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My two puppies and I have absolutely LOVED working with Joanne! We have participated in 8 weeks of private lessons and one 6 week session of group obedience classes…. and oh my, what a difference it has made in my pups behavior (mine too – LOL)!! Joanne helped me work with my two super high energy puppies - girls that have very different personalities. When we first started lessons, one puppy was afraid of her shadow and was quite reactive, the other loved everything and everybody. After 3 months of training I have two beautifully behaved girls! They are still young and have lots more to learn, but I’m thrilled with their progress in just a few short months of training.

I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated Joanne’s training methods/principles/philosophy. She promotes and practices kindness, patience, gentle, compassionate, logical, firm, no dinkin’ around, and consistent training techniques….. all of which worked beautifully and effectively for both myself and my two wild child pups. I learned a ton! My pups learned a ton! She helped me figure out each pups specific training needs and how to continue growing our positive, fun, loving, and well-behaved relationship! Best of all… my puppies ADORE her! You should see their waggle butts whenever she is around. Thank you Joanne!

Sue R., Ft. Collins, CO



Joanne has been wonderful to work with and has helped us come a long way with our Doodle (who isn't a doodle). We loved the board and train option as our days are busy and we received frequent videos and photo updates of our pup. Joanne has been key in helping translate everything Doodle learned in her home to ours, and we definitely could not have done it without her.

Nicole B., Ft. Collins, CO

I rarely write reviews (maybe 4 in my lifetime), but Joanne is deserving of an outstanding one.

I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have found Joanne as my dog trainer. Before Joanne, my dog Fiona was completely out of control. I had tried every training method I could find, but nothing seemed to work. Fiona never listened to me, and her recall was so terrible. I couldn't even get her to come when I offered her an entire pan of Cinnamon Buns; believe it or not, that's not even a joke! Fiona was very aggressive towards other dogs, and I could not go anywhere in public with her. She comes everywhere with me now- even with food/ other dogs.

Joanne was recommended to me by a passerby-er on a walk when I commented on her dogs' obedience, and my dog's lack of it. I started with Joanne's dog class, and it was a game changer.

Joanne is an incredibly talented trainer who knows exactly how to get through to dogs. She has a deep understanding of the science behind dog behavior, and she focuses on helping you build a relationship with your dog based on mutual respect.

After taking Joanne's class, I decided to do private lessons to work on recall and walk obedience. Joanne was patient, kind, and extremely knowledgeable. She provided me with practical, effective strategies and she worked with me every step of the way. She was SO patient with me. I asked her so many questions and she went above and beyond with answering every single one.

Eventually, I decided to go even further and have Fiona trained with an E-Collar. I was hesitant at first, but Joanne reassured me that it was the best option for my dog's needs. Fiona spent two weeks in board and train with Joanne, and the results were truly amazing. When Fiona came home, it was like she was a completely new dog. She was attentive, obedient, and responsive to my commands in a way I never thought possible. Even FURTHER- (if thats not enough already) she continues to follow up after, to make sure training sticks, both in- person and over the phone.

I was originally was on the fence about investing in training, due to being on a very tight budget this year. I am so thankful I decided to because it was worth every single penny. I saw investment rather than purchase, since it is really is an investment in your dogs safety, your peace of mind, and your relationship with your dog for years to come. She also has the most reasonable prices of all the others I explored.

Joanne didn't just train my dog--she also fixed my relationship with my dog. Before Joanne, I felt like I was constantly battling my dog for control. But after working with Joanne, I feel like we're a team. I'm in charge, but Fiona respects me and trusts me. It's an incredible feeling, and it's all thanks to Joanne's expertise and guidance.

I cannot recommend Joanne enough. She is a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is trainer who truly cares about her clients and their dogs. She is worth every penny, and then some.

Hannah K., Ft. Collins, CO

Aaahhh- how to express my gratitude and happiness... Joanne had my dog Sushi for 2 weeks @ board and train. My dog is (well, was) very reactive on leash around other dogs, major resource guarder, had zero leash skills, and has bad anxiety with noises. My dog came back to me a NEW dog! Shes been walking on the leash wonderfully- I don't even feel stressed to take her outside. She knows the place command now and goes right to her spot to rest/calm her mind if shes anxious and stays there until i tell her to come off, and shes learned to share with other dogs... Is this real life!? I couldn't thank Joanne more ! Sushi and I are so much happier and less stressed. I highly recommend Joanne!

Ashley H., Denver, CO

Joanne took on our 5-yo GSD sisters who were over-reactive at the door, spooky with strangers, and impolite with strange dogs. They participated in the 2-week board and train/behavior modification program. We got back two dogs that were respectful, understood how to listen to instructions, and were like easy-driving sports cars to walk. Maybe as important, she helped us address our own insecurities and trust issues with the girls along with providing support and techniques for lowering our anxiety.

