Meet the Team
Jonathan irons - Founder & CEO
Dogs We Trust, LLC was officially established on August, 30th, 2021 by Jonathan Irons in Mableton, Georgia. Jonathan's dog training story is an exceptional one. He is a survivor of being wrongfully convicted and was exonerated on July 1st, 2020, after serving 23.5 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. The news of his story reached Good Morning America, the New York Times, and most major media outlets. A documentary was also produced and released by ESPN on July 23rd, 2021 called, "Breakaway" - an ESPN 30 for 30.
While wrongfully incarcerated, Jonathan acquired his training background and education from an immersive dog training program called “Puppies for Parole.” To date, this program has successfully saved thousands of dogs.
Jonathan and other offenders lived with and trained 10 or more dogs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each new dog is placed into the program for approximately 8 to 16 weeks or more, depending on training needs. After the training period ends, each trainer is given a new dog. During training sessions, dogs work on: walking nicely on a leash, greeting people without jumping or mouthing, crate training, potty training, and basic commands like sit, stay, lay, leave it and wait. If a dog presents with a certain unwanted behavioral issue, resources are utilized to correct the issue.
Before enrollment into the training program, Jonathan was required to successfully pass through a merit-based selection process based on character and aptitude. Only a small number of prisoners are eligible to become trainers/handlers. As a dog trainers/handler, Jonathan was also enrolled in an apprenticeship program through the U.S. Department of Labor. Jonathan was trained to teach dogs K9 Good Citizen skills, (good manners and socialization), and he had the privilege of showering them with plenty of affection.
Through formal training, individualized study, and on-the-job training, prisoners earn a certificate in animal handling, which is recognized in all 50 states.
Jonathan was in this program for well over 7 years and worked hard to acquire over 15,000 hours of hands-on training and experience as a dog trainer/handler. Click to learn more.
Jocelyn flowers - co-Founder & Coo
I have degree in Animal Science and have avid passion for training dogs and understanding their behavior from a scientific point of view. My degree equipped me with a solid foundation of skills and opened the door for me to work with dogs as a profession. After graduating from college, I started working with dogs more intensively and earned the opportunity to manage an Animal Shelter and Animal Control facility in rural Southwest Kansas for 3 years. Among other skills, this job gave me the opportunity to learn how to socialize feral dogs and rehabilitate aggressive dogs for adoption. I later moved on to manage a dog training facility and started developing more advanced skills. Through the thousands of dogs I have been able to work with and save, I have obtained and fine-tuned my own science based training system and enjoy teaching people the skills they need to have a happy, well-behaved dog!
DOGS WE TRUST
Dogs We Trust has a passion for helping people learn how to train their dogs to develop a balanced lifestyle within the family structure and social settings. The majority of dogs found abandoned in animal shelters, were once cute little puppies who grew into big problems. Why? Most likely because of an owner who didn’t know how to communicate with them or because they didn’t understand what leads a dog down the wrong path to undesired, destructive behaviors.
Dogs We Trust defines “Dog Training” as “The process by which a dog acquires the habits, beliefs, and accumulated knowledge of society through education and training.” Just like children, dogs need to learn how to function in our society. Although Jonathan and Jocelyn are professional dog trainers, they focus more on connecting with people and teaching them how to train their beloved dogs.
They deeply immerse each dog in their system during the training process. With every dog that the Dogs We Trust team encounters, the simple goal is to understand its mind and natural instincts as an individual dog. No two dogs are exactly alike, but they all are ruled by basic motivations. These motivations can be used to shape and mold their behavior. The process of shaping dog behavior can be summed up simply: A dog will repeat behavior that is rewarded and eliminate behavior that is corrected. Whether addressing specific behaviors or overall obedience and manners, the Dogs We Trust team can help you learn how to train your canine into a dog that you can trust.