K-Nine Solutions Brings a Whole New Breed of Dog Training to Santa Barbara”

Keep Calm and Be Assertive:

K-Nine Solutions Brings a Whole New Breed of Dog Training to Santa Barbara

You may have seen their white van with the giant pictures of dogs on its side cruising around Santa Barbara over the past year, or you may have noticed the company’s motto ”Any Dog, Any Age, Any Problem” in your rearview mirror as that same van drove behind you. In the past year, this company has been seen making tracks all over town, bringing Santa Barbara a whole new style of dog training called Balanced Training. K-Nine Solutions owner / trainers Eric Smith and Justin Davanzo specialize in one-on-one and corporate group training for dogs and their owners with issues ranging from aggression to fear, anxiety to hyperactivity, basic obedience and more. Both Eric and Justin along with their other full-time trainer, Kai Miller, practice and teach Balanced Training, a training philosophy that is built upon the art of leadership, dedicated relationship, positive reward and reinforcement.

Balanced Training asks a lot from both the owners and the dogs, and is, as the name states, a balanced approach with both positive reward and assertive correction. Essentially, it is how a mother trains her pups, using both love (positive reward) and correction in equal measure at the appropriate times. It is a highly effective, fair, consistent, respectful and accountable approach to dog training grounded out of a strong relationship between dog and owner.

At K-Nine Solutions, the goal is to educate and help people understand better ways to live their life with the chosen dog for them. Eric, Justin and Kai successfully show owners how to cope with the challenges coming not only from the dog, but the lifestyle of the owners, family dynamics, jobs, fear, anxiety, and on. They do this by slowing down and going back to the basics of relationship, engagement, and management which in turn changes the lives of both dog and owner.

Justin notes that “the best moment is watching someone go from unsure or afraid of their own dog, to confident and secure. Watching the relationship between the dog and owner grow and seeing their lives become more rich because they have made the commitment to building a trusting and committed relationship with their dog. Through the training, everyone’s life is more complete.” Eric notes another highlight of their work when talking about their weekly Saturday Pack Walks around town, “We’ve got thirty plus dogs and their owners on any given Saturday, many of the dogs there with reactivity issues, fear and anxiety, and they come on the Pack Walk and are blown away when they realize that with training and relationship, they can actually walk their dog around so many other dogs and be ok….we see it every weekend and it’s an awesome sight.”

“The team at K-Nine Solutions is committed to the success of the dogs and the owners with a strong passion and dedication. We love what we do and we are here doing it because we want to make a positive difference in the world, one dog at a time,” Justin Davanzo notes.

You can check out more about their training sessions, workshops, Puppy Hour, Pack Walks and other upcoming events at

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