About Us

Training and Exercise

Classes for puppies, adolescent and adult dogs of all breeds & backgrounds. From rescues to pedigrees.

Behavior Counseling & Modification

We offer a variety of options for eliminating unwanted behavior and improving your dogs manners and obedience skills

Consultations

We work together with our clients to discuss and create a program tailored to their individual needs

Custom Leashes & Portrait Photography

We offer a variety of custom leashes and professional photography!

Freedom K9 Services Inc. offers a number of different services for your dog! This includes all levels/types of training and exercise to custom leashes and portrait photography of your best friend.


We are dedicated to the relationships we have with our clients and their dogs. Every single dog that we build a relationship with is taken into the highest regard. We offer a free in home meet and greet. This gives us an opportunity to meet the dogs and their owners and build a custom tailored program for each dog. Building a solid foundation from the beginning is most important!

Services

Head Trainer & Owner

Owner as kid
Wayne Thormeyer is a certified Trainer who has been working with/training dogs, in some way, shape or form, for most of his life. Through the years, Wayne has competed at club, regional and national levels and has trained or titled dogs in conformation, competition obedience, Schutzhund, IPO, tracking, nosework, hunting (field and water) and Search and Rescue.

Wayne has also volunteered his time to rescues and shelters doing “good manners training“ with dogs waiting for adoption. He has worked off site adoptions, pet expos, fundraisers, competitions, dog washes and as Santa Claus for charitable photo shoots with your dog.

In 2018, Wayne’s passion for tracking and scent detection dogs led him to the In Situ Foundation in Chico California, where he became a Certified Bio Dog Trainer. A Bio-Dog is a dog who is scientifically and systematically trained to detect any biological substance, particularly dogs that are trained to detect human diseases, such as cancer.

Wayne’s love for all dogs, and the relationships and bond created with them through training. is contagious. He is excited to share it with everyone.

Freedom K9 TrainerFreedom K9 TrainerFreedom K9 Trainer

Classes & Locations

Training Methods
  • In Home – Wayne will conduct in or outdoor classes at your home, with you and your dog, depending on the weather and type of service.
  • Private Lessons –Wayne will work with you and your dog, or alone with your dog at your home, our location in Homer Glen, or a select off-site location.
  • Walk and Train – Your dog will receive training while walking on leash. Leash cues, heeling, loose leash walking and handler skills are some of the subjects covered.
  • Board and Train – Your dog will stay with Wayne and his family at his home in Homer Glen for 2, 3, or 4 weeks. Your dog will receive multiple daily training sessions, including exercise.  Our Board and Train program is limited to one client, so your dog will get exclusive training tailored to his individual needs.  Upon completion, Wayne will meet with you, the owner, for 3 follow up lessons to maintain and continue the training process.
  • Group Classes. Group classes (and some private lessons) will be held at our location in Homer Glen, IL or, on occasion, at a designated location nearby.  This includes Obedience, Nosework, Tracking, and some Behavior Modification classes.

Puppy Classes- Private/ In-Home Training

Training Methods For the puppy that needs a little more specialized attention. We offer private/in-home puppy training.
  • Weekly Practice Sessions – one hour each week
  • Crate Training
  • Puppy proofing your home
    • Creating feeding and potty routines
  • Housebreaking/Potty Training
  • Socialization – exposure to people, dogs, objects, sounds, etc.
  • Beginning Obedience Commands – Heel, Sit, Down, Come, Stay, Leave It
  • Proper ways to play
  • Learning Theory – how dogs learn
  • Handling Skills
  • Behavior Problem Solutions: Jumping on furniture/Mouthing/Nipping/Biting/Chewing (shoes, table legs, etc.) /Resource Guarding/Food Aggression
  • Boundaries (areas off limits)
  • Introduction To Agility Obstacles

