"We enlisted Jessica and Kat to help us with our Sproodle, Maddy.  We adopted Maddy from a friend’s home where she had become distrustful of strangers and often tried to bite them.  At our house, she did not bite at strangers, but was fearful of being touched by them.  She also had developed a fear of other dogs, and would lunge and snap at any dog that we would meet on a walk.  Jessica recommend “boot camp” for Maddy.  Maddy stayed at Jessica’s farm for over three weeks, learning to conquer her fearful temperament and become socialized with other dogs and different people.  The results are almost unbelievable.  Maddy now walks with other dogs, allows people to pet her, walks with a loose leash, and is still the same loveable dog that she was to us even when she trusted no one else.  If your dog has a temperament issue, you should consider letting Jessica help you turn your dog into all it can be.

- Mike Suter

Bridgewater, VA



"Dierks was a stray dog that ended up at the Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA.  He was there for some time and started getting depressed and not eating, putting him in danger.  A friend of mine wanted to adopt him, but needed him to be housetrained before she could take him.  He was a handsome 4 year-old Plott Hound, who had never lived inside of a home before.  When I brought him home I realized he had many more issues than just not being housetrained (marking all over the house, surfing the counters for food, chasing the cats).  Dierks was a ‘bull in a china shop.”  He spent several weeks with me in my home and today he lives happily in a town home with his owner.  Last year he was selected as an SPCA success story on their website."


"Jessica does all she promises and more. Is totally reliable, dependable, helpful, and certainly knows what she is doing when dealing with dogs.   

I would hire her with any needs, without hesitation."

-  Lucy Deyerle, 

Bridgewater, VA

Regarding Jessica Troop, I believe you would have to have 4 legs and a tail to understand dogs better than Jess does. We really liked our SPCA dog, but the frustration level with the dog was such that we were threatening to get rid of her. The poor dog was a mess of confusion and stress (from what, we can only guess). Nothing was safe from chewing, she didn't listen to the simplest commands, indoors 'accidents' were entirely too frequent for a 2 year old dog. In less than two weeks with Jess, our Annie transformed into the absolute best dog we have ever had. Not only did she respond to every command Jess had taught her, but she was also responsive to our efforts to teach her new ones. I have no idea how long ago the last indoor accident occurred. She is now a delight to have around the house, a totally loyal dog who denies anyone but us to approach the house unannounced. Jessica has the most amazing ability to understand and communicate with the dogs she encounters. We could not recommend her any higher than we do.

Best regards,

-William (Bill) Branner

Fulks Run, VA

We adopted our dog as a puppy, and while we worked with her and taught her the doggy basics, we were unprepared to handle some of Java’s other behaviors. Jessica really worked with both owner and dog. She taught us how to be the leader, which reduced Java’s anxiety and made us better dog parents. Jessica has also boarded Java on many occasions; Java is always excited to go and play and returns to us happy and healthy.

-Heather Kowell,

Waynesboro, VA

Jessica's techniques and tips have helped me understand my dog better.  With her help, my dog's behavior has greatly improved.  Watching her work with my dog and other rescues is truly amazing!

-Arianna Doss

Albany, NY

I adopted mama dog (a fostered dog from Jessica Troop) on august 3, 2013.  Knowing what kind of life this dog had before Jessica found her, and seeing how awesome she is now, just shows how well Jessica understands these dogs. Mama dog was exactly what we needed during such a sad time after one of our other dogs passed away. She is so well behaved and you can tell how much work Jessica put into her.  Mama dog is a blessing and we would not have found her if it hadn't been for Jessica’s kindness and determination. She took her into her own home and helped her become the dog she is now.  So thank you Jessica!!

- Kelly Bliss Plume

Elkton, VA


I adopted Sadie in February 2013. Due to her quiet nature I thought I had gotten the perfect dog.  Little did I know that underneath that quiet nature was a dog with many issues, specifically fear issues.  I had met Jess at Bridgewater Retirement Community, where I work, with her dog Kayla a month or so before. Sadie was terrified of the car, and would melt into a puddle beside of car just getting close to it.  I would have to pick her up & put her in.  Many times she got sick in the car.  I contacted Jess, and Sadie went to "boot camp" for a week.  On her return to me she was getting in the car on her own, and has not gotten sick in the car since. That was only the beginning of my relationship with Jess.  It is definitely a work in progress and I have been on the verge of numerous "melt downs."  Jess has always been there to give me advice and encouragement, a kick in the butt, and to take Sadie for a couple days so I can re-boot and find a better frame of mind.  We have come a long way, as Sadie can now walk by trash cans on the street without freaking out like she did at first.  I am so thankful for Jess, I'm really not sure where Sadie might be at this point if I did not have the help & support I received from her. She is my go to person for all things dog.
Thank you so much, 
- Cindy & Sadie 

