Meet the Natural Balance Trainers
Trainer & Tillman's Dad
Ron was born and raised in sunny Santa Monica, California. He loves the ocean, surfing, and skateboarding, but his true passion is working with dogs. In 2008, Ron and his English bulldog Tillman (The World's Fastest Skateboarding Dog) were discovered on the beach and invited to be contestants on the CBS reality show, Greatest American Dog. Though they didn't win, Ron launched a successful career in dog training. He currently works with Natural Balance’s famous team of action sports bulldogs, training them to skateboard, snowboard and surf. His training philosophy is “The more you put into it the more you get out of it”, and since he currently has 2 well-known skateboarding bulldogs, he has carved out a real niche! He and his dogs have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS, FOX, ESPN, Fuel TV, and have performed in three Rose Parades, the 2010 Winter Olympics, and events with The Mets, Dodgers, Rangers, Angels and Giants. Ron and Tillman also starred in Who Let the Dogs Out on Hallmark Channel. In addition to his dogs Tillman and Sully, Ron also has a 12-year-old son, Reef. They currently live in Oxnard, California, where they enjoy surfing, skateboarding, tennis, and volleyball.
Trainer & Norman the Scooter Dog's Mom
Karen was born and raised in Long Island, New York. She moved to Florida for college and graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Video/Film Production and Graphic Design. After working briefly at an ABC network affiliate doing graphics for the news, she rescued her first Shiba Inu dog, Smokey, and discovered that her real love was training dogs. Karen married Chris, the love of her life, and they relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, where she started a Shiba Inu Rescue. She also opened her own dog training company, Courteous Canine. Karen began doing in-home, private obedience lessons, handling issues from housebreaking to aggression problems. Her own Shiba Inus (a breed that can be difficult to train) became the top winning Shibas in the United States for Agility and Obedience competitions. When Karen found her dog Norman, she decided it would fun to teach some unique tricks that had not been seen before. Norman learned to wipe his feet when entering the house, wipe his beard after a drink of water, and also learned to ride a scooter – the trick that would make him famous! The Cobb family, which also includes animal lover Kaylee, 9, and hot rod loving Bryson, 6, recently completed an 8-month tour around the USA and Canada, where Norman showed off his scootering skills to thousands of fans.
Training Tips from Karen
- Bribe – Show your dog something he wants, like his favorite treat
- Reward – Give your dog that treat when he performs the correct behavior
- Random Reward – Once he’s starting to master the behavior, begin rewarding him randomly instead of every single time