When it comes to training for your dog, you want to be sure you’re working with experienced professionals who provide a seamless experience for you and your pet. That’s exactly what you get with Suburban K9, one of the leading in-home dog training providers in the country.
With Suburban K9, you gain access to highly experienced professional trainers who use proven methods to deliver the best possible results at the lowest upfront training costs. The focus is on you and your pet, allowing you to learn and enjoy your lives together.
Our training methods, which we’ve been developing for more than a decade, focus on ensuring your dog remains both respectful and calm. This makes your pet’s training efficient and effective. Our trainers are experts at helping dogs regain a balanced state of mind and live happier lives!
Over the years, we’ve also worked with the following great organizations:
- Almost Home Foundation
- Animal Rescue Foundation (A.R.F.)
- Animals Deserving Of Proper Treatment (A.D.O.P.T.)
- Shih Tzu Rescue, Adoption, and Education Safehouse (S.T.R.A.E.S.)
- New Beginnings Shih Tzu Rescue
- Illinois Animal Rescue
- Illinois Doberman Rescue
- Romeoville Humane Society
- Second City Canine Rescue
- Chicagoland Dog Rescue
- Casey’s Safe Haven
- Road to Home Rescue
- The Boneyard Dog Rescue
Over the years, we’ve worked with a wide range of dog owners—along with numerous boarding facilities and rescue groups—to help train their dogs. We’ve even been called in to help champion show dogs that are starting to exhibit some problematic behavioral issues. And, we’ve had countless veterinarians recommend us to dog owners when an elevated level of training and care may be needed.
One big point of pride for our team is our relationship with the West Suburban Humane Society, where we help train dogs placed in the organization’s care before they get placed in “forever homes.” Our trainers donate their time to work with staff members and volunteers to help ensure the dogs in their care get the very best in care and attention.
The dogs that go through our program end up more respectful, calm and sociable with owners, other people and other animals. Whether your dog is overly rowdy or is dealing with past trauma, we get to the bottom of the issue and work hard to resolve it. In short, we aim to make sure that every dog has a chance to have the best life possible.
Matt Covey – Company Founder
Having grown up in a family that spent their time breeding and showing dogs, it was only natural that Matt’s long time passion for dogs turned into his profession. Matt’s training skills have given him the opportunity to train for celebrities such as Antonio Davis of the Chicago Bulls and Bobby Simmons of the Milwaukee Bucks. Matt’s reputation also allowed him the incredible opportunity to work as the head dog trainer for a show on Animal Planet. Matt’s challenge was to build a custom training protocol that would allow him to train a service dog for a young woman with Trichotillomania. The pilot episode went well and we are still hoping that the network decides to film an entire season.
Matt has a business degree from Bradley University and also graduated with honors from Northwestern Law School. His legal education is invaluable when trouble shooting tough behavioral cases. One of the most important skills when working with complex cases of anxiety, fear or aggression is ensuring that you understand the complete picture before building a treatment plan. Matt’s Lifestyle Adjustment Plans (LAPS) are widely known due to his ability to connect a huge amount of disparate data, distill it into a useful format and then create a plan that is simple and easy to apply for the client. Matt’s LAPS are the reason he is often called in by clients all over the country. Although Matt lives in the Chicago suburbs he will travel anywhere to help a dog in need. Matt is also a resource for other dog trainers when they need a consult or some assistance on a tough case.
Additionally, Matt spends time helping a large number of dog rescues and humane societies. He is extremely proud of his relationship with the West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS). Matt assisted WSHS in creating a training program for some of their dogs that needed a little “extra help” in being adopted. Both Matt and WSHS were extremely happy and proud when the program won a nationwide contest and earned WSHS a large grant due to its innovative nature.
Currently Matt’s role within the company is to head up our in house trainer development program. He works with our trainers five days per week to ensure that our trainers are consistently recognized as the best of the best. He does this through both hands on training as well as through training seminars. Most days will find Matt either training a dog with one of our trainers or engaged in a spirited discussion on how to handle a tough case. Although Matt would love to help you train your dog, his time is limited and he is only able to take on a few clients at a time. Please see below for information on all of our expert trainers who have each been personally trained by Matt.
Matt Wlos grew up around computers and technology; his father was instrumental in creating the early course registration system for the University of Illinois. Having a computer and internet access in the home prior to any of his classmates he was able to create webpages and other basic computer programs while still in junior high. He pursued his childhood passion of working with technology and graduated with a degree in Business Computer Systems from Bradley University. After college he went to work for a billion dollar health care company as a programmer and project manager. He is an expert in automated document creation and turned down several offers to continue in that line of work.
