What is balanced dog training? To us It's using the appropriate tools in a conflict free environment which a dog learns both from positive and negative reinforcement. These can food, praise, a favorite toy. It can also be a humanely used correction collar (properly conditioned and understood of course), it can be a no or a redirection of behavior. The results comparatively speak for themselves as this style of training has been around since the domestication process took place and most any parent can tell you who has raised human children this is their preferred method.
In recent years a couple terms that have popped up in dog training circles, Purely positive being one and force free being the other. Both this terms are not only incorrect but also misused as a marketing gimmick. Purely positive isn't real, but it makes folks feel better about the training process. As anyone who has went down this route can tell you, the time and money you put into this will far outweigh the results. I started as a purely positive trainer and as my knowledge grew i applied it to somethings and not others.
We strive to stay in the middle, we love being able to use positives with young dogs and dogs that require being built up and shaped. A lot of clients will hear me say let the dog be a dog or stop micro managing them. Unfortunately puppy's don't live in a bubble and we as owners can't create a bubbled environment. Or the dogs motivation level is different and the environment is far more rewarding and exciting than the offered reward. They grow up and into already predisposed genetic behaviors that are specific to your breed and your puppy or habits we allowed them to get away with as youngsters. Which is why we also use negative reinforcement, management and redirection as well as our positive foundation to balance out our pups and shape boundaries and requirements in behaviors.