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What our clients are saying about our services

  • My knowledge of canine massage was very basic. I only knew how to warm up, the sweating technique, and how to cool down.

    I decided to come to the Canine Massage Training – Evaluating and Treating the Canine presented by K9B as I knew Sarah, had faith in what she would teach us, and I have two dogs who would benefit greatly from massage. One dog is in the older age group, and the other is very active. Both dogs have had muscle injuries and imbalances in the past, and possibly still do. I needed reinforcement of what I had learned from a prior assessment of my dogs.

    This canine massage training has given me new eyes..becoming more observant to movement, how they move, and the ability to be gentle when massaging. Learning to “feel” when touching my dog, and knowing when it is uncomfortable for my dog.

    I also learned the ability to feel the tension in the soft tissues, heat, and crepitus in feet. Using facial massage and tapping to relax my dog was great techniques provided as she never relaxes.

    I would recommend this workshop to anyone with a dog..young or old, sporty or not. It’s an opportunity to bond with your dog in a relaxed and non-formal environment.

    – Michelle Graham

    Canine Massage Training – Michelle Graham

  • Clyde India Elle

    Canine Balance managed to treat two of my Dogs and resolved a particular neck injury one had. I went along to spectate at an agility event held at my local dog club. Sarah was sponsoring the event and had a stall there treating dogs. There are a number of instructors at my obedience club who raved about Sarah’s skills!  Knowing the person who is treating my dogs that comes highly recommended, certainly provides me with confidence and comfort.

    The service has been absolutely fantastic for us. Sarah is really responsive, has come to our home and has spent time with us understanding each dog’s specific circumstances. We have three staghound rescues dogs all with very different issues. One was hit by a car and nearly lost her hind leg while another is suffering from an ongoing chronic shoulder injury.

    Even more, we had tried a number of different types of practitioners to try and resolve a chronic shoulder injury for our older dog. I was finding it difficult to get a path forward. A treatment plan was put in place by Sarah, not only to address the injury but to also helped us get really focused.  Together we started methodically working through our plan of action. She provided a lot of encouragement which was fantastic, given I was feeling quite despondent and frustrated that I was not getting any progress. We were concerned and worried about the pain our girl was in.

    I have never felt rushed. Sarah has made me feel comfortable to ask loads of questions as we have tried to resolve each dog’s issues. Sarah has demonstrated to be very confident in dealing with our dogs due to all having very different personalities. One dog is brash and reactive while another is very timid. Sarah matches her pace to each temperament.  She ensures all three dogs are comfortable and as a result, has worked at a pace that they are comfortable with.

    I would recommend Canine Balance’s services to pet owners struggling with getting the right care for their dog. I feel those with performance dogs would benefit even more.

    Georgia Murphy – Caulfield

    Our Staghound Dogs – Georgia Murphy

  • My active and very crazy 4-year-old Border Collie Sam was intermittently lame over a number of years. He was a regular visitor at our vet for assessment resulting in a course of anti-inflammatory and pain killing medication.

    Being involved in Flyball for 3 years, I never really thought about appropriate training or warming up prior to racing. Learning about post-competition care for performance horses, I applied ‘warm down’ after Flyball. I realised how bad this lack of proper muscle and core training was for him when I attended a seminar on the ‘7 Ways to better performance for canine athletes’, hosted by Eastside Flyball Club and convened by Canine Balance.

    Sarah is passionate about the importance of properly preparing your dog to exercise and compete in any canine sport.  For regular fitness training or prior to racing, I came away from that training session with a much better understanding. It was at that moment I made a commitment to focus on Sam’s ongoing fitness and training. To continue his Flyball career and avoid joint problems into the future.

    Why Sam needed a Rehabilitation Program?

    Sam ruptured his left cruciate ligament 2 weeks later and underwent TTA (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) surgery on 1 June 2017. I immediately contacted Sarah to assist with his rehabilitation program. I wanted to get him back to pre-operative function and try to build up his left leg to avoid a second cruciate rupture but was not confident about how to proceed.

    Sam's Rehabilitation Program

    We are now nearly 11 weeks post-op, and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. Keeping a mad Border Collie quiet and restricted for 12 weeks has been a challenge. Sarah’s support is amazing, always available when I have questions and giving me hope that we can return to Flyball. Something I had definitely written off.

