In Home Dog Training in Gainesville, Florida
Jon C. Wedemeyer ISCP.Dipl.Canine.Prac, MCMA
I have always loved dogs, much more so than people I think, with just a few exceptions.
My family got our first dog when I was in kindergarten, and for me, it was love at first sight. Jacques was a tiny, black, curly-ball-of-fur poodle puppy, and he stole my heart. We were inseparable, and I got to really know him by playing with him and just watching him learn and figure things out. He taught me so much about how dogs think, and it's because of Jacques that I've always had a strong connection with dogs and have understood them. I get dogs... and have always been able to read them and communicate back to them very clearly, often without saying a word, just body language, a look, a gesture, or a touch.
Does this mean I am some "Dog Whisperer?" The answer to that is an emphatic NO! That is the stuff bad TV shows, YouTube videos, and books are made of. Dog training is never about the trainer; it is always about the dogs and their people.
Beware of anybody that touts themselves as a "Dog Whisperer" as they are typically trying to brand themselves and are usually more in it for the money than the dog. Like one particularly famous one, most have no formal training or background in canine psychology or behavior. Working with dogs is never about dominance, intimidation, submission, or any verbal or physical abuse... EVER! I find some of these shows and YouTube videos pretty shocking, and I actually can't believe what I've seen some of these "Dog Whisperers" do to these poor animals! They end up misleading everyone in how best to communicate, train and work with our canine companions.
Plus the fact, dogs don't whisper... They always communicate very clearly and expect the same. I've never trusted people that whisper, and I don't think dogs do either.
MY TRAINING PHILOSOPHY
I am a dog "Listener" - I listen to my dogs. Dogs speak with their bodies, their eyes, and their vocalizations. Dogs really do speak, but only to those who know how to listen, you just have to understand what they are saying to you. I observe them, read what they are telling me, and then communicate very clearly back to them.
I always use Positive Reinforcement and Rewards-Based methods in all my training. Behavior Modification is always done using scientifically proven methods to modify, reshape or extinguish the unwanted behavior. I believe in being patient, compassionate, helping the dog to reshape its behavior at a comfortable pace for the dog, and doing it with confidence. That is where training you - the person - to train your dog, comes into my training philosophy.
My primary job is to understand your dog's issues or training needs, establish the goals we want to achieve, set up a treatment plan and teach you how to follow that plan and reach your goals with your dog. We are in this together as a team, and it is always about the dog first.