I am very impressed with Matt and his training/behavior skills. He is so in tune with dogs and their behavior that he knows what they are going to do before they do themselves! Again, as a veterinarian, this is important to me, because I am often asked about behavior problems, and although I am able to help to a certain degree, I often need to refer to someone who can give more specialized attention to my patients in this area.I have had my dog for 9 years, and his behavior problems have progressively worsened over this time. I have had several trainers help me, but the fixes were just temporary, and once the training session or “class” was over, I was left on my own to figure out or remember what I needed to do. Matt has been awesome with his follow up, and is the first person that has helped me make enough progress to “see the glimmer of hope” that my dog can be good! As a result, my relationship is changing with my dog, and it is less stressful. Matt is not only helping my dog, but he is helping me to relax and feel more confident with my dog in social situations. This allows me to enjoy my dog more and even take him to public places more!I cannot thank you all enough for your help and kindness.
~Lisa Mikol-Doering, DVM
“My husband, Tim, and I can not say enough good things about Suburban K-9 and their staff. We sing their praises everywhere we go and have dubbed Matt Covey our local dog whisperer!We learned about Matt from friends after we began considering adding an American Bulldog to our family. With two smaller dogs and a six-month-old daughter we knew that socialization would be important for our pup. Little did we know that we would need a lot more than socialization!Our “little” bundle of joy arrived weighing 10 pounds at seven weeks old. Adorable and sweet, Drago also had a bit of an aggression problem. He did not want to take any orders from me and communicated his displeasure through snarling and biting me. The breeder wanted us to put Drago down which was out of the question! Gratefully, there was Matt. While most trainers do not work with such small pups, Matt has personal experience with Am Bulls. He took Drago in for rehabilitation for two weeks. Afterwards, he taught us how to work with Drago, so that we could better understand pack behavior and know how to maintain and continue his progress as well as rehabilitate the two other dogs we have.Since then, Matt has been a constant resource for us as Drago has grown and pushed his boundaries as all stubborn Am Bull pups will do. The staff is wonderful and well-versed in how to handle dogs of all personalities and sizes. Drago has also gone through Distraction Training with Matt and is the most well-behaved seven-month-old dog you will find around. We get so many compliments on his behavior, and people are amazed at how young he is since he is now tipping the scales at 80 pounds!I would, and do, recommend Suburban K-9 to friends, family and strangers for their comprehensive programs, well-trained, caring staff, and remarkably talented trainer-Matt Covey.Thank you for all you have done for us and for giving us a place to go that our dogs can call their second home!”
~Rebecca & Officer Tim Mace
“I am Carolyn Mossberger, Executive Director of the West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove. We user the services of Matt Covey regularly and have for quite some time. We have 100% trust and confidence in his abilities. He is flexible and works just as well with people as he does with the dogs, which is a rare find. We have worked with other local trainers and have not had positive results. It’s well worth the 45 minute drive to use a trainer that we know will give us results. As a non-profit organization, we need to be mind dollar we spend. When we utilize the services of Suburban K-9, we are confident that our money is being well spent. Dogs from shelters sometimes come with baggage. Matt Covey has successfully rehabilitated our shelter dogs with issues such as fear, food aggression, and basic bad manners. We have such complete confidence in the trainer, several of our staff members have used him to train their own dogs. I highly recommend him and the services at Suburban K-9.”
~Carolyn Mossberger, Executive Director of the West Suburban Humane Society
“My 5 yr old dog, Tully, recently completed his 2 week doggie “boot camp” for aggression. My dog is a totally different dog. The staff was so friendly and never minded all of my calls to check on Tully. Matt was awesome. He never raises his voice, you can tell he absolutely LOVES his job and the dogs. What a shock it was to see Tully intermingling with 20 other dogs and not one problem. Matt spent an hour and forty five minutes with my son and I -”training” us to keep up with Tully’s training. Not to mention, that we have another follow up in a week to make sure that we have no other problems and answer any questions we might have. Matt and the staff are available by phone to answer any questions we have. Even though I live over an hour away, it was worth it knowing my dog would be treated lovingly by all that work there. I had no reservations about leaving my dog in Suburban K-9′s care. Not to mention, that Tully has learned his manners and is a pleasant dog to live with. Thank you Matt and staff!!!!”
My name is Arlene Swann and my husband Howard adopted Justin from S.T.R.A.E.S. this weekend.