Bridgewater, VA


Jessica is confident and unflappable, and she is good at instilling confidence in those of us who are unsure and clueless! :) 

She clearly knows and understands dogs and has a sixth sense for the situation at hand, what is wrong and what will improve it. She is dependable and trustworthy. I trust her!

- M. Barlow

Dayton, VA

Without The Balanced Dog, I would no longer have my dog. When we adopted our dog, Matilda, we were aware that she had some serious dog reactivity issues. We wanted an older dog that would be good with our active children, and she was exactly that. However, we couldn't bring her anywhere in public because of the way she reacted aggressively, lunging and snarling, at other dogs. 

Jessica never gave up on us or Matlida. She was always clear with her instructions and reminded us of how best to handle the varied situations that arose as we worked with Matilda. I always felt welcome and comfortable contacting Jessica anytime we had questions. She reinforced the things we were doing right and reminded us of how to address any relapses.

It's been 18 months since we adopted Matilda, a dog who repeatedly bit other dogs while with her former owners and who was facing possible euthanasia had she not met with a trainer who could resolve her serious dog aggression issues. Last night her and I had a leisurely stroll around our local park and two other dogs reacted to her, lunging and barking as their owners walked near us. 

Matilda just kept walking. 

We are so thankful to Jessica and her dedication to helping dog owners and dogs! We have a dog we adore in our family because of her!

A. Profeta

Staunton, VA

Juggernaut (or Jug for short) got his name because when we first rescued him he pulled so hard on walks (with his entire muscular shelf enthusiastically behind it) that he really felt like an "unstoppable force." But even worse than that, we were told that he was an aggressive dog and would always have to be the only dog in our family. So, we had ourselves a dog that had a fantastic personality and who we ADORED when he was inside, but one who turned into an uncontrollable dog when we took him outside and who would never be able to come home with us on holidays (because my family has pets) and who would never be able to hang out with our friends' dogs.

Before resigning ourselves to this kind of life for Jug, I called Jessica of The Balanced Dog (who I had found online). When I asked her if she could help us with an aggressive pit bull that was a maniac on walks she said that of course she could. Honestly, I don't think I fully believed her. 

One hour into our first training appointment with Jessica, Jug was relaxed around her dogs (not in the full attack-mode that I had expected). We were impressed. After that we dropped him off for a week of board-and-train at Jessica's house. Within only a couple days he was walking with, living with, and eating right next to all of her dogs. We couldn't have been more thrilled.

We have continued to work on his training and now he can meet other dogs easily. He has had weekend "sleepovers" with other dogs with not even a hint of aggression. In fact, I would say he's quite good with other dogs! Additionally, he walks right next to us when we walk him - I even get comments on how well trained my dog is from people I pass on my walking route (who would have ever thought!).

I truly believe that had we not found Jessica we would still be sheltering Jug from other dogs and only walking him when we were up for an hour long tug-of-war. But Jessica gave us the tools, training, and expertise we needed to allow Jug to be who he was always meant to be - a fantastic companion. Now Jug gets long walks every day and has several dog friends. Not only is our quality of life better (because we get to have what we consider is the best dog around) buthis quality of life is FAR better than it would have been had we not found Jessica. She believed in Jug when we didn't have the vision to.

She is absolutely our trainer for life!

Emily M.

Harrisonburg, VA

Pippi and I came to your [training] class at Augusta County Parks and Rec in August. I just wanted to tell you how much you helped Pippi and me--I was most concerned about her jumping on people, especially me. I learned from you how to match her energy and how to communicate with my body what she was to do. Two weeks ago I had both knees replaced, and I am thrilled to say there has not been one incident of jumping!! We learned how to keep Pippi in a down stay till I am safely inside the house and seated. She does it perfectly. We're a much happier household. Thank you for giving me some insight into how Pip's brain works!

Susan B.

Staunton, VA