My name is Heidi Joy Clem, and I am a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant. I started training in 2011 in competition and sports work, primarly agility and competition obedience. I spent years working with easy cases and teaching basic obedience. One day I adopted a reactive dog. This was beyond what I had the skills to conquer. So I hired a trainer and interned under her. I also enrolled in the Animal Behavior College where I completed my certification in 2016. However, I still didn't learn much about what I was most passionate about: Reactive and Aggressive dogs. I spend the next few years reading, researching, and interning under other trainers, developing my own method out of a combination of different protocols. Eventually I was connected with a couple of trainers who were building a program called Affective Dog Behavior: a study of how the neurochemicals in the brain can affect behavior and how we can use that to our advantage to help reactive dogs learn to feel safe in any environment. I finished my certification in Affective Dog Behavior in 2021 and am now certified as a K9 Life Coach.
As of 2021, I have successfully rehabilitate dozens of challenging cases.
I am a proud member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, which requires their trainers to continue education and holds their trainers to high standards that take into account the mental, physical, and psychological well being of the animals in their care. I am also a member of the Pet Professional Guild, which is a science based organization devoted to continued research into animal care and training with an focus on positive reinforcement and pain free methods. The Pet Professional Guild accomplishes its goals through ever growing research into the negative effects of using pain and fear in the name of training, along with public education and awareness through conferences, continuing education courses, and the never ending press for better legislation in regard to the need for mandatory regulation and certifications in the dog training industry. If we require that veterinarians, vet techs, and wildlife rehabilitation specialists be educated and certified, what stops us from requiring it for dogs? I am a member of the Shock Free Coalition, which promotes science based training through research and public education, and offers free and discounted training and equipment in exchange for a trade in of painful devices. As of August 2019, I am a member of the America Kennel Club and am authorized to award titles for Canine Good Citizen, S.T.A.R. Puppy, AKC Urban Canine, AKC Community Canine, and AKC Trick Dog (all levels).
In addition to my education through ABC and my internships, I have received a number of CEU (continuing education units) in the following areas and continue to attend regular conferences and achieve CEU's to ensure my knowledge is current and science based:
- Obedience Training and Competition Obedience
-Leash Handling Skills
- Counter Conditioning and Systematic Desensitization
- Separation Anxiety
- Aggression and Reactivity
- Canine CPR & First Aid
- Basic Canine Nutrition
- Safe handling skills for Aggressive Dogs
- ADB (Affective Dog Behavior)
- BAT (Behavior Adjustment Training)
- CAT (Constructional Aggression Treatment)
- Clicker Training