    The Rehabilitation Program

    A home exercise program (HEP) is apart of the service.  We work on specific exercises daily between visits that are helping to regenerate and gradually build up Sam’s muscle mass in his hind leg. The HEP has gradually progressed after each visit. Sam is wanting to do more and more every week and the progress he has made has pleased my vet.  This guidance has provided me with confidence to continue with Sam’s rehabilitation. We are looking forward to some hydrotherapy and then core strength training when he is able to resume normal activity.

    I recommend Canine Balance to anyone who cares about their dog’s well-being – either involved in canine sports, looking for assistance with a rehabilitation program following an accident, illness or surgery or simply want some help with making their dog feel great.

    Lynne Brown – Coldstream

    Rehabilitation Program for Sam Brown

  • Look at the difference massage treatment has made to our dog’s life. We were unsure about where to take Ralph as he was dragging his left hind leg.  After walks his foot would be bleeding due to scrapping his foot on the ground. Our regular Vet had provided anti-inflammatories and suggested Ralph have a hip replacement.  We were very worried about this and didn’t know what to do.  A dog trainer at Kew Garden’s dog school recommended Canine Balance and thought a consultation and massage treatment might help us.

    Before Massage Treatment

    After Massage Treatment #3

    Massage Treatment

    The experience with Canine Balance has been very informative for us and a huge help for Ralph.  Sarah’s knowledge has taught us so much about Ralphy’s problems, what to look out for and what to do when it happens.  We also learned about dog anatomy, feeding, best weight, dietary supplements, apply our own massage treatment, dog exercises, and medications in our consults.  Sarah is kind and allows Ralph to settle in his own time.  We have never felt rushed, we could ask as many questions as needed and she always wanted feedback on Ralph’s progress.

    After Massage Treatment #5.  6 months after initial consult.

    massage treatment

    Ralph 6 months after massage treatment

    I would recommend Canine Balance to everyone. Look at our dog!  Even his coat is shiny.  In under 6 months, Ralph has totally transformed into a fitter, healthier dog AND is no longer dragging his leg.  All dogs could benefit from Canine Balance’s services even if is not ill.  To our relief, Ralph is rehabilitated and will continue to get checked 4 times a year as per Sarah’s recommendations.

    Marg Behrendt, Box Hill

    Soft Tissue Injuries & Lameness

    Ralph’s life back – Marg Behrendt

  • On 25th November, the members of Berwick Flyball Club attended a “7 Ways Smart Canine Athletes Perform Longer In Dog Sports” Workshop run by Sarah McFarlane – Canine Balance.

    On the day the group learnt many key take home pieces of information.     Sarah was very informative on how to do warm ups and cool downs.   There was a good range of cross fit exercises to build core strength, stretching and some basic nutrition. The workshop was well ran, interactive and especially relevant for our competition dogs.  From these valuable exercises and information learnt, hence now we have added this into our weekly training.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this workshop to other flyball clubs, or other sporting groups who would like to get the most out of their dogs and prevent injury.

    Belinda O’Shea  Berwick Flyball & Obedience Dog Club Coordinator

    Belinda O’Shea’s words on the 7 Ways Workshop

  • I first met Sarah at the Flyball Nationals Competition in September 2017. Sarah’s enthusiasm and passion for dog fitness and well being was infectious.  She further sparked my interest and concern re the fitness, safety and longevity of our beloved ‘weekend warrior’ dog club. Flyball can be harsh on a dog’s joints and long term health. While we did some warm up exercises and the occasional stretch we were not very consistent with this.

    Since convincing Sarah to come to Tassie to run a fun and successful workshop, we have introduced warm ups and stretches along with doggy body awareness exercises.

    I must admit to getting some odd looks when I talk about doggy cross-fit, warm up, cool downs and stretches to our team members.  We do it for ourselves so why wouldn’t we do it for our dogs.  Sarah’s knowledge on how to pull this altogether is simple to look after our dogs in the right way. The workshop is very practical and is progressive with a step by step program. There is more work to do but we are getting there.

    I would recommend anyone who cares about the long term health of their dogs or who already suspects their dog is struggling physically to attend one of Sarah’s workshops.

    Helen Stong, Tassie Flying Paws Co-ordinator/Trainer

  • Owning a Schnauzer is fun and I was looking for something to do other than run with my beloved Doogie.  As he has got older he has stopped jumping into the car, onto the bed and couch and won’t run with me anymore.   My highly active dog has become old way too soon.  I needed some fresh ideas on how to get my boy back to being apart of my active life again.   Canine Balance demonstrated how, through therapeutic rehabilitation exercises, we can extend our caring and love for our dog.  We made a difference in his life with a health and longevity plan and the results have been outstanding.  My gratitude for our lives back has been extraordinary.

