a good, well trained dog, but I was overwhelmed by methods and my puppies behavior.I joined the four legged scholars puppy training with my little 4 month old puppy Bowie, and saw immediate understanding with the clicker work. It gave us this incredibly ability to communicate and she excelled.We went on to take several courses that established general obedience, helped me turn a STRONG leash puller into a loose leash master (I took that course twice because it was a huge issue for us and I NEEDED help and reassurance from Johanna that I could do it) as well as skill class, that helped solidify a beautiful relationship between us. Learning clicker shaping allowed me to confidently teach complex and unique commands on my own as well, like waving hello and closing kitchen cabinets.My Bowie has climbed to the top of mountains for me staying right by my side never pulling on her leash. I've targeted her off trails to protect her from startling a mama moose and her baby. She's loved on my kids without jumping on them and knocking them over. She's allowed the neighbor girl who has always had a fear of dogs to walk her without pulling at whatever pace she was comfortable with. She shows off with all her fun little tricks Johanna gave me the tools to train my dog into an amazing companion.I feel so lucky to have found your training program and to have the relationship I do with my Bowie girl. These courses have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of families and their pups, thank you for that gift.
Megan Pond-Maxwell
Megan Pond-Maxwell
16:02 18 May 22
I am so grateful to have found Johanna. She was with us every step of the way as we tackled separation anxiety training and reactivity training with Daisy, my Mini Australian Shepherd. As a first time dog owner, I felt at a loss about how to manage my very vocal, scared, stressed, yet loveable dog. She had all of the typical puppy behavior, such as jumping, nipping/biting, leash pulling, as well as barking. On top of that, she was also not able to be alone without feeling terrified, as well as vocally and behaviorally reactive to other dogs, adults, and kids. I felt completely overwhelmed and Johanna created programs that felt manageable and doable. Each training session, I felt understood and empowered working with Johanna. Over the course of our programs, I felt that we accomplished the steps of the training process, strengthened the dog-human relationship, and increased my own awareness of my dog's emotional cues so that I could better work with her. My dog can now be on her own feeling relaxed and playful, her problematic puppy behaviors have significantly improved, she can walk on her leash loosely, listen to commands, and she can better tolerate other adults, dogs, and children as compared to where we first started. Our online experience was very positive. I look forward to continually implementing the tools and skills we have learned along the way to move forward in a positive direction that strengthens our human-animal bond and reduces distressing behaviors and emotional stress and overwhelm. Thank you Four Legged Scholars! I highly, highly recommend working with Johanna.
Emily Harward
Emily Harward
03:36 24 Apr 22
Our rescue dog is sweet and playful with us, but her behavior around other dogs and people could be unpredictable. She would act aggressively around adults (lunging and barking), and would sometimes be aggressive toward other dogs. We chose to do online training with Johanna. I was skeptical that online training would work, but it ended up being very effective. Johanna taught me the skills I needed to train my dog, and provided resources that I could use throughout the week as I worked on the assigned tasks. I was also able to send her videos of me working with my dog, so she could provide feedback and help me improve. Johanna personalized the program and made changes as needed to ensure that I could meet my goals. Since working with Four Legged Scholars, neighbors have commented on how much better behaved my dog is, and I don't have to worry about her lunging and barking at people or other dogs when we are out for a walk anymore. We still have a lot of work to do with our dog, and I feel like doing the personalized online sessions with Johanna has given me the knowledge, and resources to continue training my dog.
Angel Lanoy
Angel Lanoy
15:22 16 Jun 21
We have a large family, including three big dogs. So when our biggest dog Obi, the Rottweiler, started showing aggression we panicked. The vet suggested we put him down after an experience in the office. He then said we could also try training and gave us Johanna's business card. Just a phone call with her made us feel like there was hope. We signed up to do the online sessions with FourLeggedScholars. The process from the first contact to the last was well oiled and very helpful. Obi gets to stay with our family now and we feel like meting with her has given us the guidance and knowledge we need to keep our family, friends and him safe. I was a tad worried about doing the training online, but it really worked out great and we were able to fit such a big task into our busy schedules. I feel like she set us up for success from the very beginning. Thank you.
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  1. Vanessa Velez

    This post came at the perfect time! I have two big dogs + my mother-in-law is visiting right now for two weeks. My dogs have only ever seen her once before, so you can imagine their excitement at her being here. Great tips, especially waking up earlier to spend quality time with them. I think that’s exactly we need to do to bring some balance.