Obedience Beginner/Basic Obedience

Obedience Training Private/In-Home/Group classes Six Weekly Sessions – one hour each Course overview:
  • Basic Obedience Commands – Heel, Sit, Down, Come, Stay, Leave It, Place
  • Socialization – exposure to people, dogs, objects, sounds, etc.
  • Stop Leash Reactivity/Aggression – extreme cases will require private behavior modification training
  • Intro To Training Collars
  • Learning Theory – how dogs learn
  • Proper On-Leash Greetings – no jumping up
  • Proper Dog-Dog Greetings (optional)
  • Building Drive and Motivation – through rewards and positive reinforcement
  • Handling Skills – how to use physical touch and leash communication for guidance and correction
  • Training Techniques
  • Behavior Problem Solutions – short discussions only, may require private training
  • Intro To Agility Obstacles

Intermediate Obedience

Training Methods Private/In-Home/Group Must have completed Beginner-basic Obedience or equivalent from another school Course Overview:
  • Fading The Lure – food lures become hand signals to avoid a “Show me the money” dog.
  • Petting & Praise – stronger emphasis on verbal praise and affection with less treats.
  • Sit – with increased distance and duration
  • Down- with increased distance and duration
  • Recall – come when called from a distance of 100 feet
  • Pack Walk – heel and loose leash walking while out with multiple dogs
  • Finish – after a formal recall has been completed we “finish” by signaling the dog to move from the front position to the heel position.
  • Stand – dog moves from sit to a stationary standing position
  • Up-Sit – dog moves from down position to sit position
  • Push Ups – dog moves repeatedly from sit to down to sit to down, etc.
  • Distance Down – down command from a distance of six feet away or more.
  • Cafe Down – long duration down command by your chair in a simulated coffee shop experience –
  • Leave It – can be used to stop many unwanted behaviors from eating poop to barking at other dogs
  • Wait – boundary training exercise to stop your dog from bolting through doors.
  • Distraction Proofing –using other dogs, cars, bikes etc.
  • Fluency In Sound, Sight and Touch – Dogs will learn verbal commands, hand signals and happy, non-resistant yielding to physical pressure and leash communications.

Advanced Obedience

Advanced Obedience Training Methods Drop-in class Polishing, proofing, increasing, combining, challenging and adding new criteria to what we already know…and more!
  • Reliable Recalls
  • Reliable Stays
  • Elimination of Leash Pulling, Leash Aggression or Leash Reactivity
  • Off-Leash Obedience –
  • Advanced Motivation
  • Canine Good Citizen Training – practice for all 10 items on the CGC test
  • Rally Obedience Exercises
  • Major Distractions – people, dogs, bikes, skateboards, bouncing balls, food, umbrellas, etc.
  • Frogger Recalls – calling your dog through a crowd of moving dogs
  • Focused Off-Leash Heeling
  • Various Degree Heeling Turns – 45’s, 90’s, 180’s, 270’s, 360’s – both left and right
  • About Turns – aka schutzhund turn
  • Distance Training – commands given off-leash from long distances
  • Load Up – teaching dog to get in car from a distance and stay in, even with windows down and doors open
  • Multi-Angled Finish – calling to a sit in heel position from the standard front position as well as any other angle or from a distance
  • Three-Way Puppy Push-Ups – moving through Sit, Down and Stand positions in all six possible combos.
  • Drop On Recall – down command from a recall
  • Go out or send away and drop- send away with down command
  • Cafe Training – dog holds a long down at your feet around a table of other dogs doing the same. Dogs, skateboards and other distractions provided along with coffee and donuts.
  • Pivoting Auto-Sit – sitting in heel position automatically as you pivot in place to varying degrees – 45’s, 90’s, 180’s, 270’s, 360’s – both left and right
  • Hand Signals – giving commands silently, only using hand signals
  • Motion Exercises – sit, down and stand commands given while heeling – without stopping your forward motion – calling back to a moving heel position
  • Reverse Heeling – maintaining the Heel position while walking backwards.
  • Intro to Remote Collars (optional)
  • Tug O’ War – proper use of tug as a reward for obedience and a command for releasing objects from their jaws.
  • Agility Practice-
  • Retrieves- on flat surface, over the 1 meter jump, over the A-frame