This was an all-around a fantastic experience and we're looking forward to continuing the journey with Joanne!!

~Paula W., Ft. Collins


Joanne is truly the Dog Whisperer! We scheduled a two week board and train with our 3 year old mini Aussie Bailey - focusing on reactivity and behavior modification around children. The best part about Joanne is that she doesn’t merely focus on your beloved pet, she ensures “mom and dad” also obtain the skills necessary for a lifetime of success. Since training Bailey (and us) have gained the confidence to live in harmony! Joanne continually checks in on Bailey and is readily available via phone, text or a personal visit to provide support. I am looking forward to her group programs at City Park this spring. If you want to be a better pet owner and give your pet a supportive edge, you need to call Joanne today!

~Jeni J., Ft. Collins


I had my young German Shepherd stay with Joanne for 3 weeks for a board and train. Joanne was so helpful the entire time! She sent many photos and videos throughout his stay so that way I could keep track of his training progress - she helped develop a personalized training plan for him and was very proactive with taking him around town to help brush up on his neutrality in all environments. On our take home lesson, Joanne provided me all the tools to continue to stay successful going forward. I felt very comfortable with her the entire time! Always took the time to answer my questions and never made me feel like she was in a rush or that she didn't have time.

Overall, I would 100% recommend Joanne for all your training needs and I'm very excited to continue our training journey by attending her group classes going forward! Thank you!

~Madison Y., Denver, CO



Joanne was so helpful to us! We did a 6 week in-home private training for our two COVID doxie pups, Lyra and Crowley. They were super reactive to ALL guests, ALL the time. We have one session left, but the difference when we have people over now is staggering. Before, it would take forever to calm them, then as soon as someone moved they would go at it again; non-stop barking that would occasionally escalate to nipping from Lyra. Now, we can actually enjoy our guests, and have also made progress with basic commands and walking in our busy neighborhood too.

~Holly P., Wellington


We reached out to Joanne a few months after we adopted our Rescue Border Collie mix. We noticed that after he settled into our home, he was really bad with leash pulling, nipping, and not following commands.
After we met with Joanne, we did some training with her, and I see such a huge difference in my dog and I feel like we have better tools to help our pup continue to learn and grow with us.
Her pricing for private lessons is very reasonable, she is a non-fluff type of dog trainer, really has a love of dogs, and is very knowledgeable!

~Layne G., Ft. Collins



My dog Rocky is a border collie/ pitty mix who has struggled with meeting new people & dogs & it seemed to only get worse as he got older, not to mention his incredibly high energy which has resulted in him always finding a new way to be ornery. I began feeling hopeless when the places he could go & the people he could be around started getting smaller & smaller. Joanne truly takes the time to get to know your dog before beginning any lessons. I never thought Rocky could allow someone else to get to know him, until now. She has not only helped instill discipline in Rocky but also has brought up his confidence & been a tremendous help giving me a better understanding of what I can do to help him thru his tough moments. Joanne has helped me build structure in Rocky’s everyday life & his transformation has been so cool to watch. My once high alert, anxious, sometimes scary little pup is learning how to slow down, relax, & have trust in me. Joanne’s dedication goes beyond our weekly lessons as she has been there with advice anytime, any day & I am so very grateful!

~Amanda H., Ft. Collins



Having read reviews of Joanne's work on FB, we chose her to train our 2 year old 94 lb Labrador, Kenobi. Being a 'pandemic puppy', Kenobi was a very anxious and hyper protective companion. As time progressed, if felt like we could no longer have friends in our home and, it saddened us because we know how affectionate this dog can be with absolute strangers in public. Joanne was a perfect match for our situation, as my wife and I are exceptionally busy professionals with little time between work, kids, and life to maintain consistent training habits with Kenobi. We chose to have Kenobi board and train with her for two weeks and the results have been fantastic. Family is visiting over the holidays and he has been manageable and warmed up to them very quickly and affectionately. It is like night and day; Joanne instilled discipline and good behavior and we can't recommend her enough!

~Brian M., Ft. Collins

Joanne was recommend from my breeder, and she’s been amazing! We have a 1yo Mini Aussie and are doing the 6 private lessons. Before you sign up for private lessons, Joanne does a consultation. She met with us and we went through every aspects of our dogs routine, from what he eats to behavioral issues or concerns. Joanne really took the time to understand our dog and our relationship with him before lessons even began!

When we started lessons, it became really apparent she has a lot of experience working with dogs. She was able to explain to us how our dog was perceiving things, then quickly correct the action. Our dog has been picking up on everything quickly, but I think the best part of working with Joanne are the learnings you get as an owner!