    • fourleggedscholars

      Hi Vanessa!! I am super glad that this post was helpful for you!!! I really hope you have a great time with your mother in law and have the time to spend with your dogs as well 🙂 Please let us know what else we can do to support you.

  2. kathiegregory

    Hi Johanna, I really like this post. It’s so difficult to get the balance right, and I also have clients beating themselves up about not having time. The six items on your list are great things to put in place. Changing how you feel and addressing those issues are key – focus on doing what you can, not what you can’t.

    • fourleggedscholars

      Kathie! Wow what great insight! I love it! I totally agree with compassion and celebrations! I am noticing this past week I spent much more time with my dog. I also realize it was still way less than before my daughter was born 🙂 I am learning to celebrate the small accomplishments and allow some time to be better than none! I am so glad this information was valuable to you! I am going to read your blog now! Namaste!

  3. Vanessa Strong

    Ugh, so need this all day everyday, but this past week especially. It was my son’s first birthday so we’ve been all topsy turvy trying to plan a party and live our regular day to day lives! And with the rain, I haven’t wanted to go on walks, and our poor pups have suffered! I feel I still give my pups time, it’s just not productive time! I’m usually so exhausted by naptime, all I want to do is snuggle my boys on the couch instead of working on their training. This is a good reminder to sit back, recommit to my promises to myself and my dogs, and GET THE JOB (aka the training) DONE!

    • fourleggedscholars

      Vanessa! First of all you will succeed in training your dogs because you are just honest! Thank you for being real! Recommitting is key here. I am wondering if there is way to have the “and.” Can you relax with your dog’s on the couch and train them? I am also wondering if there is a way to get more support so that you aren’t so exhausted on the weeks that you have more stuff going on? I have a group on Facebook called Parents Supporting Parents. You are welcome to join it! This is group is about FREE help. People give because they want to give or do trade. Honestly as a single mom, I delegate. Of course I feel the way you do at times too. I realize though that asking is crucial to success. I delegate the cooking and cleaning to my roommate who lives with me for free. I am wondering if there are ways to delegate in your life? Maybe your mom would like to help with some tasks on weeks you need it? Let me know if you need further support on this! I am very proud of your success and the video looked awesome! Also know that you are not your goals. Your value is deeper than that! So remember to talk kindly to yourself! Love you!

  4. michellewhitehart

    Johanna! I LOVE your devotion and commitment to your dog and how to balance your daughter and your dog. This is so inspiring for me as I have had several living situations that involved taking care of other people’s dogs and I, too, had to balance my time so that I felt I was giving quality time to each dog and not feeling overwhelmed or resentful or guilty! I hadn’t realized all the emotions that were wrapped up until now. I intend to have a dog again in my life and feel this is wonderful mental, emotional and physical prep! I so appreciate your somatic approach as well to working with your frustrations and how you direct your mind to take better charge of the situation to make it win win and focused on the positive! You are brilliant!!

    • fourleggedscholars

      Michelle! I am about to cry. I am so grateful that this post was so helpful for you! Also the wonderful compliments you left warms my heart. You are a true soul of the heart! I am excited to hear about your life as you bring in a new family member. What a great learning experience for you! Yes our dogs teach us about our emotions and thoughts for sure! How wonderful you realize this! Your bond with your new doggie will be amazing because your commitment to be conscious is huge! Namaste!