    Tina Bryson, Sandringham

  • Before we found out about Canine Balance, as dog trainers we thought we were doing an OK job. We knew the importance of warming up and cooling down and continually encouraging people to do so.  Turns out while our hearts were in the right place, our techniques weren’t great.  We didn’t really have the skills or knowledge to provide members with how to do this.

    Canine Balance sponsored the 2017 Flyball Nationals. Through talking with Sarah, I realized how little we actually did to maintain the wellbeing of our performance dogs.  We knew nothing about the importance of cross fit training or when and how to stretch our dogs.  Collectively the best way to ensure the longevity of our club was to provide our members knowledge to achieve this.

    The biggest benefit of all by doing the workshop has been increased awareness in our members.   They now see the importance of looking after their dogs.  It’s great to see most of our members now getting out there and making a concerted effort to follow Sarah’s advice.  I feel having someone in with specialized skills and knowledge has helped our members grasp the importance.

    I’d recommend all clubs running performance activities attend this workshop.  While the workshop we did was specifically targeted at flyball, the specific message could help everyone obtain exceptional results.  Sarah worked with our members dogs which showed us that it is possible to include the cross fit exercises and stretching into our weekly schedules.

    Lauren Dolley, Frankston Storm Flyball Co-ordinator

  • Molly is 10 years old Koolie, and was starting to show signs of stiffness and did not want to go for our normal 1 hour walk.  We contacted Sarah from Canine Balance who was extremely helpful, organised an appointment, she came to our home and assessed Molly.  She watched how Molly walked and discussed in detail her assessment.  Molly was feeling at ease with Sarah, the sparkle in her eyes came back and was walking freely after 1 session.  Sarah did a detailed Home Exercise Program and even gave us some great advice on Molly’s food requirements for her senior years.  Nothing was too much trouble for Sarah she even showed us several times how to do the exercises with Molly so we got it exactly right.  Through it all, Sarah gave me the best advice “let Molly be a dog” and “have fun” are edged in my memory.  I was being too protective of Molly with her injury. Sarah is an absolute gem; she had a lovely manner with Molly and made me feel at ease straight away. She loves dog’s and I would highly recommend her services to anyone.

    Cherie & Danny Ruben, President Koolie Club of Australia

  • Sarah has been treating my dog Banjo for the past twelve months after hip dysplasia. She noticed the problem immediately and has been treating him monthly. This has given him a new lease of life as he loves daily walks and chasing the ball. Thanks so much Sarah! I feel like he’s a puppy again.

    Nicole Calder, Cheltenham

  • Would just like to thank Sarah for your service, when dealing when my kelpies’ injury, I found you to be professional and very helpful. I Will differently continue to use Canine Balance as an ongoing service!!!

    Kayne Gardner, Seymour

  • Sarah is a caring and knowledgeable canine therapist, who has worked on my beloved lab, Angel, for the last 18 months after bilateral knee surgery. Not only has Sarah helped improve Angel’s mobility due to age and injury, she’s also given me tips on feeding and weight control. Sarah is prompt and friendly too, and helps your dog relax during the treatment. Thanks heaps!

    Megan Waters, Moorabbin

  • Canine Balance is currently attending to our 2 staffies, after a long search of professional dog masseurs, Sarah was the only one who did deep tissue massage for dogs. She has a gentle approach to our dogs that are very nervous and they responded to her. With her treatment, Sarah was able to find weakness in our dogs and provided strengthening exercises to help speed the process.  She is not a person to drag it out. Also if she can improve the dog she will say Yes or No, as she referred us onto other therapy that complimented hers. Sarah is very professional, honest and reliable.

    Julie Mulder, Rosebud

  • We would like to thank Sarah for her outstanding work on our old man working Kelpie, Billy.

    He has been in retirement for most of this year due to arthritis and with the cold winter he has been having difficulties getting moving in the morning and required vet care to assist. After talking to Sarah about trying dog massage/ balance we gave it a go. The difference she made in Billy was amazing, giving him a new lease on life.

    Seeing the results we will now be converts to dog massage and in particular treatment by Sarah of Canine Balance. Thank you again.

    Naomi White, Secretary of VYUFDA

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