We Are

MOVERS & SHAKERS

WHO We Are

We are a family-run dog training business located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge who utilize motivational dog training techniques and science-based learning theories to help our clients achieve the ultimate family and outdoor adventure companion.

Matt Luchsinger

OWNER & HEAD TRAINER

Matt grew up on a farm in New York State, south of Syracuse.  He moved West at the age of 18 to live the adventure lifestyle in the Pacific Northwest.  He has been successful in his endeavors, first in the outdoor industry and then in pursuit of his passion; dog training. Matt has taken his knowledge from life on the farm, the outdoor industry and years of experience in dog training and combined it into a training system for the everyday family and their dog.   Primarily based out of Hood River, Oregon and Bingen, Washington Matt's company North West Balanced Dog Training, LLC (NWB Dogs) has been serving the Columbia River Gorge since 2012

NWB Dogs' story starts after Matt failed at his attempts to get help from trainers with his aggressive pitbull, Buck.  After going through multiple trainers,  he decided the best way to help Buck would be for him to become a dog trainer himself. After completion of multiple programs and a lot of hard work, Matt found drastic improvement and real results in Buck's behavior. 

This motivated him to begin working with others, sharing the knowledge he gained to bring hope to owners that they can make a  real difference with correct training methods and a little dedication.

 

Matt's own training style developed over time and news of his successful results with some "hopeless" dogs spread by word-of-mouth.  He has been regarded for his ability to not only train dogs but to communicate, educate, coach and empower owners in their pursuit to communicate effectively with their dogs.

Matt continues to search for new training techniques and knowledge.  His most recent study being with Bart Bellon and Michael Bellon who created the trademarked NePoPo system of training. He is a recent graduate of their Silver and Gold schools, making him one of the only E-Collar Certified trainers in the Northwest.

WHAT WE Believe In

N

Showing dogs the consequences for doing and not doing to create ignition, not suppression.

Q

Training a dog who wants to be with you despite distraction.  If you teach your dog to follow, you will never have to teach them to "come." 

R

Giving our dogs the gift of controlled freedom using E-Collars; remote collar dogs are happy dogs!

H

Your dog can love you and not respect you, but if your dog respects you they will most certainly love you.

A

Fostering an attitude of engagement and a positive mental state  before teaching obedience.

C

Eliminating the use of force and bribery by allowing them to find their advantage in the training system on their own.

T

Not using fear as a training tool.  Instead we create a dog who desires to work for you with heart and soul, not against you.

F

Like teaching youth to work for a paycheck; it is a necessary to teach your dog to work for their food.

Team NWB Staff

Manager

Trainer

MARIAM APPEL, MANAGER

     I  grew up in the Hood River Valley playing in the woods and going on adventures in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  I left the area after High School to travel, returning to The Gorge to be closer to family.  After completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, I came back to Hood River to work and play. 

     I have always felt a connection to animals and dogs in particular.  For many years I considered studying veterinary medicine or zoology, at some point I chose to go to nursing school instead.  After a few years working as a nurse I decided I wanted a change.

     When Matt made it clear he needed help in his growing dog training business, I decided to jump in head first.  I joined NWB Dogs full-time and left my nursing career in January 2017. Currently I am a jack-of-all-trades at NWB Dogs and I look forward to a lifetime of adventures with the pack and stepping away from administration and into the training center.

     If I'm not lurking behind a computer tackling behind-the-scenes work,  you can find me cleaning up shop or chasing around Matt and I's son, Arlo...maybe even training some dogs!  Someday I want to bring scent detection work to the NWB Dogs' curriculum.  My passion is all about bringing out your dog's natural gifts.  Nose work is one of those things that almost any dog and owner can do together, and I'd love to create a program for our clients centered around it.

      

Mariam

&

Tula

I grew up in the Hood River Valley playing in the woods and going on adventures in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I left the area after High School to travel, returning to The Gorge to be closer to family. After completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, I came back to Hood River to work and play. 

