Produits & Services
2019 Hovawart Training
Name: Angelika Balk
Country of Origin: Germany
Speaking Language: German, Dutch, English
Ms. Angelika Balk has been formally studying dogs and training them for 23 years, though she has had dogs all her life. She worked first with the Cynology Club (which focuses on the study of dogs), then with Ekard Lind, and finally with Martin Ruther of Germany. Ms. Balk continually updates her training techniques.
She has been offering training for 20 years from her own ‘dog school’, teaching owners how to handle their canine friends. Since 2005, Angelika has been working mainly with the Hovawart breed. She works individually with owners and their Hovawarts, teaching them the importance of bonding, respecting the breed, obedience training, and dealing with difficult behaviors. Ms. Balk also works with Hovawarts and their owners in group settings, pursuing these same goals while facilitating and encouraging positive socialization with their dogs.
For several years, Ms. Balk has worked with her own Hovawarts as therapy dogs in institutional settings with people suffering from dementia and other cognitive impairments – visiting them weekly for ‘therapy-dog’ sessions. She also uses her dogs to help socialize other dogs or to help other dogs during trainings. Ms. Balk founded Stichting Therapiehond Nederland (Therapy Dog Foundation Netherlands) to train dogs and their owners to work in Animal Assisted Therapy/Animal Assisted Intervention (Stichtingtherapiehond.nl).
Ms. Angelika Balk was first introduced to North America in May 2014 when she conducted a training workshop in Cherry Hill, NJ. She has since returned on an annual basis to facilitate further work to advance our handling skills, knowledge and relationship building with our canine friends.
Ms. Balk is also mother to 4 daughters and grandmother to “9 grandchildren on Earth and one in Heaven.” She currently lives in Schagen, Netherlands.
Angelika’s training ethic includes the following concepts:
“Attachment” between owner and their dog is foundational. She teaches individuals how to work with their Hovawart by taking into account what the Hovawart is and what characteristics he has by nature, and by using that to their advantage, including its guarding behavior and instinct to defend. For example, taking into consideration that the Hovawart is an independent self-thinking dog, it will want to work for you if you work with it in a positive way to get across what you want from him.
Understanding phases in a Hovawart’s lifetime. She prepares owners to expect certain behaviors at certain periods in their dog’s life and how to handle these behaviors accordingly. She provides individuals with the tools to solve and resolve problems that they may run into with their Hovawart without causing distress or losing the bond that exists between owner and Hovawart.
Nonverbal communication is important to the Hovawart breed. She explains how nonverbal communication is essential not only in maintaining eye contact and a unique bond with your Hovawart, but also in ensuring that your dog’s attention, interest and desire is to be with its owner, to ensure it is connected with its owner and to check back on its owner on a regular basis.
Interpreting aggression and insecurity, where it comes from and how to help prevent it. In cases where it already exists, she teaches how to best handle these difficult situations, taking into consideration the Hovawart breed’s basic instincts.
In January 2019, her training methods were published in a book . It is meant as a practical guideline for all those that wish to improve the way they work and live with their Hovawarts by educating them as puppies with techniques that have proven to be very successful.
(An English version will be available later.)