Matt Wlos is a life-long dog owner and cannot remember a single time when he didn’t have a dog in his life. When he learned that his college friend Matt Covey was a dog trainer, he turned to him for help when adopting a new dog. After about a year of attending classes and spending all his free time around dogs, Matt joined Matt Covey as a trainer. From there the simple promise of being around dogs everyday was enough to pull him away from corporate technology.
Matt’s current role within the company is head of technology and operations. The role allows him to combine his love for dogs and his passion for computers. Although it doesn’t happen as much as he would like, Matt enjoys when he can get away from his desk and squeeze in an appointment with a client.
Mike or “MJ” has been a dog lover since as long as he can remember. He grew up in an entrepreneurial family with his father founding and selling a multi-million dollar Whirpool manufacturing company. During his time studying Business Management and Finance at Purdue University, his father founded another successful corporation selling home renovation materials outside of Chicago. After college, MJ went to work for the family business, furthering his managing, multitasking, and business acumen outside of the classroom. In a retrospectively, hilarious altercation, MJ’s father said his dog was no longer allowed at the store, prompting him to contemplate his career choice. From that moment on, he decided his career would be canine oriented. After quitting his comfortable and lucrative job with his family, he was hired at a local dog daycare working minimum wage! For 3 long years, MJ observed dog body language and patterns in those with behavioral problems such as aggression, anxiety, and fear. When the work day was over, he headed home and read books, articles, and watched countless YouTube videos to further his knowledge.
One of the trainers at the daycare facility he worked at just so happened to be Suburban K9 founder, Matt Covey. Every time Matt was present, MJ would attach himself to his hip and relentlessly ask questions about dog behavior. When the opportunity arose, Matt brought MJ aboard Suburban K9 and the expansion to the Milwaukee territory was underway! In the years MJ has been with Suburban K9, he has helped thousands of clients with their dog’s behavioral issues all over the Midwest. He has worked with a number of high profile clients, including Detroit Lions Linebacker De’Andre Levy. Since moving from suburban Chicagoland to Milwaukee, MJ has helped Suburban K9 to be one of the most successful and sought after training companies in all of Wisconsin. His talents have made him the Vice President of Training within the company and over the years he has shifted his time from training dogs, to training our employees to train dogs in a practical, efficient, and compassionate manner. Needless to say, MJ couldn’t be happier to be part of the Suburban K9 experience!
Brooke has always had a special place in her heart for dogs. Growing up in a pet loving family, Brooke was blessed to have several four legged family members that made her childhood feel complete. In addition to dogs, horses have also taken a large role in her life as she has also been a riding Instructor for the last 16 years and has competed most of her life. Driven by her childhood dream, Brooke has 8 years of experience as a professional dog trainer and could not be more proud to be a part of the Suburban K9 Team. Brooke enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two beautiful little boys who she hopes will one day take on a profession that is just as rewarding as hers. She has two Bullmastiffs, Brutus and Presley who also hold a GIANT piece of her heart. Brooke has a passion for educating dogs and their owners on how to eliminate stress and ensure the best possible life together. She is a certified elevator for the A.K.C. and can help you take the proper steps to certify your dog as a Canine Good Citizen. Brooke is also the head of our Electronic Fence program and has brought years of electronic fence experience to our team! Suburban K9 has truly been a blessing for Brooke and she can honestly say that she LOVES her job!!
Danny has lived with dogs his whole life, and is ecstatic that he gets to work with these amazing animal’s full time. Danny started his career in retail sales and customer service, which eventually developed, into insurance sales for USAA and advertising sales for Facebook. During his past jobs he became an excellent problem solver and that truly comes through in his work with clients and their dogs. He always tries to make a positive impact wherever he can. Danny has always been involved with team and action sports, specifically baseball and skateboarding. When Danny is not training dogs, you can find him training in the gym or outside hiking, snowboarding, fishing, camping or simply exploring his local terrain.
Eric received his degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater before spending years working a successful Finance career. Eric has had dogs throughout his entire life, yet his most recent addition of two Papillon puppies turned out to be a real handful. Eric reached out to Suburban K9 to help him work with his dogs. After hours of hard work and dedication he ended up turning that experience into a new career. While it took Eric a bit longer to find his true calling working with dogs, his passion is unmatched. Eric also manages his family’s tree farm in Seneca, Illinois. He enjoys hiking, camping, and fishing. When his wife and children let him, he also enjoys playing professional level foosball and holds a few local titles.