     I have always felt a connection to animals and dogs in particular. For many years I considered studying veterinary medicine or zoology, at some point I chose to go to nursing school instead. After a few years working as a nurse I decided I wanted a change.

     When Matt made it clear he needed help in his growing dog training business, I decided to jump in head first. I joined NWB Dogs full-time and left my nursing career in January 2017. Currently I am a jack-of-all-trades at NWB Dogs and I look forward to a lifetime of adventures with the pack and stepping away from administration and into the training center.

     If I'm not lurking behind a computer tackling behind-the-scenes work, you can find me cleaning up shop or chasing around Matt and I's son, Arlo...maybe even training some dogs! Someday I want to bring scent detection work to the NWB Dogs' curriculum. My passion is all about bringing out your dog's natural gifts. Nose work is one of those things that almost any dog and owner can do together, and I'd love to create a program for our clients centered around it.

MARIAM APPEL, MANAGER

DANICA LEE, ASSISTANT TRAINER

Danica

&

Jak

DANICA LEE, Assistant Trainer

     In 2014, I adopted my first dog, Jak, and my love for dog training quickly evolved as we worked together towards the ultimate goal of Jak being an “everywhere dog.” We tried many training methods, but it wasn’t until Jak went from being happy-go-lucky to reactive that I began to expand my knowledge in dog training. My approach to training began to change when I found trainers that talked about how to balance fun and affection with structure, boundaries, state of mind, and accountability. I learned that the relationship with your dog is not only obedience but also that they are our mirrors, and their behaviors can reflect our own attitudes, intentions, processes, and energy - good and bad.

     As the years went by I continued to fill my free time with all aspects of dog training. My passion for dog training evolved into wanting a career helping people and their dogs. I was waiting for an opportunity to work for someone that I admired. I found my way to NWB Dogs as a boarding client. I followed NWB Dogs on social media and resonated with the training philosophies and methods that NWB Dogs practiced. I knew Matt and Mariam would be awesome mentors, so I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. I was ready to leave my career as a food scientist and pursue my passion. I look forward to helping dog owners gain empowerment and confidence by leading them to a better understanding of their dogs and guiding them towards a more balanced relationship together.

     When Jak and I are not obedience training, we participate in various activities - trick training & nose work are some of our favorites! We also volunteer as a therapy dog and handler team and love being out in nature (Jak especially loves swimming!)

In 2014 I adopted my first dog, Jak, and my love for dog training evolved as we worked together towards the goal of Jak being an “everywhere dog.” We tried many training methods, but it wasn’t until Jak went from being happy-go-lucky to reactive that I began to expand my knowledge in dog training. My approach to training began to change when I found trainers that talked about how to balance fun and affection with structure, boundaries, state of mind, and accountability. I learned that the relationship with your dog is not only obedience but that their behaviors can reflect our own attitudes, intentions, processes, and energy - good and bad.

 

Over the years, my passion for dog training evolved into wanting a career helping people and their dogs. I was waiting for an opportunity to work for someone that I admired. I found my way to NWB Dogs as a boarding client. I followed NWB Dogs on social media and resonated with the training philosophies and methods that NWB Dogs practiced. I knew Matt and Mariam would be awesome mentors, so I jumped at the opportunity to work with them. I was ready to leave my career as a food scientist and pursue my passion. I look forward to helping dog owners gain empowerment and confidence by leading them to a better understanding of their dogs and guiding them towards a more balanced relationship together.

 

When Jak and I are not obedience training, we participate in various activities - trick training & nose work are some of our favorites! We also volunteer as a therapy dog and handler team and love being out in nature (Jak especially loves swimming!)

DANICA LEE, ASSISTANT TRAINER

If We Can't Coach The Owners, We Fail The Dog 

We've had great success with our clients throughout the years   The growing NWB Staff pride themselves in excellent customer service and client-centered education. We strive to have positive results, but we understand that we aren't perfect.  Please share your experience below, whether you loved it or were left wanting more. Your input helps us continually improve our services.

 
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