Jack and Wendy Volhard are consummate dog people, internationally recognized for their contributions to training, health, and nutrition. In print, in films, and in the field, they have helped thousands of people to better enjoy the experience of dog ownership and thousands of dogs to live better lives.
For the past 30 years the Volhards have taught dog owners how to communicate effectively with their pets. At the heart of their teaching is the "Motivational Method," a unique approach to training that is aimed at people who have dogs first and foremost as pets and companions. The Volhards believe that positive reinforcement is the most effective tool for teaching any dog – a technique that is fundamental to their renowned training camps, workshops, and one-on-one training sessions.
In the foreword to the Complete Idiot’s Guide to a Well-Trained Dog The Monks of New Skete wrote that:
"Good dog trainers and teachers are always creative and will adapt their own specific approaches to particular dogs and situations based on their experience and knowledge. Therefore, different trainers will, at times, use different techniques. Rather than one rigid method of training, then, what we need are well-defined, proven techniques based on the principles of how dogs actually learn. There is no question that Jack and Wendy Volhard successfully present just such practical guidance, and we at New Skete have learned much from them over the years." (Alpha Books, 1999).
The Volhards are accomplished trainers and have obtained over 50 conformation and performance titles, multiple High in Trials and Dog World Awards of Canine Distinction with their German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Landseer Newfoundlands, Standard Wirehaired Dachshunds and a Yorkshire Terrier. Six of their own Landseers have earned at least one Highest Scoring Dog in Trial in American Kennel Club obedience competitions. Read the story about one of them!
They are true practitioners in every sense of the word.
Jack began teaching obedience classes in 1968, and started to give seminars in 1974, which have taken him to almost every State in the Union. The Volhards' first dog training camp was held in 1977, and since then dog enthusiasts from across the US, Australia, Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Turkey and the West Indies have attended these camps. Jack has also conducted camps in Bermuda, Canada, England and Puerto Rico.
Jack is the senior author of Teaching Dog Obedience Classes: The Manual for Instructors (Howell Book House, 1986), considered the “bible” for instructors because it teaches how to teach. Together with Melissa Bartlett, he authored the best-selling training primer What All Good Dogs Should Know: The Sensible Way to Train (Howell Book House, 1991, and 2nd Edition 2008).
After 33 years of judging American Kennel Club obedience trials, Jack turned in his clipboard and retired as an Obedience Judge Emeritus in 2006.
"Wendy has few equals when it comes to understanding canine behavior. She has a remarkable ability to sense the needs of a particular dog and what is best for the animal. A talent, for sure, but one she has honed to a fine point by studious research into all phases of dogs -- behavior, health, nutrition, structure and training."
Wendy is internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on health and nutrition for dogs, and is the senior author of The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog (Howell Book House, 1996 & 2nd Edition 2000). In 1973, she formulated the Natural Diet for a Healthy Dog, a nutritionally complete diet to maintain peak health, long life, beauty and performance; in 1999 she produced the diet in dehydrated form. More recently she has introduced the ultimate in dog diets, NDF2, which is now available in the U.S. and Canada.
In addition to her contributions in the field of nutrition, she developed the most widely used method for evaluating puppies for the right home and the right purpose. Her film Puppy Aptitude Testing was named best film for 1981 by the Dog Writers Association. She also developed a Canine Personality Profile to help dog owners understand why their canine charges do what they do, and her article Drives - A New Look at an Old Concept was named Best Article in a Specialty Magazine for 1991. She was a regular contributor to the American Kennel Club Gazette for more than 10 years.
Wendy conducts seminars on health and behavior in the US, Canada and Europe. She has lectured at annual conventions of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) Groom Expos and the United Kingdom Registry of Behaviour Consultants.
In 2006, Jack & Wendy were inducted into International Association of Canine Professionals Hall of Fame.
Wendy and Jack currently share their home with two Labrador Retrievers, two Standard Wirehaired Dachshunds and two rescued Maine Coon cats.