Competition Obedience – IGP, AKC and Rally

  • Private classes at our location and select off site locations

Nosework – AKC, UKC, NACSW

  • Private, Group at our location

Tracking-IGP 1,2 ,3 / FH 1,2 and AKC

  • Private, Group at select offsite locations

Training Methods

Training Methods
What works well for one dog may not work as well for another. Sometimes you just need to improvise on the fly to get the results you are seeking.

At Freedom K9 Services we believe in a balanced approach to dog training. We combine positive reward-based marker training, with traditional methods of Dog training. We incorporate your dog’s natural instincts and drive for food, play, problem-solving and more into the learning process. These methods are ethical, fair, fun and are proven to get results.

Audible markers and high value rewards (specific to the individual dog) are used in the training process. After a cue/command/behavior has been learned, occasionally, some pressure or correction may be required to polish what has been taught. We also incorporate the science of operant conditioning in our training methods. Force, pain or harm is never a part of our training methods.

Behavior Consulting And Modification

Behavior ModificationBehavior Modification
Some dogs can acquire certain behaviors that can be annoying, and at the worst, downright dangerous to themselves or others. This can become a roadblock on the path to a happy life for both dog and owner.

Freedom K9 Services can help eliminate these unwanted behaviors. We provide behavior counseling geared toward identifying, assessing and then creating a course of action (tailored to your dog) to eliminate the behavior issue.

Desensitizing, redirection, focus, engagement, environmental changes and obedience are just some of tools we use for modifying or eliminating behavior problems. Some mild behavior issues can be addressed during obedience class while more serious issues will require private training sessions

Some of the behavior issues we address are:

  • Mouthing, nipping
  • Biting
  • Destructive Chewing
  • Barking
  • Jumping up/on people furniture
  • Counter surfing
  • Leash pulling
  • Separation anxiety
  • Resource guarding
  • Food aggression
  • Reactivity to dogs, people, vehicles etc.
  • Fear

Fitness and exerciseFitness and ExerciseFitness & Exercise

Dogs need regular exercise, just like people. If your dog isn’t getting enough physical activity, he may gain too much weight, get bored or frustrated, or release his pent-up energy in undesirable or destructive ways.

At Freedom K9 Services we can assist you in assessing whether or not your dog is getting the exercise he needs based on his age, breed, size and health status.

We can then provide services tailored to help with the individual exercise/fitness needs of your dog. Some training may also be needed and included with certain types of exercise. Sessions are located at your home, locally or at a designated location depending on the service.

Some of our exercise options are:

  • Urban/neighborhood walks
  • Wilderness walks/trail hikes
  • Trail running
  • Bicycle running (next to a bicycle-requires gradual conditioning program to reduce risk of injury)
  • Treadmill
  • Swimming
  • Frisbee/fetch/games
  • Agility/Obstacle course

Custom Leashes and Portrait Photography

Custom LeashesCustom Dog Leashes

We offer a variety of custom leashes made to order.

  • Training, tracking, show, tabs and more
  • Nylon, polyester, polypropylene, paracord.
  • Any length, various widths and gauges from 1/8” to 1”
  • Brass, chrome, black, stainless hardware
  • Various colors and prints

Prices vary

 

Portrait Photography

While your dog is training we will photograph your dog in action, or do a photo shoot with him to get that perfect portrait shot that’s suitable for framing. Photos are available in digital format and in print. We also do the framing!