Katelyn grew up on a small farm in SE Iowa where her love of animals began. At a young age she was showing sheep, goats, beef, and dairy cattle at the county and state fairs. She even taught her ram lamb “Smokey” to play basketball on the farm. After attending community college in Iowa for Veterinary Assistant and Animal Humane Officer; she went to Melbourne, Australia for Veterinary Nursing. Katelyn was able to develop her knowledge of dog psychology working at a doggie daycare throughout college. After college, she worked as a veterinary technician, and later veterinary practice manager. In her free time, she enjoys taking her Jeep off road, hiking, eating, and driving her motorcycle.
Lenny Szatkowski – Regional Manager
Lenny has always been a dog lover and knew early on that he wanted a career with dogs. He has worked with Suburban K9 since 2009 and is an invaluable part of the team. His best buddy is named Scrunts, a mix breed that he rescued from Tails Humane Society. Lenny is the proud recipient of a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University.
Lenny is skilled at all types of training, but has a passion for solving behavioral issues and using advanced obedience in order to give a dog a job. Lenny routinely trains dogs to heel off leash, to finish off leash, and works on extreme long distance training to help his training clients achieve their goals. Lenny also is an expert on all types of dog aggression and dog rehabilitation. He takes passion in fixing and addressing some of the most complex dog behavioral issues out there.
Lenny’s current role in the company besides training dogs, is Field manager of our Midwest region. Busy guy! Ha! His job involves training and managing all of our trainers. You will often see him on our other trainers appointments to ensure quality and and 100% customer satisfaction!
Nelson comes from a family with a strong tradition of dog training; both his father and brother are dog trainers. While Nelson was growing up, his father was a hunting dog trainer and he would tag along as his father taught clients both basic and advanced hunting skills. Nelson would help with the dogs as much as he could and saw firsthand how happy the dogs would be when given a job to do. Those early childhood moments laid the ground work for a lifelong passion of working with animals.
While still a teenager Nelson worked for a national chain pet store. He started stocking shelves and worked hard to become a trainer and eventually the head trainer at his location. After completing all training programs that were provided to him from the store, Nelson still had a thirst to learn. He began researching additional methods and techniques for training dogs. It was during this research that he found Suburban K9 and a new mentor in company founder Matt Covey.
Given Nelson’s wealth of knowledge and experience he has truly flourished in his role at the company and is one of our busiest trainers. He is the main trainer working with West Suburban Humane Society’s S.T.A.R. program helping some of the more challenging shelter dogs learn the skills and manners that are vital in giving them a new shot at life, and finding that forever home. Nelson takes great pride in the fact that he gets to make a difference in the lives of so many dogs and people.
Katrina grew up in the country just south of Grand Rapids, MI. She has always been drawn to animals of all sorts, and has never been without furry or feathered companions as long as she can recall. Katrina has taught a cockatiel to whistle the theme from “Mayberry”, a horse to nod “yes” and an English Setter to run a series of circus tricks. This was all before she turned fifteen! She has also been involved with wildlife rehabilitation; bottle feeding deer and squirrels and caring for muskrats, rabbits and possums. Working with and training dogs is a passion of hers, and her experience working in customer service has given her the skills to work with their owners, too! When not working, Katrina enjoys spending time “Up North” at her family’s cabin with her beloved, adopted dogs, Meika and Kovu.
Alexis grew up in a small town that time forgot and it was her passion for dogs that has brought her to where she is today. She began her training career with her first Golden Retriever which she trained to be a Therapy dog. Since then, Alexis has helped many families live cohesively with their K9 companions.
She earned her degree from Westminster College, PA in Psychology with a concentration in Animal Behavior. Her schooling and experience has given her the opportunity to train with many animals extending from Long Evans rats playing basketball to Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions giving hugs and kisses. During her dolphin and sea lion internship in the Bahamas, Alexis had the opportunity to work with animal Hollywood stars such as the dolphin used in the movie “Flipper”, the dolphin used in the movie “Holiday In the Sun” starring MaryKate and Ashley Olson, and also the sea lion who had the lead role as André in the 1994 Hollywood film.
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering in the community with her two current Golden Retrievers, Lilly and Margo. She loves to visit school districts and spend the day teaching students about dog safety and proper care and interaction with dogs.
She has an extensive history playing softball starting at the young age of 8 which took her around the world from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Cape Town, South Africa and back.
Alex spent the majority of his childhood learning and mastering martial arts. He began instructing others while still in middle school, becoming an assistant instructor after attaining his first dan black belt. He continued to the learn and teach under his Master while in college, attaining his second dan black belt, and teaching classes of all ages.