I must say that whatever training you did with him is remarkable. I have owned Lhasas for over 20 years and I have never had one this behaved.
We originally brought our year and a half old Yellow Lab Mix, Chrissy, to Bark Avenue for an evaluation to have her attend daycare. She didn’t pass because she was aggressive towards the other dogs. This didn’t surprise us since we brought her to a dog park and she was aggressive to three different dogs. When we walked her and we passed another dog or person, she would always jump and get excited. As her way of greeting people at our door, she would always jump on them. We didn’t trust Chrissy in our fenced-in backyard because she would escape by jumping the fence.Bark Avenue recommended an evaluation with their trainer, Matt Covey. We decided to enroll Chrissy in the two week board and train program. When we picked up Chrissy two weeks later, she was a different dog! Matt calmed her down, so she listened and didn’t jump on people or other dogs. She heels when we walk her and listens when we tell her to sit and stay. She also comes when she’s called, even when we’re outside. After her training, a couple people came to the door and we told Chrissy to sit and stay and she did! We can even let Chrissy out in our yard by herself. Now we enjoy taking her to the forest preserve for long walks and really enjoy her and … Bark Avenue is happy to accept her in daycare!We highly recommend Matt. Chrissy really loved him too! When we came a week later for our follow-up visit, Chrissy was really excited to see him!
~Tom and Barb Dayment, client
We consulted with Matt Covey after exhausting all other efforts with our aggressive Standard Pinscher, Bolt. He was an extremely under weight stray we fostered then adopted from a local rescue. Once he gained strength, his true personality surfaced – severe aggression towards anyone he hadn’t met during his recovery period. When walking Bolt, he would lunge, bark and growl at other dogs and humans. Because he couldn’t reach his target, he would redirect his aggression towards us. Additionally, whenever we put him in the car, the same behavior occurred at a higher intensity. He would see a person or dog in the distance and go after the windows with a vengeance. We would try to redirect him and use positive reinforcement methods only to once again become the recipients of his severe bites. Family and friends would have to call us in advance of their arrival so we could either put him away or muzzle and leash him. An unexpected guest would create absolute chaos and panic as once the aggression began, we had to be extremely … all other efforts with our aggressive Standard Pinscher, Bolt. He was an extremely under weight stray we fostered then adopted from a local rescue. Once he gained strength, his true personality surfaced – severe aggression towards anyone he hadn’t met during his recovery period. When walking Bolt, he would lunge, bark and growl at other dogs and humans. Because he couldn’t reach his target, he would redirect his aggression towards us. Additionally, whenever we put him in the car, the same behavior occurred at a higher intensity. He would see a person or dog in the distance and go after the windows with a vengeance. We would try to redirect him and use positive reinforcement methods only to once again become the recipients of his severe bites. Family and friends would have to call us in advance of their arrival so we could either put him away or muzzle and leash him. An unexpected guest would create absolute chaos and panic as once the aggression began, we had to be extremely careful in leashing him to remove him. We were often told that Bolt should be euthanized. We spent many months trying to correct his behavior as well as agonize over what to do next. After consulting with Matt, we felt hopeful for the first time. He was honest and did not make any unrealistic promises. He said that he could definitely help us to make Bolt better, but could not make any guarantee of completely eliminating his aggression. To our surprise, he came up with a plan during our consultation that was practical and very affordable! We did check other training facilities as well as behaviorists and found their rates to be unreasonable. Some behaviorists charge $500.00 for an evaluation and plan that you go home with to try on your own with only follow-up phone calls for support. During training, Matt and his assistant Mike were there to support us every step of the way. I have to admit that at times we were discouraged when the biting episodes didn’t stop. But then one day, Bolt began to change significantly and improve more each week. Today, Bolt’s car aggression is a thing of the past. People can actually come up to our car window to speak with us. We can now let company enter our home without having to lock him away, or bring him out with a muzzle and leash. Our journey with Matt and Bolt is not over. There is still room for improvement, but we are now able to lead a normal life. We have chosen to continue training with Matt and have even signed up for an agility class. We recommend Suburban K-9 to everyone we meet. It has changed our lives and saved a dog.
