About Us



Introducing a dog into a human household is potentially a clash of cultures. Dog behaviours that humans want to label as “bad” are viewed as normal dog behaviours in the dog’s culture. It is the responsibility of the humans to refine the dog’s behaviours by eliminating the unwanted behaviours without punishing the dog. It is the humans’ responsibility to clearly define, reinforce and maintain the desired behaviours of a dog through consistent interaction and regular training. It is crucial that before a puppy is 18 weeks of age he/she has learned that it is not acceptable to break the skin of humans or other animals. Before 18 weeks of age a puppy needs to have been systematically and positively introduced to a wide variety of methods of handling, new sights, sounds and sensations. This will prepare the dog for a confident and secure journey into adulthood.


Julie Tolliday

Dog Training Newcastle

Background Experience: Diploma of Teaching, Graduate Diploma of Special Education (Behavioural Sciences), former owner of dog training franchise, committed attendee of APDT conferences and other dog-related seminars, following such world authorities as Patricia McConnell, Ian Dunbar, Suzanne Clothier, Turid Rugaas, Sophia Yin, Emily Larlham, Nicole Wilde, Steve White, to name a few.

Founded Barkers in Balance: 2009

Current dogs: Charlie, Miniature Groodle, born 2013. Lakota, Labrador, born 2014.

Favourite dog quote: There is a light that shines in our dogs’ eyes. Our work is to keep that light shining.

Best part about leading the Barkers in Balance team? Enabling others with a passion to be able to work with dogs and their owners to build relationships of understanding, reliability and trust. Seeing the team members grow in confidence and watching them take delight in the changes they help to make.

Most fulfilling course outcome you’ve seen: Having new students enrol saying not one but several people had told them to enrol their dog in our courses.

Reflections on your leadership of the Barkers in Balance team: I am continually overwhelmed by the commitment of team members, not only working to make classes successful but carrying the Barkers in Balance name proudly and wanting genuinely to provide a service of excellence. I am grateful on a daily basis to the whole team for this.

Melody Martyn

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Background Experience: Highly organised admin skills, used to keep Julie in line and promote the work of Barkers in Balance; certificate of attainment in the NDTF Cert III Dog Behaviour and Training Course.

First contacted Barkers in Balance: 2011

Current dogs: A rescue dog called Maddie. I adopted her when she was 7 months old. She is a Ridgeback cross and she was 7 in July.

Favourite dog quote:  “My dog does what I tell him – at home.”

Why did you want to be part of the Barkers in Balance team? After I did the Adolescent Class Level 1 I loved it so I asked Julie if I could help out with classes. I started to do this in early 2012 and have continued ever since.

Most fulfilling course outcome you’ve seen: Every class is fulfilling for me. I love watching the transformation from the first night the dogs and owners arrive and how overwhelming it can be for them to the last lesson where they have gained a connection with their dog and seeing the confidence and satisfaction in what they have achieved.

Reflections on your membership of the Barkers in Balance team: I just love it. Doesn’t matter how bad a day you’ve had when you see the puppies and owners it always puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good inside and to watch Julie with dogs is amazing.

Emma McLennan


Background Experience:

Bachelor of Teaching, Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Special Education, Certificate III National Dog Trainers’ Federation.

First contacted Barkers in Balance: 2011

Current dogs: Charlie, Chocolate Labrador, 6 years old. Lola, Chocolate Labrador, 4 years old.

Favourite dog quote:  “Every once in a while a dog enters your life and changes everything”

Why did you want to be part of the Barkers in Balance team? Seeing my dog improve so much in the courses and complete each level made me want to learn more about training dogs and the philosophy behind training.

Most fulfilling course outcome you’ve seen: Seeing the light bulb go on in the owner’s head – “Ahh, this is what is meant to happen.” Also a Pug puppy doing 18 puppy push-ups in 30 sec is a pretty awesome achievement.

Reflections on your membership of the Barkers in Balance team: Enjoyment interacting with and training dogs. Also satisfaction when the communication lines between a dog and its owner are opened and they finally understand what each other is asking or wanting.

Karla Goodwin


Background Experience: I was a veterinary nurse for 10years, have had a keen interest in animal training since childhood, training my own dogs since 2000 with interests in dog sports. I have recently received a certificate of attainment in Companion Animals and Behaviour with TAFE NSW.

First contacted Barkers in Balance: 2009

Current dogs: Jax, Whippet x Kelpie, 5yrs, a rescue dog from the RSPCA. Mackenzie, Wolfhound x, 2 years, also a rescue dog.

Favourite dog quote: ‘Dogs are not my whole life, but they make my life whole’.

Why did you want to be part of the Barkers in Balance team? Seeing the passionate Barkers in Balance trainers making a difference to everyday ‘pet’ dogs and their humans.

Most fulfilling course outcome you’ve seen: Seeing the bond grow between children and their dogs, having kids leave our courses with a fair approach to training their dog.