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Testimonials

I met Wayne 3 years ago watching him from a distance, unbeknown to him. Seeing him work his magic on my neighbor’s dog was amazing. He is kind, gentle, and always fair. I have been involved in the dog world for the past 40 years, working for a veterinarian, showing St. Bernard’s in confirmation, pet therapy and animal rescue, but we all reach a time in life when we need help. I am the owner of a wonderful, but strong-willed Golden and so my Golden and I became Wayne’s students. It’s been an amazing learning experience for me, but more so for my golden, who has become a wonderful family dog and a best friend, thanks to the training from Wayne. I will always be thankful for all he did for the ”Murph” and me. P.S. Wayne always knows if you did your homework!
Wayne has been an outstanding trainer for our dogs. Since we had two puppies growing up together, it’s been a challenge harnessing all that energy and keeping them disciplined and learning. They both (a German Shepherd and a Boxer) have been with Wayne for almost two years now. Our dogs are well trained and extremely enjoyable. They are loved members of our family, well behaved and happy. We consider Wayne not only our respected trainer but also a compassionate, animal advocate who our dogs love and respect. We highly recommend him for your consideration in helping to train your dog.

Before we introduced our three dogs to Wayne they were completely unmanageable and on the verge of being dangerous to each other. On the very first introduction he had the line drawn and from there it was simply a process of teaching us how to manage the dogs instead of the other way around. Wayne was the most perfectly balanced combination of firm and gentle, assertive, but somehow intangibly calm and in complete control. It was magic to watch his language with the dogs, both spoken and nonverbal. An absolute true professional with a gift of love for animals. Plus, skill that gave us a harmonious relationship with our pets and calmed the entire house. My wife Alexis and I, recommend Wayne with the highest regard.
I don’t usually endorse many things but if you're thinking about having your dog trained and your looking for RESULTS then Wayne Thormeyer is the right choice! My dog Allie is a 6mth old sweet loving German Shepherd puppy with a mind of her own at times. I have had two back surgeries so having a dog that wants to pull you around the block isn’t good. It was making me have second thoughts if I made the right decision. Allie is also being trained for an emotional support dog for my daughter who is having some health issues. Wayne has shown us what we need to do to mark when my daughter is having symptoms and Allie is catching on very quickly. The transformation has been INCREDIBLE. I owe it all to Wayne Thormeyer.
We were referred to Wayne at K9 Freedom for our 4 month old EXTREMELY active German Shepherd Puppy, Harley. He has taken Harley (and Us) from a non-structured and somewhat out of control environment to a now calm, obedient and structured style of living with our beautiful pup! In a very short time, Wayne taught Harley (and Us) doggy manner, obedience, walking, handling skills and more. Wayne is very prompt for his scheduled appointments; he is flexible and does not hesitate to stay over when he is working on a task with Harley to ensure that his goal is accomplished. Wayne also encourages us to contact him anytime with questions in between our scheduled training sessions. Harley is a new dog since he has worked with Wayne. Harley was extremely hyper, did not listen and did not follow any commands. Regardless of what you are hoping to accomplish with your dog: training, obedience or other, we highly recommend Wayne! We have nicknamed Wayne as the "Real Dog Whisperer".
We have worked with Wayne on almost a daily basis since we moved to the area over 2 years ago. We have two strong-minded, formidable German Shepherds and therefore we cannot leave their care to just anyone. Not only does Wayne’s training skill reflect his elite experience in high level “Competition/Sport dog” obedience from which our dogs have benefited greatly, but he provides them equal measure of love and attention. Wayne takes our dogs on nature walks through trails, finds creative ways to incorporate their training into daily experiences, and exercises them in a playful manner that they love. We feel so incredibly fortunate to have found Wayne Thormeyer to train our dogs, be part of their lives, and in doing so, be part of our lives.

"Ever since I was born there was a dog in my life, always by my side. I believe in building, growing, and participating in all the relationships in my life. The best relationships are based in trust, respect, communication, and love! This comes from practice and participation. The relationships with my dogs are no exception. My goal is to help everyone build the same kind of relationships with their dogs".


-Wayne Thormeyer

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