In addition to martial arts, Alex has a long history working in the hospitality industry. He worked his way through every position in the industry, culminating as the Assistant General Manager of a beloved Irish Pub in his home town. There he was in charge of day to day operations, and ensuring a positive customer experience for guests. He was also heavily involved in the planning and execution of large St. Patrick’s Day and Fourth of July festivities when the Irish Pub partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Peoria for fundraising events.
Alex decided to move on from the hospitality industry and found a home that allowed him to utilize his teaching and customer service skills here at Suburban K9, making a natural transition to training dogs and working with their owners to solve their issues. Currently, Alex assists the Monona Grove High School Boys Swimming Team with workouts and flexibility training during practices outside of the pool. He has a love of the outdoors and enjoys; camping, hiking, backpacking and canoeing with his wife and Golden Retriever. Alex has a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism from Southern Illinois University Carbondale as well as a Project Management Certification from Madison College.
Abbie’s love for animals began when her family got a 3 year old Greyhound/Whippet mix when she was 3 years old. The two grew up together and shared similar hobbies of eating, running and exploring. Even as a grown up these continue to be some of Abbie’s favorite things to do. Abbie determined she wanted to make a career out of her love for animals when she volunteered at a therapy riding center for children and adults that have special needs. Seeing both the benefits in health and the special bond that formed between rider and horse sold her on working with people and animals to understand and strengthen their relationship.
Abbie attended Carroll University and graduated with a degree in Animal Behavior. Her degree gave her the opportunity to train in research by designing and conducting her own research projects. One of her opportunities included studying the stereotypic behaviors in polar bears at the Milwaukee County Zoo. She created a comparative study to observe habituation to edible and non-edible enrichment which are provided to decrease stereotypies. Abbie also participated in discrimination training with Sprague Dawley rats in an operant chamber, which contributed to her amazement with the intelligence of animals. While in school, Abbie interned at the Wisconsin Humane Society where she learned about the process of taking in rescues and how to determine what types of families they work well with. She also worked as an Animal Care Worker at a pet hospital where she could see the genuine love owners have for their pets and vice versa on a daily basis. Abbie can now truly say that she is working her dream job as a dog trainer!
Maggie has had a love for animals ever since she can remember. Since she was 4 years old, there has always been a dog or two in the house. She learned a great deal helping her mother train all their dogs on their own; from a Maltese to a Sheltie to a Mini Poodle. Maggie also gained a wealth of knowledge from her step mother who used to raise and train Golden Retrievers. Working with dogs and helping people to better understand and care for their companions has been something Maggie has always been passionate about. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and cuddling up with her 4 year old Sheltie/Australian Shepherd mix named Yolo. Maggie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology with a minor in Psychology.
Jack grew up with a family of dog lovers, who always had one, two or even three dogs in the home. He was responsible for caring for the family dogs and is now the proud owner of Bailey, a mixed breed rescue dog. While taking courses in graphic design, Jack began working at a pet hotel/doggie daycare. Very soon after starting this job he realized that working with dogs was his calling. At the daycare he was often the only person with the ability to handle handle difficult dogs. Jack has turned his passion and skills into a career with Suburban K9. During his spare time, Jack loves baseball, soccer and taking Bailey for walks on the trails at a local State Park.
Angel is a full time college student and is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration. We noticed Angel’s passion for dogs during a lesson with her Pit-Bull Mastiff mix Whiskey. She was able to turn that passion into a career and enjoys helping our clients with their needs. When she is not at school or working she enjoys spending time outdoors; Hiking, Fishing and playing catch with her two dogs. She also owns a terrier mix named Houdini.
Jeanne Delagardelle – Office Manager
Jeanne loves helping prospective clients learn about our services and schedule training. She grew up in Iowa and moved to Chicago shortly after graduating from Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa. She and her husband moved to Brookfield, Illinois not long after their son was born. Jeanne previously worked at Crain’s Chicago Business as an administrative assistant. She enjoys gardening, hiking, cooking, and baking bread. One of her favorite things to do is make soap, deodorant, lotion, bug spray and lip balm from scratch! Along with her husband and son, Jeanne lives with two sweet cats, Bob and Gabby.
Joy grew up in Joliet, Illinois. After spending a few years in Iowa, she returned to the area where she was raised. She has been around dogs all her life and currently has two dogs that she absolutely adores! She has worked as a receptionist for a variety of companies and is excited to combine her love for dogs with her full time job. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, baking, hiking and walking her dogs.