These guys are the best! I was going to give my dog to a shelter due to his aggression. Everyone told me to put him to sleep but I just could not do it. One of the shelters I called told me to call Matt and have him evaluate my dog. Matt told me that he wanted to see my dog and I in our home where the issues usually occur. When he walked in the door I was terrified that George was going to attack him but Matt walked in and within ten seconds told me that my dog was scared, not aggressive. He took him for a ten minute walk by himself and by the end they were best buddies. Matt was the first person that was able to touch George without a muzzle on in almost a year. By the time he left George had met two of my neighbors and I now have the confidence to start taking him for walks to meet new people. Needless to say George will not be going to a shelter, he is staying right here with me where he belongs.
I have been taking my pit bull Prince that does therapy work to Matt, their staff trainer, for obedience training, and he is by far the best trainer I have ever had. (I have worked in pit bull rescue for over 10 years and have had many, many dog trainers work with my foster dogs, and no doubt Matt is the very best at what he does!) He has an amazing ability to control dogs with his firm and yet gentle nature. He also worked wonders with our very challenging and dog aggressive mix breed Mosley. I can’t say enough good things about Matt, my husband and I completely love him and what he has done for our dogs!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Matt and Suburban K-9 and highly recommend them!!!!!!!!!! =)
I recently wanted to adopt a 4.5 yr. old dog that had fear of leaving her home. The owner informed me that the dog would not leave the yard, go for walks & has never been on a car ride. Before I adopted this dog, I called Matt and told him of the situation. He encouraged me that the dog could overcome these fears if I was willing to work & train our new dog.
Needless to say my wife & I experienced first hand the dogs fears when we took her home. Matt came over to our home ASAP and he taught us how to calm her fears & encourage good behavior. That very day we took our new dog for a walk….all the way around the block! We dealt with traffic & train noise along with other distractions. Now our dog LOVES to go for walks & car rides!!! Matt was great at explaining a dogs behavior and how we should respond properly. Matt followed up several times on our dogs progress, very professional.
~Matt and Kim W
I called to schedule a training session with Matt, based on his knowledge and experience with shelter dogs. We recently adopted a Shih-tzu Lhasa Apso mix who Is terrified of men (would snap at my husband on occasion) yet she just needed some help.
I did quite a bit of on-line and Yelp review research to try and find the perfect trainer to help us with our needs, and found Matt. When I called, he promptly called back, and listened to our situation in great detail. He seemed pretty confident that he could help remedy our issue with Stella. I was impressed that he took the time to listen, didn’t try to sell us a bunch of training sessions and could make it to our home soon after the call.
We scheduled a house visit, and after an hour, Matt made recommendations that worked immediately with my husband. Nothing too crazy, just simple tasks to be completed everyday to help Stella be more comfortable and actually approach men. Matt helped us with a solution, unlike some of the other trainers I called which told me good luck, or told us it would take several sessions to help her get over her fear. One session is all it took, and offered phone assistance with any questions we have. He is truly top notch, loves what he does and is not out just to make a dollar. He offers simple solutions that work! Thanks Matt!!!
We adopted a shelter dog [golden/shepherd mix] about a year ago. Maggie had a lot of issues as most shelter dogs do. A friend recommended Matt’s training and it’s the best investment we’ve ever made. Matt, Mike and the crew are amazing. We did the 2 week board/train program and Maggie came home more focused/relaxed, trained and like a new dog. I would highly recommend this program and facility to anyone needing to train their dogs. Matt and Mike work with you and are truly there for the pups, not the buck.
We currently are doing our distraction classes that came with our package and they’re helping already. When we board Maggie while on vacation soon, we will do a couple refresher classes as well to keep her focused and busy while we’re gone. Thanks so much to this team!!
~J. K. from Plainfield
I used to dread when guests would come over to the house, as our dogs would go completely crazy. After a week of training with Matt, they returned home completely different dogs! They are obedient, don’t jump, they are great on the leash and just seem happier – as am I. I HIGHLY recommend this training facility – Matt is amazing!
We did our training in the only way that made sense. In our home. I have done classes for over two years with our lab/pit mix with marginal results and finally decided to find a new trainer. Our girl was great at sit, down, give paw and what not as long as we had a treat, but was becoming unbearable in the home. We had two of Suburban K-9′s trainers come to our home for a series of visits and life has become so much better. We have a baby coming in a few months and finally have a dog that doesn’t jump on everyone and nip people (out of excitement) at the door. Our house call package was exactly what we needed, we just wish we found these guys first.