Joanne really goes above and beyond. Outside of lessons - she gives you homework and is easily available to ask questions or if any other concerns come up with our dog. Each lesson was scheduled for an hour, but Joanne stayed closer to 1.5 or 2 hours on some of the lessons that were more challenging for our dog. I’ve already recommended Joanne to a few of my friends, but if you’re looking for training go with her!

~Ashley B, Ft. Collins

I cannot recommend Joanne more. My dog Olive struggled with meeting new people especially in our home, and general reactivity. During private sessions, Joanne gave us the tools to get over these hurdles and transform our lives. We first worked with Joanne during group classes which additionally provide a great experience for anyone from new dog owners to owners with particularly stubborn pets!

~Karin E., Ft. Collins, CO


Joanne is the sweetest woman alive. She helped me train my pit bull puppy to be the best dog out there. Her pricing is perfect and her training is top notch!! I recommend anyone who needs dog training to her 1000% of the time

~Nautica P., Windsor, CO

I recommend everything! The classes were great and comprehensive for both the owners and the dogs and taught basic obedience at another level (now our dogs don't pull my arm off when I walk them Yay!😁)! Not only are these classes extremely successful, they aren't overly expensive! We'll be enrolling our dogs in the Canine Good Citizen class, and we can't wait to take on the challenge! I highly recommend this class for you and your dog(s)!!!

~Sophie M., Ft. Collins, CO

We loved the outside location of classes at City Park. The class size was perfect so that everyone got the attention they needed. Joanne clearly has a lot of experience and is professional. We couldn’t ask for a better dog trainer and look forward to taking Canine Good Citizen classes from her in the future.

~Romie B., Ft. Collins, CO

I highly recommend Joanne as a trainer. She is no nonsense and gets to the root of any issue you might be having with your dog. We have a 4 year old Greater Swiss who has always pulled on walks and is highly excitable when he sees another dog. We went from me and my husband not being able to walk him easily to my 8 year old being able to walk him! She gave us the tools to help our big boy understand what is and is not okay. We still have work to do but we are excited at the progress that we have seen in such a short time. If you have questions, give Joanne a call, she can help and she is affordable!

~Angela D., Ft. Collins, CO

Joanne has been wonderful with our Belgian Malinois puppy! At 7 months, he had never been inside a house, didn’t like carpet, and had no sense of how to behave indoors. He didn’t know his own name, let alone basic commands. She took him for 2 weeks and laid a foundation of training and obedience that we have kept going. We attend her group classes and stay in touch about his progress. She has offered wisdom and guidance that has helped us on this journey. We really appreciate her!

~Eric H., Ft. Collins, CO

We completed Joanne's six-week basic obedience course with our black lab Mable. Now Mable doesn't pull the leash on walks, she follows commands like sit, stay, and come WAY better than before we took the class. We really benefited from Joanne's relaxed but professional teaching style. She was very observant of us and our dog and was quick to correct things as they happened in class. We will enroll in the Canine Good Citizen training next and recommend The Balanced Dog to anyone.

~Colton H., Ft. Collins, CO

My boy Twain was only 9 weeks old, he is a border collie/australian shepherd mix. I knew that I needed help to give him the best foundation possible. After a lot of research we sent Twain to Joanne for a board and train. I was so nervous, because he was so young. We have had other dogs go to other board and trains before, and there were big negatives. Joanne was amazing! She sent videos and pictures and offered to do FaceTime, but we don't have apple phones. She would answer every text message and made it a point to hear what we needed help with. Twain spent 2 weeks with Joanne and Mike, and not only trained Twain in puppy manners, but also loved him at the same time. It was so comforting to see that Mike and Joanne loved our pup, and that was clear in each video they shared with us. They were both so happy with each milestone Twain accomplished. He came home and Joanne spent a lot of time training us to utilize his training at home. Twain has been home for 2 weeks now, and all of his new skills have transferred without a glitch. Joanne checks in often, and is always willing to troubleshoot ideas that help us teach Twain to progress. I am extremely grateful for Joanne and Mike, they are amazing people and have such an amazing way of communicating with puppies. I have to say that if you are looking to get through the crazy puppy stage and need some help, there are no better people to entrust for your puppy's foundation than Joanne and Mike at The Balanced Dog.

~Karen E., Wellington, CO

Joanne is a great resource! She listens to concerns and works with each dog/trainer based on individual needs. The added distractions of working in a public environment make the training applicable for what to expect in real world situations. We completed one session with our puppy and plan to come back with our older dog for some refresher training. Definitely recommend The Balanced Dog for training needs.

