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Welcome to DogMore Academy!

My name is Manda Ballard, and I’m the Head Trainer and Owner here at DogMore Academy. I’d like to extend a very warm welcome to our brand new website!

Some of you may be familiar with me from my previous company, Canine Transformations. DogMore Academy is a natural evolution, and we will continue to provide effective dog training solutions for dog owners in our local area (and soon, we’ll be providing that same quality of service to a wider audience – but more on that later!).


With a new name, a new logo and new services comes the same promise – we are, as ever, totally committed to helping you achieve your dog training goals and building the rock-solid relationship you’ve always dreamed of with your dog.

manda ballard dog trainer in grand rapids

My dog training background and philosophy

I’ve always been passionate about working with animals – in fact, much of my childhood was spent on my family’s small hobby farm, with all manner of animals.


I actually wanted to be a vet tech, just like my Mom – but once I hit 16, I got a job working at a dog daycare and boarding facility. This changed my perspective entirely, and had a profound effect on how my life with animals would develop! As I spoke to the owners about their dogs, I realized that there is a constant battle for many dog owners – frustrations, problems, issues – and many of them simply had no idea how to resolve them. It was preventing them from living a happy and content life with their pet.


Their stories of struggle motivated me. When I was 20, I went to the School for Dog Trainers located in Harmony, NC. I completed their Obedience and Behavior Modification program, which gave me a complete understanding of how dogs think, behave and react. I had so many wonderful experiences when I was in that class, and learned so much that has shaped the way I’ve approached dog training ever since.


In some ways, my dog training education will never end. Learning is an ongoing experience, particularly as a dog trainer. I regularly attend seminars and conferences, continue to read a variety of dog training books, and work with fellow dog trainers and mentors. This approach ensures my skillset and knowledge is constantly growing.


My passion is helping people to achieve their goals with their dogs. I’m a firm believer that this has to be done on a basis of trust and mutual respect between owner and pet – and a lot of my training philosophy is focused on that (regardless of what we’re actually trying to teach the dog). Once you build that understanding, it is amazing to see the results. Your life will never be the same again.

vizsla in grocery store

Which services does DogMore Academy offer?

Our private lesson packages are always popular with clients, allowing us to work in a one-on-one setting. Whether it’s a new puppy you’ve just adopted, or a dog you’ve owned for a number of years, it’s never too early – or too late – to start training your dog!


We offer two packages as part of our Private Lessons – Base and Advanced. Our Base package covers three lessons in your home, whilst our Advanced package is six lessons and will really take your dog’s training to the next level. You can see more information on our Private Lessons here.


In the coming months, we’ll be offering a couple of new services.


Our new weekly WalkMore Drop-in Clinics will be available to all DogMore Academy clients, past and present. These weekly sessions will allow you to maintain your dog’s training, even after our lessons are complete. You’ll be able to socialize your dog with other pups and new humans, all in a controlled environment and with expert supervision. You’ll also be able to use these sessions to ask any dog training questions you might have. We plan to launch the WalkMore clinics later this summer.


In addition, online training has become increasingly popular – particularly in the wake of the Covid pandemic. I am regularly asked about online lessons, so to bring this to a wider audience, we will be launching a new service which will provide dog training on-demand, at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home. When you sign up, you will have access to a library of training resources and exclusive content only available to DogMore Academy members. We’ll be launching this shortly, and you can be the first to know when it goes live by signing up for updates here.

dog sitting on multi colored pride bench

Which areas does DogMore Academy serve?

For Private Lessons and our WalkMore program, we work with dog owners in the following areas of Michigan:

  • Grand Rapids
  • Kalamazoo
  • Holland
  • Battle Creek
  • Allegan
  • Saugatuck


How can I contact DogMore Academy?

If you have any questions, there are numerous ways to get in contact with us.

We are excited to further our mission and continue to build those strong relationships between owners and their dogs! Here at DogMore Academy, we can’t wait to help you.