Jon C Wedemeyer ISCP.Dipl.Canine.Prac, MCMA
I have always deeply loved dogs, more so than people I think. Ever since I got my first puppy as a young boy, I have always had a very strong connection with dogs and have just really understood them. I get dogs... and I have always been able to read them, and communicate back to them very clearly and effortlessly, often without saying a word, just body language and a touch.
Does this mean I am some sort of "Dog Whisperer?" The answer to that is an emphatic NO! That is the stuff bad TV shows, YouTube videos and books are made of. Beware of people that tout themselves as "Dog Whisperers" as they are trying to brand themselves and are usually just in it for the money and celebrity. Most, like one particularly famous one, have no formal training or background and they are totally misleading everyone in terms of how best to communicate with, treat and work with our canine companions.
I am very proud to be a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and the Complimentary Medical Association (CMA). I am completing my membership in the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP).
Working with dogs is NEVER about dominance, submission, intimidation or any kind of verbal or physical abuse... EVER! I find some of the these shows and YouTube videos quite appalling in fact and actually can't believe what I've seen some of these "Dog Whisperers" do to these poor animals! Plus the fact, dogs don't whisper... and like me, they don't trust people who do whisper.
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 very carefully and read what they are telling me, then I try to communicate very clearly back to them.
In 2012 my relationship with dogs turned professional, when for the next two years I assisted an acupuncture vet in handling her canine patients while being treated. This meant that I had to keep them laying calmly on the floor or on a mat for about forty-five minutes without moving, getting up or shaking off needles for the duration of treatment. The process took about ten minutes while she "needled" them, about twenty minutes while they "cooked" and about ten minutes while we took out and counted needles. It was an amazing experience and one which I feel has enabled me to really understand dogs body language, how to actually feel what they are feeling and to communicate calmly with those feelings. I was never bitten by a client (dog or cat) and I think we only ever lost two needles, and that was a horse client!
Since July, 2014 I have volunteered at a local rescue shelter and worked with their rescue dogs on many different levels. That has also been an amazing experience and I have learned how to help these stressed out, confused, often untrained, fearful and sometimes aggressive dogs and enhance the human-dog bond. With these rescue dogs, what I try to do first is build/re-build the sense of trust in humans and the human/canine bond, which is so necessary in order to help them become adoptable. Then I can work on the other stuff.
After working in shelters and with so many aggression cases, I am not afraid of working with any aggressive dog I am called on to work with. In working with reactive/aggressive dogs you can't be fearful, you have to be compassionate, confident, careful and safe. I can't show or feel fear of any dog, but I totally respect and watch each and every one of them, every second I am working with them.
I have only been bitten once that I can remember, out of all the dogs I have ever worked with and that was when my instincts got the best of me and I jumped in and actually body-tackled a PBT to break up a dog-fight. I had to put both hands in its mouth to keep it from killing the other dog and that is actually how I got bit. Stupid yes. But, my hands healed quickly, both dogs survived and both were in-fact adopted less than two weeks later! Would I do it again? Absolutely not. That was very early in my career and there are many other ways to stop a fight and save a dog. Do I regret doing it? Not for a second...
In August 2015, after nine months in school I began taking clients and have continued taking clients and volunteering since that time. I have currently worked with well over 2,000 shelter and client dogs.
I was formally trained in Canine Psychology and Behavior by the International School for Canine Psychology and Behavior ISCP, one of the leading schools for canine practitioners in England. As a proud graduate, I am now certified in and have a diploma in Canine Psychology and Behavior. Being a graduate of the ISCP also means that I have an army of over 200 fellow canine behavior consultants which I collaborate with and am able to share ideas, new scientific information and case studies with.
I am continuing my canine studies and have successfully completed the Certificate Course in Canine Emotion and Cognition at Duke University. I will be obtaining behavior certifications through the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (CASI) in the very near future, as well as becoming a Karen Pryor KPCTP and will continue my formal education and certifications from there.
Whatever the issues your are having with your pet dog, from annoying to dangerous and anything in-between, I will be glad to discuss your case with you! Please call, email or go to my "CONTACT ME" page and fill out the short contact form there.
I look forward to hearing from you!