~Melanie L., Ft. Collins, CO

Joanne at the Balanced Dog was incredible! In just a matter of weeks, she was able to help us get a handle on our rambunctious springer puppy. Joanne developed a comprehensive and individualized plan that laid a foundation for our dog’s baseline good behavior, then empowered us to tackle troublesome behavior as it popped up. She came to our home, worked in our environment with our little kids and helped us eliminate any bad behaviors. The group classes she provided were also very impactful - helping our dog interact with other dogs appropriately. After working with Joanne, we have all the tools and tricks to help our dog be her best and we have our sanity back.

~Jared R., Fort Collins, CO

Joanne is wonderful! We have a border collie puppy and a Swiss shepherd rescue dog. Both dogs have very different levels of energy, intelligence, and motivation. Joanne knows how to connect with each dog that she trains. We have been so lucky that her dog training classes are a part of our weekly routine.

~Samantha A., Ft. Collins, CO

Joanne is a top notch trainer with a great amount of skill in dealing with problem behaviors. Applying behavior analysis and concepts, the result is a happy and well behaved pooch that will exceed your expectations!

~S. A., Ft. Collins, CO

Joanne faced the double challenge of me being disabled and a dog breed that, under normal circumstances, has rather independent thinking. I wanted the dog to get her Canine Good Citizen, as she will be my service dog. With patience, kindness, and the amazing ability to adapt, Joanne helped us achieve the goal, and Purdy is now a hardworking member of the family now!

~Kris P., Red Feather Lakes, CO

If you are looking for dog training classes, check out the classes Joanne Thompson teaches through Fort Collins Parks and Rec. If your puppy needs to learn to take walks on a leash and basic commands, or if you have an older dog that needs to unlearn bad habits, Joanne is a wonderful teacher. Her organized, well-delivered classes show her high level of experience and expertise in dog training. Joanne has a calm, laid back style, that helps you learn how to train your dog. She is always willing to answer questions and help solve an individual dog's concerns. Joanne also makes herself available to answer questions outside of class time. Joanne's classes were enjoyable and resulted in observable differences in my dog's behavior.

~Ingrid E., Johnstown, CO

Joanne did a great job training my wild pup to be a service dog while I was in the hospital following a stroke. He went from out of control and not even acknowledging his name, to becoming calm, well-behaved, and actually listening. Joanne has spent countless hours helping train me and my daughter with how to work with him. I would definitely recommend her for training, especially for service dog work.

~Sonja L., Ft. Collins, CO


Joanne at the Balanced Dog did an amazing job with our dog Dixie. She solved a midnight barking problem that we had been suffering through for months. What I liked most about Joanne's work was her willingness to consider several options and plans for how to best solve the problem. As she got to know Dixie and our family, she adapted her plan to what would work best for us. A huge win for all! Joanne's calm demeanor and non-critical approach made her very easy to work with. I highly recommend The Balanced Dog!

~Susan C., Ft. Collins, CO

We enjoyed working with Joanne, who is supportive and warm in addition to being a very effective trainer of dogs and people! I learned a progressive series of skills that I have been able to build on through the weeks.  Joanne built our confidence and also provided great materials that we could review between lessons and after lessons were completed. I would always feel comfortable contacting Joanne for additional advice if a problem were to come up with our pup. She does not cut you off once lessons are over!

~Sue D., Ft. Collins, CO

Joanne from The Balanced Dog did an amazing job and went above and beyond in training!

~April H., Ft. Collins, CO

Joanne and I worked together when I got my first Giant Schnauzer. Despite my research, I was naive to their intelligence and temperament. Joanne stuck by me and helped me through every hurdle. She was patient, knowledgeable and in it for the long haul. Together, she helped me achieve a long lasting, loving and remarkable relationship between me and my beloved furry friend. I could not have done it without her!

~Katja C., Denver, CO

Joanne is an amazing dog trainer! I have known her for almost 20 years as a trainer and would highly recommend her to anyone interested in working with their dog in a positive and fun way. Joanne has a vast knowledge of dogs and various training methods. She is very patient, helpful and has the great ability of seeing what the problem is and how to best address it. Joanne has been active in dog sports for over 20 years and is a great choice for your training needs.

~Cindy S., Broomfield, CO

Isadora is a four year old, high energy pup who drug her owner around whenever she was on a lead. That is until she met Joanne Thompson. After a beginning class and three private sessions, Izzy calmed down and learned enough commands to be my emotional support animal when I flew home. Now, she walks nicely, sits, stays and lays down on command. You literally changed my life Joanne. Thank you!

~Susan E., Ft. Collins, CO

Thanks for bringing awesome dog training classes to our community!

~Susan S., Ft. Collins Park and Recreation

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