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 worked with the following great organizations:
- West Suburban Humane Society
- Shih Tzu Rescue, Adoption, and Education Safehouse (S.T.R.A.E.S.)
- The Boneyard Dog Rescue
- Almost Home Foundation
- Animal Rescue Foundation (A.R.F.)
- Animals Deserving Of Proper Treatment (A.D.O.P.T.)
- 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
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.
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 evaluator 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!!
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.
Holly has been an animal lover throughout her entire life. Growing up she had pet dogs, cats, snakes, lizards, turtles, and even a praying mantis! Being an only child the connection with her animals was always strong. As she grew she saw the opportunity to turn her passion into a career and pursued a degree in Animal Science. Holly graduated from Illinois State University and had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of animals throughout her education.
Holly has worked as a veterinary assistant where she spent a lot of time working with pets and applying her knowledge from her classes. She also spent a great deal of her time learning to catch birds, band adults and their nestlings, take measurements, and help out the biology department graduate students on their research projects. Holly also worked as an Animal Care Technician working with mice, opossums, and pigs, monitoring their daily health and ensured a comfortable living environment. Holly loves helping families and dogs to live happily and comfortably together. You can always find her with a smile on her face, happy to help! Holly enjoys eating, working out, going to concerts, and spending time outside or hiking during her free time.
Julia’s love for animals has always been prevalent in her life. From nursing baby squirrels back to health, to taking care of and training her family’s dogs growing up. Julia has an immense passion for working with and helping others and graduated from North Central College with a degree in both sociology and psychology. While pursuing her degrees, she worked at a natural pet store where she gained a vast array of knowledge regarding animal nutrition and natural animal care. She worked one on one with customers and their pets to address their concerns from constant itching to finicky eaters. Julia also worked with puppies helping them find the right forever homes. Julia listened to the wants and needs of the family to ensure they found the perfect match. Julia was able to gain more experience working with animals, and learned about many different dog breeds, temperaments, training techniques, etc.
When Julia isn’t busy training dogs, she loves traveling and being able to experience new places and things. Julia is always ready for the next adventure. She has two dogs of her own Henry and Miley, a mixed breed rescue and mini Australian shepherd that love to keep her on her toes. Julia takes great pride in being able to better the lives of both people and dogs on a daily basis.
Lenny Szatkowski – Regional Manager
Lenny has always been a dog lover and knew early on that he wanted a career with dogs. He became a trainer with Suburban K9 in 2009 while still attending college at Northern Illinois University. Lenny quickly excelled as both a trainer and a student, eventually graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Over the years he became an expert in dealing with difficult dogs and training off leash.
Lenny’s background coupled with his training skill allowed him to rise to the role of field manager in our Midwest region. His job involves working with each of our trainers on a daily basis. He acts as both a mentor and a training partner. You will often see him on our other trainers’ appointments to ensure quality and 100% customer satisfaction!
His best buddy is named Scrunts, a mix breed that he rescued from Tails Humane Society. Lenny often brings Scrunts along to help when a dog is needed for an appointment.
Marjorie’s passion for animals was clear at age 13 when she combined her love of business and animals to start her own pet sitting service. Through the years she gained more experience in the pet care field, first working at a large dog boarding facility and then for a vet dealing with both large and small animals. She also managed a 24 hour animal hospital for five years, before deciding to become more hands on and become a trainer. Marjorie holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an Entrepreneurial concentration from Texas State University.
Education is one of Marjorie’s favorite things. She not only loves teaching but she loves learning and continues to grow through continuing education. She brings her life-long love of animals and passion for education to each client and their pet.
Marjorie has fostered and rescued many pets through Austin Pets Alive and Miniature Pinscher Rescue. Being a native of Austin TX, Marjorie enjoys being outside, eating tex-mex, and tending to her own garden. She surrounds herself with Gidget a “shelter special” chiweenie and her cats, Piper and Jaxx.
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.
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.
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 Chadesh – Territory Manager
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.
Blake Slayton grew up north of Madison, WI in Beaver Dam. He was always surrounded with pets as a child and had a special love for dogs. Blake attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where he obtained his degree in communications while always having a canine by his side. After graduation, Blake decided to make the move out to Raleigh, North Carolina where he took a job at a recruiting firm. It was during this time that Blake honed his ability to create and build long lasting relationships. It also wasn’t long before he adopted a German Shepard Mix, Reggie, from a local rescue group. Blake decided to move back to Wisconsin in order to be closer to one of the most important things to him, his family.
In addition to loving dogs and being around family, Blake enjoys working out and being outdoors. On any given day you can find Blake out fishing or going for a hike with Reggie. Building a better quality of life for dog owners and their four legged friends is something Blake looks forward to doing everyday.
Maggie Deemer – Territory Manager
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.
Salina has had a passion for animals since she was young. Coming from a family with a background in farming, animals where always around. Her first job was feeding and caring for baby calves at a large dairy farm. There she learned the ins and outs of caring for 200 calves. At the age of nineteen she purchased her first horse Magic where delved into riding and training. Since then she has been all over Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota riding with Magic.
Salina worked as a Nanny while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching with a minor in science from the University of Wisconsin Superior. Working as a nanny allowed her to foster her teaching degree and prepare her for a career of patience and understanding. It also gave her the time and freedom to train both of her dogs on and around her family farm. Salina has decided to combine both her love for teaching and her passion for animals into a career with Suburban K9. She enjoys working with both dogs and their families to foster an enjoyable experience for both. In Salina’s spare time she enjoys training her two horses and spending time with her Yorkipoo, Monkey and her Catahoula, Denali.
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.
Samantha grew up in Plainfield, IL. As a child she had lots of different pets, which fueled her love of animals. Her passion turned into a profession when she went to Western Illinois University and studied Zoology and Psychology. She loved learning about the different ways animals think and interact with their environment. Her studies led her to work with animals in a multitude of environments.
Samantha has worked at wildlife rehabilitation centers and even an elephant sanctuary. She has trained animals and performed in live educational animal shows for both adults and children. The shows included live wild animals like Great Horned Owls, Black Throat Monitor Lizards, and Red Tail Hawks. After guest could come and encounter certain animals up close! Her favorite show she conducted was the parrot show, where she trained a Blue Throat Macaw how to wrestle a toy alligator.
While she is passionate about working with the animals she finds the most enjoyment in teaching people how to improve life with their furry friends. She has two Pitbull mixes, McKenzie & Hazelnut, a Quaker parrot, Kiko, and a Mexican black king snake, Rey. She spends most of her free time outdoors with friends, family and pets.