My husband and I foster labs and have taken the last three to Suburban K-9. The first was very aggressive on leash and they were recommended by our vet. Within about four or five days we were able to walk past dogs with no more lunging. Our next two fosters were friendly, but big overgrown puppies. The trainers helped me (i’m 5’2”) walk them without being dragged. We have done two house calls with each dog and learned so much on each visit. Thank you so much guys, you have no idea how much easier you make our life.
Suburban K-9 is the absolute best. We foster labs and have worked with many trainers over the years. One of our friends who also fosters recommended Suburban K-9. We had them come out for a home visit and they worked with our foster and even gave us tips for our own two dogs. They are the perfect mix when it comes to training. They don’t use treats for everything and they were still able to train in a very gentle manner.
~Tiffany N, St Charles, Il
We rescued a 1 year old Newfoundland male (Admiral) from a rescue group. Admiral did not have any sort of socialization nor was he ever allowed in a house as a puppy. While he is a great dog, he tended to bite and get over excited when you would pet him. It was getting pretty scary as he is 110 pounds. I called many training facilities and all of them told me he was “vicious” and told me that he needs to be put into doggie bootcamp (board and train). One told me he needed to be in their doggie bootcamp for a minimum of 2 weeks going as long as 6 weeks and at the end of the 6 weeks they said they would let me know if he is too vicious and needs to be put down. How can you evaluate a dog over the phone? I emailed Suburban K-9 who was the only one that said that they wanted to do the training in the home where the biting occurs. Matt Wlos came over and let me know that he isn’t vicious just still a puppy with ALOT of energy. Matt showed me ways to correct the biting and how to help calm Admiral down when he gets over excited. He showed me how to walk Admiral in a heal position. A few hours after Matt left, I took Admiral for a walk and he walked perfectly in the heal position. I was even complemented on how I can walk that large of a dog without him pulling (as their 30 pound dog pulled them down the sidewalk). I told them 1 training session with Suburban K-9 and you won’t have that problem. The next day my parents came over and said that they noticed how much calmer he was and how much easier it was for me to handle him. Every day I see such an improvement in Admiral that it amazes me! I cannot thank Matt and Suburban K-9 enough. We were getting to the point of deciding whether or not to return him to the rescue because of this issue. While Admrial still has aways to go, his progress is steady and always going up! I have already started suggesting to everyone I know that has a puppy or a dog that complains about something to call Suburban K-9. You just cannot go wrong with them!
Scared of Loud Noises My family and I took our 3 year old German Sheppard to the trainers from Suburban K9. Our German Sheppard was frightened by loud noises, thunderstorms were always the worst. The fear seemed to start when he was a puppy and progressively got worse as the years went on. We had tried all sorts of different methods for calming the dog down that we found online; some seemed to work for awhile, however you could tell that the dog was still nervous and eventually the dog would get so worked up that he would begin to tremble and whine. About the time that we had given up a coworker had their dog trained at Suburban K9 and told us we should give it a try. We did a package of lessons in our home where the trainer listened to our issues and laid out a plan for addressing the fear by giving the dog a job and setting up as many situations with loud noises as we could. It has been a few months now since the training and we have continued to work with the dog and have great results. We are so glad that we were told about Suburban K9!
Just finished a 3 appt training scheduled for my dog Kuma with Mike. Kuma is a rescue dog I have had for about 3 years with some “other dogs and people” issues that at times had me at wits end. By the end of the first visit with Mike, I had a totally different dog, he helped me discover its not so much the dog per say but the owner. Mike taught me how to help Kuma know I was the leader on our walks and to stay with in control buy simple commands and reminders. Subsequent visits helped Kuma to allow food on the counter without sneaking it on the floor, better receive people coming to the door and in the house as well as her not feeling threatened by passer’s by when she is gazing out the window…so grateful for the experience and Mike, not to mention Kuma absolutely loves Mike….Thanks so much for your help and guidance, you are fantastic…I hope everyone hears this from the roof tops!!!!
We had a house call for our wonderful Doberman Dillinger, due to changes in the household – was having some issues with figuring out who the pack leader was (our own fault). Matt came in and spent a little over an hour and the information and training (of US) has worked wonders!!
He let’s you know the error of your ways, why the dog is acting as he is and the most simple and direct instruction to correct the situation.
I have recomended this Site, and training to many friends since. Also – the GOUGHNUTS toys are amazing! It is Dillingers number one goto toy and is wonderfully indestructable!!
We are looking forward to our next training house call (Fence Respect), as well as CGC classes to increase our bond with our dog.
Lesley Kolar & John Fagot